Department Chair Election: Congratulations to Dr. Michele C. Dávila, who was elected as the next chair of the department! A big thank you to Dr. Elizabeth Blood for her hard work and leadership as chair over the past six years. Dr. Blood is looking forward to reengaging in her teaching of French and in her research on Québec and Franco-America. Dr. Dávila will officially take the reins on July 1st 2014.
Thank You Amanda Minervini
Our department has been fortunate to count Dr. Amanda Minervini as part of our faculty for the last two years. Dr. Minervini’s hard work and endearing character made her a popular professor in both Italian and German. As of this summer she will be teaching at Colorado College in Colorado Springs, CO. Their fortunate gain is most certainly our loss. Best of luck, Amanda!
New Arabic Faculty: A warm welcome to Prof. Karim Mouhib, who is our newest Arabic instructor. A native of Casablanca, Morocco, Prof. Mouhib holds a master’s degree in linguistics and foreign language teaching methodology from UMass Boston where he also teaches Arabic courses part-time. He has already organized a Moroccan cultural event on campus and is planning a spring break study-travel trip to Morocco next year!
Curriculum Development: The department was very busy this year revising courses for the new general education curriculum and creating exciting new courses and programs!
General Education: We have proposed numerous language and culture courses for the new World Cultures (WC) requirement, literature courses for the Creative Expression and Appreciation (CEA) gen education category, and level 2 and level 3 writing courses in French, Italian and Spanish. In addition, the department will offer two First-Year Seminars next fall.
Chinese Studies: This year, we submitted proposals for a new culture course on China, as well as an interdisciplinary minor in Chinese Studies combining Mandarin Chinese language (12 credits) with interdisciplinary electives (6 credits) chosen from courses on Chinese culture, history, politics, philosophy or art. If approved, this new minor will be available beginning fall 2015.
Certificate in Translation: We have been developing a certificate program in Translation that we are very excited to submit to the University for review this spring. This program combines grammar, writing and translation courses in English and in a target language (French, Italian or Spanish) with an elective course chosen from one of the professional translator’s key fields of expertise (Criminal Justice, Communications, Political Science, Business, Social Work, IDS/Pre-Law, Biology/Pre-Med or Literature). The certificate program will give students the skills and knowledge they will need to become freelance translators or to pursue credentials to become a professional translator. All courses in the program will be able to be double-dipped with a student’s major or minor or general education curriculum. If approved, this program will also be available beginning in fall 2015. Stay tuned!
THE ITALIAN CLUB goes to… Tuscany!
On March 26 the Italian Club hosted a cultural event entitled “Under the Tuscan Sun!” Among other Tuscan delicacies, the newly elected President Caitlin O’Toole and the Treasurer Marta Marucci introduced members to “La Panzanella,” and “I Cantuccini.” While the oblong-shaped almond biscuits are very popular in the US, la panzanella is a Tuscan salad made of chunks of soaked bread, tomatoes, onions, basil, cucumbers and olives, dressed with olive oil and vinegar. Buon appetito!
- Dr. Elizabeth Blood has recently completed a new French-language textbook project focusing on the culture and history of Québec. The book, entitled Je me souviens: histoire, culture et littérature du Québec francophone, will be published by Georgetown University Press in 2015.
- Dr. Amanda Minervini article on recent political documentaries about Italy, “Uccidete la democrazia! e Girlfriend in a Coma: il nuovo documentario politico sull’Italia,” is forthcoming in William Hope, Luciana D’Arcangeli, and Silvana Serra’s Un Nuovo Cinema Politico Italiano? (2014).
- Dr. Anna Rocca and Dr. Kenneth Reeds published the edited volume Women Taking Risks in Contemporary Autobiographical Narratives (UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2013).
- Dr. Kristine Doll published her first book of poetry, Speak to Me Again (New York: Feral Press, 2014), and was recently notified that her poem “My Friends,” included in the book has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize in Poetry.
- Dr. Michele C. Dávila published the fourth chapter: “Subversions of Motherhood: The Sleuth in Claudia Piñeiro’s Crime Fiction” in Twenty-First Century Latin American Narrative and Postmodern Feminism, by editor Gina Ponce de León (UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2014).
- Dr. Anna Rocca chaired two sessions entitled “Franco-American Women and Their ‘Hidden’ Contributions” and “Feminisms in Action in Literature and the Visual Arts” at the 2014 NEMLA in Harisburg, PA, presenting the paper “Activism and Social Art: Women Taking the Streets.”
- Dr. Fátima Serra is the co-editor of the volume Agentes de cambio: panoramas cinematográficas de España y Latinoamérica en el siglo XXI published by Editorial Pliegos, Madrid, forthcoming.