This program aims to give students the skills necessary to enter the workplace in roles where there is a need for intercultural communication with sensitivity to the cultural contexts of discourse. Literary texts are used for examples and, as noted earlier, the program can serve as a bridge to doctoral work in literature; however, these texts are primarily used as a means for training in cultural sensitivity.
There are three justifications for this program, corresponding to the needs of three different categories of potential students:
First, there is currently no opportunity for studying literature at the graduate level in Palestine, and the program would prepare those hoping to progress to a Ph.D. in Literature, as well those interested in research in literature as a channel of cultural communication.
Second, students interested in a career in translation would benefit from the program’s focus on the language of literary texts. Though the courses do not require practical translation, they do require close attention to the (often unconscious) language choices made in creative writing.
Third, students interested in careers in government, or working with NGOs would avail themselves of training in communication, which alerts to both the pragmatic function of discourse and the cultural biases in their own and their interlocutors’ words.
The proposed program is practical: students should be able to move directly into entry level positions in business, media, and government (as well as NGOs) with the ability to function with understanding in English and Arabic.
Graduates will approach professional tasks with confidence and awareness of the pragmatic and cultural implications of the discourse they encounter. They will be able to adopt a communication style that will allow them to present their ideas effectively to an English-speaking audience, and understand the subtext of messages presented to them.