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Florida State /  Department of Modern Languages and Linguistics

Department News


Elena Vogel Receives National Gabriela Mistral Award

On April 20, 2016, Elena Vogel (PhD, Spanish), Active Member of Florida State University’s Alpha Delta Chapter of Sigma Delta Pi, the National Collegiate Hispanic Honor Society, received the prestigious Gabriela Mistral Award for her academic achievements and noteworthy leadership and initiative in her chapter.  The Gabriela Mistral Award is granted by Sigma Delta Pi’s national Executive Committee and may be presented to only one person per chapter yearly; the honor is reserved for outstanding graduate or undergraduate students of Spanish who are active members of Sigma Delta Pi

2016 Florida Statewide Graduate Research Symposium Winners

Congratulations to all of those who participated at the Graduate Student Research Symposium last Friday at UF especially Amy Bustin and Gareth Bryan Wilkinson who took home a first and second place respectively. 






IDEA Grant Winner

Audrey Wheeler, a freshman and Presidential Scholar, is one of the winners of the prestigious IDEA grant ($4,000) for summer undergraduate research. Her winning project, Italy and Feminism: Caroline Crane Marsh’s Account of Nineteenth Century Gender Roles, stems from research conducted during her experience working as a UROP student with Professor Irene Zanini-Cordi on Italian literary salons and social networks. The IDEA grant will allow Wheeler to carry out archival research at the University of Vermont and in Florence, Italy, under the direction of Professor Zanini-Cordi. This research will set the foundation for Wheeler’s Honors in the Major Thesis on the subject of how gender roles are constructed  in the media.




UROP Assistants Present Research Nationwide

Ravital Goldgof and Lily Shelton, 2015-16 Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program assistants to Prof. Robert Romanchuk for his project on oral-formulaic structures in the Byzantine romantic epic Digenis Akritis and its Early Slavic translation, presented their own research on women’s agency in the epic at the University of Pittsburgh’s Undergraduate Research Symposium, “Europe: East and West” on April 1, 2016. They will present their work at the University of California’s Undergraduate Conference on Slavic and East/Central European Studies in Los Angeles on April 30.

Prof. Romanchuk and his 2014-15 UROP assistant, Thuy-Linh Pham, co-presented their paper “Mouvance & Motifs in Digenis Akritis (Greek and Slavic)” at the Byzantine Studies Conference in NYC in October 2015.


goldgof shelton


Honors Night, Spring 2016

On April 6, faculty, students and families came together to celebrate the 79th Annual Department of Modern Languages & Linguistics Honors Night. Honors Night celebrates outstanding graduate and undergraduate students for excellence in scholarship, research and service. Included among the honorees were the winners of the Ada Belle Winthrop-King Undergraduate Study Abroad Scholarship. Honors Societies including Gamma Kappa Alpha, Pi Delta Phi and Добро Слово also formally inducted new initiates. 


Pictured below are German award presenters and recipients (left) and Gamma Kappa Alpha National Italian Honor Society inductees reciting their oath (right).

German and Gamma Kappa Alpha











Prof. Michael Leeser (Spanish), 2016 Outstanding Graduate Faculty Mentor

Professor Michael Leeser has been named an Outstanding Graduate Faculty Mentor for 2016.  The Graduate Faculty Mentor Award honors faculty that make a difference in the quality of the graduate student experience.  Professor Leeser teaches second language acquisition and language instruction and aims to transform graduate students from consumers of information to informed producers of ideas.  His strong interest in the goals of his students is exemplified through his research collaborations that have led to their success in academic employment.


Emiliya Usmanova (MA Slavic), 2016 Outstanding Teaching Assistant 

Emiliya Usmanova

Emiliya Usmanova (MA Slavic) has received the 2016 Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award.  Emiliya is one of only six Graduate Teaching Assistants university-wide selected for this award on the basis of distinguished contributions to the teaching and learning mission of Florida State University.  Congratulations Emiliya!




Sarah Fluker (MA Spanish) awarded Leslie N. Wilson - Delores Auzenne Graduate Assistantship

Sarah Fluker

Sarah Fluker (MA Spanish) is the proud recipients of the 2016-2017 Leslie N. Wilson-Auzenne Graduate Assistantship for Minority Students from the Graduate School at Florida State University! Leslie N. Wilson-Delores Auzenne Assistantships are awarded to minority graduate students after a steep competition. The award carries a supplemental stipend, plus tuition waivers. Recipients also participate in a professional development program organized by the Graduate School in order to facilitate networking and professional development. Congratulations Sarah!


Katherine Moore (MA French) awarded Legacy Fellowship

Katherine Moore

Katherine Moore (French MA, beginning French PhD Fall 2016) has won the Graduate School's prestigious Legacy Fellowship for her entire upcoming course of study in the French doctoral program. The Legacy Fellowship is one of Florida State University's highest honors for a graduate student and its recipients are selected from an extremely well-qualified and talented group of applicants from all schools and programs on campus. It is a great honor and we are very proud of Katherine!


Amy Bustin (PhD Spanish) will represent FSU at the

Amy Bustin

2016 Statewide Graduate Research Symposium.

Amy was selected with only five other graduate students from the entire University to represent Florida State University at the 2016 Statewide Graduate Research Symposium in April.






Prof. Walters awarded NEH and ACLS fellowships

Lori J. Walters, the Harry F. Williams Professor of French, has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Council of Learned Societies for work on her project, “The Female Creator:  Christine de Pizan and her Books.”  With its focus on Christine’s so-called “Queen’s Manuscript” (London, BL, Harley 4431, available online at, the study enriches our understanding of the early fifteenth-century author by examining her functions as supervisor of, and contributor to, all areas of manuscript production.  Walters will complete her book-length study while at the University of Toronto, where she is a Visiting Scholar at the Center for Medieval Studies. 


Modern Languages & Linguistics Graduate Conference April 2, 2016

The graduate students from the program of Spanish and Portuguese are delighted to invite you to the first graduate conference organized by the Department of Modern Languages and Linguistics. This event will be held on Saturday, April 2nd, 2016 at Florida State University (Winthrop-King Room, Diffenbaugh building). For more information on the program, please visit the conference website. 


Spring 2016 Lecture Series


“Who Speaks in the Work of Federico García Lorca?”  

Dr. Jonathan Mayhew, Professor of Spanish

Department of Spanish and Portuguese

The University of Kansas at Lawrence

18th March 2016 – 3:30/5:00 pm - DIF 009 




Prof. Murray-Román publishes Performance and Personhood in Caribbean Literature with UVA Press

Performance and Personhood in Caribbean Literature

























Tory Finley, Spanish and Italian Major

Congratulations to Tory Finley for being highlighted on FSU’s student profiles website.  Tory is a senior majoring in Spanish and Italian and is on a pre-med track.  She aims to apply her passion for language toward helping patients that face language barriers.  Tory is an accomplished student who has earned membership into both the Spanish and Italian honor societies and was awarded the Winthrop King Scholarship to study at the University for Foreigners in Perugia, Italy.

To read more about Tory Finley, visit FSU’s student profiles page.


Winthrop King International Symposium: November 19

For more information:

American Occupation



Barthes Symposium November 12

A Faculty Symposium on the centenary of French theorist Roland Barthes’s birth is planned for November 12, 2015. One of the most influential thinkers of the twentieth century, Barthes (1915-1980) is known as the leading figure in Structuralism and Semiotics who proclaimed the “death of the author.” During this symposium, faculty from Modern Languages, English, and Art History will discuss how his path-breaking and idiosyncratic writings, and his interest in fragments, music, and photography, have affected their research. Further details can be found here.




Alberto López receives competitive scholarship


Alberto López (PhD, Spanish) attended a two-week, intensive summer institute (Jul 19-Aug 1) on “Emotions in Late Modern Societies: Persons, Politics, and Social Practices,”at The European University Viadrina-Frankfurt, in collaboration with the University of Minnesota-Mineapolis. Every year, the Institute for Global Studies at the University of Minnesota-Mineapolis offers several, highly competitive scholarships to graduate students in US universities to attend this institute and we are honored that one of our own was awarded one of them.



Dr. Ariel Stilerman joins the Department in Fall 2015

We are pleased to announce the appointment of Ariel Stilerman (PhD, Columbia University) as Assistant Professor of Japanese, to begin in the fall of 2015. Professor Stilerman's research interests include classical, medieval, and early modern Japanese literature and cultural history, and he has also done work on modern Japanese literature, Japanese art history, and Japanese drama. Additional interests include Psychoanalysis and the Tea Ceremony (Ariel trained at Konnichian, Kyoto).




Dr. Jeannine Murray-Román joins the Department in Fall 2015

We are pleased to announce the appointment of Jeannine Murray-Román (PhD, UCLA) as Assistant Professor of French and Spanish, to begin in the fall of 2015. Professor Murray-Román's research focuses on comparative Caribbean literatures with an emphasis on postcolonial, transnational, digital humanities, and performance studies. During a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship at UCLA and Visiting Assistant Professorship of French at Reed College, she taught courses on Caribbean creolizations, disaster writing, and theatricality in Hispanophone Caribbean literature. Her work has appeared in Small Axe, the International Journal of Francophone Studies, Extensions, and The French Review. Her monograph, Performance and Personhood in Contemporary Caribbean Writing, is forthcoming with University of Virginia Press.