News: German Studies Spring 2018 More Uncategorized

Internship in Vienna, Austria leads to Honors Thesis!

Kathryn Eckler, Religious Studies ’19, spent the summer of 2017 as an intern in Vienna, Austria. At Projekt: Gemeinde International Baptist Church, she worked with refugees from Iran who were claiming asylum in Austria. Her time working with refugees inspired her to read up on questions surrounding the European Union asylum system and on the history of religious minorities in Austria. In 2018, Kathryn returned to Vienna to pursue in-depth research and to conduct interviews with the asylum seekers and the humanitarians helping them. Kathryn’s research was generously funded through the Charles Center’s Summer Research Fellowship. During her summer of research, KathrynKathryn Eckler Zürich presented her preliminary refugee research at conferences in Sofia, Bulgaria and in Zürich, Switzerland. Her finished honors thesis, Christianity During Times of Crisis: The European Refugee Movement, received the Jack van Horn Award for the most outstanding Religious Studies honors thesis project. From start to finish, Kathryn’s research has embodied her passion for humanitarian aid, human rights, religious history, and international  travel. 


Faculty Awards Faculty Profiles News: Arabic Studies Spring 2018 Spring 2018 More

Stephen Sheehi (Arabic Studies) receives the Arts & Sciences 2018 Faculty Award for Teaching Excellence

sheehi_12092014492Informed by a genuine pleasure in academic dialogue, Professor Sheehi’s teaching engages the nuances of identity and opens the door for his students to develop new and productive ways to think about the complex history of the Middle East. With great energy, intellectual playfulness, fresh ideas, and humor, he consistently leads civil discussions about highly contentious political issues. Students praise his “well-rounded” and confounding approach, with one writing, “The entire focus of this course was to complicate our perceptions … I am walking away from class enlightened and confused.…”

His teaching draws on an active record of research and publication, with three books published since 2014 (two more are forthcoming) on topics including translation theory and colonialism, the history of photography in the Arab world, psychoanalysis, Islamophobia, race, and class. All of which provide a fertile bed of knowledge for his wide-ranging courses about, for example, Arab visual culture, the Arab American experience, the culture of Arab food, and the trajectory from Orientalism to Islamophobia. Together these courses offer students spaces to explore the historical and cultural history of the Arabic world, and, crucially, the relationship of the United States to that world.

It is fitting that he now be recognized with the Arts & Sciences 2018 Faculty Award for Teaching Excellence.

Faculty Awards Faculty Profiles News: Hispanic Studies sidebar Spring 2018 Spring 2018 More

John Riofrio (Hispanic Studies) recognized with the Arts & Sciences 2018 Faculty Governance Award

John 'Rio' Riofrio Assistant Professor in Hispanic Studies
John ‘Rio’ Riofrio
Assistant Professor in Hispanic Studies

Since joining the faculty in 2009, Professor Riofrio has contributed in vigorous and consequential ways to matters of governance before the faculty. His persistent voice for academic rigor, interdisciplinarity, and creative approaches helped to shape the new College Curriculum, followed by insightful service on various implementation working groups, culminating in his appointment as an inaugural fellow in the Center for the Liberal Arts. Charged with inspiring colleagues to imagine and contribute entirely new courses, this “first wave” of CLA Fellows also helped to shoulder the many administrative processes involved with moving from the conceptual stage to a functional, working general education curriculum.

He has served as director of Latin American Studies in the Global Studies Program and was recognized in 2016 for interdisciplinary innovation with selection to a Taylor Reveley Fellowship for Interdisciplinary Study. He has also been a leader in campus initiatives to address sensitive issues of inclusion and climate, including service on the University Diversity Committee, the Provost’s Committee for Latino Recruitment, the President’s Task Force on Race and Race Relations, and, currently, the President’s Implementation Team for Campus Race and Race Relations Policy.

For his many contributions, it is fitting that Professor Riofrio be recognized with the Arts & Sciences 2018 Faculty Governance Award.

Faculty Profiles News: French & Francophone Studies sidebar Spring 2018 Spring 2018 More

Maryse Fauvel (French and Francophone Studies) Retires

Grad 25 LargeMaryse Fauvel, Professor of French and Francophone Studies, retires this year after more than twenty years of teaching at W&M. During her tenure at W&M, Professor Fauvel published Exposer “l’autre”. Essai sur la Cité nationale de l’histoire de l’immigration et le Musée du quai Branly (2014); Tâches d’encre, Maryse Fauvel, co-author, Heinle Cengage (2011); A vous de voir ! De l’idée au projet filmique (2010); and Scènes d’intérieur: Six romanciers des années 1980-1990 (2007). She has inspired her students through her innovative teaching, especially her focus on students’ writing. A fierce advocate for the faculty of MLL, she served as Chair of the department from 2013-2017. In addition to her research and scholarship, Maryse was extremely active in faculty service and governance at the University. Maryse championed student-centered learning and challenged her students at every point to become critical thinkers and polished writers. She will be sorely missed!

Faculty Profiles News News: French & Francophone Studies Spring 2017 More Spring 2018 Spring 2018 More Uncategorized

Professor Nathan Rabalais (French and Francophone Studies) publishes book of original poetry

Prof. Brett Brehm sat down with Nathan Rabalais to talk about his new book of original poetry in French, Le Hantage: un ouvrage de souvenance, just published by Éditions Tintamarre.


BB: I’m intrigued by the play of text and image in this book. Could you tell us how you conceived of that interplay?

NR: I think I’ve always been in touch with the visual aspect of art. Even when playing or writing music, I often imagine shapes, colors, or different contours when performing or thinking about themes and structure. This was just a great way to do it in a very explicit way and have the images accompany chapters and certain poems. It was also an opportunity to work with my brother, David, who is a fantastic photographer.

BB: Are there particular poetic traditions from which you are drawing here? Who and what were your main sources of inspiration for these poems?

Jacques Prévert has been a big influence on my style from the beginning. I’d like to think I emulate him in sort of a ‘false simplicity’ – using short and musical phrasings that often hide more complex plays on words or internal rhymes. But since I mostly write in Louisiana French, I think I’m influenced on a deeper, less obvious level by a lot Louisiana poets who paved the way for writing in our French (Deborah Clifton, Jean Arceneaux, Kirby Jambon and others).

BB: Could you tell us about the particular poetic language you are using here, and perhaps how that language relates to place?

NR: This book is very much rooted in Louisiana – in the language, the images, and overall esthetic. I try not limit myself to strictly oral style of Louisiana French, since the way I speak is a product of my whole experience with French (in Canada and France). I do love finding inspiration in the Dictionary of Louisiana French (2010) and finding words that remind me of my childhood or words I’ve never seen. I think we can do these words honor by reviving them and using them in new poems. To me, that’s the best way of appreciating immaterial heritage and culture – to keep using it and make it relevant.

BB: I’ve never heard the word ‘hantage’ before… is it a Louisiana French word?

I actually made this word up! It’s based on hanter (to haunt, frequent, return). There is a word in French hantise that has a similar connotation, but I’ve noticed that Louisiana French has a certain affinity for using –age at the end of verbs to make them nouns. For example, I’ve heard words like parlage (speaking), dormage (sleeping, slumber). It’s fascinating. And since my book is about how memory is processed, often without our even choosing to process it, I organized the book into chapters, each one related to a step of that process. That’s why there is a lot of imagery of waves and water in the book; it becomes a symbol of memories or feeling coming and going in their own time.

BB: Merci, Nathan!

NR: Merci à toi!

Faculty Profiles News: Hispanic Studies Spring 2018 Spring 2018 More

Professor Jonathan Arries (Hispanic Studies) Retires after 23 Years of Distinguished Scholarship and Teaching

Jonathan and SilviaJonathan Arries has been an inspiration to everyone in MLL and the W&M community. He has been called a “pedagogical frontiersman” and described as “restless, adventurous, unafraid to take risks and enthusiastic about charting new curricular paths.” His energy and vision have, in fact, transformed our community. He is retiring after 23 years of research, teaching, and service to W&M and the greater community.

More than 20 years ago, Jonathan took his freshman seminar students to the Eastern Shore to visit medical clinics serving thousands of Spanish-speaking migrant farmworkers laboring there each summer; and he went on to develop the course in medical interpretation and 4-week, residential summer externship program for undergraduate students who have been providing their services to migrant laborers ever since. This is but one example of many: as the Sharpe Professor for Civic Renewal, Jonathan developed W&M’s CPAL program (Community Partners for Adult Literacy), a student-run tutoring service; over the years he supervised small teams of student-researchers in Central America—initially in Honduras, and more recently in Nicaragua—and partnered with native Managua-based elementary school teachers working in low-income school systems; and when Latin American Studies created the Border Program, he jumped in, teaching “Field Research in the Borderlands” and leading teams of students along with faculty in Philosophy and Anthropology to investigate issues related to the cultures of immigration, displacement, and human rights abuses. Last, but not least, Jonathan’s intrepid nature led him across campus to work with the School of Education long before interdisciplinary cross-school initiatives were being championed by the administration. As co-founder, with Katherine Kulick, of the department’s program for Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL), he built a minor that awards dual certification in ESL (English as a Second Language) and TESL (Teaching English as a Second Language), and that has served both School of Education Master’s students and undergraduates seeking that certification.

The depth and breadth of Jonathan’s contributions in faculty governance over the years is truly inspiring. In addition to assuming the coveted role of Hispanic Studies Program Director several times, he served on some of the most labor-intensive committees in the department, chaired its Personnel Committee, and contributed to the critical work of the College’s Judicial Council, Committee for Academic Status, International Studies Committee, and the Faculty Assembly.

In recognition of Jonathan’s deep and abiding contributions to undergraduate education at William & Mary, he was appointed University Professor for Teaching Excellence and the Robert F. Sharpe and Jane A. Sharp Associate Professor of Civic Renewal and Social Entrepreneurship. Most recently, in 2015, Jonathan was honored with the distinguished Thomas Ashley Graves, Jr. Award for Sustained Excellence in Teaching. A

This article has been excerpted from Silvia Tendeciarz’s remarks at Jonathan’s Retirement Party at the Muscarelle Museum of Art on May 2, 2018.

Faculty Profiles News: French & Francophone Studies Spring 2018 More Uncategorized

Bienvenue! Welcome, Prof. Déborah Lee-Ferrand!

We are happy to welcome our new colleague Déborah Lee-Ferrand to our department! We sat down with her to hear about her exciting courses and research, including her new course “Food for Thought” and her dissertation. Bienvenue!

Alumni Updates: French & Francophone Studies News: French & Francophone Studies Spring 2018 Featured Spring 2018 More Uncategorized

Jesse Tanson (French and Francophone Studies, ’18) Receives Highest Honors for Thesis on French Hip Hop


Throughout his time at W&M, Jesse Tanson has studied a wide range of topics in French and Francophone Studies, including cinema, literature, and creative writing. Jesse studied abroad in Strasbourg through the IFE program and worked in cinema there. He was also the recipient of the French program’s most prestigious award: the McCormack-Reboussin scholarship, which supports significant undergraduate research projects abroad. This research trip to Paris became the basis for Jesse’s honors thesis research. Following graduation, Jesse will teach English in the Aix-en-Provence/Marseille Region with the TAPIF (Teaching Assistant Program in France) program.



Félicitations, Jesse! Bonne continuation!

News News: French & Francophone Studies Spring 2018 More

Celebration of “la Francophonie”!

Every year, the month of March features a week dedicated to the French-speaking world: la Francophonie! The diverse cultures and accents of la Francophonie are celebrated throughout the world with art, festivals, and cultural events; and William and Mary is no exception!
IMG_4803 IMG_4790
Prof. Angela Leruth organized a series of fun and engaging events including an art exhibit, a cheese tasting, a showing of the film Respire, and a delightful concert on March 19 featuring music by our talented colleagues Profs. Brett Brehm and Anne Rasmussen. The talent of our students was also showcased; Abner Mondoloka (Music), Jesse Tanson (French) who DJ’d with a variety of French hip hop, and the students in Prof. Rabalais’s Creative Writing course shared their collectively written poem on la Francophonie.

Merci beaucoup to Prof. Angela Leruth and to everyone that helped make this event such a success!


Faculty Awards Faculty Profiles News: Arabic Studies Plumeri sidebar Spring 2018 Spring 2018 More

Stephen Sheehi receives 2018 Plumeri Award

Stephsheehi_12092014492en Sheehi, Sultan Qaboos bin Said Chair of Middle East Studies, Professor of Arabic Studies in the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures, has received the 2018 Plumeri Award for Faculty Excellence, celebrating exemplary achievements of William & Mary faculty in teaching, research, and service.

Prof. Sheehi’s work meets at the intersection of cultural, visual, art, and social history of the modern Arab world, starting with the late Ottoman Empire and the Arab Renaissance (al-nahdah al-‘arabiyah). His scholarly interests include photography theory, psychoanalysis, post-colonial theory, Palestine, and Islamophobia.

Prof. Sheehi’s forthcoming book, Camera Palaestina: The Seven Photography Albums of Wasif Jawhariyyeh (University of California Press, forthcoming) is co-authored with Salim Tamari and Issam Nassar. His contribution to the book, “On the Emergence of a Palestinian Spectator,” reevaluates the relationship between the Palestinian and the photographic archive, between the colonized and the colonizer and between the settler-Zionist and the native Palestinian. This research also serves as the theoretical foundation for a larger and broader, single authored book project, entitled Decolonizing Photography.

Prof. Sheehi is also writing along with Dr. Lara Sheehi, Psychoanalysis under Occupation. The research is an exploration of the intersubjective experience of Palestinians living under violent and violating Israeli occupation as interpreted not only by Palestinian psychoanalysts but cultural “workers,” artists, and film-makers. An early sample of the project can be found in Psychoanalysis, Culture and Society. Prof. Sheehi has received a NEH-FPIRI Fellowship to research the topic in Palestine in 2018.

The Arab Imago: A Social History of Indigenous Photography 1860-1910 (Princeton University Press, 2016) is Prof. Sheehi’s most recent book. It is a ground-breaking study on the history of photography in the Arab world. The research is the first to comprehensively research native studios in Alexandria, Beirut, Cairo, Jaffa, and Jerusalem as well as early Hajj photography in al-Hijaz during the late Ottoman period. In doing so, the book investigates and theorizes the relationship between indigenous photography, social transformations and the creation of modern Arab society in Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, and Palestine before World War One.

Prof. Sheehi’s most recent book is Islamophobia: The Ideological Campaign Against Muslims (Atlanta: Clarity Press, 2011). The book examines the rise of anti-Muslim and anti-Arab sentiments in the West following the end of the Cold War. Sheehi analyzes the relationship between United States foreign and domestic policies, cultural representations, and political discourses in mainstreaming of Islamophobia. The book has been translated into Arabic as al-Islamufobia: al-Hamlah al-idiulujiyah dud al-Muslimin translation by Fatimah Nasr (Cairo: Dar al-Sutour, 2012).

Foundations of Modern Arab Identity (University of Florida, 2004) is Prof. Sheehi’s first book, offering a new paradigm for thinking about the 19th century Arab Renaissance or al-nahdah al-`arabiyah. The book discusses how reformers such as Butrus  al-Bustani, Salim al-Bustani, Farah Antun, and Jurji Zaydan offered a powerful cultural self-criticism alongside their advocacy of Arab “progress and civilization” in the face of European imperialism. In doing so, these Arab intellectuals established the epistemological foundation for Arab modernity that would always gauge their “failure” and “success” against ideals of colonializing Europe.

Prof. Sheehi has published in a variety of venues on Middle Eastern photography, art, literature, and intellectual history in venues such as Third Text, International Journal of Middle Eastern Studies, Critical Inquiry, The British Journal of Middle East Studies, Discourse, The Journal of Arabic Literature, Alif: Journal of Compartive Poetics, Critique, Jouvert, The Journal of Comparative South Asian, African, Middle Eastern Studies and Encyclopedia of Islam along within a number of other books. He has published commentaries in Psychoanalytic Activist, Common Dreams, Mondoweiss, Jadaliyya, and al-Adab.

Faculty Awards News: French & Francophone Studies Plumeri sidebar Spring 2018 More Uncategorized

Plumeri Award for 2018: Michael Leruth

Michael Leruth has been recognized for his outstanding dedication to his students and the university with the prestigious Plumeri award. This prize shows the great appreciation and support for his work from both his colleagues and the student body.

Michael Leruth at the Centre Pompidou in Paris
Michael Leruth at the Centre Pompidou in Paris

Michael Leruth holds a Ph.D. in French from Penn State University (1995) and teaches courses and conducts research on modern and contemporary French society and culture.  His particular areas of interest are French national celebrations, French political culture and national identity, the French Republic, the history of ideas and intellectuals in France, and contemporary art.  He has published articles on the topics in leading journals in the field of French cultural studies such as The French Review, French Cultural Studies, French Politics and Society, Modern and Contemporary France, Contemporary French Civilization, and Sites: Contemporary French and Francophone Studies.  Since 2004, he has collaborated with the French media artist Fred Forest, participating in Forest’s networked happening The Digital Street Corner (Art Basel Miami Beach, 2005) and providing the voice of the avatar Ego Cyberstar for a performance piece in the Second Life environment (Flux Factory, New York, 2010).  Michael Leruth regularly offers engaging courses on art, identity, and culture in France, like his COLL 150 Je suis Charlie. As one of the foremost specialists on French contemporary art, his book Fred Forest’s Utopia: Media Art and Activism was published just last year by MIT Press. Félicitations, Prof. Leruth!

Alumni Updates Alumni Updates: French & Francophone Studies News News: French & Francophone Studies Spring 2018 More Uncategorized

Maryse Fauvel Lecture Series

This exciting new lecture series recognizing the distinguished career of Prof. Maryse Fauvel began with a lecture entitled “Screening Racialized France: Immigration, Discrimination, and Citizenship in Contemporary French Cinema”. The thought-provoking lecture was given on Feb. 23 by Prof. Cybelle McFadden (W&M ’97) from University of North Carolina, Greensboro following a screening of Ligne de couleur (2015) from director Laurence Petit-Jouvet. Asa former student of Maryse Fauvel, Prof. McFadden spoke of her profound impact on her own research path and career.


The Fauvel Lecture Series honors Prof. Maryse Fauvel upon her retirement after 26 years of extraordinary dedication to The College of William & Mary. Guest lecturers will speak to the latest trends in French & Francophone cultural studies, engaging issues of socio-political relevance through original analyses of literature, new media, and other texts broadly defined. The series is an important part of the French and Francophone Studies section’s focus on issues of diversity, inclusion, and finding common ground in the increasingly diverse societies of the Francophone world.

This lecture was sponsored by the Wendy & Emery Reves Center for International Studies; the Dean’s Office; the Department of Modern Languages & Literatures; the Program in European Studies; and the Program in Film & Media Studies.


Maryse Fauvel and Cybelle McFadden (left to right)
Maryse Fauvel and Cybelle McFadden (left to right)