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Congratulations Dr. Julie Françoise Tolliver

Dr. Julie Françoise Tolliver, Assistant Professor of French and Francophone Studies in MCL, has been selected for a National Endowment for the Humanities fellowship for the 2016/17 acamdemic year to conduct research on her project A Poetics of Solidarity in Francophone Independence Literatures. Her project investigates the cultural production (essays, manifestos, novels, short stories, plays, films) of francophone writers during the period of the independences, the 1950s through 70s. As intellectuals in French (post)colonies imagined alternatives to colonialism and neocolonialism, their texts became blueprints for thinkers in other parts of the world. I focus on the affective bond that made this process possible: a poetics of solidarity, which, like the gradient that determines the slope of a road, orients texts and the political imaginaries they represent, and which is also determined by the language in which it exists. The “tongue ties” of francophone anticolonial intellectuals bound them together (they were connected through the French language) but also offered a set of linguistic and ideological constraints (their imaginaries were determined by the French language as it was, itself, shaped by francophone history and culture).

Professor links Bob Dylan to hearts, minds of Italians

By Iqraa Bukhari, The Cougar

Dr. Carrera

Bob Dylan’s Nobel Prize is a source of immense pride for many Americans, but particularly for the University of Houston—because Dylan’s translator is a professor here.

Alessandro Carrera, social sciences professor and director of Italian Studies, has never met Bob Dylan in person. He, however, has translated almost all of the singer’s poetry, songs and prose into Italian.

“To be engaged with a demanding text is the best thing that can happen to a translator,” Carrera said. “You go through the frustration of not being able to reproduce the original texture in another language, but occasionally you feel elated because you finally ‘get’ the line that has eluded you so far.”


Film Screening

Save My Speech Forever

(Russia 2015) Director: Roma Liberov

The story of the poet Osip Mandelstam, remade at the intersection of different arts and genres: puppet theatre, design, computer graphics, and documentary. The revolutionary soul of Mandelstam’s poetry rang out as a challenge to power, and the machine of state reduced their author to nothing — and let him perish in the Gulag.

Introduction: Dr. Elena McGee, MCL
Discussion with director of photography Roman Sivozhelezov following the screening


Public Lecture

Public lecture by Alice Kaplan, author of French Lessons: A Memoir, The Collaborator, The Interpreter, and Dreaming in French: The Paris Years of Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy, Susan Sontag, and Angela Davis. Her books have been twice finalists for the National Book Critics Circle Awards, once for the National Book Award, and she is a winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. She holds the John M. Musser chair in French literature at Yale.

OCTOBER 25 | 2:30-4:30 | Honors Commons, M. D. Anderson Library

Four MCL faculty members attended the 2nd International Conference on Spoken Chinese Corpora

Four Faculty members attende 2nd International Conference of Spoken Chinese Corpora

On August 10-11, 2016, four MCL faculty members – Edie Furniss, Cristina Giliberti, Marshall McArthur, and Jing Zhang – attended the 2nd International Conference on Spoken Chinese Corpora at Rice University. Edie Furniss and Marshall McArthur were invited to chair two of the sessions, given their expertise in corpus linguistics and Chinese language, respectively. The conference gave MCL faculty an opportunity to connect with their colleagues from Rice and beyond, and to learn about the applications of cutting edge corpus research to teaching Chinese.

Sincere Condolences

Luisetta E. Chomel

Dr. Chomel

Luisetta E. Chomel, Emeritus Professor of Italian at the University of Houston, began her teaching career at Liceo-Ginnasio Italiano in Mogadishu, Somalia where she taught Italian from 1955 to 1959. She earned a B.A. in French from the University of St. Thomas in 1969, after which she held a teaching fellowship in French at Rice University until 1972 when she joined the University of Houston as an Italian language instructor. A dedicated classroom teacher and researcher, Chomel completed her Doctorate of Philosophy in French in 1975 at Rice while continuing her course instruction work at UH. read more

22nd Annual Award Ceremony (April 2016)

At the 22nd Annual Award Ceremony of the Department of Modern and Classical Languages on April 2016, awards and scholarships were presented to outstanding students in German, Russian, Middle Eastern Studies, Japanese, Italian, French and Chinese.

(Click image to the left to view photo gallery)

International Film Festival

Group photo - IFF

The Department of Modern and Classical Languages sponsored an International Film Festival organized by the UH International Students Organization (ISO) on March 21-23, 2016. 10 of the 12 films screened during the festival were provided by MCL. They represented a range of countries and languages, exposing UH students to new cultures and international perspectives. Language Acquisition Center Director Edie Furniss spoke at the opening reception for the festival. She is pictured here with Fahad Mohammed (President of ISO), Consul Sung Wook Jo (The Consulate General of the Republic of Korea in Houston), Dr. Jaime Ortiz (Vice Provost of Global Strategies and Studies), Anita Gaines (Director of the Office of International Student and Scholar Services), William Contreras (President of the Venezuelan Student Union), and Viviana Linares (Vice President of ISO).

MCL congratulates recipients of the 2016 Provost Teaching Excellence Awards:


Prof. Claudine Giacchetti (French), Instructional Assistant Professor Jing Zhang (Chinese), and Instructional Assistant Professor Julia Kleinheider (German and World Cultures and Literatures)

Music & Literature: Classical Elements in the Chinese Drama of “The Legend of Zhen Huan”

Legend of Zhen Huan

1:00-2:30pm Monday April 4th, 2016
University of Houston, AH 215 (Language Acquisition Lab)

Fulbright Visiting Scholar Dr. Qu Jingyi from Singapore will give a lecture on popular Chinese culture. The Legend of Zhen Huan, a hugely popular TV drama series, tells the story of a young royal consort who fought her way through many obstacles to the highest rank in the Qing dynasty Imperial Palace.

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Toward a 14th Amendment in Italy?

A screening of Fred Kuwornu’s documentary, 18 Ius soli (2011). The director will be present for discussion.

FRIDAY, FEB. 26, 2016 @ 4:00PM, SEC 102

Fred Kudjo Kuwornu is an Italian-Ghanaian activist, producer, writer, and director based in Brooklyn, NY, and Rome. He has worked with the production crew of Spike Lee’s Miracle at St. Anna (2008), and has produced and directed the award-winning documentary Inside Buffalo (2010), followed by 18 Ius Soli (2011).

In Italy, almost a million young men and women were born to or raised by immigrant parents, and 12.6% of children born in the country have non-Italian parents.

Unlike most neighboring countries and the US, these men and women are denied the right to acquire Italian citizenship by the Ius soli law, which results in 42% of them remaining “aliens” when they turn 18.

18 Ius soli addresses the issues of immigration, multi-ethnicity, and citizenship to discuss the challenges and opportunities of a globalized world.

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How Old is the Iliad?

Free Public Presentation

Casey Due Hackney
University of Houston

February 26, 2016
1:00 PM | Room 520 Agnes Arnold Hall

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Jewish Studies - Events

Dr. Ethan Katz - Assistant Professor of History, University of Cincinnati

TALK: “Muslims, Jews, Frenchmen:A History of Complex Encounters”

February 1, 2016
2-4 pm
Elizabeth D. Rockwell Pavilion, UH M.D. Anderson Library

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BOOK READING AND DISCUSSION: "France's Muslim-Jewish Crisis: What History Tells”

February 1, 2016
7:00 PM
Brazos Bookstore, 2421 Bissonnet, Houston, TX

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