Fall 2016 Issue News News: Japanese Studies

Kexin Ma (’17)’s J.LIVE Tea Talk

JLIVETalks photo 1At the J.LIVE competition held at George Washington University in November 2016, Ms. Kexin Ma (’17) presented a dynamic and engaging talk about「黒い茶碗の中の世界」,”The world inside a black tea cup.” In this presentation, Ms. Ma cleverly introduced the audience to Jian ceramic wares, an ancient Chinese black-glazed ceramic popularized during the Song dynasty (960-1279). She explained how Jian wares reflect the artistic taste of Song literati developed from their appreciation of nature and highly popular cultural events related to the contemporary fashion of tea drinking.

An especially intriguing part of her discussion involved ancient Chinese and Japanese ceramics as appreciated works of art that are so creative and unique that they have become highly valued museum pieces. She pointed out that, although some museum audiences seemingly prefer such fine arts as oil paintings and luxurious jewelry rather than ancient ceramics, Jian wares nonetheless deserve closer examination.

As an Art History major at the college, Ms. Ma has developed an interest in Chinese ceramics, so she recognized such ceramics as mirrors that reflect cultures and societies of different ages as well as the high skills of the potters. During the presentation, she called people’s attention to the historical and cultural significance of ancient ceramics and she helped the audience understand how ceramics can be a link between the past and the present. The unique way Ms. May blended her two fields of study from the different departments made the presentation all the more informative and relevant.

J live talk photo 2The judges and the audience found the presentation both informative and insightful. Some in the audience even said the presentation sounded like an academic talk, as it not only helped them realize the unique aesthetic quality of ancient East Asian ceramics, but it also demonstrated how works of art provide insight into the development of human society.

Ms. Ma was placed in Category II level in the contest; that designation indicates that she possesses intermediate-high to advanced-low level speaking proficiency. She adopted a variety of expressions and vocabulary, including professional terminology related to her topic. Thus, her vocabulary, inflection, delivery and language proficiency were highly scored.

During the presentation, she effectively connected with the audience, asking questions and actively interacting with the audience. Among all the competitive contestants, Ms. Ma especially stood out in the Q&A session with the judges and the audience, answering their questions insightfully. In addition, she was able to clarify her answers effectively by following up with elaborate explanations.

Ms. Ma currently is in Japanese 302, Upper Intermediate Japanese. She routinely exhibits her confidence, oratory skills, creativity and innate curiosity about people and culture.

For a full description of the JLIVE at GWU, click here.

Fall 2016 Issue News News: Italian Studies

Presenting Sara Mattavelli, New Faculty in Italian Studies

We were lucky to have Sara Mattavelli join us this year as a Lecturer of Italian Studies. Please enjoy the following video to learn more about her and what she brings to William & Mary!

Fall 2016 Issue News News: Chinese Studies

New Faculty in Chinese Program Discusses Her Teaching and Research


This year we welcome Lu Lu to join Chinese Program. Lu Lu is Visiting Instructor of Chinese Studies. She is a PhD candidate of Chinese Linguistics at the University of Wiscosin-Madison and teaches Chinese language at William and Mary.

How do you feel teaching in the Chinese Program at William and Mary?
Lu: Teaching in W&M is one of the most wonderful experience in my life. I am impressed by how hard the students work to learn a new language. Most of the students are diligent and very responsible for their life. Also, I enjoy working with my colleagues in MLLL and Chinese program. They are friendly, smart, and supportive. I love to discuss teaching and research ideas with my colleagues, which inspire me a lot.

What are you teaching assignments this year?
Lu: I am teaching elementary Chinese and Upper-intermediate Chinese this year.

What is your current project?
Lu: My dissertation is about the interface between music and language in Chinese. The focus is the tone-tune relationship in Chinese local operas, such as Huju and Yueju, and how it affects listener’s perceptions. As for teaching, I am currently working on a research of the effectiveness of peer evaluation and error log on class oral project.

What is your future project?
Lu: I am interested in the code-switching phenomenon among language learners, especially comparing the code-switching patterns between beginning and advanced language learners. Prosodic phonology and how to apply it into teaching Chinese as a foreign language is another interest.

Faculty Profiles Fall 2016 Issue News News: Japanese Studies

Meet Tomoyuki Sasaki, New Faculty in Japanese

sasaki photoThis past fall, Dr. Tomoyuki Sasaki joined the Japanese program as an Associate Professor. We spoke to him recently about his research and teaching.

Q: Professor Sasaki, Welcome to William & Mary. I hope you are enjoying the campus and getting to know the town of Williamsburg. You started at W&M this August. Do you mind starting by telling us a little about your career before coming to W&M?

A: Sure. I earned my PhD in history at the University of California, San Diego, with focus on modern Japanese history. After that, I taught at Kalamazoo College in Michigan for one year as a visiting assistant professor. Then, I moved to Eastern Michigan University, where I spent six years, teaching courses on Japanese, East Asian, and world history.

Q: So you are trained as a historian. Can you talk a bit about your research?

A: Yes. Since I started my career as a scholar, I’ve been interested in relations between the military and civil society in the modern state—how the military, as an organization with the right to exercise physical violence, normalizes its presence in a democratic state. I used post-WWII Japan as a case study. Postwar Japan established a so-called Peace Constitution, renouncing war and banning the nation from possessing any type of war potential. But it also developed large-scale armed forces, called the Self-Defense Forces. Because of the gap between the constitutional ideal and the actual presence of a military organization, postwar Japan has actively contested the meanings of the military, so it presents a very interesting case. I deal with this topic at length in my book, Japan’s Postwar Military and Civil Society: Contesting a Better Life, which came out last year.

Q: What is the main argument of your book?

Sakaki bookcoverA: In the book, I focus on the Cold War period between the 1950s and 1980s. For Japan, as for many other industrialized countries, this was the time of high-speed economic growth. Japan’s high-speed economic growth is well-known worldwide, but it didn’t resolve many of the problems immanent to capitalism, such as unemployment, underemployment, and the economic gap between social classes as well as the gap between the city and the countryside. The SDF played an important role in alleviating these problems by offering employment for working-class men and using the labor of these men for the development of communities in the countryside, that were experiencing financial hardship. By looking at this role, I wanted to demonstrate how the SDF established itself structurally within Japan’s capitalist economic system and how this led to the consolidation of an intertwined socio-economic relation between the military and civil society.

Q: Any advice for students studying about Japan in particular and East Asia more broadly?

So much information on Japan and East Asia is available in America. Many people have fixed ideas about Japan and East Asia even before coming to college. In college-level education, I think, it’s essential to question what you know, to consider self-reflectively and self-critically how those ideas and understandings were shaped, and to become aware that there are many ways to conceptualize the object of your study.

Q: What courses will you be teaching at William & Mary?

A: In Spring 2016, I’ll be teaching two courses. First, Introduction to Japanese Studies. This course will introduce students to various methodologies, concepts, and theories crucial to the study of Japan. It’s a perfect course if you’re thinking of minoring in Japanese Studies. The other course is Japanese Cinema. We will deal with twelve films produced in the post-WWII period and examine the significance of these films within the historical contexts of US occupation, high-speed economic growth, social movements, and so on. During this period, especially in the 1950s and 1960s, there were so many great directors, actors and actresses, and screenwriters—it was a difficult task for me to select just twelve films; fun, but difficult. Anyone interested in Japan, Japanese films, and films in general is welcome.

Q: How do you spend your free time? Have you explored Williamsburg?

Watching old Japanese films always relaxes me. I also enjoy walking through colonial Williamsburg and petting the horses there. I’ve also been exploring some of the great restaurants in Richmond, too.

Thank you, Professor Sasaki. It was a pleasure talking with you.


Fall 2016 Issue News News: French & Francophone Studies

Breaking Stereotypes through French Cinema: Maryse Fauvel’s COLL 300 Experience

Fondation Louis Vuitton, built by Frank Gehry
Fondation Louis Vuitton, built by Frank Gehry

Perhaps one of the most powerful aspects of cinema is its ability to not only project and perpetuate stereotypes, but also to challenge and even break them. In fall 2016, students in Prof. Maryse Fauvel’s course FREN 393 “Representations of Paris in cinema: stereotypes and beyond”, studied French cinema that moves beyond these stereotypes. Eight of the students enrolled in this course also registered for a 1-credit COLL 300 that entailed a trip to Paris from Oct. 7 to 15.

The purpose of the trip was to discover aspects of Paris that are rarely shown in films, Prof. Fauvel explains. Students wrote blog posts  on numerous interesting topics of their choice, including the metro, the commodification of death in the Père Lachaise cemetery, graffiti, sites of memory, and other topics.

Café at the Grand Mosque of Paris
Café at the Grand Mosque of Paris

Highlights of their trip included a visit to the Parisian sewers, a guided tour of several multicultural and multilingual neighborhoods (such as the Goutte d’Or, with immigrants from various French provinces in the 19th-century, and since then from Western Africa ; or Belleville, with immigrants from North-Africa ; or the so-called Chinese neighborhood, with immigrants from China, Vietnam, Thailand) ; as well as a tour of the film museum and film studios ; a tour of a brand new art museum built by Frank Gehry in a post-modern style in the western part of Paris, as well as a talk in the 19th-century art Museum d’Orsay on “Paris, a city from the 19th-century”.

Prof. Fauvel and her students in Montmartre
Prof. Fauvel and her students in Montmartre

Several students expressed that the trip to Paris was the “highlight of their educational experience” because it not only allowed them to view Paris and the French people from different perspectives, but they also put to work and developed their analytical, critical, and writing skills through the course blog that was created over just five days!

The course and the trip were a fantastic experience for everyone involved!

Tasting pastries in Paris
Tasting pastries in Paris
Fall 2016 Issue News News: Hispanic Studies

Prof. Cate-Arries’ Class Opens the World to Spanish Civil War

[Full story by Jim Ducibella here]

“At the end of her most recent trip to [Spain], [Prof. Cate-Arries] asked a local historian and screenwriter, Santiago Moreno, for a copy of a then-unreleased documentary, Three Days in July.  The documentary includes interviews with people who experienced the upheaval first-hand or whose loved ones did. If he would send it, she vowed, “My students will do something with it,” meaning a translation into English subtitles.

First-class translators Francie Cate-Arries'class, (Bottom row, L to R): Allison Esquen-Roca '17, Polly Lauer '17, Emily Kate Earls '18, Maya Loehr '17, Emily Abbey '18, Molly Bertolacini '17, Sofía Schaff '20. Top row (L to R): Nicholas Marino '17, Ashley Woodards '17, Eleanor Morrison '18, Katie Freund '17, Will Neely '19, Kyle McQuillan '17, 'Morgan Sehdev 17 and Maddy Moore '17. Photo courtesy of Mike Blum
First-class translators Francie Cate-Arries’class, (Bottom row, L to R): Allison Esquen-Roca ’17, Polly Lauer ’17, Emily Kate Earls ’18, Maya Loehr ’17, Emily Abbey ’18, Molly Bertolacini ’17, Sofía Schaff ’20. Top row (L to R): Nicholas Marino ’17, Ashley Woodards ’17, Eleanor Morrison ’18, Katie Freund ’17, Will Neely ’19, Kyle McQuillan ’17, ‘Morgan Sehdev 17 and Maddy Moore ’17. Photo courtesy of Mike Blum

They’ve kept their promise, finishing a fall 2016 project that maintains an important aspect of William & Mary’s study abroad program at the University of Cádiz. Since the program was established, W&M students have enjoyed a productive collaboration with institutional partners in Cádiz, as well as in Sevilla [Univ. Pablo de Olavide]. W&M students have subtitled three documentaries, and almost half of the student translators have previously studied in Cádiz or Sevilla.

On Nov. 7, in conjunction with the 80th anniversary of the insurgency, Cate-Arries will hand-deliver Three Days in July, to the provincial government of Cádiz, which funded this project and several other initiatives aimed at recovering what she called “lost history.”

“It’s a lovely moment for me as a professor of William & Mary students to take this documentary to the local government that made the film possible, as well as to university affiliates who also worked with William & Mary summer school students over there,” she said. “I’m extremely proud – and grateful – of the work they’ve put in.”


Translating and creating subtitles for Three Days in July was far from easy. From the outset, Cate-Arries’ translation class of 15 students has worked in teams of two. They each estimated they averaged about 40 hours outside of the classroom painstakingly preparing the film in just 30 days.

“Going into it I didn’t necessarily think it was going to be easier than it was, but I don’t think I was ready for the start … stop … start … stop … start … stop,” said Kyle McQuillan ’17. “It was a very tedious process, especially the original transcription, where you have to listen to the same sentence over and over, and transcribing two minutes can take three hours because you’re trying to separate what sounds like one word but is actually four because they dropped every consonant.”

Subtitling the film in English, Cate-Arries said, will give it world-wide exposure it wouldn’t otherwise receive.

“Spanish limits the audience,” she explained. “Two research assistants here at William & Mary — Robert Bohnke ’17 and Michael Le ’15 — did subtitles on a [previous] documentary, and, subsequently, filmmaker Juan León Moriche was able to enter it in a New York human rights film festival. It didn’t win, but organizers liked it enough to include it in a Civil War film festival this fall. That meant the world to the director because he never could have shown his film in the United States.”


During her visit in Spain, Prof. Cate-Arries was interviewed by the local newspaper Diario de Cádiz, and she commented on the experience of working with her undergraduate student in the process of subtitling the film.  Especially those who spent a summer in Cádiz with our W&M-sponsored program, it was an extremely valuable and enriching experience: “Estaban muy emocionados y creo que su trabajo va a ser muy valioso para la difusión del documental y de la historia,” she added, proud of her students’ dedication.

These remarks were offered during the public launching event of a new book series of the Universidad de Cádiz, Faro de la memoria.  Under the intellectual leadership of Prof. Cate-Arries as General Editor, this new series seeks to offer interdisciplinary and transnational studies of the varied theories and practices of social memory in times of crisis.


N.B. Prof. Cate-Arries is the author of Culturas del exilio español entre las alambradas. Literatura y memoria de los campos de concentración de Francia, 1939-1945 (Barcelona: Anthropos, 2012), a much updated and expanded version of her Spanish Culture Behind Barbed-Wire: Memory and Representation of the French Concentration Camps, 1939-1945 (Lewisburg: Bucknell UP, 2004). The latter was awarded an Honorable Mention for the Katherine Singer Kovacs Prize by the Modern Language Association.  She has received, among other honors, the Order of the Discoverers from Sigma Delta Pi, the Spanish National Honor Society (2013), and the Outstanding Faculty Award from the State Council of Higher Education of Virginia (2007).

Faculty Awards Fall 2016 Issue News News: German Studies

The Detective is (not) a Nazi: Professor Bruce Campbell Gives the Tack Lecture!


On OctobDetective_Nazier 27, 2016, our very own Professor of German Studies Bruce Campbell had to honor of giving William and Mary’s Fall 2016 Tack Lecture. To a raucous audience outfitted with black fedoras and party whistles, Professor Campbell described the unique historical context of German detective fiction. “The Detective is (not) a Nazi” explained the fact that during the Nazi era the police functioned as murderers in the name of the state, and how this specific legacy affected received notions of the detective genre and necessitated adaptions for the German literary market. Strategies that writers took included setting their stories outside of Germany or creating detective figures who did not resemble the stereotype: female, gay, much older or much younger that your generic film or TV sleuth. And in contrast to the U.S. tradition especially, the fictional German detectives are largely quiet and law-abiding: “The bottom line here is … after Auschwitz, you couldn’t write a violent German detective,” Professor Campbell said. The lecture, which was broadcast via YouTube, ended with a reception serving up tasty pretzels, bratwurst with mustard, and hot cider!

Campbell was later interviewed about the topic on the NPR show “With Good Reason.”


Fall 2016 Issue News News: Japanese Studies

Beauty Queens and Cross-Dressing Geisha

Last month, the Japanese Program welcomed to campus Dr. Jan Bardsley, of UNC-Chapel Hill, a leading scholar of Japanese women’s studies.  Professor Bardsley joined students for two events to discuss two exciting new research projects.

On Wednesday,  October 19th, Nihongo House hosted a dinner for Bardsley.  Over indian food, Bardsley discussed her research into images of geisha and maiko (apprentice geisha) in contemporary pop culture.  After describing the life of geisha and maiko in Kyoto today, Bardsley introduced us to a series of light novels by Nanami Haruka titled Boy Maiko: There Goes Chiyogiku (Shōnen maiko: Chiyogiku ga yuku! 2002 – 2014), about a boy who leads a cross-dressed double life as a Kyoto maiko. Several students chimed in with additional examples of pop-culture appropriation of the maiko, including a Japanese dance hit that has gained fans in China.

On Thursday, October 20th, Professor Bardsley gave a public lecture on another current project, investigating the role of Japanese beauty pageants and beauty queens in the ideological struggles of the Cold War. As she noted, “American-style beauty contests complete with young women in tiaras, sashes, and swimsuits became big business in Japan in the 1950s. Pageants were held for all kinds of reasons – to attract local tourism, promote products, and, most interestingly, to do diplomatic work. Contests to crown Miss Black Ships, Miss World, and Miss Universe were also hailed as displays of women’s rights.” Bardsley’s talk focused on two controversial beauty queens, Miss Japan 1953 Itō Kinuko and Miss Universe 1959 Kojima Akiko. Both women were celebrated, she explained, “as emblems of the new self-confidence of young Japanese in the wake of postwar reforms.” At the same time, however, “critics attacked both queens as pawns in Japan-U.S. diplomatic and commercial alliances and as women imbued with a kind of ego and greed new to Japan.” The talk, accompanied by a wealth of photos and video footage from the ’fifties, highlighted “the allure and dangers of Americanization in 1950s Japan.” Bardsley ended the talk with a look at the renewed popularity of such contests today, as well as new controversies over the multiracial Miss Japan queens of 2015 and 2016 and the ideas of “Japanese-ness” they are expected to represent. All in all, the two-day visit provided a great opportunity for students and faculty to learn more about two fascinating new projects in the  fields of Japanese cultural studies and women’s studies. Our thanks to Jan for making the visit and sharing her projects with us!

Professor Bardsley’s visit was generously supported by the Reves Center and the Asian and Middle Eastern Studies Program. The Nihongo House event was made possible through the generosity of the Saigo-san Fund.


Fall 2016 Issue News News: Russian Studies

Russian Studies’ Elena Prokhorova Wins 2016 Raft Debate

Russian Studies and Film/Media Studies Professor Elena Prokhorova won the annual Raft Debate in 2016. The Raft Debate features four W&M faculty members from various disciplines who, stranded on a deserted island with only a one-person life raft to get off the island, have to argue which of them should get the raft and escape back to civilization. Professor Prokhorova persuasively and convincingly argued the case that the person representing the humanities should get the raft, crafting her argument around the important of the humanities and foreign language education for human civilization. According to the rules of the debate, the participant who receives the loudest applause from the audience wins the raft. Professor Prokhorova successfully out-maneuvered representations from the Social Sciences, the Natural and Computational Sciences, and the Devil’s Advocate.

A compilation of the best moments of the Raft Debate, including Prof. Prokhorova’s moment of triumph:

A video of Prof. Prokhorova’s participation, and the full Raft Debate:

Fall 2016 Issue News News: Hispanic Studies

Alexandra Wingate (HISP ’18) attends the London Rare Books School

Alexandra worked with a 1616 copy of the Historia General del Perú (second part of the Comentarios Reales), by Andean mestizo chronicler Inca Garcilaso de la Vega
Alex worked with a copy of the Historia General del Perú (second part of the Comentarios Reales), by Andean mestizo chronicler Inca Garcilaso de la Vega

After participating in the W&M Summer program in Santiago de Compostela and the Camino de Santiago, Alex Wingate (’18), a Hispanic Studies and Linguistics double major, enjoyed the truly unique and amazing opportunity of attending the London Rare Books School, at the University of London. During the two-week experience, Alex attended two classes: “Introduction to Bibliography,” and “Provenance in Books.” For one of her assignments, Alex worked on a bibliographical description of a copy of the second part of the Comentarios reales by Inca Garcilaso de la Vega.

To read the full description of Alex’s experience with the LRBS, click here.

In November 2015, Alex and James Sylvester (HISP ’17) did archival research under the guidance of Prof. George Greenia at the Hill Museum & Manuscript Library at St. John’s University in Collegeville, Minnesota. Under the mentorship of Prof. Lu Ann Homza, and as part of her class on Early Modern Spain, Alex did archival work in Pamplona during the Spring of 2016. An aspiring rare book librarian, Alex is currently an undergraduate Teaching Assistant with the Hispanic Studies program, and works at Special Collections, Swem Library.

Faculty Awards Fall 2016 Issue News News: Hispanic Studies Plumeri

Plumeri Award for 2016: Teresa Longo

Teresa Longo, Associate Professor in Hispanic Studies
Teresa Longo, Associate Professor in Hispanic Studies

Professor Teresa Longo is a faculty member in Hispanic Studies in the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures who brings immense experience and a great passion to her groundbreaking scholarship, interdisciplinary teaching and devoted service. As the dean for educational policy and dean for curriculum review, she worked on the design of William & Mary’s new College Curriculum, which emphasizes an integrated, interdisciplinary and global approach to liberal education. Also in her role as dean for educational policy, she had oversight of the Humanities and Arts Departments and the Global Studies programs. As a scholar, Longo has a history of publications, including her forthcoming journal article “Galeano,” published article “Humanity Rendered Visible: Literature, Art and the Post-9/11 Imagination,” and book manuscript Visible Dissent. Professor Longo is also the editor of Pablo Neruda and the US Culture Industry. She holds a doctorate in Spanish from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Faculty Awards Fall 2016 Issue News News: German Studies Plumeri

Plumeri Award for 2016: Bruce Campbell

Prof. Bruce Campbell during the Tack Faculty Lecture in October 2016.
Prof. Bruce Campbell during the Tack Faculty Lecture in October 2016.

Bruce B. Campbell , Class of 1964 Term Associate Professor of German Studies and Fellow of the Center for the Liberal Arts, was awarded a 2016 Plumeri Award for Faculty Excellence. He received his PhD. in European Diplomatic History from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He has been at the College since 1999, and along with his academic appointment in German Studies, he has taught in European Studies, History and Literary and Cultural Studies. He is a past Associate Chair of Modern Languages and Literatures and a past Program Director of European Studies. He currently serves as German Studies Program Director and as a Fellow of the Center for the Liberal Arts. He has authored one monograph and two edited volumes, as well as numerous articles. He publishes in both German Studies and German History on such diverse topics as The Nazi Stormtroopers, the German Youth Movement, German Detective Fiction and Radio. He is particularly appreciated on campus for his mentoring of students to apply for Fulbright and other major international fellowships. He gave the Fall 2016 Tack Faculty Lecture on German Detective Fiction, and later appeared in an interview on the NPR show “With Good Reason”.