Fall 2011 News News: Hispanic Studies

The Politics of Quechua: student research in Cusco, Peru

During the summer of 2011, Hispanic Studies major Katherine Brown (’13) travelled to Peru to study the political uses of Quechua in the construction of national, regional, and class-based identities in present-day Peru. Under the auspices of the Christian-Ewell Scholarship granted by the Charles Center, Katie spent seven weeks in Cusco and Lima studying Quechua and doing research, while she attended the festivals of Inti Raymi, Corpus Christi, and Qoyllur Rit’i, and visited the house where the famous mestizo chronicler Inca Garcilaso de la Vega (1539-1616) was born.

Katie describes her project as follows:

Plaza de armas [Main Square], Cusco, Peru“This summer I had the opportunity to travel to Peru with a Charles Center grant to conduct a seven-week research project. This investigation focused on appropriations of Quechua, a South American indigenous language with 8-12 million speakers, in processes of identity construction in contemporary Peru. After an independent study last spring, six weeks of Quechua courses and interviews in Cuzco, and a week of bibliographical research in Lima, I decided to concentrate my analysis on the Quechua-Spanish dictionary prepared by the Academia Mayor de la Lengua Quechua (High Academy of the Quechua Language), an institution charged with regulating the Quechua language and promoting its usage in Peru. As Quechua has remained in a subordinate position to Spanish since the conquest and is now stigmatized as “rural peasant speech,” this effort would presumably be a positive development; however, the AMLQ relies on an ideological discourse in its dictionary that incorporates “imperial Quechua”, an elite dialect of Quechua associated with the Incan empire, into national identity while excluding the contemporary indigenous speaker of Quechua from the definition of the nation.

“By claiming that Quechua is a symbol of the glorious Incan past and a vital link between the modern nation and that past, and that the city of Cuzco represents the authentic origin of the Incan empire and of a “pure” variety of Quechua, the AMLQ seeks to justify its political claims in the present. It uses the dictionary to present the middle-class mestizo elite of Cuzco as an alternate body of power in the contemporary nation-state, challenging the authority of Lima as the capital city and site of cultural and economic prestige. Furthermore, its claim that it inherits and protects this elite variety of Quechua, despite glaring linguistic errors and misapplication of linguistic principles, allows it to regulate and “correct” the speech of millions of Quechua speakers throughout Peru, whose language is viewed by the Academia as imperfect and subaltern. These claims point to a definition of the nation according to a deliberately constructed history that values Quechua’s associations with the glories of the pre-Hispanic past, while it disdains Quechua’s associations with the modern-day speakers of Peru’s rural Andean regions. Therefore, the AMLQ’s dictionary becomes a political tool, a forum in which the Cuzco elite seeks to promote its own interests and endow itself with authority and power within the context of the modern Peruvian nation-state.

“I would like to thank those who made this project possible: the Charles Center and Mr. Bruce Christian for their generous support and funding of this research; Rodolfo Cerrón-Palomino (Professor of Linguistics, Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú, Lima), Juan Julio García Rivas (director of the regional branch of the Ministry of Culture in Cuzco) and Fernando Hermoza Gutierrez (current president of the Academia Mayor de la Lengua Quechua) for their participation in interviews and contribution of their expertise to this project; and Professor Jorge Terukina for serving as my advisor and for providing constant guidance and support at every step of this investigation.

While in Peru, Katie documented her research process in the following blog: She delivered a formal presentation of her findings at the Monroe Lunch Series in November 2011.

Katie is currently working on a research project on Nahuatl-language religious theatrical pieces crafted and performed in 16th-century Mexico as ideological tools for the domination of the indigenous population. This project emerged from a Freshman Seminar on “Imagining the Early Modern Hapsburg Empire,” and she presented a preliminary draft of her findings at The Third Undergraduate Symposium in Medieval and Renaissance Studies at W&M (March 2011). Katie is also training with Prof. LuAnn Homza (History) in early modern Spanish paleography in preparation for archival research to be carried out in Pamplona (Spain) in January, 2012

Fall 2011 News News: German Studies

The Wall-Jumper: Student Research in German Studies

Students in Jennifer Taylor’s Freshman Seminar, “The Berlin Wall,” are researching cinematic and literary depictions of life in the former German Democratic Republic and finding some surprises. Many texts they are reading paint a bleak picture of oppression and state control behind the iron curtain that is familiar to readers in the post-Cold War era. Other texts, though, suggest that, for many East Germans, life was in many ways the same as it is anywhere. Reacting to Peter Schneider’s 1982 West German novel about life in the divided Berlin, The Wall Jumper: a Berlin Story, freshman Abby Hunter expressed her surprise that one character moves from West to east Berlin, “This part was interesting to me because… history classes have painted East Berlin as a horrible, awful, dark place that no one wanted to live in.” The students in the seminar are exploring the kind of contradictions Abby points out as well as questions about representation and textual authority; everyone is engaged in writing a 10 page research project on a topic connected to some aspect of the GDR.

“It’s funny, the last time I taught a class on the Berlin Wall, all of us had been alive during the wall’s ‘lifetime’; I was born in 1961 when it was constructed and they had all been born in 1989, when it was torn down. I had traveled in the former GDR as a twenty year old and remember it well. The freshmen students in my current seminar, though, were all born after East Germany ceased to exist,” Taylor said. For these freshmen, 1989 is a long time ago, and the research involved has meant many trips to the library and to the digital databases. Swem Library has played a huge role in helping everyone to get started on their research projects. “(Librarian) Paul Showalter and I met before the semester started and blocked in two whole class periods for him to work with the students, and it has been extremely helpful,” Taylor said. “Being able to use the resources of a research library gives the students an enormously important tool in the 21rst Century.”

Student research projects are focused on texts including the first German film made about the Nazi past, Wolfgang Staudte’s The Murderers are among us (1946), GDR films such as Gerhard Klein’s Berlin Schönhauser Corner (1957), Konrad Wolf’s Divided Heaven (1964) and post-Wall texts including Florian Henckel von Donnermarck’s The Life of Others (2006) and Anna Funder’s Stasiland. The topics include the role of the circus performer in Wim Wender’s Wings of Desire (1987), the depiction of technology in East German cinema, the problematic relationship between memory and trauma in depictions of the East German Secret Police and the relationship between West German capitalism and the Nazi past as depicted in film and literature.

Fall 2011 News

Homecoming 2011 Photo Gallery

We had a great time at the Modern Languages 2nd Annual Homecoming Reception this year, which was once again held in the Reves Room at the Reves Center for International Relations. The turnout was good, with plenty of alumni, many faculty members and some of our best current students to round out the party. I didn’t catch everyone’s names from their nametags, so please send along any name corrections and accept my apologies if I missed your name. Send any updates or corrections to Mike Blum at

Fall 2011 News News: Arabic Studies

The Arab Spring at William & Mary

The Arab world has witnessed a series of political upheavals this past year which would have been difficult to imagine in past years. The events have affected the faculty and students of the Arabic section in many different ways. Several students found themselves in Egypt or Syria as the revolutions were getting underway, and had to end their programs early, sometimes even before they started. Several faculty members also found themselves in the middle of rapidly unfolding events in Tunisia and Egypt. Prof. Chadia Mansour was visiting family in Tunisia over winter break just as the demonstrators took over the streets in Tunis and other cities, and she found herself on herself on a plane headed back to the US just as Ben Ali was headed out on a plane himself. Our Arabic language house tutor, Hagar Eltarabishy, was one of the multitudes who took to Tahrir Square in Cairo last spring, participating in demonstrations which led to the end of Hosni Mubarak’s rule. Shukran ya Hagar!

The revolutionary events have had an effect also on the way that some of our Arabic classes have been taught. Prof. Eisele’s Arabic 308 class in Spring 2011 included a review and discussion of the latest news of the revolutions in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, and Yemen, which happened to dovetail with many of the readings from both the classical period and the modern period, which dealt with the notions of tyranny and injustice quite often. This semester his Arabic 303 Media Arabic class devoted much time and class discussion to the revolutions and their aftermath, and included many news reports and documentaries on the events themselves.

Prof. Chadia Mansour has been especially active in this regard. She is an active tweeter and blogger on the subject of the Tunisian revolution, and is currently teaching a special topics course on the subject of the Arab spring. Her summer was taken up with research and preparations for the course, which included attending conferences about “Tunisia’s post January 14th Revolution” in al “Jahedh center” and Center of Islam and Democracy (CSID) in Tunis, where she also conducted interviews with young people on their perspectives on the Tunisian Revolution. She in turn conducted interviews with secular and Islamist activists from diverse backgrounds such as lawyers, professors, engineers , (including the well-known activist Mahdi Barhoumi who had a history of activism during and after Ben Ali regime), as well as interviews with members of internal ministry and military on the events of January 12 to the 14th and Ben Ali’s escape. As part of the course she has coordinated with activists from across the political spectrum and scheduled them as virtual guest speakers via skype in the Arab Spring class.

Prof. Mansour has also been active in setting up public forums for the William & Mary community to hear about and discuss these events, including a forum on the Tunisian Revolution, in Spring 2011, which included a guest speaker from Tunisia, Soubeika Bahri, as well as lecture and discussion by Prof. Mansour. More recently, Prof. Mansour was instrumental in bringing about the recent forum on the Libyan revolution, which included a visit by the Libyan ambassador to the United States. As she describes it: “One of my students – Malik Tatanaki- requested an independent study, and I advised him to work on the Libyan revolution since he is originally from Libya. This independent study led to the idea of holding an event on campus on Libya’s transition to democracy. Co-sponsored by the College & the charity, Libya al Hurra (“Free Libya”), Malik and I organized the event to host the First Libyan delegation at the college of William & Mary with Ambassador Al Aujali as the first Libyan official on campus on November 20th, 2011.” Following that, Chadia had a chance to try to change the perspective of Frank Shatz, a columnist for the local newspaper when she sat down with him for an interview on the topic of the Arab spring which was published in the paper on Nov. 18th.

The revolutions are far from complete, and we are following the events in Egypt, Syria, Yemen, and Tunisia closely and wish our Arab brothers and sisters in the streets throughout the Arab world success and peace in their struggle for democracy, social justice, and political delousing.

Fall 2011 News News: French & Francophone Studies

Fostering Student Research in French & Francophone Studies

Students of French & Francophone studies have done original research for years. In order to recognize students who embarked in such projects and inspire other students to do the same, the French & Francophone studies section decided to create an annual Student research conference in 2010. In this video interview, Stephanie Kumah, a senior (French & Francophone/Government) who presented her ongoing Honor’s Thesis at the Fete speaks to Prof. Magali Compan about her project.

Our second annual French & Francophone Studies research conference took place on Saturday, Nov. 12, and featured five twenty-minute formal presentations and five poster sessions, all in French, by students who are doing, or who have just completed, original research on French and Francophone topics.

Some of the projects were honors theses in progress; others were research papers related to student internships in Paris; and the poster sessions were the result of our 2011 study abroad program in Montpellier, France. Our students enrolled in advanced French & Francophone classes were all in attendance, and the seniors did a great job introducing the speakers before each presentation.

The event also featured lots of good food and Francophone music, so that the atmosphere was festive and social. Our objective, after all, was for students to get to know each other, to share their experiences, and to learn from each other. The Fête was meant to be inspirational, and we certainly were impressed by the students’ projects and archival research, as well as by their exceptional confidence in speaking in a foreign language before such a large audience.

The event was kindly sponsored by the Charles Center and the Reves Center for International Studies.



Fall 2011 News News: Italian Studies

My Internship in Rome, Spring 2011

by Cassie Prena

Last Spring, I spent an unforgettable semester abroad at John Cabot University in Rome. Although my courses at the university and my daily life in a foreign country allowed a certain level of immersion, I was nevertheless determined to experience the more intimate aspects of Italian culture. I decided that an internship would be the perfect complement to enrich my semester, and John Cabot University put me in contact with several potential positions. By mid-January, I secured an internship working in the studio of the American Contemporary Artist, Joseph Kosuth on the historic Tiber Island. As an Art History major, the internship was an absolute dream! Joseph Kosuth is one of the fathers of conceptual art and his exhibitions have been featured at museums such as the Georges Centre Pompidou, the Guggenheim, the Louvre and the MoMA. He is known best for his philosophically inspired works, such as One and Three Chairs (1965), and artworks which deal with language and its interpretation.

Since my internship was in a studio, not a gallery or museum, I was able to witness the creation and promotion of the works of a living artist, which is very rare in ancient town such as Rome. I worked closely with my Italian supervisor, Barbara, to help her organize the studio and prepare for upcoming international exhibitions. I was in charge of cataloging Joseph’s prints and works in the studio, which meant I was handling valuable pieces of art on a daily basis. From my window as I worked, I had an excellent view of a Ponte Fabricio, a Roman bridge that has been standing since 62 BC. Only in Rome would I be able to work with a cutting-edge contemporary artist, who has a studio situated among ruins from centuries before.

However, without a doubt, my favorite part of the experience was interacting with the Italian and International employees. Through our conversations I have come to look at America more objectively, understand Italian politics, learn about Italy’s university system and discover differences in cultural customs. Stepping out for un caffè with Barbara was not only a time to people watch in the beautiful piazza di San Bartolomeo all’Isola, but a chance to practice my Italian as I helped Barbara with her English. I believe it was these experiences outside my Italian classroom that helped me to develop my language skills and more deeply understand daily life in Italy. Returning to the states, I have become a well-rounded individual with a greater comprehension of the international art world and Italian culture.

Fall 2011 News News: Russian Studies

Visualizing St. Petersburg: Research Through Documentary Filmmaking Abroad

by Jes Therkelsen

The documentary filmmaking process requires a tremendous amount of patience, discipline, creativity, and flexibility. You need to deal with people, but know how to troubleshoot technology; you must be organized, but open to spontaneity; you should be prepared for everything, but comfortable working in the unknown. For the eight students who studied abroad in the summer of 2011 in St. Petersburg, Russia, they had the added challenge of doing it all in Russian.

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Over the course of the past three years, professors Frederick Corney and Alexander Prokhorov made undergraduate research the central component of William & Mary’s St. Petersburg summer study abroad program. Each year, students work on research projects concerning places of memory and urban development in St. Petersburg. Specifically, students examine how these sites are remembered within a larger, public representation. Professor Prokhorov, the program’s director during the summer of 2011, wanted to include an element of video production into this year’s project and that’s how I became involved.

As the college’s environmental filmmaking-in-residence, I’ve sought to incorporate media production into current research and coursework across disciplines on campus. Professor Prokhorov saw the potential for collaboration, and with the support of a Reves Center Faculty Fellows grant, students gained access to camcorders and microphones, learned field production skills, collaborated with St. Petersburg journalist students, and acquired international documentary production experience.

“Making a documentary is a lot of work, but it’s exhilarating after you interview someone,” says Sophie Kosar ’14, whose project focuses on the controversial construction of a new seaport and business district, the Marine Façade, on the western
shores of the city. “You realize you had to forge this connection with your subject; you had to do this yourself.”

Will Lahue ’12, whose project explores how Russian Orthodox community and Goth subculture define Smolensky Cemetery as a site of commemoration, realizes the benefits of working on his film. “I’ve gained a more rapid acclamation into Russian society. Just running around getting things done, meeting people; it’s been a challenge. I’ve needed to accomplish a lot in Russian and that’s been good for me.”

Introducing students to video production in study abroad programs is incredibly enabling; the filmmaking process forces them out of their comfort zone, stretches their limits, and pushes them to interact in ways they would not have otherwise. The project has the potential to serve as a model for other study abroad program that want to challenge their participants to make connections, to pay attention, and to be creative.

“The biggest thing I’ve gained in this project is confidence in networking with people,” says Monika Bernotas ‘12. “It’s amazing how many people have returned my emails to say they would be willing to help out.”

On November 29th, these documentaries will be screened to the larger William and Mary community. In March, they will be exhibited at the Slavic Forum at the University of Virginia.

Jes Therkelsen is a filmmaker, photographer, media consultant, and activist. His work has confronted issues such as human rights, sustainable development and environmental justice. He is the Environmental Filmmaker-in-residence at the College of William and Mary.
Fall 2011 News News: Hispanic Studies

Poetry: A Tool for Literacy & National Identity in Nicaragua

by Leslie McCullough |  November 7, 2011

Associate Professor of Hispanic Studies Jonathan Arries

Nicaragua is often thought of as “a nation of poets.” National poets such as Rubén Darío and Ernesto Cardenal have made significant contributions to world literature. Less known but also significant is the transformative role poetry has played in educating Nicaraguan youth in resource-scarce schools and in adult education.

With support from the Philpott-Perez Endowment, Hispanic Studies major John Pence ’12  was able to join Associate Professor of Hispanic Studies Jonathan Arries on a research trip to Nicaragua for three weeks in summer 2011 to explore the educational role of poetry and to provide English-language instruction in an under-resourced elementary school in Managua. The “Poets and Pedagogy” project combined service-learning, community-based research, and interviews with leading poets and social activists.

“We wanted to investigate the use of poetry as a tool for critical literacy in Nicaragua,” says Arries. Critical literacy encourages learners to adopt a “critical” and questioning perspective toward the texts they read. “We anticipated our findings would deepen our understanding of the history and literature of Nicaragua, topics that are often a component in Introduction to Hispanic Studies, a required course for Hispanic Studies majors.”

Understanding the influence of poetry in Nicaragua requires a look back at the nation’s recent history.

People living in rural areas of Nicaragua had long been kept illiterate as de facto policy by the Somoza family dynasty prior to a revolution in 1979. In 1980, four months after the overthrow of the dictatorship, the new government organized the Nicaraguan Literacy Campaign which was directed by Rev. Fernando Cardenal, brother of the famous poet. Nearly 60,000 youths (high school and college age) and 30,000 adults were trained and sent to rural areas to teach literacy as part of a five-month national campaign.  At that time poetry workshops played a role in the national reconstruction and offered citizens an unprecedented means of expression denied to them during more than 40 years of the dictatorship. The national emphasis on poetry continues today.

The project team with students at the Partner School in Barrio Camilo Ortega: Prof Arries; Nathan Arries; Prof Lauren Jones; John Pence

“In a country where even the most basic school supplies can be extremely scarce, Nicaraguan children are being taught to memorize and recite certain nationally important poems as a way of learning about their country’s history,” says Arries.

As part of the three-week trip, senior John Pence assisted with Arries’ research project and worked with children and teachers at Escuela La Hispanidad, an under-resourced school in Barrio Camilo Ortega, Managua. John also introduced several wooden mathematical games into the classroom as part of his service-learning project. The games – donated by Catherine Sayle ’09 who taught in Nicaragua with Arries in 2008 –  turned out to be a hit with the children and a fine motivational strategy for their math teachers. John has since raised money to hire a local Nicaraguan carpenter to build more instructional games for the school.

“The experience was very humbling,” says Pence who stayed with a local Nicaraguan family. “There are often 30-50 students per class, with many sitting on the floor. Yet students were able to stand and recite deep, powerful poetry about their country and their history, and I realized how rich this culture is.”

Nathan Arries, Prof Arries, former Minister of Education Father Fernando Cardenal, and John Pence, taken at Universidad Centroamericana, Managua

During the trip, Arries, Pence, and Lauren Jones ’04 conducted interviews to learn more about the role of poetry in Nicaraguan education. Among those interviewed were Claribel Alegria and Rev. Ernesto Cardenal, Nicaraguan poets with international reputations, and Fernando Cardenal, former Minister of Education and director of the 1980 National Literacy Campaign.

“Poverty isn’t just there, like rain or seasons that we have no control over, we can influence it,” said Fernando Cardenal during his interview with Arries.  Cardenal believes education is key to reducing poverty, and poetry plays a major role in creating engaged and educated citizens.

“Having a student along on this project was extremely valuable,” says Arries.

“Not only was John a great resource for bouncing around ideas, he was a real contributor to the research,” continues Arries, referring to John’s interview of a fellow teacher who had been part of the Nicaraguan Literacy Campaign. “John located the source and followed research protocol. We wouldn’t have gotten this interview without him.”

As Arries continues his research, he hopes to uncover potential applications of poetry as a technique for the effective teaching of critical literacy in schools in the United States, such as in classrooms teaching English as a Second Language.

Fall 2011 News News: Hispanic Studies

Teaching palette refreshed with cultural insights

by Leslie McCullough | October 17, 2011

Kranbuehl Travel Award

Hispanic Studies Instructor Patricia Toney

In late 2009, Chemistry Professor David Kranbuehl established a charitable remainder trust to support travel for Modern Language’s continuing faculty who teach introductory language courses.

“I believe in the importance of international studies, and I wanted to reward the people who teach language courses,” says Kranbuehl who has attended French and Spanish classes at the College to prepare for overseas teaching opportunities. “I think the language courses taught here are fantastic. Modern Languages is a first-class department, and I’m a great admirer of how they’ve grown over my time here.”

Inaugural Travel Awards:
Patricia Toney, Hispanic Studies; Peru
Qian Su and Liping Liu, Chinese Studies; Chinese Teachers Association Conference in Denver

A new kind of social revolution is sweeping through Peru, changing the hearts, minds, and palettes of people across the country. This cultural shift is driven by a passion for a return to the nation’s culinary roots, and Hispanic Studies long-time instructor Patricia Toney calls the change “explosive.”

Doña Mary, serving ceviche in a popular market, is one of the many who went from food stand owner to successful entrepreneur.

“It’s something I never thought I’d live to see,” says Toney. “In a very classist culture, many native foods that used to be deemed as ‘only what an indigenous would eat’ are now skyrocketing in pop culture popularity. There is an explosion of passion for homegrown food and ingredients as well as traditional recipes that can date back to the Inca times.”

Toney was intrigued by this phenomenon and wanted to learn more. Thanks to the newly established Kranbuehl Travel Award (see box), Toney spent two weeks this summer traveling through Peru’s coastal region investigating and documenting how this new fusion cuisine is bringing about social and economic changes.

In speaking with farmers, fishermen, restaurant owners, and others, Toney found that the benefits of this food movement reach beyond the farm field and kitchen. A national pride has formed around celebrating Peruvian culture and traditions.

“One of the most emotional moments I had was seeing how lives have changed,” says Toney. “It’s not just about the food; it’s a whole social change that has positively impacted the lives of hundreds of Peruvian people. As regional foods around the country become more popular, the people who grow and create the foods benefit. We’re not talking about grand bistros; these are humble kitchens and farmers who have foods that no one cared about before and are now in huge demand.”

Anticucho, one of the hundreds of newly popular authentic Peruvian dishes.

One of the popular renewed dishes is ceviche made with fish, special Peruvian lemons, hot peppers, onions, and cilantro and served with sweet potatoes and yuca. Another favorite is anticucho, which is traditionally made with cow’s heart marinated in vinegar and spices, then cooked on a

skewer over an open fire. This dish is also now made with chicken, fish, and beef.

“Roadside vendors used to be unpopular with certain segments of society,” says Toney. “Now many venders have long lines of people anxious to enjoy a regional specialty. Many people have gone from poor to small entrepreneurs, and their quality of life has changed forever.”

Interest in Peruvian cuisine is also spreading internationally. Acclaimed, upscale Peruvian restaurants are opening in major cities across the United States and around the world. This kind of attention and focus on Peruvian foods, in turn, is further driving the sense of national pride.

“Peruvian people are coming together in unprecedented ways,” says Toney. “Indigenous farmers are now guests of honor at VIP parties. Culinary school is now available to poor families. Native people with little education have become culinary celebrities. This could never have happened years ago. A new culture is forming, and it is very exciting.”

Bringing Her Insight into the Classroom

Toney with Victoriano López, an indigenous farmer who now runs La Mar, a Peruvian restaurant in Manhattan.

As a native Peruvian, Toney moved to the United States as a young girl and has personal experience negotiating cultural shifts. As a Spanish-language professor, she feels that building cultural understanding is an important part of learning a new language.

“Of course learning verb conjugations and vocabulary words is an important part of the introductory language classes I teach,” says Toney. “But students must also learn about the culture. I try to provide a cultural note at every opportunity on the many regional foods, clothes, expressions, and so much more.”

She finds that many students aren’t aware that there are so many regional and cultural differences throughout Latin America. Assumptions are often made, such as that all Spanish speakers eat certain foods like tacos. By giving students insight into specific traditions, she helps them gain a deeper appreciation and understanding for what they are learning.

“I lived the [Peruvian] culture,” says Toney, “I didn’t just read about it in a book. I love being able to share my personal knowledge with my students, and I believe they benefit greatly from my first-hand experience.”

And now, thanks to her recent research trip, she can bring fresh, new insights to her classroom teaching.

Fall 2011 News News: Hispanic Studies

Prof. Ann Marie Stock comments on her latest book

Prof. Ann Marie Stock, Professor of Hispanic Studies and Film Studies, and Director of the Literary and Cultural Studies program at W&M recently published On Location in Cuba: Street Filmmaking during Times of Transition (UNC Press, 2009).  A specialist in visual culture whose research focuses on the role of film and media in identity formation, Prof. Stock draws from her vast research in Cuba in order to analyze the life and creative production of lesser-known Cuban artists as they struggle for social justice after the collapse of the Soviet Union.  In doing so, Prof. Stock hopes to challenge prevailing images of Cuba produced by US media.

Prof. Stock also shares her personal thoughts about having met Fidel Castro during a hurricane in Havana.

Prof. Stock is editor of Framing Latin American Cinema: Contemporary Critical Perspectives (U of Minnesota P, 1997, 2009).

Fall 2011 News News: Hispanic Studies

Prof. Regina Root presents her latest book at the Library of Congress

In March 2011, at an event sponsored by the Hispanic Division of the Library of Congress, Prof. Regina Root discussed and signed copies of her latest book Couture and Consensus: Fashion and Politics in Postcolonial Argentina (U of Minnesota P, 2010) at the Mary Pickford Theater.  Couture and Consensus, which was recently awarded the 2012 Arthur P. Whitaker Book Prize by the Middle Atlantic Council of Latin American Studies (MACLAS), analyzes the intersection of fashion and politics in nineteenth-century Argentina in order to understand how this nation forged its identity under the regime of Juan Manuel de Rosas (1829-1852).

Prof. Root is editor of Ecofashion, a special issue of Fashion Theory (2008), and editor of The Latin American Fashion Reader (Berg, 2005; 2006 Arthur P. Whitaker Book Prize, Middle Atlantic Council of Latin American Studies).