Next fall Lauren Shaw (German Studies, ’09) will be starting a master’s program in global migration at University College London. The program looks at the social, economic and political causes and implications of human migration, while seeking to better understand the lived experiences of local and international migrant communities. Courses are drawn from a number of disciplines, including geography, anthropology, economics and political science, and students benefit from UCL’s connections to NGOs, governmental and community-based organizations in London. Lauren, who spent two years in Austria as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant, is particularly interested in youth migration, educational opportunities and challenges for children with a migration background, and rural vs. urban areas as places of immigration and integration.
Since returning from Austria in 2011, Lauren has been working as a research associate at the German Historical Institute in Washington DC. She is part of the research project Transatlantic Perspectives: Europe in the Eyes of European Immigrants to the United States, 1930-1980, for which she does research, editing and website management. She is currently helping with the planning for a workshop entitled “Migrants as ‘Translators’: Mediating External Influences on Post World War II Western Europe, 1945-1973”, which the GHI is organizing in cooperation with the Institut für die Geschichte der Deutschen Jüden and will be held in Hamburg in October 2013.
Former German Studies students Mark Riggleman and Sam Thacker at this year’s Oktoberfest on the Wies’n in Munich, Germany
Fall is the time of harvest, gathering together to celebrate the fruits of the earth, and for the German Studies section at W&M, the moment for Oktoberfest. Each year the German Studies Section of the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures rallies the members of the German House and all German Studies students to take part in a ritual that has been a powerful sign of German hospitality and sociability since the 19th century: gathering on the Theresienwiese in Munich to share a beer, and a table, often with strangers, to participate in the world’s largest fair, with over 6 million in attendance.
Oktoberfest is a 16 day event held from mid-September to the first week in October. It began with a royal marriage. On October 12, 1810, Crown Prince Ludwig, later to become King Ludwig I, celebrated his wedding to Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen. The citizens of Munich were invited to attend the festivities held on the fields in front of the city gates to celebrate the royal event. The fields were named Theresienwiese (“Theresa’s meadow”) in honor of the Crown Princess, today abbreviated as die Wies’n. The beers at Oktoberfest must be brewed by one of the authorized Munich breweries: Augustiner-Bräu, Hacker-Pschorr-Bräu, Löwenbräu, Paulaner-Bräu, Spatenbräu, and Staatliches Hofbräu-München. Only beer conforming to the German Beer Purity Laws (Reinheitsgebot), with a minimum of 13.5% original wort (Stammwürze, approximately 6% alcohol) may be served at Oktoberfest. And Oktoberfest itself is a registered trademark of the Club of German Brewers.
Carolin Wattenberg, German House tutor from Münster, Germany, with students at the Oktoberfest
At W&M, of course, we have do without the essential element of beer, but we can create a sumptuous table of savory sausages and kraut, pretzels, hamburgers, potato salads and an assortment of cakes, to bring in the fall. This year, we had over sixty students, faculty and staff and their families attend the festival.
An Oktoberfest table of home-baked Kuchen
Carolin Wattenberg, the German House Tutor from Münster, Germany 2012-2013, Rob Leventhal, Associate Professor and Section Head, and Maria Morrison, Visiting Assistant Professor of German Studies, spent the day preparing for the festival, which began at 4pm. A perfect fall Saturday greeted the guests at the outdoor commons area and grill at the Randolph Complex. When we ran out of Bratwürste halfway through the festival, Maria and Carolin made a heroic trip to the store so we could feed the hungry students, faculty and families who gathered at the Randolph Complex. It was a wonderful day and a good time had by all.
William and Mary ’10 alumna Loretta Scott was named “Next EDU Guru” by YouTube in October, 2012.
Loretta Scott, an English/Japanese bilingual “edupreneur”, recently joined an international panel of 10 individuals known as the “Next EDU Gurus”. Loretta was chosen for her YouTube channel “KemushiChan: Bringing You Some Japan”, where she shares her tips and tricks to learn Japanese through funny skits, flashy subtitles, popping sound effects, and Japanese interviews. As a Next EDU Guru, she and the 9 other content creators were giving funding, exclusive promotions and training by YouTube to enhance their channels and grow their audiences.
“I first began uploading YouTube videos from my dorm room in 2006. Since then my channel KemushiChan has seen over 490,000 hits and grown to more than 5,800 regular subscribers,” says Loretta. “At William and Mary, I had many opportunities to learn about how people study and teach Japanese. I worked with Professor Kato as a Japanese T.A., and with Professor Hamada-Connolly in Japan on a research fellowship about digital communications. My favorite part of all of this was posting YouTube videos about what I saw, and hearing from viewers in the comments about some of their favorite ways to navigate such an amazing language and culture.”
In October, Loretta and the 9 other Gurus were flown out to the YouTube headquarters in San Bruno, CA where they received special training with the YouTube Staff, and met with some of the top name-brands in education today: Sir Ken Robinson, Salman Khan (Khan Academy), Coursera, and more. Since then, Loretta has already begun collaborating with other educators, like in her recent video in Japanese about Nuclear Chemistry in Japan.
Currently, Loretta works in New York City as an independent teacher and translator developing a Japanese Language company. Through her company she writes and designs personalized textbooks for her students, creating custom lessons that are fit especially to each student.
“I have some big plans for the next steps of my language company, but in the meantime I’m thankful that I’ve had such a loyal and supportive audience of fellow students through YouTube.”
Loretta’s Most Recent Collaboration, Nuclear Chemistry in Japan:
When I came to William and Mary I never imagined that by the time of my senior year I would be completing a research paper in Italian. I took only the bare minimum required by my high school, and as a result was required to complete 4 semesters at the College. At first, it was rough; I’ll never forget my first day of class freshman year when I walked into the room and Professor Angelone addressed everyone in lively Italian- I couldn’t tell you what she said, naturally. At the completion of my required study, I was at a crossroads- could I let those two challenging and rewarding years be for naught? I had come to respect and love the language, and enjoy studying the culture. At the beginning of my junior year, I made the decision to embark on an internship in Florence through Global Experiences the following summer, and to spend the year further improving my Italian.
Last May, I departed from Buffalo, New York for Rome. After the flight, I took a train to my apartment in Florence. I am a small-town girl, so thankfully my roommate from the program was a street-savvy college student from New York City. After a tumultuous few days of jet lag, getting lost, and other unfortunate incidents such as shattering our stovetop and searching for antibiotics, we began to adjust. I bought a bus pass, and my roommate bought a bike, and we learned the fastest routes to our friend’s apartments.
By the end of June I finished the language school and began my internship at an English-speaking newspaper. I edited articles, wrote advertisements, and transcribed news clips from Italian into English. It was an invaluable way to get to know the city in a short amount of time- I learned about popular restaurants and clubs, and even interviewed a couple of business owners in the city. The network of friends I made from the newspaper was diverse-from a professor, to a restaurant owner (for whom I helped transcribe a menu), and two wonderful young women, a German and an Armenian, who went out of their way to make sure I felt welcome.
The experiences that changed me the most, however, were the unplanned moments- bike riding through the campagna in search of a lake on a beautiful Sunday afternoon with my roommate and some Italian friends, nighttime Vespa rides through the sleeping city, hopping a train for Ferrara, discovering a beautiful church on the hill near Fiesole. Those were the moments that solidified my love for Italy. Some may say that my experience was skewed by the fact that I was a college student in Europe, but I can assure you that my feelings are deeper. I miss the vibrant appreciation of culture and beauty, and the slowness of the culture. Even when there were impending deadlines for the newspaper, we still took time for a long break with a glass of wine and some fruit. People walked slower, and when you ran into someone there wasn’t this itching need to wrap up the conversation so that you could continue checking off your to-do list. I also miss speaking another language every day- there’s something liberating about it, almost as if you can speak more freely if you don’t hear what is said in your mother tongue.
Though I had only been living there for 9 weeks, I had become accustomed to my life, and since coming back have missed it a great deal. I have begun genealogy research on my great-great grandfather, who immigrated from Caulonia, Italy via Naples to New York in 1907, to work in West Virginia. I am also completing a minor in Italian. I registered for an independent study with Professor Ferrarese, which is serving as a capstone to my experience. I have been researching musical culture during the Fascist period. So far, I have learned a great deal about how political changes affected the type of music that was popularized during that time. As a Music and Government Major, I couldn’t imagine a better opportunity to delve deeper into my third, unexpected passion, Italy.
Every year the French & Francophone Studies program organizes a lively conference to showcase student research. The Fête de la Recherche is both a moment of intellectual exchange, and a sociable event with music, fun stories, and good food. The students deliver presentations entirely in French, and answer questions about the process of doing research abroad and in a foreign language. They often present drafts of an ongoing honors thesis, as well as papers written in connection with recent internships in Paris or Bruxelles. Others share the independent research they did while studying abroad in Montpellier. For the first time, the 2012 Fête de la Recherche will also feature a conversation with recent alumnae who will talk about the value of the French & Francophone Studies major even after graduation. The third annual “Fête de la recherche” in French and Francophone Studies will take place on Saturday, November 10th. Come meet Students who will share information about their past or ongoing research projects in French and Francophone Studies, and learn about the challenges and rewards which come with such projects.
alumnae Eve Grice (McCormack-Reboussin 2009),and Laura Wagstaff (McCormack-Reboussin 2007-09) will come to discuss how the skills they acquired as French and Francophone majors/minors help them in their professional lives.
McCormack-Reboussin 2012-13’ scholar Daniel Hodges will talk about his ongoing honor’s thesis which examines French involvement in Congo from the 1880s to today.
Catherine Lipper, who studied with IFE in the Spring will talk about “Bruxelles: une ville au centre des relations internationales”
Kayla Grant, will present her research on French nineteenth century literature: “L’être dans la lettre: l’épistolaire et le roman psychologique à la fin du 19eme siècle”
Elisabeth Bloxam, will share her personal research about her French grandmother :”La Deuxième Guerre Mondiale: l’histoire de ma grand-mère”
Emma Dammon, who did the Summer Montpellier program will present her work on string instrument craftsmanship in the city: “Les Luthiers à Montpellier”
and Elizabeth Gohn will also present the research project she conducted in Montpellier this past summer: “Arènes de Nîmes: contemporanéité d’un monument antique.”
Come have breakfast with, listen to music and have some interesting discussions with our students.
When? : Saturday November 10th. 9am-12pm.
Where? : Room 101, Andrews Hall 605 Jamestown Rd Williamsburg, VA 23185
RPSS Faculty and Students Attend Play in Washington
On October 20, 2012, the students and faculty in the Russian and Post-Soviet Studies Program went to Washington, DC, to see a Russian classic performed in English – Nikolai Gogol’s The Inspector General. This new adaptation of the play is being performed by the Shakespeare Theatre Company at the Lansburgh Theater in Washington, DC.
Nikolai Gogol is one of the most influential Russian writers of the 19th century. Although his comedy, The Inspector General, is a satire of 19th-century Russian bureaucracy and provincial kowtowing, the play is so universal that over the last two centuries it has been performed all over the world and has inspired numerous film and stage adaptations.
Attending the matinee performance of this new adaptation of Gogol’s classic comedy was a unique opportunity for the students and faculty in our RPSS program! We are tremendously grateful to the Parents Association at the College of William & Mary and the Mellon Foundation Grant for making this trip possible. We also want to say a big thank you to Bella Ginzbursky-Blum for organizing the trip!
Here’s what some of those who went had to say about the experience:
“I thought the play was very interesting. I would really like to see how the version we saw compares to the play as it was originally written.”
~ Natalie Hulse
“The play, while clearly having been adapted for a modern, American audience, was still very enjoyable. This outing was an excellent opportunity to see one of Russia’s most famous works; I’m hoping more Russian works follow so the department can continue doing really cool field trips!”
“The trip was a fantastic way to not only see a hilarious show but to also spend time with other Russian students. Special recognition goes to the superb timing of the actors/actresses as an ensemble and the generous affordability of the trip. Thank you for your help in preparing this outing!”
~ Matthew Baker
“I thought the play was excellent. It was both funny and relevant, and the overall trip was a great experience!”
~ Zach McCarty
“The trip to see The Government Inspector was an incredible experience for me. Absurdly funny and smart, this adaptation of Gogol’s famous play brought a tale set in 19th-century Russia to life on the modern stage, showing its stark portrayal of corruption, stupidity and hypocrisy in society is just as relevant now as it was then.”
~ Ben Raliski
“I thought this play was very funny and the characters were very interesting. However, I thought that this version was very Americanized and therefore Gogol’s original Russian text probably has quite a different tone.”
~ Ben Oelberg
“After arriving in D.C. all of the groups split up to grab a bite to eat before the show. My group ventured into China Town and had some delicious egg rolls, dumplings, noodles, and duck! Once we finished eating we headed out to the streets and took in the sights before our 2 o’clock show. The Government Inspector was by far one of the best plays I have seen this year! This was definitely a good investment on the Russian House’s part and I would recommend all students to attend similar events!”
During late spring of 2011, Anne Foster (Hispanic Studies & History ’11) was delighted to find out she had been selected by the Program to teach English in a High School in Madrid during year 2011-12. She describes her experience as follows:
“In four years in the Hispanic Studies program I focused heavily on issues and research in the Americas. My freshman seminar was Mapping Cuba with Professor Stock followed by Mexican Cinema with Professor Buck. The closest I came to taking a class on Spain was my senior seminar with Professor Terukina in which we discussed Spain as a colonial power, but even so it was more of a class on philosophy and colonialism than Spanish culture.
“So when I heard about the Spain Cultural Ambassadors Program through Professor Buck I was unsure if it was quite what I was looking for. On one hand I thought it would be a great opportunity to travel to a new country and a new continent. At the same time I thought—I know so little about Spain! My hopes of travel and employment trumped my doubts and I added the Cultural Ambassadors application to the whirlwind of applications I was working on in the spring of 2011.
“The application process was a little daunting. To apply I had to submit documents such as a notarized copy of an FBI background check. Obtaining some of the documents meant navigating a maze of bureaucracy but it was for my own good. The Spanish Embassy required me to submit these documents so that when I went through the process of obtaining my visa, I would be ready to go. A few months later, the program offered me a placement at a school in Madrid, and I had to proceed to the visa application. But I was pleasantly surprised to find that I already had all the necessary documents for the application.
“But navigating the application and visa process were small feats compared to actually teaching. The Cultural Ambassadors Program explained the guidelines and roles of the foreign teaching assistants in Spanish schools. However, the specific duties of the assistant depend on the needs of his or her school. Some assistants work one on one with students or small groups, some work alongside Spanish teachers. I, however, found myself instructing classes of ten to twenty high school students on my own. The first month made me rethink my ideas about teaching and social responsibility. And gave me a new appreciation of every teacher I ever had growing up.
“A recurring theme of my job and travels in Spain was that of defining the Spanish nation as well as trying to define America. My students were often eager to hear about the United States and they asked me open-ended questions such as, Does everyone get a car when they turn 16? Is everyone fat? What’s prom like? They were just as eager to share with me their concepts of Spain: Spain is party. Spain is lazy. Some of them said. Every time the class discussion turned to the country comparison game I couldn’t help but remember my Introduction to Hispanic Studies class in which we studied the concepts of imagined communities and nations. The very concepts were playing out right in front of me as Spanish high schoolers and me, a young American, tried to describe entire countries with a mere few adjectives…lazy, rich, independent, extroverted. But as we discussed in Intro to Hispanic Studies, these imagined national personas are nothing more than that: imagined. Instead of encouraging these national stereotypes in the classroom, I looked instead for the things that my students and I had in common. Music was a common class discussion. I discovered that my students and I shared a fondness of Queen and ABBA, which are ironically neither American nor Spanish bands. Another popular class activity was the “phrase of the day”; I would share an English phrase and the students would try to find a similar phrase in Spanish. For example, one day I chose the phrase, I’m fed up. And my students shared with me a Spanish phrase that expresses the same idea—hasta las narices (literally, up to the nose).
“I realized after a few months of teaching that, even though I didn’t have much hard knowledge on Spain before I arrived, I had been well educated in the ways of critical thinking. My studies focused on Latin America, but Hispanic Studies as a concentration taught me how to question and critique my own country and to look beyond the façade of the nation-state. In the end these qualities prepared me for work abroad not only in Spanish speaking countries, but anywhere in the world.
While at W&M, Anne received the Howard M. Fraser Award in Hispanic Studies. This award recognizes the graduating Hispanic Studies major who has made significant achievements in the area of research and service related to the field of Hispanic Studies.
After interning at the Library of Congress during last summer, this fall Eleonora Figliuoli (History & Hispanic Studies, ’12) started her graduate studies in Hispanic Studies at the University of Virginia. In the following lines, Eleonora reflects upon her experience at W&M, and the critical thinking skills she acquired through the Hispanic Studies program; skills she considers crucial for success in graduate school.
“My experience at William & Mary helped greatly in preparing me for the work I am currently engaged in at The University of Virginia, both as a graduate student and as a graduate teaching assistant. More broadly, my studies at William & Mary helped hone the critical thinking skills necessary for life in graduate school. I graduated from college as an independent thinker. Throughout my time as a student at William & Mary, I perfected listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills, and I am now able to call upon those skills and strategies when necessary in the graduate classroom. Similarly, I come out of my undergraduate institution feeling prepared with knowledge of foundational concepts in my field of specialization, and the ability to form a concise and well-developed argument.
“Specifically, the topics presented in my Hispanic Studies coursework at William & Mary have proven of great relevance for my graduate studies at UVA. For instance, in my freshman seminar at William & Mary, and in an upper level seminar later on in my undergraduate career, I studied the literature of the Spanish Civil War, and particularly of Carmen Martín Gaite. This semester, I am reencountering these same works in a broader-themed course on contemporary Spanish literature. The sequence of courses I took at William & Mary also exposed me to an introduction to reading medieval Spanish, which few of my colleagues can boast, and which I am required to do on a regular basis in a course on the History of the Language.
“Moreover, though I was never formally trained to teach undergraduate students at William & Mary, there I discussed teaching Hispanic culture in a senior seminar on colonial Latin American literature. This knowledge gave me not only introductory knowledge of the canon of colonial Latin American literature, but also of a few important topics in foreign language pedagogy.
“Lastly, when the time will come to prepare for comprehensive exams, or write articles in my seminar courses, my confidence is boosted knowing that the research skills I gained at William & Mary allow me to reflect independently on the lectures or texts that I listen to or read, and on my own written and spoken work in order to constantly challenge my preexisting assumptions and form new paradigms. In my duties as a teaching assistant, I try to facilitate the development of the same learning skills and strategies in my students, so the knowledge I gained comes full circle.
At W&M, Eleonora received the R. Merritt Cox Fellowship in Hispanic Studies, awarded to the graduating student with an outstanding level of academic excellence in the field of Hispanic Studies, and who will pursue a graduate degree in the field in Hispanic Studies. This award was established in memory of Professor R. Merritt Cox, a well-known 18th century scholar in Spanish Studies and a highly esteemed colleague in W&M’s Department of Modern Languages & Literatures for many years. With this award, the faculty recognize a graduating Hispanic Studies major who exhibits those qualities admired and embodied by Professor Cox: a deep appreciation and broad interest in Hispanic cultures, literatures, and the Spanish language.
Every author knows that there are book signings and then there are book signings. The first are pro forma, a mere exercise of putting pen to paper. The latter can be profound, soul-sharing experiences.
William & Mary Professor of Hispanic Studies Francie Cate-Arries recently returned from Spain and nearly two weeks of profound experiences presenting her book Spanish Culture Behind Barbed Wire: Memory and Representation of the French Concentration Camps, 1939-1945. (Culturas del exilio español entre las alambradas: Literatura y memoria en Francia, 1939-1945.)
The book originally appeared only in English when it was published in 2004. While there had been significant scholarship published on the Spanish Civil War and General Francisco Franco regime over decades, Cate-Arries’ book was the first monograph written about the literature and culture of the French internment camps for Spanish war refugees.
By the end of the Spanish Civil War in March 1939, nearly 500,000 Spaniards had fled the country to escape Franco’s military dictatorship. More than 275,000 of them found themselves interned in concentration camps in Southern France, exiles and outcasts in every sense of the word.
Although they were anti-fascists who expected a very different reception in democratic France, the French government was ill equipped to handle hundreds of thousands of war refugees. The French state also didn’t want to show friendship to the losers of a war whose adversaries had been very publicly supported by Hitler’s Nazi Germany and Mussolini’s Fascist Italy, to the point that France established diplomatic ties with Franco before the general even declared victory.
Book examines cultural, literary legacy of refugees
Cate-Arries’ book examines the cultural and literary legacy of the thousands of exiles who were interned in these concentration camps. She examined the literature and art that was produced, as well as refugees’ memories of the camps published during World War II, but never viewed or read within Spain during the Franco regime.
After the Franco dictatorship was dismantled in the late 1970s, there was a tacit understanding throughout the country that Spaniards were just going to move forward, not look back at this sad chapter of their history and wrestle with human rights violations and refugees.
Three years after Cate-Arries’ book was originally published, the Spanish Parliament modified this position in 2007 with its passage of complex — and controversial — legislation popularly known as the Law of Historical Memory, which opened the door for vigorous debate and coincided with new exhibits. In the case of Cataluña, museums were even opened, which focus on the history and cultural legacy of civil war exiles, including the inhabitants of those camps.
In March, an expanded version of Cate-Arries’ book was published in Spanish by Editorial Anthropos, a Barcelona publishing house, and in June she was invited to make presentations at four venues: the Museum of Catalonian History in Barcelona, the University of Barcelona, the Ateneo de Madrid in that city, and the Memorial Museum of Exile in La Junquera, right on the Spanish-French border, the 1939 gateway to exile for hundreds of thousands of war refugees.
There, her audience, whose questions to Cate-Arries were often in French, not Spanish, was almost entirely made up of the now-elderly children of exiles who crossed the border at that very spot, some of them babes in arms at the time. Most of them attended the lecture by way of Argelès in Southern France, once the site of the largest, most notorious internment camp, where their parents settled, often never to return to Spain.
They have formed a citizen’s group – FFREEE Association — dedicated to keeping alive the legacy and memory of parents who fought and fled Franco in the name of democracy.
After the presentation, a man approached Cate-Arries and asked her to sign a book for his mother.
Emotional encounters with those who were there
“He said, ‘You know, my mother is 94 years old and she’s blind, and she’s not going to read this book,’” Cate-Arries recalled. “He said, ‘But I’m going to read it to her, and I’m going to read her the dedication that you write today. She was 21 years old when she went into that camp and that was a transformative moment in her life.’”
In the presentation at the Ateneo de Madrid, Cate-Arries shared the panel with Maria Luisa Libertad Fernández who was three weeks old when her parents carried her from Barcelona across the Spanish border, just before Franco’s troops captured the city at the war’s end. She spent the first four years of her life interned in a series of French camps.
“I told her, ‘I wrote this book for you before I ever even met you,’” said Cate-Arries.
One question Cate-Arries heard continually was why she undertook this project. Did she also have relatives affected?
“Unlike many of the audience members who came to hear me speak, I have no familial ties to this chapter of Spanish history. The story I tell was taken from my study of published memoirs, novels, poetry, artwork and photography,” she said. “As an American, it was nice to join the ranks of others who have come to the story of Spain’s civil war as outsiders. In my case, I was captivated by the absolute poignant beauty of the stories of hope, solidarity, and humanity that emerged from these testimonies of camp veterans. We identify with them.”
*N.B.: Prof. Cate-Arries’ original 2004 book in English, Spanish Culture Behind Barbed Wire (Bucknell UP) was distinguished with an Honorable Mention for the Katherine Singer Kovacs Prize, awarded by the Modern Language Association of America (MLA). The Prize is awarded to outstanding books in the fields of Latin American and Spanish literatures and cultures.
The time I spent at the College greatly influenced both my career path and who I am as a person. The people I met there, both friends and professors, continue to be a significant part of my life. I think it’s important for alumni to remain connected to the College and to help foster those kinds of connections for current and future students.
I majored in Russian and Post-Soviet Studies at the College, and my professors were excellent examples of teachers as well as mentors – a role they continue to play, even though I’m no longer “officially” their student. Now, as a graduate student, I hope to teach at the college level when I complete my degree.
One of the highlights of my college career was definitely my summer study abroad in St. Petersburg, Russia. I loved having the opportunity to live with a host family, study in a Russian university, and explore the country whose language I had been studying in the classroom. Without the scholarship I received from the Reves Center, I wouldn’t have been able to participate in the program.
Even though as a graduate student I don’t have much extra to spare, I always find a way to contribute to the Dobro Slovo Scholarship Fund so that other students can have the same opportunities that meant so much to me when I was at William and Mary.
Alpert is currently a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures at the University of Pittsburgh.Last year while Alpert was in Moscow conducting research for her dissertation, she met with William and Mary study abroad students to share her research and graduate school experience. The Dobro Slovo Scholarship Fund was established in 2004 to support study for a W&M undergraduate through the department’s summer program at St. Petersburg University.
This year, the Hispanic House, la Casa hispánica, (Giles Hall, 2nd floor) celebrated the beginning of the semester with a warm Welcome Party, “Fiesta de otoño,” on Saturday, September 22.
The Hispanic House residents, lead by our House Tutor, Auxi Baena, an art historian from Seville with ample experience in programming cultural activities, and our RA, Devon Shaw, who is back in W&M after having spent a full year abroad in Seville, organized a great party with plenty of food, drinks, and decorations. The Hispanic Studies faculty joined the celebration and surprised the residents with some delicious homemade delicacies. During the evening, residents and faculty were able to meet and learn more about each other, share their impressions about the House, enjoy some music, and above all, have a great time!
Throughout the year, our tutor Auxi Baena organizes several activities at the Hispanic House, including movie nights, conversation hours, cultural celebrations, and cooking classes. For more information about the activities in the Hispanic House, you can check its bulletin board located on the third floor of Washington Hall; or visit its blog regularly, where you will find the monthly calendar of activities.
Students who wish to become residents of the Hispanic House during 2013-2014 should plan early as the online application will be available between November 5, 2012, and February 8, 2013 . For more information, you can visit the website of the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures.
Hispanic Studies majors Katherine (Katie) Brown and Jane Rabinovitz have been selected to receive the J. Worth Banner Award in Hispanic Studies. This award is given to the rising senior Hispanic Studies concentrator with the highest overall grade point average.
Katie Brown, who over the last two summers has conducted research projects on the Academia Mayor de la Lengua Quechua in Cusco, Peru, and on the chronicles by Inca Garcilaso de la Vega and Chimalpahin, is currently working on her honors thesis, which analyzes the role of science in the debates that 16th- and 17th-century Spanish, Creole, and mestizo intellectuals held regarding the nature of the population in the Andes and their political right to self-government.
“I never would have imagined upon arriving at W&M that I would have the opportunity to study abroad in both Peru and Spain, be able to work closely with faculty on developing and carrying our research projects, write an honors thesis, and generally expand and transform my understanding of and approach to Hispanic literatures, language and cultures,” says Katie. “I’m mostly just grateful to have been able to immerse myself so deeply in the subject over the past few years and to be a student in a department as dynamic and inspiring as that of Hispanic Studies at W&M.” Katie plans to attend graduate school after graduating from W&M.
Jane Rabinovitz, who is also minoring in Dance, is an accomplished performer who has participated in several productions with Orchesis, the modern dance company at W&M, with Sinfonicron, a student-run light opera company on campus. During Spring of 2012, she participated in the W&M study abroad program in Seville, where she realized she could combine her two passions, Hispanic Studies and performance, through Spanish-English interpreting. Now she plans to pursue a career in interpretation in a legal, medical, or governmental setting after graduation.
“I found in Sevilla that oral interpreting was a new and different aspect of my Spanish language study that I had never before tapped into. I think I grew to love interpreting during my semester abroad because it helped bridge the gap between my two passions: Spanish and performing arts. Interpreting is the performance of Spanish and I would love to pursue that aspect of my language study more in my final year of college and beyond into the work force,” explains Jane.
Congratulations, Katie & Jane!
The J. Worth Banner Award in Hispanic Studies honors Professor Banner, who was a well-liked Spanish professor at the College of William and Mary, and a respected Chair of the Department of Modern Languages & Literatures for many years. In the past, this generous award has helped support the recipient’s pre-honors research, international travel, or participation in study abroad programs.
Lauren Ila Jones (BA, W&M Hispanic Studies & Sociology, 2004; PhD, UCLA Social Science and Comparative Education, 2009) was recently awarded a Fulbright Scholar Award for the United Kingdom during 2012-2013. She will lecture and do research in the Education Department at Roehampton University in London. At Roehampton, she will work in the London Paulo Freire Institute, based in the Center for Education Research in Equalities, Policy and Pedagogy (CEREPP).
While at William & Mary, Lauren worked under the advisement of Prof. Jonathan Arries (Hispanic Studies) and Prof. Jennifer Bickham Mendez (Sociology). Since 2007, she has worked with Prof. Arries as co-instructor of the William & Mary Modern Languages and Literatures Summer Institute in Nicaragua. They plan to take the next cohort to Nicaragua in August 2013.
Hispanic Studies major Leksa Pravdic (’12) is one of only nine W&M 2012 graduates to receive a prestigious Fulbright US Student Grant. During 2012-2013, Leksa will act as an English Teaching Assistant in Serbia. You can read the full featured story here.