Alumni Updates: Japanese Studies News: Japanese Studies Spring 2019

Victoria Park Garners MLL Japanese Book Prize

Victoria Park is a former Global Studies major at the College of William & Mary with a concentration in Asian and Middle Eastern Studies. Although born and reared in the United States, she was often exposed to different news stories as she was growing up as well as to media in which she heard discussions about the historically contentious relationship between Korea and Japan. As she increasingly became intrigued by what she was hearing, Ms. Park decided to learn more about the relationship between those two nations. She not only furthered her knowledge of Japan and its history through William & Mary’s Japanese language courses, but she also took classes that allowed her to understand more fPhto-Book prizeully the country’s historical, political, and cultural background. In the future, she hopes to utilize her skills and knowledge of both countries to assist in mending the strained relations between those two nations.

News: Italian Studies Spring 2019 Uncategorized

2019 GKA National Italian Honor Society

Our Program is proud to recognize the outstanding undergraduate scholarship in the field of Italian Studies of the following students who were inducted in the National Italian Honor Society this Spring:

Vanessa Cai (Art History and Italian Studies, ’20)

Emily Knoche (European Studies & French & Francophone Studies, ’19)

Marisa Lemma (Government major & Economics minor, ’20)

Hannah London (Art History & Italian Studies ’21)

Antonella Nicholas (Public Policy, ’20)

Alessandra Scholle (Classics & Linguistics ’20)

Judith Tauber (European Studies and Italian Studies, ’21)


News: Japanese Studies Spring 2019

An Inspirational Teaching and Learning Experience

Ziyue Shen, Class of 2019

From professors to students, everyone I have met in my three years of Japanese studies has inspired me to become a TA and to share this cordiality. My job as a TA is to assist professor Kato in teaching JAPN 201 & 202 while simultaneously learning teaching skills in MDLL class. During my year as a TA, I have repeatedly asked myself how I can foster my students’ interest in Japanese studies. My most delightful moments come when they laugh joyfully about the interesting videos I found and when they tell me they enjoy coming to class. When exams and due projects have exhausted my students, I let them practice conversation activities with their peers as an engaging way of learning. Perhaps the best thing I have experienced as a TA is to teach and also to learn along with my fellow students.

Phto-An Inspirational Teaching and Learning Experience crop

News: German Studies Spring 2019 Uncategorized

Adelle Else Wins the Alexander Stephan Undergraduate Essay Prize in German Studies

Adelle Else is a freshman in the Class of 2022. She intends to major in either International Relations or Psychology, but holds a special interest in German Studies through her personal and academic background. From her initial exposure to the German language and culture through classes at her high school, to beginning her academic journey at W&M, she has continued her exploration of German culture through various classes in the German department. Her final research paper for Prof. Leventhal’s course on GerAdelleElseman Expressionism, “Kandinsky and Evoking Reaction in Expressionist Art,”  recently won the 2019 Alexander Stephan Undergraduate Prize in German Studies. The jury found that Adelle “persuasively analyzes the manner in which Kandinsky created  a new aesthetic experience to inspire an emotional and spiritual response in his audience,” and that “in beautiful prose, [she] further offers detailed readings of specific artworks, resulting in an exquisite essay.” We congratulate Adelle on this wonderful achievement!

News News: Hispanic Studies Spring 2019

Public Performances and Hidden Transcripts in Faculty-Alum Collaborative Research

The latest issue of Estudios de Cultura Náhuatl, one the foremost publications on Nahua communities in Pre-Columbian and Colonial Mexico, includes a study of a 16th-century epiphany play co-authored by Katherine Brown (HISP ’13; PhD candidate, Yale University) and Prof. Jorge Terukina. Published by the Instituto de Investigaciones Históricas at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Estudios de Cultura Náhuatl was founded by Miguel León-Portilla, an authority in Mesoamerican thought, and author of the tour de force Visión de los vencidos (1959) [The Broken Spears. The Aztec Account of the Conquest of Mexico].

Huitzilopochtli (Codex Borbonicus,Bibliothèque de l'Assemblée Nationale, Paris)
Huitzilopochtli (Codex Borbonicus, Bibliothèque de l’Assemblée Nationale, Paris)

“Paradojas performativas: ‘La adoración de los Reyes’ como neixcuitilli o exemplum suggests that, rather than being a mere depiction of epiphany for religious indoctrination, this theatrical piece strives to model both positive and negative patterns of conduct for an indigenous audience. In doing so, however, this study takes into account both a pro-imperial, public transcript of Christian indoctrination, and a covert, hidden transcript of indigenous resistance. The former transcript allows us to interpret the Three Kings as conquistadors who announce themselves to Herod/Motecuhzoma as heralds of Christ/Quetzalcóatl in order to justify Spanish Christian rule in Colonial Mexico. Nevertheless, the idea of a hidden transcript suggests that an indigenous audience could have interpreted the Three Kings as colonial indigenous rulers that question Herod/Motecuhzoma’s conduct and rather decide to protect the newly born Christ as a new incarnation of the tutelar Mexica deity, Huitzilopochtli. The latter interpretation would have allowed the indigenous audience to covertly preserve their Nahua episteme under an explicitly Christian surface.

Adoración de los Reyes Magos (1568) by El Greco
Adoración de los Reyes Magos (1568) by El Greco

Katherine (Katie) recently completed a dissertation on the narrative functions of architecture in three of Miguel de Cervantes’ late works, and has published articles on Cervantes, Borges, and the Libro de buen amor. She began working on Nahua theater in Prof. Terukina’s freshman seminar and returned to the project in graduate school in collaboration with Prof. Terukina. During her years at William & Mary, Katie was a Monroe Scholar who travelled to Cusco to study Quechua and carry out research on the political issues surrounding the Academia Mayor de la Lengua Quechua. She also studied abroad in Seville, and wrote an Honors Thesis on the use of science as a political tool to justify the subordination of the indigenous people in the Andes in the early modern Spanish empire.  She was also awarded the J. Worth Banner Award in Hispanic Studies.

Faculty Profiles News: Chinese Studies Spring 2019

Professor Yanfang Tang will retire by the end of Spring 2019.

Professor Yanfang Tang will retire by the end of Spring 2019.  We will miss her!

News: German Studies Spring 2019

Delta Phi Alpha: New Member Initiation, 2019

German Studies is proud to acknowledge the 2019 members of our German Honor Society chapter. The ceremony took place at W&M’s German House on Saturday, April 13, 2019. Our inductees, in alphabetical order, are: Grace Bruce, Manasi Deorah, Ziyi Fu, Nadege Lebert, Emily Maison, Kelsey Marshall, Meredith Radel, Patrick Salsburg, Daniel Sheaffer, Lou Sheridan. Lena Böse, our outgoing German House Tutor, has been inducted as an Honorary Member! Congratulations!

Delta Phi Alpha also provides funding opportunities for its members. Be sure to consult and apply!

Veronika Burney, Grace Bruce, Amanda Fu, Nadege Lebert, Patrick Salsburg, Lou Sheridan, Lena Böse, Jennifer Gully
News: German Studies Spring 2019

Frank Shatz, Holocaust Survivor, Speaks at W&M

Frank Shatz is a Holocaust survivor in the Williamsburg area who came to speak to the college on March 13th, 2019. During the Holocaust, Frank escaped and joined the underground Nazi resistance in Hungary, and after the Nazi regime ended, he lived under communism, moved around the world, and eventually came to Williamsburg. Shatz ended up becoming a key figure in the Williamsburg area and for the William & Mary community. He was instrumental in creating the Reves Center for International Studies, was awarded the Prentis Award, and currently serves on the Reves Center Advisory Board, among other accomplishments. Frank also authored Reports From a Distant Place and writes for the Virginia Gazette.

During his talk, Shatz analyzed his experience under both fascism and communism, how he survived, and how his family was affected by the Holocaust. Frank’s other notable points included the importance of democracy, Israel and the Jews, and speaking up for marginalized groups.

Daisy Garner

News: Italian Studies Spring 2019 Uncategorized

Slow Food in a Fast Food World

By Judith Tauber

Last summer, I conducted my Freshman Monroe Research Project on the Slow Food movement under the guidance of my wonderful advisor, Professor Mattavelli. I had been exposed to the principles of Slow Foodwithout realizing itnearly my entire life because my family places immense importance on choosing only organic, local foods. However, I wasn’t formally introduced to the Slow Food movement until taking Intermediate Italian with Professor Mattavelli during my first semester at William & Mary. I was drawn to the topic and later found myself wondering whether the organization had chapters in the United States, and if so, how these impacted their communities.

Slow Food was founded in Bra, Italy in 1986 by Carlo Petrini, mostly in response to the opening of a McDonald’s in Rome. In many respects, Slow Food is an alternative to fast food: it supports local, traditional food systems and values healthy, high-quality, sustainable and humane food practices, as is expressed in their motto good, clean and fair food for all. Today, the movement has about 78,000 members in one hundred and sixty countries[1].

IMG_4812For my research, I chose to focus on how American collegiate Slow Food chapters address problems in food production and subsequently interviewed representatives of Slow Food University of Vermont, Slow Food Emory and Slow Food Clemson. I then explored existing literature on the principal topics these groups discussed—migrant justice, food insecurity, and the importance of local food—and summarized my findings in a forty-page paper written in Italian. From the interviews, I found that each group primarily aims to educate the public using a variety of events, which are usually cheap or free; that a chapter’s location greatly impacted its topics and activities; and that all three representatives highly praised the Slow Food movement for its flexibility and adaptability.

Moreover, this project has transformed me both personally and professionally. For example, my eating habits have changed: I almost always cook for myself now, even making homemade pasta, pizza, and ice cream from scratch. I also tend to my own small herb garden and visit the farmer’s market as often as I can. Furthermore, I found that it was far less challenging to write a lengthy academic paper than I thought, even in a foreign language. In fact, this undertaking—despite being the one that originally intimidated me the most—was the one I most enjoyed! I loved being nearly fully immersed in the language: I was absorbing new vocabulary and sentence structures with every paragraph I wrote. In addition, I savored the gradual clarity that came with arranging everything I had learned into an organized paper. I also greatly enjoyed the thrill of sharing my findings with the academic community via my paper and my presentation at the Summer Research Showcase.

In short, if the opportunity presents itself to you to explore a topic of interest in depth, I urge you to make use of it: research is an exhilarating experience! For more information on my research project, please visit

[1] “Slow Food International.” Slow Food International,

News Spring 2019

MLL Research Showcase

Sarah Lettau, Emily Pearson-Beck, Brenna Cowardin, Erin Kitchens

On Friday, April 12th, graduating seniors, theirs friends, and faculty gathered to attend the inaugural MLL Research Showcase. Eight students from the Chinese, French and Francophone, German, Hispanic, Italian, and Russian Studies Programs presented on projects they had been working on for the past year and more. Posters featuring images that illustrate their arguments and research results were set up in the Washington Hall lobby for the many people passing by to read.

Melanie Carter, Molly Charles, Sarah Baker, Jordan Wyner

The presentation titles give a sense of MLL students’ far-reaching interests and expertise: Sarah Baker, “Beyond the Iron Curtain: Examining Eastern Europe through a Post-Colonial Lens,” Melanie Carter, “Identity in Flux: Gender Norms and the English Language in Today’s Ukraine,”  Molly Charles, “Deconstructing Patriarchal War Narratives: State Myth-Making and the Documentary Prose of Svetlana Alexievich,” Jordan Wyner, “Narrating Public Space: Kafka in Nationalized Prague,” Brenna Cowardin, “Women Imprisoned in Paper: How Presas de Papel Restores Agency to Women Prisoners of the Franco Era,” Sarah Lettau, “Je Suis Harki: Les Sphères de la Mémoire Harkie,” Emily Pearson-Beck, “Identity and Belonging: Chinese Immigration to Argentina,”  Erin Kitchens, “Interactions between Locals and Asylum Seekers in Siena, Italy.”

We hope to see you at next year’s Showcase!

News: Hispanic Studies Spring 2019

Declassifying Argentinian Dictatorship

Image result for tandeciarz archives dictatorship

Hispanic Studies Professor Silvia Tandeciarz (along with History Professor Betsy Konefal) has been working with William and Mary on archival research that brings stories of persecution and political violence to light. This important international project has generated a network of studies that help to tell a story of of the many women and men persecuted during periods of political repression and dictatorship in Latin America with the help of various U.S. government agencies. Learn more about this international network of research and solidarity here.

Faculty Awards Faculty Profiles News: Chinese Studies Spring 2019

Professor Calvin Hui has received a prestigious American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) Fellowship

Calvin Hu Profile Image

Another good news! Professor Calvin Hui has received a highly prestigious American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) fellowship to finish his book project entitled _Useless: Fashion, Media, and Consumer Culture in Contemporary China_. This book draws on film and fashion to track the emergence of consumer culture in China’s encounter with global capitalism. The first part stages an analysis of a commodity chain of fashion involving production, consumption, and disposal. The second part focuses on the representations of fashion and consumption in Chinese cinema in the 1960s (the socialist period), the 1980s (the economic reforms period), and the 2000s (the globalization period). Such portrayals help decipher the symptoms of otherwise imperceptible contradictions of contemporary China. The third part discusses labor and waste as the repressed undersides of consumption. This research demonstrates the relevance of cultural studies, western Marxism, and post-structuralist theory in investigating Chinese visual cultures.

See ACLS website:

Faculty Awards Faculty Profiles News: Chinese Studies Spring 2019

Professor Calvin Hui has received tenure and been promoted to Associate Professor of Chinese Studies

Calvin Hu Profile Image


Good news! Professor Calvin Hui has received tenure! He will be Associate Professor of Chinese Studies at William and Mary beginning in fall 2019!

See his faculty profile:


Alumni Updates: Chinese Studies News: Chinese Studies Spring 2019

Professor Jennifer Rhee’s Book Talk _The Robotic Imaginary: The Human and the Price of Dehumanized Labor

Professor Jennifer Rhee from Virginia Comonwealth University gave a book talk entitled The Robotic Imaginary: The Human and the Price of Dehumanized Labor (Minnesota University Press, 2018). This talk was held on 17 April 2019, Wednesday, at 5:00-6:30 p.m. in Washington Hall Room 315. 
This talk draws on her book, The Robotic Imaginary: The Human and the Price of Dehumanized Labor (University of Minnesota Press, 2018). She will trace connections between robotics technologies and cultural forms at the sites of dehumanization and devalued labor. She will argue that the figure of the robot in contemporary culture and technology is largely shaped by the conceptions of the human, and more importantly of the dehumanized. Looking specifically at the labor of drone operators and what she calls “drone art,” or contemporary artistic responses to drone warfare, she will characterize drone warfare as the labor of racial dehumanization. Drawing on the racialized dimensions of early cybernetics military research, she will look at drone art that responds to drone victims’ dehumanization by examining the limits of identification as a means to ethical response. Instead, drone art, as she will discuss, points to an understanding of the human through unrecognizability, difference, and unfamiliarity, rather than recognition, familiarity, and knowability.
Jennifer Rhee is an Associate Professor of English at Virginia Commonwealth University. She works in media studies, feminist science studies, and literature and science. Her book, The Robotic Imaginary: The Human and the Price of Dehumanized Labor was published in 2018 with University of Minnesota Press. She is currently working on her next book on counting technologies. In this project, she traces counting technologies’ entanglement with race, from statistics’ role in eugenics in the 19th century to the contemporary digital counting practices of big data, predictive policing software, and biometric surveillance. She is a recipient of the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) fellowship in 2019.
This talk was sponsored by the Chinese program, and Arts and Sciences. It was organized by Professor Calvin Hui in Chinese Studies. 
Alumni Updates: Chinese Studies News: Chinese Studies Spring 2019

Professor Yiman Wang’s talk on Chinese-American Actress Anna May Wong

The Chinese program was excited to present Professor Yiman Wang’s talk concerning the first Chinese-American actress Anna May Wong. This talk was held on 27 March 2019, Wednesday, at 5:00-6:20 p.m. in Washington Hall 315.
Title: Regarding Anna May Wong: An “Oriental Flapper’s” Transnational Stardom

Anna May Wong (1905-1961), the most well-known pioneering Chinese-American screen-stage-television performer, forged a four-decade long career from 1919 to 1960. My presentation will focus on her transnational shuttling between the US and the interwar Europe, Australia as well as China. I argue that her transnational movements made her a glamorous and exotic cosmopolitan who significantly also doubled as a migrant performer-worker who ventured into various media formats while navigating precarious work conditions (due to race-gender-class and other socio-political inequities) for better work opportunities. I analyze the ways in which she “greeted” her international public through acting, giving interviews, letter-writing, photo-gifting, anti-Fascist activism and other activities. From her interstitial position that defied any essentialist categorization, working at time prior to the formation of the hyphenated Asian-American identity politics, she developed double-entendre signature performances that subverted gender-race stereotypes and enabled her to foster a political and critical consciousness in her international audiences both in her times and in the 21st-c. Studying Wong as an exemplary case, my presentation addresses the broader question of how to (re)write feminist media histories.
Speaker: Professor Yiman Wang is an Associate Professor of Film and Digital Media at the University of California, Santa Cruz. She is the author of Remaking Chinese Cinema: Through the Prism of Shanghai, Hong Kong, and Hollywood (2013). For her academic profile, please see:
This talk was sponsored by the 100 Years of Women at W&M, Confucius Institute, and Film and Media Studies. It was organized by Professor Calvin Hui in Chinese Studies.
Faculty Awards Faculty Profiles Jefferson Award News News: German Studies News: Hispanic Studies sidebar Spring 2019

MLL Receives Both 2019 Jefferson Faculty Awards

MLL is honored to have received both of the 2019 Jefferson Faculty Awards. Silvia Tandeciarz, Chair of MLL and Professor of Hispanic Studies, is the recipient of the Thomas Jefferson Award, and Jennifer Gülly, Senior Lecturer and MLL Associate Chair of Departmental Affairs, has received the Thomas Jefferson Teaching Award. The award ceremony took place on January 31st, and both will also be recognized at the Charter Day celebrations on February 8th. In her acceptance speech, Gully emphasized the potentiality of the foreign language classroom to foster a critical view of students’ o

wn language and culture, and the rewards of the hard work that students put into language learning every day. Tandeciarz spoke about the legacy of Perón’s populist politics in Argentina and what we might learn from it for the future of higher education in the United States:

“We face extraordinary challenges and also some uncertainty about what the future of higher education holds, and these challenges are not divorced from those posed by the rapidly changing structural, economic, social, and political conditions manifesting in our country and, indeed, across the globe. And yet, as we stand on this threshold, I want to direct our attention to the tremendous opportunities this moment also holds. WE are the ones, after all, whose labor will determine how to pave a way forward: and I trust that we will do so together, by continuing to defend the values we hold dear, by working for greater inclusion, representation, and equity, and by recognizing the vital role institutions of higher learning can play in a healthy, thriving democracy.”

Tandeciarz (middle) with President Rowe and Teresa Longo, Director of The Charles Center.
Jennifer Gülly
Faculty Awards Faculty Profiles Jefferson Award News: German Studies Spring 2019

Jennifer Gully receives the 2019 Thomas Jefferson Teaching Award

Jennifer Gully, Senior Lecturer of German, received the 2019 Jefferson Teaching Award at a ceremony on January 31. The Thomas Jefferson Teaching Award is a tribute to several members of the faculty who influenced and encouraged Thomas Jefferson. The award is intended to recognize today’s teachers on the faculty. It is made annually to a younger teaching member of the William & Mary community who has demonstrated, through concern as a teacher and through character and influence, the inspiration and stimulation of learning to the betterment of the individual and society as exemplified by Thomas Jefferson. Continue here

Jennifer Gülly

Faculty Awards Faculty Profiles Jefferson Award News: Hispanic Studies Spring 2019

Silvia Tandeciarz receives the 2019 Thomas Jefferson Award

SPRcropSilvia Tandeciarz, Chair of Modern Languages & Literatures and Professor of Hispanic Studies, received the 2019 Jefferson Award at a ceremony on January 31. The Thomas Jefferson Award is given each year to a member of the William & Mary family for significant service through his or her personal activities, influence and leadership. Read about Prof. Tandeciarz’ research, teaching, and service here._PYM0897_PYM0894_PYM0889

News News: French & Francophone Studies Spring 2019

Finding Cajun, documentary by Prof. Nathan Rabalais

nathan-rabalaisNathan film festival

Saturday, February 2, 2019
2:30pm – 4pm
Tucker Hall, 127A (Tucker Theater)

Directed by W&M professor Nathan Rabalais, Finding Cajun (2018) makes its Virginia premiere during the W&M Global Film Festival. The documentary presents a critical perspective on the origin and evolution of Cajun identity. Q&A with director to follow.

In the film, we see how Cajuns compare to the present-day Acadians in maritime Canada, a community that is supposedly at the historical root of Cajun ethnicity. The film examines how cultural and racial labels in Louisiana have shifted, especially over the past 70 years, and considers the stakes of maintaining (or losing) heritage languages in the United States. Through interviews with leading experts filmed on site in Louisiana, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, viewers will discover the diversity and complexity of South Louisiana’s French- and Creole-speaking communities and see how Americanization, racism, and language shift have reshaped the cultural landscape of Louisiana.

WMGFF poster Finding Cajun


News News: Arabic Studies Spring 2019

Arabic Links: A New Textbook for Arabic

Arab pic1Prof. John Eisele and Prof. Driss Cherkaoui are putting the finishing touches on the first volume of a textbook series for the Arabic language which will be published by the American University in Cairo Press, entitled “Arabic Links” (in Arabic: كتاب التواصل). The series attempts to handle the issue of Arabic language variation (often termed “diglossia”) in a manner significantly different from the current textbook widely used in the field. Rather than teaching 2 or more varieties simultaneously, this series attempts to introduce the variation more gradually, starting with a focus on the common literary language, FusHa, and introducing other variant forms of the language at first as “linguistic culture”, and then with a stand-alone textbook for 4 of the main varieties: Moroccan, Egyptian, Levantine, and Iraqi. Another aspect of “linguistic culture” will be the treatment of the case system of the literary language, which is linguistically redundant and not essential for communication, but which is seen as a vital part of the Arabic literary and religious tradition, and for some cannot be overlooked. Another aspect of Arabic L2 pedagogy which is addressed by this series is a return to a communicative approach which emphasizes the active acquisition of vocabulary tied to clearly defined topics and contexts of use. The first two volumes of the series cover basic grammar, vocabulary, and general contexts, and each of the units is tied to a cultural context of an Arab country. These “cultural” activities and texts provide information about the history, society, and some cultural practices specific to that country, as well as information about the “linguistic culture” of the region, i.e., the main dialect of the country. The unit is structured around a progressing through the four skills for each topic, starting with a Arab pic2conversational introduction to the basic vocabulary of a context or activity, and culminating in a writing exercise which summarizes the main points of the unit. The third volume of the series concentrates on providing a context for developing skills in discussing, reading, and writing about more specific fields, of an academic nature. The vocabulary is a general review of the words and phrases necessary to deal with topics related to that field, with texts (reading and listening) provided as exemplary texts, but instructors are encouraged to provide their own texts, glosses, questions, and suggestions for tasks and activities as they desire. Regarding the supplemental textbooks dealing with specific dialects, Prof. Cherkaoui has completed a manuscript for teaching Moroccan dialect, or “al-Daarija”, and he hopes to publish that within the coming year. Other dialect textbooks will follow. This project was funded initially by a grant from the Department of Education, and included contributions from other faculty at William and Mary and the Arab-American Language Institute in Morocco (AALIM).