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Florida State /  Department of Modern Languages and Linguistics

Department News

FSU is hosting a screening of "Francofonia" by Aleksandr Sokurov at the Student Life Cinema on Monday, October 10 at 7:00 p.m.

Francofonia Banner

Francofonia is Alexander Sokurov's portrait of the real-life collaboration that saved the Louvre Museum under the Nazi Occupation. Two remarkable men - enemies then collaborators - share an alliance which would become the driving force behind the preservation of the museum treasures. In its exploration of the Louvre Museum as a living example of civilization, Francofonia is a stunning and urgently relevant meditation on the essential relationship between art, culture, and history.

The following day, October 11 at 3:00 p.m., there will be a screening of "Selfie with Sokurov," an interview with the director of Francofonia, followed by a roundtable discussion with Dr. Laurent Dubreuil (Cornell), Dr. Dragan Kujundzic (University of Florida), Dr. Sergey Toymentsev (FSU) and Dr. Lisa Ryoko Wakamiya (FSU). The screening and roundtable will take place at Student Life Cinema.

Both events are free and open to the public.


FSU is hosting the second international conference on Bilingualism in the Hispanic and Lusophone world (BHL), January 27-29, 2017.

French Lecture Series Upcoming Event: Public Lecture by Professor Kathleen Long, Cornell University, Thursday, October 13, 5:00 PM, DIF 009

"From Monstrosity to Postnormality: Montaigne, Canguilhem, Foucault" (sponsored by the Winthrop-King Institute for Contemporary French and Francophone Studies)

Kathleen Long

Kathleen Long is Professor of French in the Department of Romance Studies at Cornell University, and Director of the Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program.  Her research focuses on concepts of gender, particularly transgender and intersex, in the early modern world, on early modern representations of the monstrous, and on religious violence. She is the author of two books, Another Reality:  Metamorphosis and the Imagination in the Poetry of Ovid, Petrarch, and Ronsard and Hermaphrodites  in Renaissance Europe, and editor of volumes on High Anxiety: Masculinity in Crisis in Early Modern France, Religious Differences in France, and Gender and Scientific Discourse in Early Modern Europe.  She has written numerous articles on the work of Théodore Agrippa d’Aubigné, on gender in early modern Europe, and on monsters.  She is preparing a book-length study on the relationship between early modern discourses of monstrosity and modern discourses of disability.


The Department of Modern Languages and Linguistics welcomes four new faculty and post-doctoral colleagues in fall 2016.


Tatjana Soldat-Jaffe (PhD Germanic Languages and Literatures, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign) has been appointed Associate Professor of German and Linguistics. Professor Soldat-Jaffe’s research focuses on translation studies, Jewish studies, and the sociolinguistics of Yiddish. At Indiana University and the University of Louisville, she taught courses on linguistics, the influence of language on culture, and discourse analysis. Her research has appeared in several professional journals, including the Journal of Jewish Identities, the Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Matters, and the Centennial Review. Her monograph Twenty-First Century Yiddishism: Language, Identity and the New Jewish Studies was published by Sussex Academic Press in 2012.



Zafer Lababidi

Zafer Lababidi

Zafer Lababidi

(PhD Linguistics, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee) has been appointed Teaching Professor of Arabic and the Assistant Director and Adviser of the Interdisciplinary Middle Eastern Studies Program. Dr. Lababidi specializes in Arabic phonetics/phonology and teaching Arabic as a second language, and he has taught all levels of Arabic as well as courses in translation and culture. His research has been published in Perspectives on Arabic Linguistics.


Raquel Albarrán

Raquel Albarrán

Raquel Albarrán (PhD Hispanic Studies, University of Pennsylvania) is the T. Gannon Postdoctoral Fellow in Spanish. A specialist of colonial Latin America and the Hispanic Caribbean, Dr. Albarrán’s book project examines the ways in which materiality shaped notions of race and ethnicity in the New World. Her research has been published in Dolce Stil Criollo and elsewhere. She has previously held fellowships from the Andrew W. Mellon Graduate Humanities Forum at the University of Pennsylvania, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the American Council of Learned Societies.


Anais Nony

Anais Nony

Anaïs Nony (PhD French, University of Minnesota/Theater Studies, Université de la Sorbonne-Nouvelle) is the Winthrop-King Postdoctoral Fellow in Contemporary French and Francophone Studies. Co-founder of the international collective Noötechnics, Dr. Nony specializes in philosophy of technics and technology, critical media theory, and performance studies. She is currently working on two book manuscripts, The Technical Imaginary and The Aesthetics of Waste: Techno-Art, Body Politics, and Media Activism. Her work has been published in the French Review and the London Journal in Critical Thought. Her research residencies include the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University, the Institute for Advanced Study at the University of Minnesota, the School of Criticism and Theory at Cornell University, and the Centre for Humanities Research at the University of the Western Cape.



Trauma and Meaning Making

Jeremy Kasten, who recently received his PhD in Spanish from our Department, published a book chapter "Representing a Trauma Space and Rendering the Real of the Spanish Civil War in Carlos Saura's La caza," in a collective volume, entitled Trauma and Meaning Making published by Interdisciplinary Press. In his essay, written while completing his PhD in our Department, Jeremy Kasten explores the relationship between a trauma and the space where that incomprehensible event took place by analyzing the Spanish film, La caza (1965). In the words of Dr. Kasten: "this film renders trauma through an unsettling representation of three veterans on a rabbit hunt that takes place at an actual Spanish Civil War battlefield, which may become the cause of anxiety and potential working through. The idea for this study came from a discussion with Dr. Enrique Álvarez about the concept of spatial theory and its implications in trauma studies. In preparation for presenting the topic at an inter-disciplinary trauma studies conference in Portugal, I further developed the project with Dr. Robert Romanchuk by using Lacanian psychoanalysis and Slavoj Zizek’s discussion of the concept of rendering a trauma. I am grateful to both professors for their constant support and willingness to help on this chapter as well as other projects throughout my graduate career."





Portuguese Students and Instructors Receive Visibility Worldwide

Two FSU students pursuing minors in Portuguese have been awarded scholarships to attend the prestigious Middlebury College Portuguese School during Summer 2016.


Mackenzie Teek is a rising Junior majoring in Sociology with minors in Portuguese and Public Administration. Mackenzie was the recipient of a Rotary Scholarship to spend an academic year in João Pessoa, Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil, when she was only fourteen years old. Determined to become a fluent Portuguese speaker and to one day pursue a Master's Degree in Sociology, her research interests target issues of race, identity, and demography as these subjects pertain to the African and Indigenous diaspora in Brazil.


Giovanna Da Silva is a rising senior majoring in History and International Affairs with a minor in Portuguese. She plans to write an Honor’s thesis on the US involvement in the Brazilian military dictatorship (1964 – 1985) during the upcoming academic year and hopes to pursue the Master’s in Brazilian history post-graduation.

The 7-week intensive-immersion course in Portuguese, held on the Middlebury, Vermont campus, allows students to develop reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills in the target language 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Experienced faculty from around the country instruct in the summer program. Over the past several years, the Portuguese faculty has included two Ph.D. candidates in Spanish Linguistics from FSU: Jamile Forcelini Alan Parma. Alan Parma will be returning to Middlebury again this summer and Jamile Forcelini will be in Brazil carrying out dissertation research.

In addition, Carolina Echeverri, a recent graduate of FSU who pursued a degree in International Affairs and Latin American and Caribbean studies, and a


minor in Portuguese, has received a Fulbright award to teach English in Brazil. Carolina started studying Portuguese during her junior year on campus and with the assistance of a Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarship she spent a semester in Lisbon, Portugal as an intern in the Public Affairs office at the U.S. Embassy. Following that experience she spent a summer as a sports camp counselor in the U.S. Naval base in Yokosuka, Japan, and then studied abroad in Oldenburg, Germany. Still awaiting the particulars of her assignment, Carolina will be departing for Brazil in February 2017.

Kudos to our Portuguese students and their instructors who have encouraged these students to continue their study of the language and culture of the Portuguese-speaking world!


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.