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Section 1

Monthly Departmental Newsletter

Spring 2016


Nancy Blake published “La belle dame sans merci” in Gradiva, Vol XVI, No 1, Printemps 2016.

Priscilla Charrat's paper "Retracer le passé : Rupture et Récupération de la mémoire familiale chez Modiano, Sebbar et Sansal" was published in the UCLA journal Paroles gelées (vol.9) and is now accessible online at the following link:

Eda Derhemi’s article “The Capricious Mutations of the Arbëresh song ‘O e bukura More’” was published in FEL XIX, 2015 (FELNOLA Conference Proceedings).

Zsuzsanna Fagyal co-edited a special issue and published a commentary in the latest volume of the Journal of French Language Studies, titled “Convergence et divergence sociolinguistique en français laurentien”. The volume features a theme paper with commentaries on vernacular varieties of French in francophone Canada and the use of inter-dialectal comparisons in French. In this issue, she also has an article, “Convergence, divergence et filiation linguistique: retour à l’étude panlectale de la variation en français,»Journal of French Language Studies.

Professor Fagyal also published a review of the edited volume Language, Youth, and Identity in the 21st Century: Linguistic Practices Across Urban Spaces in Journal of Sociolinguistics, 20(2): 260-265.

Karen L. Fresco edited the collection Authority of Images/Images of Authority: Shaping Political and Cultural Identities in the Pre-Modern World.  Kalamazoo, MI: Medieval Institute Publications, 2016 (Xviii + 253 pp.).

She also authored the “Introduction” to this volume: pp. xiii-xviii.

Armine Kotin Mortimer published her translation of an excerpt from Philippe Sollers’s Portraits de femmes (Flammarion 2013) in the online literary magazine 3:AM Magazine.

Her translation of an extract from Chapter 1 of Philippe Sollers’s A Permanent Passion has been published in the February issue of The Brooklyn Rail, a journal providing critical perspectives on Art, Politics, and Culture, published ten times a year.

Emanuel Rota’s articlePasolini’s Ghost” appeared in Studi Pasolini, Vol. 10, 2016, p.214.

Robert Rushing published “Descended from Hercules: Masculine Anxiety in the Peplum” in Multiplicities: Cycles, Sequels, Remakes, and Reboots in Film and Television (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2016), 41-59.

Conference Presentations and Invited Talks

Priscilla Charrat

"Performing memory and Writing Erasure; on the threshold of memory with Patrick Modiano"; 20th-21st Century French and Francophone Studies International Colloquium, Saint Louis, March 19.

Zsuszanna Fagyal:

“Rebranding the minority experience: case studies of regional language planning in Europe”; 23rd International Conference of Europeanists in Philadelphia.

“Multilingualism, Ltd.: New challenges for linguistic diversity in Europe””; Kentucky Foreign Language Conference, keynote lecture, Lexington, Kentucky, April 15, 2016.

Jean-Philippe Mathy

"Le terroir, l'histoire, et la Vierge Noire: le passé qui ne passe pas (encore) dans Soumission de Michel Houellebecq"; Contemporary French Studies colloquium in St Louis.

"Where's Charlie Now? Identification, Hegemony, and Dissent After the Paris Attacks"; keynote address for a symposium "Terrorism in Paris" at Purdue University.

Jean-Jacques Poucel 

“Figures, Passages, Impasses: Jean-Marie Gleize in situ,” 20th-21st Century French and Francophone Studies International Colloquium, St. Louis.

François Proulx

“Queer Encodings”; 2016 MLA Convention in Austin, TX, January 9. This presentation was part of a panel on “Digital Proust” he organized with Françoise Leriche (Université Grenoble Alpes), Caroline Szylowicz (UIUC Library), and Pyra Wise (ITEM-Paris). The panel was moderated by Jocelyne Kolb (Smith College).

“Autour de quelques dessins inédits de Proust,” invited lecture at the Institut des textes et manuscrits modernes (ITEM) in Paris, April 4.

“Proust at the Ends of the Earth,” invited lecture, Brown University, April 13.

Felisa Reynolds

Maryse Condé's La vie sans fards: Cahier d'un retour au pays natal?" invited lecture at Northwestern University, Program of African Studies, March 2016.

Emanuel Rota 

“Refusing to Work: The Italian Workerist Tradition and the Forgotten Battle against Wage Labor”; University of Florida, MRG 18, March 10.

Robert Rushing

“No Future for Italy? Contemporary Italian Science Fiction”; 7th Annual Symposium on New Trends in Modern and Contemporary Italian Cinema in Bloomington, Indiana (4/21/16)

Orphan Black: Textuality, Sexuality and Science,” panel co-chair and co-organizer (with Andrea Goulet, Penn); American Comparative Literature Association (ACLA) annual conference in Boston (3/17-20/15)

"The Dancing Women: Gendered Codes in Orphan Black,” American Comparative Literature Association (ACLA) annual conference in Boston (3/17-20/15)

Eleonora Stoppino

“Animals in the Beginning, Animals in the End: Learning to be Human in the European Middle Ages,” invited lecture, Medieval Studies Colloquium, University of Illinois, January 27, 2016.

 “Dyschronic Spaces in the Orlando furioso,RSA Annual Meeting, Boston, 31 March- 2 April 2016

“Contagion,” Faculty Fellows Symposium, invited lecture, Unit for Criticism and Interpretive Theory, University of Illinois, March 14, 2016.

“Fairy Tale Animals: Giovambattista Basile’s Cunto de li cunti, invited lecture, Northwestern University, March 3, 2016 (invited)

Nick Strole

"Migrating through Memory:Spatial and Temporal Exile in the Theater of Marie NDiaye and Wajdi Mouawad"; 20th-21st Century French and Francophone Studies International Colloquium, Saint Louis, March 19.

Peter Tarjanyi

“In Search of a "Motherland": Diasporic Queerness and the Queering of Diaspora in Tarik El Hob (2001)”;  20th-21st Century French and Francophone Studies International Colloquium, Saint Louis, March 18.

Cristina Toharia 

“From Mother Tongue to ‘Grandmaternal Tongue’: Creation in Between Two Languages in Andreï Makine’s Autobiographical Novel Dreams of My Russian Summers”; Annual Meeting of the American Comparative Literature Association (ACLA), Harvard University, March 2016.


Honors and Awards

Priscilla Charrat has been awarded the Gendell Family and Shiner Family Fellowship for the 2016-17 academic year by the Program in Jewish Culture and Society. This fellowship is made possible by a generous gift to the Program in Jewish Culture and Society from the Gendell and Shiner families and is awarded annually to an outstanding graduate student completing a dissertation in the field of Jewish Studies. Priscilla’s project is entitled "Documents et cheminements: Tracing the Postmemory of the Second World War and the Algerian War of Independence."

Zsuzsanna Fagyal gave this year’s plenary keynote lecture at the Kentucky Foreign Language Conference at the University of Kentucky in Lexington on Friday, April 15. Her plenary lecture was titled “Multilingualism, Ltd.: New Challenges for Linguistic Diversity in Europe.”

Marshall Janevicius, a senior majoring in French, received the Stevick Foundation Excellence in Humanities/FAA Research, Outstanding Presentation award for a presentation about his honors thesis, entitled "The EU, the Schengen Area, and the Refugee Crisis.” Prof. Mroz directed the thesis.

Jessica Nicholas was awarded a prestigious Graduate College Dissertation Completion Fellowship ( for 2016-17.

Nora Stoppino was appointed by the Italian Minister of Culture to be one of the members of the State committee that organizes the events to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the publication of Ludovico Ariosto's Orlando Furioso. Other members of the committee are the CEO of the Italian Public Television (rai), the presidents of select Italian regions, the president of the national archives and a handful of Ariosto scholars. This invitation recognizes Nora as one of the leading experts on Ariosto’s masterpiece.

She has also received a Research Grant from the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation to work in Italy this summer on her project, "Sirens and Dragons in the Venetian Republic: Animal Cycles in the Colleoni Territory”.

Manuel Rota was awarded a 2016-18 Senior Faculty Fellowship from the Unit for Criticism and Interpretive Theory to support his research on the history of the concept of laziness as a vice from its emergence in early modernity to the triumph of industrial societies.

Jessica Sciubba was awarded a competitive SLCL Dissertation Completion Fellowship for 2016-17.


Other Featured Events

Johnny Laforet, PhD candidate in SLATE and French, gave a lecture for CLACS (Center for Latin America and Caribbean Studies) entitled “Language Maintenance by Haitian Immigrants living in Chicago” on 2/18/16 at the International Studies Building.

Jean-Jacques Poucel, Visiting Professor, was a panelist for a Q & A after the film Pickpocket, presented and sponsored by the Krannert Art Museum, held at The Art Theatre Co-op, on March 7, 2016.

Jean Rouaud, novelist, essayist and playwright was on campus on 3/15/16 and gave a talk titled “Misère du roman”.

On April 13th, Kettly Mars Haïtian author, gave a lecture: “Savage Seasons: The Impact of Politics on Haïtian Literature Today.”


Other Accomplishments

On December 17th, 2015, Jenelle Grant successfully defended her dissertation “Maisons de Presse, Maisons de Passe: Prostitution and the Literary Market in Paris, 1830-1923”, under the direction of Patrick Bray (Ohio State) and Tamara Chaplin.  Other members of the committee were Laurence Mall and Margaret Flinn (Ohio State).

On January 29th, 2016, Gloria Kwok successfully defended her dissertation "Reversing the French Gaze: Four Francophone Vietnamese Women Writers from 1910's to 2000's", directed by Jack Yeager (Louisiana State University). The other members of her committee were Nancy Blake (chair), Alain Fresco and Marcus Keller.

On March 29th, Corey Flack successfully defended his dissertation “True Flesh: Measure, Pilgrimage, and Perfecting the Human in Dante’s Commedia’”, chaired and directed by Eleonora Stoppino.  Other committee members were Theodore Cachey (Notre Dame), Robert Rushing and Renee Trilling.


Pause Café / Melanzana

The Pause Café, an informal French conversation hour, will not meet during the summer, but will resume in the fall.

Melanzana, an informal Italian conversation hour, will not meet in the summer, but will resume in the fall.

Watch the website calendar for updates in August.


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Editorial Note

Please contact Jill Gurke if you have news you would like mentioned in next edition’s newsletter. Please ensure that submitted items are print ready.