Fall 2018 News News: Arabic Studies

Great W&M Asia Cook Off!

(This story appeared previously here.)

Stephen Sheehi, Sultan Qaboos bin Said Chair of Middle East Studies and director of the Asian and Middle East Studies program, organized the “Great W&M Asia Cook Off.” He brought in celebrity chef Katsuya Fukushima, chef and co-owner of Daikaya-Izakaya, Haikan and Bantam King, and restaurateur Yama Jewayni, co-owner of Daikaya-Izakaya, Haikan, Bantam King and more, to judge the cooking competition between two of his classes, Arab 150: The History of Arab Food and AMES 385: AMES-APIA East Asia Think Tank.

“It was basically a dream team of the award-winning chef and the award-winning restaurateur all coming together,” said Sheehi.

The East Asia Think Tank class is a required part of the Freeman East Asia Fellowship program at W&M, which was established through a grant from the Freeman Foundation to the Asian and Middle East Studies Program and the Asian and Pacific Islander American Studies Program. That grant enabled 20 students to participate in internships in East Asia last summer; all of those Freeman Fellows are in the think tank class this fall. The Freeman Foundation recently provided the university $100,000 to support a second year of the internships.

With 12 groups comprised of three students each, Sheehi tasked each group to include the secret ingredient — eggplant — into their dishes. But that wasn’t where their endeavor ended.

The winners of the competition were (left to right) Mary Mulder '21, Daria Moody '22 and Maeve Naughton-Rockwell '22. (Photo by Jo Rozycki '20)
The winners of the competition were (left to right) Mary Mulder ’21, Daria Moody ’22 and Maeve Naughton-Rockwell ’22. (Photo by Jo Rozycki ’20)

“Part of what I’m also trying to do is experiential,” said Sheehi, referring to the educational aspect of the competition. He taught his students about the history, geographical route and cultural significance of dishes in each respective region of the world.

“I think that’s really how I started off the class, saying that what you sit in front of you, you have a whole historical trajectory behind that dish. You have a whole economic configuration behind that dish,” said Sheehi. “We started off with that precept, why not finish off with that?”

Fall 2018 News: French & Francophone Studies Uncategorized

Fête de la Recherche 2018

Fête de la Recherche 2018 - Programme (1) (dragged)

The French and Francophone Studies Program celebrated its annual Fête de la Recherche on Friday September 28, 2018. This year’s celebration featured stimulating research presentations from students, information about the French and Francophone Studies Program and FFS course offerings for Spring 2019, a study abroad round table, and perspective on life after graduation and career options for FFS majors.

Fall 2018 News: Chinese Studies

Talk: East Asian Cinema’s Occidental Eye: Fair Ophelia and Sweet Hamlet

Speaker: Alexa Alice Joubin (Professor of English, George Washington University)
 Talk: East Asian Cinema’s Occidental Eye: Fair Ophelia and Sweet Hamlet
Date/Time: 22 October 2018 (Monday), 3:30 p.m.-5:00 p.m.
Venue: Washington 317
Abstract: East Asian cinema has given us fresh interpretations and visually stunning renditions of Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Korean and Chinese Ophelias are no longer silent; they gain agency by being seen and heard through various strategies. Prince Hamlet is given Confucian virtues. This illustrated presentation explores Chinese cinematic adaptations of one of the most canonical and widely translated Western dramatic works.There has always been a perceived affinity between Ophelia and East Asian women. In May 1930, British writer Evelyn Waugh entertained the prospect of Chinese-American actress Anna May Wong playing Ophelia: “I should like to see Miss Wong playing Shakespeare. Why not a Chinese Ophelia? It seems to me that Miss Wong has exactly those attributes which one most requires of Shakespearean heroines.” While East Asian Ophelias may suffer from what S. I. Hayakawa calls “the Ophelia syndrome” (inability to formulate and express one’s own thoughts), they adopt various rhetorical strategies—balancing between eloquence and silence—to let themselves be seen and heard. Chinese Ophelias seem to possess more moral agency.
Speaker’s Bio: Alexa Alice Joubin is Professor of English, East Asian Languages and Literatures, Theater, and International Affairs at George Washington University in Washington D.C. where she co-founded the Digital Humanities Institute. At MIT, she is co-founder and co-director of the open access Global Shakesperes digital performance archive. ( At Middlebury College, she holds the John M. Kirk, Jr. Chair in Medieval and Renaissance Literature in the Bread Loaf School of English. Her latest books include Race (in the Routledge New Critical Idiom series; co-authored with Martin Orkin); Local and Global Myths in Shakespeare Performance (co-edited); and Shakespeare and the Ethics of Appropriation (co-edited). Alexa will be a visiting professor at Yonsei University in South Korea later this year.
* This event is sponsored by AMES and the Reves Center.
Alumni Updates: Chinese Studies Fall 2018 News: Chinese Studies

Post-socialism in Hong Kong: Zone Urbanism, Urban Horror, and Post-1997 Hong Kong Cinema

Talk: Post-socialism in Hong Kong: Zone Urbanism, Urban Horror, and Post-1997 Hong Kong Cinema

Speaker: Professor Erin Huang (Princeton University)
Date/Time: 28 November 2018 (Wednesday), at 5:00-6:20 p.m.

Venue: Washington Hall 219

The film, directed by the Hong Kong director Fruit Chan (陈果), is called The Midnight After (那夜凌晨,我坐上了旺角開往大埔的紅VAN) (2014).

Trailer (2 minutes):



This talk examines the condition of Chinese “(post-)socialism” in Hong Kong—a city without “socialist” legacies—as a way of addressing the emergent history of radical deterritorialization and reterritorialization in the era of the “post.” Proposing “zone urbanism” as a critical lens—a phenomenon of zoning that renders space into a programmable and reproducible spatial software—the presentation traces Hong Kong’s infrastructural revolution since the early 1980s that intimately connects the city to special economic zones in mainland China. From the controversial construction of New Hong Kong Airport to expressways, tunnels, and bridges designed to enhance the speed of movement in South China’s economic circles, “(post-)socialist” Hong Kong is arguably transformed into Southeast Asia’s transport super city and logistics hub. While recent scholarships on Hong Kong highlight the Umbrella Revolution in 2014 as the city’s protest against its loss of political sovereignty, this presentation probes a longer history of zone urbanism and traces the emergent aesthetics of infrastructural phenomenology in post-handover Hong Kong cinema. Problematizing the relationship between “Hong Kong” as a planned abstract space of transit and as a corporeal space under tremendous pressure to accommodate its human population, post-1997 Hong Kong cinema suggests a number of ways for re-experiencing, re-sensing, and touching the city’s infrastructural space while producing a plethora of experiences on the widening spectrum of movement and displacement. While focusing on the zoning phenomenon in South China, the talk theorizes (post-)socialism as a universalizing condition with regional differences that is creating new centers and peripheries.



Erin Y. Huang is Assistant Professor in East Asian Studies and Comparative Literature at Princeton University. She is an interdisciplinary scholar and a comparatist working on modern China and Sinophone studies. Her research interests broadly include cinema & media studies, Marxist urban theory, gender & sexuality studies, comparative socialisms and post-socialisms, and phenomenology. She is completing her first book, Urban Horror: Global Post-socialism, Chinese Cinemas, and the Limits of Visibility, where she theorizes urban horror as Marxist phenomenology, and an emergent horizon of affects that rehearses the potentiality of future urban revolutions after the supposed end of revolutionary times.

Princeton University professor lectures on Hong Kong post-socialism, cinema

Alumni Updates: Chinese Studies Fall 2018 News: Chinese Studies

Adventures in Beijing (by Brian Donahue)

Aventures in Beijing (by Brian Donahue)

I remember first looking out the airplane window as my flight began its descent into Beijing Capital International Airport. A smile was plastered on my face as I realized that, after six years of studying Chinese, I was finally in China. Despite the jubilation, anxiety took over as I realized for the next two months, my Chinese language abilities would be put to the ultimate test. The first week went by faster than I could imagine. Within two days, our program visited the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, and the Lama Temple. On the third day, we officially started our intensive language classes, where we met three amazing laoshi who would serve not only as our teachers, but who would also become great friends.

After finally getting into the groove of things, navigating China’s capital became a breeze. My friends and I spent much of our time just outside of Tsinghua’s campus in the infamous Wudaokou (五道口) neighborhood of Beijing. Given its proximity to many of China’s top universities, a large number of students, both domestic and international, live here. As a result, many restaurants in Wudaokou cater to the cosmopolitan audience. A favorite of ours was Pyro Pizza, an American-owned pizzeria that provided us with a sometimes-necessary taste of home.

My favorite memory of Beijing came one night while exploring the city with my mom. My mom, fortunately, had a business trip to China at the same time I was there. After hearing much about Jingshan Park’s spectacular views of Beijing at sunset, I decided to save that excursion for when my mom was there. Because Jingshan doesn’t have a subway stop, my mom and I decided to be adventurous and walk from her hotel near Tiananmen Square to Jingshan Park, an approximately 2.2-mile walk. This excursion took us through some quieter streets of Beijing that ran parallel to the Forbidden City. The traditional hutong’s in this area were completely restored. It was here that I saw the magic of Beijing and could happily share it with my mom. When we finally reached Jingshan Park, the panoramic view of the city at the top was so stunning that not even photos could do it justice.

My greatest thanks goes out to everyone who made this trip possible. It truly changed my perception of China and helped me to finally connect the language I had spent so long studying to the culture it belongs to. My greatest thanks goes to the three laoshi who helped improve my confidence in my Chinese tremendously and challenged me to improve my skills. I anxiously await the day I get to return to China and once again experience its allure.

Beijing 2

Fall 2018 News: Chinese Studies

Summer Study Abroad – Beijing, China (by Annecy Daggett)

By Annecy Daggett

When I found out I had been accepted into the William and Mary Summer in Beijing study abroad program, I was filled with pure excitement, but as the program neared, I developed many reservations about studying abroad. In the weeks leading up to my departure, I worried I wasn’t ready to live in a foreign country for seven weeks, especially a country as different from the United States as China. I questioned the decision to study abroad the summer after my freshman year, thinking maybe I should have waited until the next summer. But as soon as I arrived in Beijing, all these worries disappeared, and the excitement set in. Having traveled to China once before for a week, the new culture didn’t come as a complete shock, but this time I was fully immersed. I quickly became accustomed to ordering meals in Chinese and paying in yuan. Even without a language pledge, my American friends and I started speaking Chinese to each other outside of class because in China it just felt natural. One of my favorite experiences from the trip was visiting the Summer Palace with a few friends. After walking around the historic site and admiring the beautiful architecture, we found a place to sit, enjoy the scenery, and play a Chinese card game. We ended up surrounded by Chinese children and adults, watching us play and offering tips and advice for the next move. Even as outsiders, we were welcomed into their culture with enthusiasm.

Not only were excursions to famous sites incredible but so were the daily experiences of living in a foreign country. Every day was an exciting new adventure. From ordering food in Chinese, to navigating the subways, to playing pickup ultimate Frisbee with students from around the world, every day was filled with new experiences and opportunities to practice Chinese. Nearing the end of my time in Beijing, I began to miss living in China before I even left. Returning to the United States, I missed hearing Chinese all around me. I missed ordering in Chinese and eating with chopsticks. After my study abroad experience in China, I wondered why I ever doubted that it was the right decision.


Beijing 1

Fall 2018 News: Japanese Studies

A Way of “Giving Back” to Her Home Town, Akita, Japan

Kaoru Suzuki was born and reared in Akita Prefecture, Japan. She sought a bachelor’s degree from Akita University and finished her master’s degree at Akita International University (AIU), where Ms. Suzuki studied Japanese Language Education. Akita International University is in Akita prefecture and is a proud partner institution with The College of William & Mary (W&M) in Williamsburg, VA.

In addition to the natural setting and great foods for which Akita prefecture is known, it also boasts a university in which all classes are offered in English and all students are required to study abroad for a year. In fact, for those 200+ international students who come each year, the Japanese studies program provides not only Japanese language courses, which are taught in Japanese, but also content courses related to Japan that are offered in English.

Ms. Suzuki had wanted to contribute to her hometown, Akita, since she was a kid. While at the University, she realized that many people need to learn Japanese in order to work in Akita. Thus, she began to study Japanese Language Education at AIU to facilitate her teaching skills.

Now, Ms. Suzuki is living with students at the Japanese Language House and working at W&M as a Language House tutor and as a Japanese language teacher. Her main job includes organizing events on a regular bi-weekly schedule, activities such as cooking lessons and cultural functions. For cooking nights, students have made Nikujaga, Oyako-don, and other Japanese foods. Their cultural events have included making Origami and playing the Japanese card game, Karuta.

While she is here as the House tutor, Ms. Suzuki would like to continue introducing more cultural aspects about Japan to students as well as supporting them as they improve their Japanese speaking skills.

4) Suzuki photo No.14) Suzuki photo No.2

Fall 2018 News: Japanese Studies

Invaluable Learning Among Extraordinary People

2) Snowden photoHayley Snowden, Class of 2019

Had I been able to draw an ideal picture of what my study abroad at Keio University would look like, it would have matched reality exactly. My classes in Japanese cultural studies and Asian business offered me the vastly unique opportunity to hear a wide variety of perspectives from both Japanese and international students alike, and every single day in Tokyo or nearby prefectures offered me continual chances for new adventures.

Undoubtedly, the people with whom I experienced Japan are an integral part of what made my entire experience so special. Before arriving in Japan, I signed up for Keio University’s “Tomodachi Program,” which places international students with Japanese students to facilitate the formation of cross-cultural friendships. I could not have asked for a more wonderful group of girls—some of my absolute favorite memories come from our adventures going to see fireworks on the beach, getting a bird’s eye view of the city from Tokyo Tower, eating soufflé pancakes in Harajuku, and spending a day at Tokyo Disneyland.

Additionally, I was fortunate enough to be placed in a dorm with an extremely tight-knit community of students from all over the world, including Japan, Korea, Australia, Taiwan, and Luxembourg. This living situation afforded me even more friends with whom to explore daily life in Tokyo, as well as valuable friendships that I believe will last a lifetime. I’m already thinking of additional ways that I can incorporate this experience into my long-term career goals, and am actively looking for opportunities to return to Japan to develop professionally and make spectacular new memories.

Fall 2018 News: Russian Studies

Bringing Down the Busts: Moscow’s Park of Fallen Soviet Monuments

By Reid Nagurka

This summer I participated in William and Mary’s study abroad program in Russia. The College organized language class with Russian faculty, a history course taught by a William and Mary professor and multiple cultural and historical excursions per week. We spent five weeks in St. Petersburg and one week in Moscow and it was an absolutely fabulous and transformative experience. To the chagrin of many of my fellow classmates, I found Moscow to be a much more dynamic, diverse, and interesting city than St. Petersburg. The professors we worked with at Moscow State Univdownload-2ersity were more adamant in sharing their favorite aspects of Moscow, so we were able to better experience the city through Russian eyes. One such example is when our professors took us to see Lenin’s Mausoleum, after reading about and discussing its history in class. While it was certainly nice to have locals help us navigate such a sprawling city in only a week, exploring Moscow on our own was equally as valuable.

On the recommendation of our William and Mary and Moscow professodownload-1rs, I visited Park Muzeon, or the Park of Fallen Monuments, on a gloomy Saturday morning. I first walked through the beautiful Gorky Park and then passed through an arts fair along the Moscow River. When I arrived, it truly looked as if I had gone back in time. Sprawled across the grass lawn were busts of Vladimir Lenin, Josef Stalin, Leonid Brezhnev, founder of the Soviet secret police Felix Dzerzhinskii, and countless hammers and sickles and other Soviet iconography. It was quite strange to be standing in a family-friendly park among so many formerly venerated individuals, whose images have been strewn about in an attempt to discard and discredit them. These statues were prominently displayed across the country just a few decades ago and are now abandoned in an attempt to separate modern Russia from its Soviet past. Much like the rest of Moscow, the park encapsulates a long, fascinating and ever-changing history, which I am so grateful to have experienced through such an amazing program.


Fall 2018 News: Russian Studies Uncategorized

Elizabeth Sutterlin Spends Six Weeks in St. Petersburg

This summer, I spent six weeks studying in St. Petersburg, Russia. I stayed with a host family, took daily classes in language and literature at St. Petersburg State University, and spent afternoons exploring the city’s many museums, parks, and cafes. The trip was an enriching cultural experience that both challenged and delighted me as I learned to navigate the city on my own and grew accustomed to hearing and speaking Russian all the time.

I also had the opportunity to conduct research while abroad, in which I examined state-sponsored narratives about natural resource dependence in Russia. Since my return from the program, my project has been featured on the RPSS website and my paper will be published in this semester’s issue of The Monitor, a journal devoted to promoting undergraduate international research on campus.

The highlight of the whole trip? Attending a performance of Swan Lake at the Mariinskii Theater!”


Fall 2018 News: Russian Studies

The Adventures of Kathrynn and Katherine in the Land of Catherine the Great

By Kathrynn Weilacher and Katherine Olivette (the Кати)

Last summer we had the incredible opportunity to participate in the College of William & Mary’s St. Petersburg Study Abroad Program in St. Petersburg, Russia. We attended classes at St. Petersburg State University and Moscow State University that covered Russian language, literature, and history. We went on many amazing excursions that made those lessons come to life. We want to share some of our favorite experiences with you.

As we both share a name with Cimageatherine the Great, we were excited to see her Winter and Summer Palaces. We were impressed by the opulent architecture, variety of artwork, and the sheer amount of gold! Peterhof, the summer residence of Peter the Great, also boasted many gilded features, most notably the fountains. We enjoyed walking through the gardens and sneaking an exclusive look into the grotto beneath the Palace.image-1

At the end of the program, we travelled to Moscow by high-speed train for one week. While there, we visited Red Square and other sites that previously we had only seen on the pages of our Russian textbooks. In Moscow, it was also fun to meet up with the person who started our Russian journey—our first-year language instructor Robert Mulcahy. The two of us met in his class during sophomore year and we strengthened our bond throughout this trip. We will never forget the memorable experiences on this trip!


Fall 2018 News News: Italian Studies

(Italian) Language at Work

By Arika Thames (Theatre and Gender, Sexuality, & Women’s Studies double major ‘19)

Arika in Genova


This summer I had the pleasure of living and working in Italy for six weeks. After studying Italian for two years I was determined to spend my summer in the country in some capacity. Instead of studying abroad, I searched for jobs where I could have that same cultural immersion while gaining valuable work experience. I found a wonderful company named Educo Italia which organizes hundreds of English-immersion summer camps around Italy. I gravitated towards this organization because they use theater and games to teach the language which is something I want to do professionally upon graduation. As a tutor I taught English lessons in the mornings, led fun camp-wide activities in the afternoon, and worked with my students to put on a small play at the end of every week.


genoa camp
Arika and coworkers in Italy

This experience was the first time that I ever traveled abroad by myself, so I was considerably nervous, but after a week all of my nerves went away. Educo provided me with great resources and support so that I never felt alone. I moved around to a new city every week which allowed me to see more of Italy than I could’ve ever imagined. Besides my week in Genova, most of the camps were in small towns so us tutors were truly embraced and made to feel like members of the community. My fellow tutors and I were shown around to nearby sites by our host families because they were so excited to show off where they call home. I loved seeing Italy from the perspective of those who lived there as opposed to a tourist’s viewpoint.

My time working with Educo this summer was exactly what I needed going into my senior year. While it was challenging work, it made me more confident in my language abilities as well as cultural competency. I’m now far more prepared for my next step towards a career in theater education and hopefully that future includes Italy!

Fall 2018 News: German Studies Uncategorized

Märchen – German Fairy Tales

Lena Böse, our German House Tutor, has organized a series of events around the German Fairy Tale tradition. I asked her a few questions on how she came to be so interested in this topic:

Lena, what is your connection to fairy tales? When do you sit down with a book of fairy tales? Do you have a favorite? 

Fairy tales were a big part of my childhood. I did not grow up in a house with a lot of books, and it was only when we were olMärcheneventsposterder that my brother and I owned a book fairy tales. I still remember being more interested in the colorful illustrations than actually reading the tales, which I knew by heart by then. The way I first experienced fairy tales was actually through the traditional way of oral storytelling. I can distinctly remember sitting at the dinner table one night and asking my grandmother to tell me the fairy tale Frau Holle. Whenever she got to the ending, I asked her to start over again. This is such a fond memory that Frau Holle is still my favorite fairy tale. I hope that I will get a chance to sit down and read some fairy tales over Thanksgiving. Princeton University published a new translation of the original Grimm fairy tale collection in 2014, which is beautifully illustrated in silhouette style, and I hope to finally sit down and fully enjoy reading some of the tales in English for the first time. 

Have you explored the fairy tale tradition from an academic angle or from an artistic one?

Sadly, I have not yet had a chance to look at fairy tales from an academic perspective, even though I find them highly fascinating. There is a rich tradition in illustrating fairy tales, which I would love to explore. When I wrote a paper about an illustrated children’s edition of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, I was struck by the similarities to fairy tales. Today, fairy tales are, similar to picture books, categorized foremost among books for children. However, like Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, the fairy tales as recorded by the brothers Grimm in the first edition of their Kinder- und Hausmärchen are much more erotic and violent in content than the tales as we know them from our childhood. The publication history of fairy tales and the fact that there are so many versions of the same tale both within a language context like German and across cultures is highly intriguing to me as well. As for the artistic side – I am much looking forward to making a fairy tale themed board for German Studies at Washington Hall (3rd floor) soon!

How do you compare U.S. students’ take on fairy tales to you own or that of German students? When teaching with fairy tales here at W&M, have you experienced any unexpected reactions?

What I find striking about U.S. students’ experiences with fairy tales is that most students have only one or two points of exposure to fairy tales that they can recall. Many have seen Disney versions of fairy tales when they were younger, others have only come across fairy tales more recently in movies, TV series or musicals (such as Once Upon a Time, or Into the Woods). German students have a much broader experience with fairy tales because it is such a big part of growing up. Germany also has a long, ongoing tradition of making 60-minute long, live-action fairy tale films, which goes back to the 1950s. While tales like Frau Holle or Schneewittchen (Snow White) are well-known and most Germans would be able to tell these to their children at a moment’s notice, what the films accomplish is to popularize many of the lesser known fairy tales, such as Die Gänsemagd (The Goose Girl) or Das singende, klingende Bäumchen (The Singing Tree). When I showed clips of these kinds of films during an introduction to fairy tale event at the German House, the students were amazed at the films – both for the use of German, which does sound a bit antiquated in the older films, as well as for being much more liberal with nudity (as many German movies are). In fact, many of the older German fairy tale films that I remember watching as a child were quite dark and did not gloss over topics such as death or violent punishments. I think it is probably this stark contrast to the Disney versions that is the most interesting to students in the U.S.



Fall 2018 News News: Italian Studies

World Pasta Day at the Italian House

By ChIMG_1528iara Di Maio

Is there a better way to celebrate World Pasta Day on October 25th than making pasta from scratch just like our grandparents used to? We invited Chef Eric Christenson, owner of LOKAL, a nearby restaurant, to the Italian house to teach us how to make different types of pIMG_1548asta. Eric is an experienced chef and learned some of his cooking techniques in Italy. As if this weren’t enough, he also learned to speak Italian. “Italian food is all about quality”, he said while his hands mixed flour and eggs to create the perfect dough. He chose his ingredients carefully as he strove to make his dishes as healthy as possible.

In this cooking masterclass, Chef Eric taught students how to make both several pasta shapes and gnocchi. He showed us how the dough is made and used a pasta machine to make it thinner and more translucent. For the tagliatelle, he folded the dough and started cutting it in long strips about half an inch wide.


While some students started working on that, Chef Eric moved on to  explaining the ravioli and penne. However, the gnocchi required a different process because it has different ingredients and, therefore, a completely different consistency. IMG_1544

Christenson showed the students how to shape the gnocchi in several different ways. 

Chef Eric emphasized the fact that making pasta is fairly easy. However, after having tried it first hand, we know it takes a lot of practice. Students learned many tips and tricks to make pasta and we cannot wait for Eric to come back to the Italian house with other tasty recipes. In the meantime, we can all go have lunch and chat with him at LOKAL. 

IMG_1549  IMG_1551

Grazie mille, Eric!


Fall 2018 Featured News: Hispanic Studies

Hispanic Studies at the 2018 Summer Research Showcase: Declassifying Videla’s Argentina

Monroe Research Showcase (cropped)

The Monroe research grants allow students to explore anything that interests them. For many, it is a way to start answering a question that came to them in class. For nearly all who undertake a project, we end the summer with more questions than we started with. Last week, we all came together to discuss these questions and conclusions at the summer research showcase.

My name is Jo Weech, and I am a junior here at the College. I am a Monroe research grant recipient and a Hispanic Studies major. I chose to use my Monroe grant to make my involvement with the National Security Archive research team possible.

William & Mary has been running a research internship with the Archive for several years. Students attend weekly classes with a Hispanic Studies professor, Silvia Tandeciarz, and an expert from the Archive, Carlos Osorio. All of the work with the Archive’s documents is done remotely via digital databases. To begin the internship, we first learned about the Cold War and the last Argentine dictatorship. We then started working with the documents.

Those documents we were working with involve declassified diplomatic cables from different U.S. agencies. Our job was to try to find evidence of human rights violations, as well as piece together a history of what happened. Our research will begin again this coming spring semester. I was able to complete this research while studying abroad in La Plata, Argentina. It was especially meaningful to be able to read about events happening and then to be able to go and see where they actually occured. One of the moments of repression we discussed with the research team was La noche de los lápices (The night of the pencils), as an example of violence against students. Below is a picture that I took in La Plata of benches painted in dedication to those student victims:


For me, the research was especially important because it is related to the work that I see myself doing after graduation. I hope to find a career that will promote human rights, possibly as a Foreign Service Officer. The tools and opportunities that the Hispanic Studies program has already given me will be instrumental in finding that career. I hope that my involvement with this research project will be long lasting, as we are writing a history that needs to be written.

Fall 2018 Featured News: Hispanic Studies Uncategorized

Moments of Activism: Student Movements and the 100 Years of Women Weekend

To commemorate 100 years of women at William & Mary, the university hosted the first-ever W&M Women's Weekend September 21-23, 2018. In events throughout campus that included panel discussions, keynotes and an opening performance by Anna Deavere Smith, attendees discussed big ideas, learned from one another and enjoyed growth opportunities in the eight dimensions of wellness: emotional, environmental, financial, intellectual, professional, physical, social and spiritual. (Skip Rowland '83)
To commemorate 100 years of women at William & Mary, the university hosted the first-ever W&M Women’s Weekend September 21-23, 2018.

The 100 Years of Women weekend gave students and alumni the opportunity to reflect on the role of women in the history of this campus. From the first Dean of Women to the induction of our current female President, women’s voices have been an integral part of William & Mary.

The Hispanic Studies Program at William & Mary teaches far more than just Spanish language and culture. One thing that many students take away from it is a growing passion for activism. From historical case studies to discussions of contemporary social issues, the program encourages active listening and engagement. This engagement is taken outside of the classroom and into the world.

This summer, a Hispanic Studies student decided to engage more directly with her school’s past through research. Jo Weech is a current Hispanic Studies and International Relations double major at the College. Her areas of focus include human rights work and education. Using the 100 Years of Women weekend as an opportunity, she researched the history of student protest and activism at the school since the introduction of women in 1918. This research was shaped by tools she learned from her Hispanic Studies courses; tools in deciphering memory, historical narratives, and archival records.

Although William & Mary is a historically conservative campus, it does have a rich history of student activism and protest. One of the main outlets used to voice social movements was the student paper, The Flat Hat. From reading past Flat Hat articles, as well as other newspapers, Alumni Gazette editorials, and oral history transcripts, this activism becomes clearer. Initially, most student movements were focused on internal issues of the College. Tensions have been present for years between the Board of Visitors, faculty, and the student body over issues of admission. The admission of women in 1918 was controversial. Supported broadly by students but not by as many alumni, coeducation may not have occurred if it wasn’t for low enrollment after WWI. Later in the 1950’s, the issue of admission was brought up again with changes in admission standards. In the 1960’s, they were brought up again alongside the racial integration of the College. They have continued to change under our more recent presidents, as well.

Changes in institutional policy had ripple effects among the student body. Students have written editorials for and against admission policies as well as policies for new athletic programs, construction plans, speaker events, chancellor appointments, and student resources. They have organized sit ins, silent marches, vigils, and speeches. Although initially rallying for issues internal to the College, William & Mary students have also engaged with national movements, such as Civil Rights and protesting the Vietnam War. Much of the most recent activism on campus gives voice to issues that the institution has been struggling with for decades.

Why is it that activism is not more actively remembered in our campus history? With many alumni present on campus for the 100 Years of Women weekend, Jo had the opportunity to speak to former students from different periods of the College’s history. She found that many of these women did remember at least one active demonstration taking place during their time here, if not more. But it took some remembering for those demonstrations to come to mind. For many past and current students, activism may not be at the forefront of this campus identity; however, it is a part of that identity–and it is one with a long legacy.

Fall 2018 News: German Studies

Grace Bruce is a German RA at the Governor’s Academy

Governor'sSchool_GraceBruceThe Virginia Governor’s Foreign Language Academies are summer language immersion programs sponsored by the Virginia Department of Education, allowing Virginia’s most talented language learners to further explore their interests in world languages and cultures outside of the typical classroom. The full immersion academies, hosted at Washington & Lee University, provide students with the opportunity to speak exclusively in the target languages of French, German, or Spanish for three weeks. Some of my fondest high school memories stem from my time as an Academy student. Here, I was able to share in my passion for the German language with 44 other students, many of whom would become some of my closest friends. This past summer, I had the privilege of working as a “Betreuer,” or RA, at the 2018 German Academy. By returning to the Academy this year, I was not only able to practice my own language skills, but also given a chance to witness the tremendous impact world language learning has on high school students.

I believe that fostering student growth through ordinary interactions is something that makes foreign language learning truly unique. While this concept is extremely valuable in the typical classroom, it is especially applicable to the Foreign Language Academy experience. Students at the Academy practice the language by ordering breakfast, chatting between classes, playing board games, and sharing dorm space. These activities allow them to become comfortable in the language, all the while discretely reinforcing grammar rules, vocabulary, and cultural context. From a pedagogical perspective, this sense of normalcy and comfort provided by the Academy environment plays an important role in limiting typical affective factor obstacles to language learning. Every student leaves the Academy with newfound skills and strengths, many of which they continue to incorporate into their language learning once they return to school. By providing students with this incredible opportunity to gain confidence in their language skills, the Virginia Department of Education is not only enhancing the education of our young language learners, but empowering an entire generation of global citizens. It is my sincere hope that the Virginia Governor’s Foreign Language Academies continue to receive funding and inspire students for many years to come.



Fall 2018 Featured News

Welcome (Back) Language House Tutors!

Introducing our 2018-2019 Language House Tutors:

Traveling from all corners of the world, our tutors arrived at W&M on August 17th. The Language House Advisors prepared a welcome brunch for everybody to get to know each other! Our tutors clockwise from the left: Lena Böse (returning), Li Zhao (returning), Juan Hidalgo, Zoia Maslennikova (returning), Chiara di Maio, Gaoussou Diarra, Kaoru Suzuki.

LH Tutors and Advisors