Fall 2019 News News: Hispanic Studies

Meet Six Hispanic Studies Majors Initiated into Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society

2019 PBK initiates

During the American Revolution, five students at the College of William & Mary founded Phi Beta Kappa.  They believed that a new nation required new institutions – cultural as well as political – and they were committed to intellectual fellowship shaped by the values of personal freedom, scientific inquiry, liberty of conscience, and creative endeavor. Their legacy, more than 240 years later, inspires today’s students to pursue these same values through a 21st century education in the liberal arts and sciences.

–The Phi Beta Kappa Society,
Phi Beta Kappa is the oldest, largest, and most prestigious university academic honor society in the United States, with more than 290 chapters nationwide, and whose members include 17 U.S. Presidents, 41 Supreme Court Justices, and more than 140 Nobel Laureates. The main selection criteria for student members are exceptional academic achievement, curricular breadth, and scholarly initiative in the liberal arts at William & Mary and strong support from faculty members.  More specifically, ideal qualifications include intellectual honesty and curiosity, careful scholarship, creativity, good character, and a commitment to the life of the mind. The selected students comprise no more than seven percent of each year’s graduating class.

The Society’s historic origins are located in the heart of William & Mary. PBK’s very first meeting, comprised of five W&M students, took place on December 5, 1776 in the Apollo Room of the Raleigh Tavern in Williamsburg, Virginia. Two hundred forty-three years later, on December 5, 2019, W&M’s Alpha Chapter of PBK initiated fifty-one outstanding undergraduates as new members; a second round of selection and initiation of new members will be held in the spring.

Six of the 51 initiates are Hispanic Studies majors who offer these reflections about the opportunities and transformative experiences they found in our academic and cultural offerings:


Nicole Fitzgerald (Dobbs Ferry, NJ; Hispanic Studies (HISP)/Finance, ‘20): “I came to William and Mary knowing I wanted to pursue a Hispanic Studies major, and I feel so lucky to have had the support of such amazing faculty.  I had the opportunity to study abroad twice in Cádiz, Spain and in Barcelona.  The combination of my liberal arts background that I gained from Hispanic Studies, in combination with my business major is sure to serve me well in the future. After graduation I will be working in New York at a knowledge search firm called AlphaSights.”

Philip Grotz (Culpepper, Virginia; HISP)/Neuroscience, ’20): “Through the Hispanic Studies Department, I was able to study abroad in Cádiz, Spain, where I performed independent research on the fusion of jazz and flamenco music styles. Following completion of a course in Medical Spanish Interpretation, I obtained a position working as a medical interpreter on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. I was able to use the cultural background and ethical guidelines I learned in the class to directly facilitate communication between patients and healthcare providers, gaining clinical experience that I expect to be valuable to the career that I plan to pursue as a medical physician.”

Megan Leu (Sudbury, Massachusetts; HISP/History ’20): “A degree in Hispanic Studies has provided me with incredible opportunities that I know will continue to shape my professional pursuits in years to come.  I studied abroad in Argentina, where I lived with a host family and worked as an intern for a human rights organization that did memory work relating to the military dictatorship. Upon my return, I began working with the National Security Archive analyzing declassified CIA, Department of State, and FBI records for evidence of human rights abuses in Latin America, and I also started an internship for the Department of State looking at Spanish-language news sources for information on Mexican cartels to write brief summaries for the U.S. Ambassador. After graduation, I hope to integrate my degrees in History and Hispanic Studies and continue to do meaningful work that reaches people in Latin America.”

Kiera McKay (Fair Haven, NJ; HISP/Physics ’20): “Bilingualism has long been one of my personal values and goals and going into college I knew that I would never stop taking Spanish classes and working towards fluency. The Hispanic Studies program has helped me improve my Spanish, but it has also given me so many wonderful opportunities to learn, grow, and expand my horizons. I lived in the Casa Hispánica for two years, which led me to meet so many wonderful friends while finding language immersion on campus. I studied abroad in Cádiz, Spain the summer after my sophomore year and the experience was wonderful, both for my language proficiency and my sense of belonging in the world.”

Carrington Metts (Wilson, NC; HISP/Physics ’20): “In my time in the Hispanic Studies program, I’ve had the opportunity to spend several weeks hiking the Camino de Santiago in northern Spain. I also spent a semester abroad at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. While on campus, I’ve spent three semesters living in the Casa Hispánica and have taken a wide range of courses, with a particular emphasis on linguistics. I have applied for a job improving Spanish literacy in the Dominican Republic with the Peace Corps.”

Johanna Weech (Vienna, Va.; HISP/International Relations ’20): “I became involved in human rights, transitional justice, and memory studies research, after studying abroad for a semester through W&M’s La Plata, Argentina program. In November 2019, at the NECLAS conference (New England Council on Latin American Studies) in Mystic, Ct., I presented a research paper “Guatemala’s National Police Archive and the Politics of Documenting Terror” on a W&M faculty/student panel, along with Professors Betsy Konefal and Silvia Tandeciarz, about memory work in Argentina and Guatemala.”

Fall 2019 News: Alumni News: German Studies

Megan Rouch ‘19 and Jordan Wyner ‘19 on their Fulbright Year in Vienna

Jordan (left), Megan and friends in front of the Karlskirche

Hey William and Mary Modern Languages and Literatures Department! It’s Jordan and Megan, the former dynamic TA duo telling you all the exciting and surprising things we have found living in Austria’s capital. We were both very lucky and excited to have our applications to the Austrian-American Educational Commission Fulbright program accepted. Having acclimated ourselves after arriving in mid-September, the experience of living and working in a foreign country is one we will never forget.The work itself is one of the main draws of the program. We are constantly kept on our toes with new themes every week to discuss with students. It is always a lot of fun to hear their perspective on a variety of issues and of course to share with them what we love and find problematic about American culture. For instance, Jordan taught a lesson on how to analyze a film deploying The Shining as an example. Because of the holiday season, many TAs have given lessons on the Thanksgiving story, Black Friday, and celebrating Christmas.Amidst lots of lesson planning and meeting new people through the Fulbright Austria program and our schools, we have visited many a museum, casual palace, and the Zentralfriedhof (Central Cemetery) where Schumann, Brahms, and Strauss are all buried, and Mozart is honored. We have also investigated the jazz bar, street food, and café scenes, and Jordan is definitely an expert between the two of us on Kaffeehauskultur, Döner Kebap, and Käsekrainer (cheese-filled wurst). Megan often enjoys cooking at home with local produce from the Brunnenmarkt, the biggest open-air market in the city, right near her flat, where you can find some of Vienna’s most affordable groceries. Not only have we seen a fair bit of Vienna (although there is always more to see), but we’ve done some and plan on doing more traveling. Jordan will make his way to Berlin to visit old friends from our summer abroad at Potsdam Universität two summers ago, and both of us plan to go to Athens in January with a group of new friends. Overall, wir nighttimeschlagen dieses Programm vor (we recommend this program), because it is an excellent way to spend a year abroad learning valuable teaching skills and improving your German fluency, all the while helping the next generation of Austrian students learn the global language of English.

Fall 2019 News: Russian Studies

Grace Kier wins 2019 Foreign Policy Essay Contest!

Kier learned about the essay contest in Foreign Policy from Professor Prokhorov in the Russian/Post-Soviet Studies Department, who emailed Russian students and encouraged them to apply. She decided to submit an essay, “The United States and Russia Must Work Together on Nuclear,” because she wanted to share her thoughts on nuclear cooperation and nuclear issues generally. Having interned at a nuclear think tank in Moscow and in the United States, this issue is an important one for Kier, who also hosts a podcast about nuclear topics called Big Nuke Energy. Given the pressing nature of nuclear weapons, Kier decided to focus on this topic in her essay.
In the future, she hopes to continue working on both nuclear and Russia issues. Kier is grateful for the continued support from the College she has received in order to pursue both of these interests. She received merit scholarships to study abroad in both Saint Petersburg and Moscow, and has enjoyed being a part of numerous Russian-related activities on campus. She looks forward to using her knowledge and skills she gained at the College in the future.
Alumni Updates: Italian Studies Fall 2019 News News: Italian Studies

Evening at the Italian Embassy

Last month, our Italian Studies Program participated in a series of events in Washington D.C. hosted by the W&M Alumni Association.

Seger - Talk DCOn November 7, Professor Monica Seger gave a talk at the W&M Washington Center and shared her latest research which is based in Italy’s Puglia region. Professor Seger studies the rich wave of novels and films that have emerged over the past decade in response to environmental challenges in the coastal city Taranto. She argues that creative texts, whether on page or screen, allow a broad audience to learn – and care – about Taranto’s dynamic culture and natural environment, despite recent hardships.

group embassy

On November 8, Professor Sara Mattavelli and Professor Monica Seger participated in a special event called “Evening at the Embassy” – a W&M DC Alumni Chapter tradition – that was hosted at the Ambasciata d’Italia.

Two-hundred W&M alumni, students, parents, family and friends gathered at the Italian Embassy to learn about all the connections between William & Mary and Italy. The Italian Program showcased its faculty’s research, program’s courses and extra-curricular activities. We also had the pleasure to share with all attendees the opportunities the program offers for students engagement on campus (such as the Italian House or the Honor Society Gamma Kappa Alpha) and study abroad, with particular emphasis on the W&M Faculty-led Florence program.

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Fall 2019 News: Italian Studies

Italian House: Plant-based Eating for a College Lifestyle

The Italian House and International Fellow Chiara di Maio were featured in the 3rd episode of “Plant-based Eating for a College Lifestyle”, a video series by W&M Sustainability Interns.Pasta alla Norma One of our Italian Major, Zoe Nelson, who is also an Intern at W&M Dining, participated in the video.

Chiara, Zoe, and our students prepared a dish called “Pasta alla Norma” which is a typical Sicilian recipe and one of the most famous together with cannoli. The dish was created in honor of  composer Vincenzo Bellini’s Norma, an opera produced at La Scala theater in Milan in 1831.

The ingredients of this vegetarian dish are simple but make for a delicious meal: eggplants, tomatoes, basil, olive oil, garlic, salt, ricotta salata (cheese, optional) and pasta! Look at our students in action in the video shot by theW&M Sustainability Interns.


Fall 2019 News: Italian Studies

A New Mural for the Italian House

On October 4th 2019, two of our students/artists, Alyssa Glauser and Laura Brancati, added a new masterpiece to the walls of the Italian House. It reproduces the world-famous Creazione di Adamo (The Creation of Adam), a fresco painted by Michelangelo on the Sistine Chapel’s ceiling that can be admired in the Vatican Museums.

The resemblance to the original is astonishing! Bravissime!

Screen Shot 2019-12-21 at 10.41.57 AM   murales 1 copy

More pictures on our Instagram!

Faculty Profiles Fall 2019 fall2019more

MLL Welcomes Professor Paul Vierthaler to the Chinese Studies Program

In fall 2019, Dr. Paul Vierthaler joined MLL’s Chinese Studies program, and we asked him some questions about being a professor of Chinese Studies:


How did you become interested in Chinese?

When I was deciding what I wanted to study in college, I really wanted to learn a language that had a lot of utility that a lot of people spoke. Growing up in southwest Kansas, there were not many language options in high school, but when I headed to the University of Kansas I was delighted to discover that they offered Chinese. I did not start with a fundamental interest in the language per se, nor I did anticipate this would be one of the central choices that would shape my career. While at KU, my interest in China rapidly developed, so to further my language skills, I spent my junior year abroad at the Associated Colleges in China study abroad program in Beijing. The immersive experience of acquiring the language and living in Beijing were enough to convince me to return to China after graduation. I lived in China for several years before going to graduate school, and I began studying classical Chinese at Yunnan Normal University in Kunming. This was my first sustained encounter with classical literature, which I rapidly became enamored of. This then led me to the decision to go to graduate school so I could study and teach classical Chinese literature and culture professionally.
What is the focus of your research?

The broad focus of my work centers on fictional literature written in the Ming dynasty in China (1368 to 1644). I am currently working on a book that analyzes how historical stories are told in untrustworthy media (novels, dramas, and unvetted historical texts) written during the late Ming and early Qing (1500 to 1700, roughly speaking). The thirst for information on recent events resulted publishers producing a high volume of works to meet the demand, and they really influenced how people saw their past. This publishing trend meant that a fair number of these works were of relatively low literary quality, making them arduous to read. As such, I use large digital collections of historical texts and study them with techniques developed by computer scientists, linguists, and even biologists. My research also extends in this computational direction, and I am interested the application of machine learning, natural language processing, and big data analytics to cultural datasets.


What kind of classes do you like to teach best?

I’ve been fortunate to teach a wide variety of courses, and they all tend to be rewarding in their own ways. Introducing students who’ve never read a Chinese book to the Water Margin, working through a complicated passage in the Zhuangzi with advanced students, and teaching students how to program are all extremely rewarding. This being said, my favorite classes are those intermediate classes where students have moved beyond the basics of Chinese studies and are seeing the vast possibilities of the field for the first time. It is very difficult to beat the sense of discovery in the first seminar after that intro class that blends new literature with new methods to engage with materials at a deep level for the first time. I also love to teach methodologically focused classes and lab sessions where the main focus is building computer tools for studying Chinese literature.


What do you think of William & Mary so far?

Coming here has been a wonderful experience! My students in particular have been amazing. They are deeply engaged with the course material, have been eager to discuss in class, and always ask incisive questions. The research environment here is also top-notch. I’ve found that there is a lot of support for research of all sorts, and particularly for research that encourages student involvement! This support has allowed me to start the new MLL digital humanities lab, which is getting off the ground early in the spring semester, and I am really looking forward to guide MLL students in research projects that they help design.

Fall 2019

Studying and Working in Munich

During the summer of 2019, Grace Bruce spgrace_Gvent two months living and working in Munich. While in Germany, Grace had the chance to complete a B2-level language intensive course at the Goethe Institut, ultimately earning her B2 certificate. Grace also worked as a Marketing and Communications intern at Autonomous Intelligent Driving GmbH. Here, she learned valuable skills in both internal and external communications, refined her intercultural competencies, and gained experience in the German workplace environment. During her time in Germany, Grace traveled a lot on the weekends. She visited Freiburg, Switzerland, Austria, Italy, and Poland. Grace truly enjoyed her time in Munich, and looks forward to someday returning to live in Europe.

Fall 2019

Caroline Cox Studies Neuroscience in Munich and Berlin

When I declared a double major in Neuroscience and German Studies, I never imagined that they would be a combination that would actually go together! I considered them to be two separate academic interests of mine, and every class I took in college was directed towards either one or the other. That is, until my neuroscience research mentor showed me a program that managed to perfectly combine the two: the Neuroscience Semcaroline_gvinar in Germany. Offered by the College of Charleston every 2 years, this program is a 3.5 week upper-level neuroscience seminar taught in the context of the research being conducted at some of Germany’s top neuroscience labs today. The first half of the trip was hosted by LMU in Munich, and the second half was at the Charité in Berlin. Over the course of the program, we read and discussed scientific papers for research being conducted at these institutes, and then were able to meet the researchers themselves, attend lectures by them, and see their projects in person at their research labs. While the course was taught entirely in English, I was able to use my German skills to converse with the researchers in their native language and connect with them on a deeper level. Ncaroline_gv2ot to mention all the showing off that I could do for the other students on the program, whether it was translating a menu in a restaurant, chatting with a cashier at a clothing store, or explaining to them the different types of German Würste! In addition to the academics, I was able to explore the beautiful (but very different) cities of Munich and Berlin, along with a short trip to Salzburg, and could even meet up with some old German friends along the way. Doing the program showed me that no matter how unrelated they may seem, my two interests have a lot more in common than I originally assumed, and that German Studies is something that can work for anyone regardless of their interests! Caroline Cox.

Fall 2019 News: Japanese Studies

A Taste of Japan by Evie Tso, Class of 2021

Imagine the opportunity to try okonomiyaki, tempura, miso dip, plum wine, red bean paste rolls, natto, and other delicious familiar and unfamiliar Japanese cuisine. I enjoyed a summer doing that and more in Tokyo and Tatebayashi. Thanks to William & Mary’s Freeman Intern Fellowship program, I spent two months as an intern with Toyo Suisan, also known as Maruchan. I explored different departments in the Japanese food company and conducted interview and survey research on people’s food-related habits and opinions. I even tried my hand at making wax food samples commonly seen outside of many Japanese restaurants.

Using Japanese every day at work and in daily life both boosted my confidence and humbled me. After completing JAPN 301/302, I was excited to engage in conversations but realized that I’m far from fluent. Although there were challenges, I managed well in Japan and hope to return to study or work there someday.

I recommend studying abroad. It’s the perfect opportunity for students who are relatively unanchored and can enjoy the freedom to explore. Fending for yourself in a new place will teach you so much about the world and yourself. My experience left me with many precious memories and lessons about Japan, the food industry, and myself.

Fall 2019 News: Japanese Studies

Picture Perfect Moments Abroad by Peng Lan, Class of 2021

As the scene outside the window of the Shinkansen train gradually changed to a delightful rural view, I knew I had arrived in Kyoto. The beautiful city full of historical architecture greatly resembles Makoto Shinkai’s movie. New experiences at Ritsumeikan University were ahead of me. Its small Kinugasa campus is home to a diverse study body with a shared experience – studying abroad.  That diversity allowed for rich academic and cultural experiences through enriching and enlightening discussions about Japanese culture.

“Study in Kyoto” highlights the importance of the city with opportunities to explore. Among my most memorable moments was a visit to the University’s Kyoto Museum for World Peace, the first museum in peace study in the country. I also explored a temple with amazing people and exhibitions. I saw the most beautiful view of aoba (green leaf) and encountered a graceful monk who introduced the history of the temple to me.

I also volunteered at Gion Matsuri, the biggest summer ritual in Kyoto. During the annual event, I spent several nights with university students as well as Kyoto residents to make artistic handicrafts for the matsuri. Despite my imperfect Japanese skills, I made myself at home in a narrow, Japanese-style room and learned from the people around me. I also helped to organize a special evening event. The moments were captured by a photographer who thought it was special to see a foreigner helping with this Japanese ceremony.

Studying abroad offered an immersive experience with Japanese culture and language that expanded my mind, sharpened by skills, and prepared me to pursue the career of my choice.

Picture Perfect Moments Abroad Pen Lan Photo

Fall 2019 News: Japanese Studies

The Business of Japan by Kexin Zha, Class of 2020

The four months I spent studying in Japan were memorable and valuable. I enrolled in business and Japanese language classes at Ritsumeikan University’s Osaka campus. Significantly different from the classes at William & Mary, business classes at Ritsumeikan University focused on the comparison of distinct company culture in different countries. In-class discussions and teamwork with Japanese students exposed me to their unique ideas and perspectives, which were always surprising and inspiring.

The Japanese language classes included writing, reading, and speaking curriculums. Though challenging, the courses helped me to improve my language proficiency through lessons in vocabulary and discussions about social issues. As I perfected the language, I used it to exchange ideas with my classmates.

During my stay in Japan, I lived in a dorm with four roommates from Japan, Korea, and France. Our living quarters included a kitchen and cozy dining room where we hosted parties and learned to make traditional Japanese food such as takoyaki and gyoza.

Spending the summer months in Japan afforded me the unique opportunity to experience many events and festivals as well. My fondest memory is of the fireworks at Hanabi Taikai. Surrounded by young couples wearing yukata, I stood by the river with new friends as spectacular fireworks erupted above.

Before participating in this program, I was very interested in Japanese culture. Studying abroad sparked my interest even more. If you are interested in Japan and Japanese culture, I highly recommend joining this program to enjoy unique, firsthand experiences.

The Business of Japan Zha Photo

Fall 2019 News: Russian Studies Summer 2019

Samantha Smith: An Amazing Summer Study Abroad Trip to Russia

This Samantha Smith St Petersburg 1summer I traveled to Russia for six weeks on one of the W&M Summer Study Abroad programs. There were ten students and Professor Corney in our group, and we stayed in St. Petersburg for five weeks and Moscow for one week. While in St. Petersburg, we took Russian language courses at Herzen State Pedagogical University and a Russian history/culture class with Professor Corney. In Moscow we took Russian language classes at Moscow State University and went on field trips around the city with our teachers.

One of the highlights of the trip for me was my homestay in St. Petersburg. I stayed with a Russian couple in an apartment on Vasilevskiy Island. My room was gorgeous and had its own balcony overlooking the River Smolenk, from which I watched many sunrises, sunsets, and fireworks! My host mom Ekaterina was genuinely interested in helping me practice Russian, and she taught me new words each day. She also was an amazing cook; at every meal I had more food than I could possibly eat, and all of it was delicious. Ekaterina also gave me suggestions for places to go (monument parks, museums, a flower festival, etc.). I feel like living in a homestay gave me cultural opportunities that I never would have had otherwise.

One of my favorite things that we did as a group was go to the old building of the Mariinsky Theater to see the opera Boris Godunov. I’ll admit, when Professor Corney said that he had bought tickets for us to go to a four-hour historical opera all in Russian, there was a lot of skepticism in the group. However, we all left the opera talking about how much we loved it and how glad we were that we had gone!

Samantha Smith St Petersburg
Mariinsky Theater

One of my favorite things that I did independently was go to the Erarta Museum of Contemporary Art. They had many interesting displays of art by current Russian artists, several of which were interactive. It gave me an interesting insight into how Russians view their own country. The museum also had cartoons in Russian about Malevich’s Black Square coming to life and wreaking havoc, which I still watch on YouTube sometimes because they’re funny and perfect for practicing Russian!

Overall, I had an amazing time on my study abroad trip to Russia this summer. I highly recommend the trip to anyone who wants to learn more about Russian                     language,  culture, or history!

Samantha Smith

Fall 2019 News: Russian Studies Summer 2019

Georgiana Reece: My Unforgettable Visit to Peterhof

Georgiana Reece St Petersburg 2 This past summer I studied abroad at Herzen State University in St. Petersburg with William and Mary. Our group studied in St. Petersburg for five weeks and traveled to Moscow for a week. At Herzen State we studied Russian language and history. Our history class, taught by Prof. Frederick Corney, focused on historical sites of memory from the Soviet Union. We had many interesting excursions around the city exploring the theme of historical memory in Russia.

My favorite excursion was the visit to Peterhof Palace. Peterhof was built by Peter the Great in the early 18th century. The palace was almost completely destroyed during World War II but has since been reconstructed to its former glory.

When we first arrived at Peterhof we took a tour of the palace which featurGeorgiana Reece Peterhof ed gilded ball rooms and bedrooms. Although, it is a beautiful palace it is hard to imagine real people living there. The interior of Peterhof is impressive but the real showstopper of the palace is its fountains. All of the fountains work by gravity and the gardens feature a plethora of beautiful decorative and trick fountains.

After we walked through the gardens and saw the fountains, we saw the palace Peter the Great originally built at this location. This palace is known as Monplaisir palace and is much smaller and right on the banks of the Gulf of Finland. Monplaisir was my favorite palace we visited in Russia because it felt more like a real home than the other places we saw. If I were a Czar, I would live in Monplaisir. When it was time to leave Peterhof, we didn’t take the bus back but instead rode a hydrofoil on the Gulf of Finland. It was a really amazing chance to see Peterhof  from the water. My day at Peterhof, like my time in Russia,  was truly unforgettable!

Georgiana Reece


Alumni Updates: Russian Studies Fall 2019 News: Russian Studies

RPSS Homecoming Reception 2019

The Russian House (Pleasants Hall) hosted the RPSS Homecoming reception for alumni of the program. Former and current students, friends, majors and minors gathered to catch up and enjoy delicious Russian food. It was great to learn about all the exciting things you are doing and about your future plans. Stay in touch and visit us again at next year! It was so wonderful to see you all!

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Fall 2019 News

International Fellows Create Community in the Dorms

Our International Fellows in the Language Houses just received a glowing endorsement from the Flat Hat! One of the aspects stressed in the article is the community that the IFs create in the Language Houses, community that students often miss after they move on from their freshman dorms. Check out the article and apply to live in a Language House next year!

Fall 2019 News

Language Houses March in the 2019 Homecoming Parade!

Homecoming2019_ParadeFor the first time in the history of W&M’s Language Houses, residents and International Fellows marched as a group in the Homecoming Parade! Wearing branded T-shirts and carrying banners, flags, and sugary treats, over fifty students walked from Boundary Street to Kaplan Arena, greeting the onlookers in the various languages they study. MLL faculty assembled in front of Blow Hall to cheer the Houses on. Come join us next year!

Fall 2019 News: Russian Studies

Tepper Lecture Series: Stalin’s Master Narrative

On SepProf. David Brandenbergertember 19, 2019, Professor David Brandenberger from University of Richmond gave a talk entitled “Stalin’s Master Narrative” in which he discussed his book Stalin’s Master Narrative: A Critical Edition of the Short Course on the History of the Communist Party (Bolsheviks), co-edited with Mikhail Zelenov (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2019). Dr. Brandenberger talked about his 12-year extensive archival research that resulted in a thorough critical study of the Short Course. In Stalin’s time the book was considered to be the encyclopedia of Bolshevism and served as primer of party history both at home and throughout the communist world abroad. Prof. Brandenberger discussed the history of the Short Course, starting with the inception of the text in the twenties, Stalin’s rewriting of the original version, Khrushchev’s denouncement of the book, and the afterlife of the party catechism.

Fall 2019 Featured News News: Hispanic Studies

Donor Generosity Helps Get the Word Out about Hispanic Studies: Meet Hayes!

Thanks to the generosity of our donors, Hispanic Studies has a new media intern! Meet Hayes Pearce, who maintains our Instagram account, interacts with clubs and organizations on campus, and promotes events sponsored by Modern Languages and Literatures and other departments by keeping the HISP community up to date and sharing our news and accomplishments!

Check out our Instagram feed at:





Fall 2019 News News: Alumni News: Hispanic Studies

Rising Seniors with Highest GPAs Win J. Worth Banner Award

Kiera McKay (L), Carrington Metts (R)
Kiera McKay (L), Carrington Metts (R)
This year’s J Worth Banner Award has awarded to Carrington Metts and Kiera McKay. Professor Banner was a well-liked Spanish professor at W&M and a respected Chair 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. This award goes to the rising senior Hispanic Studies major with the highest overall grade point average and each awardee will receive a generous monetary prize and will be honored at an upcoming HISP celebration in October. Here are some reactions from the recipients:

Ms. Metts: My classmates are some of the most talented, intelligent, and motivated people I have ever met. They constantly challenge me to examine my worldviews, increase my mastery of the language, and become involved in the multitude of activities and events that they organize around campus. As our graduation date approaches, I have no doubt that each and every one of them will be fully capable of using their Hispanic Studies degree to genuinely make a difference in the world. To be identified among this group of incredibly deserving students as one of the recipients of this year’s J. Worth Banner Scholarship is truly a tremendous honor.