Languages and Literatures


News and Announcements

The Department of Languages and Literatures invites you to join us for our Hispanic Film Festival. Every Wednesday from September 7th to October 5th we will screen a selection of great Latin American films.

The movies will be screened in the Lovinger Theatre

September 7th –

Who is Dayani Cristal? (Mexico)

September 14th –

The return (Costa Rica)

September 21st –

With my heart in Yambo (Ecuador)

September 28th –

Here and there (USA, Spain, Mexico)

October 5th –

Chinese take-away (Argentina)

FREE ADMISSION. Friends, classmates, colleagues, and family members are welcome!

Contact Information:
Name: Marco Ramírez


The Department of Languages and Literatures invites you to join us for our Italian Film Series Fall 2016.

Organized and Presented by Professor Alex Coller

Date: MONDAY, November 7, 2016

Time: 3:30pm-5:30pm (end time approx.)

Screening: Carman Hall: B-O4 (basement)



AminProf. Thomas Spear was honored late last month at the annual Livres en Folie book festival, held in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, with the Gardien du Livre—or “Keeper of the Books”—prize for his work promoting Haitian literature. He was one of three recipients of the award.  ... READ MORE



Valère Novarina’s The Animal of Time at the Martin E. Segal Theatre Center

The Martin E. Segal Theatre Center presents World Voices: International Play Festival, as part of the 2015 PEN World Voices Festival, which will showcase play readings by nine of the world’s most respected dramatists from Afghanistan, Argentina, Cuba, France, Germany, Indonesia, Kenya, and Uganda.

The festival will present The Animal of Time, a performance of the English translation by Prof. Amin Erfani of Valère Novarina’s L’Animal du temps, a theatrical adaptation of Le Discours aux animaux. In this musical performance, the protagonist speaks to animals—that is to say the audience—while taking them on a journey into the depth of language, one that reinvents itself every time the actor opens his mouth. This theatrical performance features actor Chris Kayser, director Valéry Warnotte, musicians Frédéric Lamarre and Adrien Tronquart, and technician Rafaël Georges. The performance will be followed by a conversation with Valère Novarina.

Please read our special interview with Prof. Amin Erfani here.

LOCATION: The Martin E. Segal Theatre Center
DATES: May 4, 2015 at 7:30 pm.

Supported by the Cultural Services of the French Embassy and the Lehman College.

Valère Novarina is the best-known and most influential avant-garde dramatist working in France today. He is the author of over 20 plays, including Le drame de la vie (The Drama of Life, 1984), La chair de l’homme (Man’s Flesh, 1995), L’origine rouge (The Crimson Origine, 2000), L’acte inconnu (The Unknown Act, 2006). He is also a theorist of the stage and has produced a number of books devoted to stage aesthetics, the need for a different kind of actor training and the relationship of theater to other arts. He has received many awards and his play, L’acte inconnu was commissioned as the featured play of the 2007 Avignon Theater festival. Novarina's translated text, The Animal of Time, will appear in the next Martin Segal Theater publication.


Macaulay Honors College Student Wins Jack Nash Scholars Award for Study in Japan

Romi Zayas, a junior in the Macaulay Honors College at Lehman and a scholar in the CUNY Baccalaureate Program, will embark on a trip of a lifetime to Tokyo where she will study advanced Japanese at the Kanda University of International Studies this spring. She’s doing so with some help from a Jack Nash Scholars Award—a one-time scholarship grant of $10,000 for education expenses—and from Macaulay’s Opportunities Fund.



College Students from Japan Visited Lehman

On Thursday March 6th, 23 Japanese students from Yokohaman National University came to visit Lehman College. Many students studying Japanese at Lehman enjoyed the presentations that the Japanese students prepared on Yokohama and its history and culture. This event was part of the Kakehashi Project, the US-Japan Youth Exchange program that sent six Lehman students to Japan in May 2013.


For photos and videos from this year's event, please visit the Facebook page.



The department of Languages & Literatures is pleased to offer Summer
Language Institutes in French, Irish (Gaelic), Italian, Japanese, and Spanish.

Summer poster

Click here for the schedule of classes


pacoProf. Montaño Receives Arts and Humanities Teaching Award
Francisco (Paco) Montaño has mainly taught introductory and intermediate French during his time at Lehman, although he has also taught introductory Italian and
Spanish. He has received outstanding student and peer evaluations, while immeasurably improving the teaching of foreign language at Lehman through his work as the department’s Language Coordinator. Congratulations to Prof. Montaño!


Join us for Lehman College International Day!

International dayWith the the third annual "International Day" at Lehman on Monday, November 14th, the department of Languages & Literatures and Study Abroad Programs of Lehman College join institutions and organizations around the world in celebrating “International Education Week” (Nov 12-16), an opportunity to celebrate the benefits of international education, exchanges, and language programs worldwide. Read about International Education Week.

International Day will focus on cross-cultural issues, study abroad opportunities for students, and Lehman College language programs. The day's event will include international food samplings, mini foreign language lessons, and a study abroad information desk. You can downlad the flyer here.

The Japanese Language Proficiency Test

Lehman College is the official testing site of the Japanese Language Proficiency Test. This year's test will be on Sunday, December 4th. For registration and other information, please visit the Japan Foundation website at

Lehman Italian Major wins Watson Fellowship and Tuisiani Scholarship for Excellence in Italian

PerlazaSophomore Italian major Sophia Perlaza has won a coveted spot in the Jeannette K. Watson Fellowship program. The three-year program offers paid summer internships, mentoring and enhanced educational opportunities to New York City undergraduates who demonstrate exceptional promise, outstanding leadership skills and commitment to the common good.

Perlaza is a member of the Lehman Scholars Program and is a winner of the Lehman Scholarship and the Department of Languages and Literatures' Tuisiani Scholarship for Excellence in Italian. Read More.


Last modified: Mar 16, 2017

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AminAmin Erfani received his BA in French and Comparative Literature and his Master in French from Stony Brook University (SUNY). He subsequently received a PhD in French with certificates in Comparative Literature and Psychoanalytic Studies from Emory University. He joined the Languages and Literatures Department at Lehman College in 2013. He has previously offered courses ranging from elementary to advanced French language, grammar, and culture; introduction to literature and special topics on French theater and 20th and 21st century French film and novel; interdisciplinary studies on modern France as well as the Francophone world. He has published articles and presented at conferences on avant-garde European theater, new media, critical theory, French 19th and 20th century poetry, and psychoanalytic studies. He has collaborated, within and beyond university walls, with cultural organizations on both sides of the Atlantic alongside French and American theaters. In that context, he has initiated a series of productions of contemporary French plays with his original English translations, particularly from works by Bernard-Marie Koltès and Valère Novarina.


Prof. Gerardo Piña-Rosales at The Royal Spanish Academy


Prof. Gerardo Piña-Rosales was invited to the presentation of the 23nd edition of the Dictionary of the Spanish Language at the Royal Spanish Academy in Madrid, Spain. During the ceremony (Oct. 17th), Prof. Piña-Rosales, who is the President of the North American Academy of the Spanish Language, and a Corresponding member of the Royal Spanish Academy (founded in 1713), had the opportunity to greet the King and Queen of Spain, benefactors and advocates of the new Dictionary.




The Irish Section of the Department of Languages and Literatures in collaboration with the CUNY Institute for Irish-American Studies will be hosting a two-day symposium focused on Irish language literature and the history of Ireland on Friday and Saturday, February 19-20, 2016. Keynote speakers include authors Aindrias Ó Cathasaigh and Fionnuala Uí Fhlannagáin from Ireland. A pre-conference event will take place on Thursday, 2/18/2016, at the CUNY Graduate Center in Room 9207. Dr. Ailbhe Ní Ghearbhuigh of the National University of Ireland, Galway, will read from her new volume of poetry Tost agus Allagar (2016). This will be a bilingual event. Saturday and Sunday events, 2/18-19/16 will take place at Lehman College. There will be 16 talks by Irish language and literature students, scholars, and authors. These will take place in the Music Building and Speech & Theatre Building with registration each morning in MU-313. Papers will be read in English on Friday and in Irish (Gaelic) on Saturday. The complete schedule is available at . Registration for the talks is just one fee of $20 for both Friday and Saturday with lunch included each day. Lehman College students attend for free. An Irish Benefit Dinner will be held at Rory Dolan's Restaurant at 6pm Friday. All are welcome. The dinner is $30 for all which includes the meal, soda, coffee, and tea. Honorees at the dinner will be Dr. Séamus Blake and Eileen Houlihan Zurell. Music will be by John Redmond. For more information e-mail or phone 718-960-6776.