The Department of Linguistics and Comparative Cultural Studies (DSLCC) carries out research as well as running interdisciplinary multicultural courses. Drawing on Ca' Foscari's long tradition of ‘foreign languages and literature’, comparative and multidisciplinary studies contribute to renewing the university's teaching and research activities in a multi-faceted dynamic manner, with important implications for today's increasingly multicultural and multilingual society.
The Department's vast linguistic and cultural offer takes the form of 22 languages, many of which official European Community languages: Albanian, American English, American Spanish, Basque, Brazilian Portuguese, British English, Bulgarian, Catalan, Czech, French, German, Italian sign language (LIS), Italian tactile sign language, Modern Greek, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Serbo-Croatian, Slovenian, Spanish, Swedish.
Systematic comparisons between this vast linguistic and literary heritage and international political and historical studies can make an important contribution to the development of tools for a critical understanding of our global society. The Department's interests span a vast area ranging from the Iberian peninsula to Central and Northern Europe, from the Balkans to Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean, extending as far as North and South America and Japan. The Department is also involved in numerous teaching and scientific projects concerning other countries in Asia and Africa.
The Department's teaching and research activities mainly concern three macro-areas involving languages and disciplines in numerous scientific and cultural projects, many of which requiring it to play a key role at national level:
- literary-cultural area: analysis and interpretation of various types of foreign language texts, which convey an extraordinary range of meanings making them an essential instrument for understanding specific cultures and traditions; the comparative study of foreign literature and dynamics of literary genres, their relationships with other forms of expression (cinema, theatre, visual arts) and relations between literature, culture, society, political and economic spheres and tourism; translation of literary texts;
- linguistic-philological-language teaching area: study of grammar and history of languages (including the languages listed above) as a means to exploring the human mind and social context; study of language acquisition in situations of typical development and of deafness and linguistic disability; analysis of translations and rewriting in ancient times supported by innovative digital editing projects; development of methods for the teaching of foreign languages as a suitable communication instrument adapting to various situational contexts and different cultures, and for the teaching of Italian to speakers of other languages;
- historical and international politics area: study of the history, languages, societies, cultures, religions and political practices as aspects of international relations and communication systems for the understanding of social, institutional and economic networks at global level.
Internationalisation is the Department's core interest, both with regard to its specific sectoral studies and its many relations with universities and research institutions abroad (by means of double degrees and other framework agreements as well as Erasmus exchanges) and with international journals and publishers. Large numbers of visiting professors, visiting scholars, Erasmus students and international students are present in the Department.
The Department collaborates closely with both public and private institutions and bodies operating in Italy and abroad, allowing it to organise applied research activities, high profile internships and life-long learning initiatives.
Thanks to the wide range of competences and scientific interests of its faculty the Department takes part in cultural planning and production, promoting initiatives in the context of accessibility to culture and tourism in collaboration with its spin-off Veasyt s.r.l., and with local cultural institutions interested in accessibility-related issues.