Department of Languages

Faculty news, Spring and Summer 2018

The following faculty members were promoted to Senior Lecturer:

Kim Misener Dunn, ASL

Allison Hinds, Spanish

Ellory Schmucker, Spanish

Kenneth Widgren, French

The following faculty members were promoted to Full Professor (read more here):

Johannes Schmidt, German

Eric Touya, French

Other faculty news:

Joseph Mai, associate professor of French, had his essay “Site 2: Style and Encounter in Rithy Panh’s Cinéma-Monde” appear in the collection “Cinéma-Monde: Decentered Perspectives on Global Filmmaking in French,” edited by Michael Gott and Thibaut Schilt, (Edinburgh University Press). The essay examines how the great Cambodian documentary filmmaker Rithy Panh addresses representations of a post-Khmer Rouge refugee camp to a world cinema audience. He also published a chapter in the Modern Language Association book “Approaches to Teaching Hugo’s ‘Les Misérables,’” edited by Michal Ginsburg and Bradley Stephens (2018). His piece explores Hugo’s conception of the moral individual. Mai also published an essay in The Mekong Review about Anthony Bourdain’s experiences in Cambodia.

Tiffany Creegan Miller, assistant professor of Spanish, presented at the American Comparative Literature Association (ACLA) in Los Angeles March 27-29. Her presentation “Orality and Translation in Print and Digital Recordings of Humberto Ak’abal’s Sound Poetry” was part of a seminar on topographies of sound and music in Spanish and Latin American literature and film. While in California, Miller was also invited to discuss her work with Kaqchikel Maya communities in Guatemala on the Maya radio program “Contacto Ancestral,” which airs in Los Angeles on the community radio station KPFK. She also published an article, “Performing Transnational Maya Experiences in Florida and San Juan Chamula in Workers in the Other World by Sna Jtz’ibajom and Robert M. Laughlin,” in Hispanic Studies Review 3 (2018): pp. 46-62. This article draws from Maya storytelling techniques to examine the ways that Maya activists in Chiapas, Mexico, use theatre and performance to raise awareness about the challenges that Maya migrants and their families face, both in sending communities and the United States. Miller also presented at the annual congress hosted by the Latin American Studies Association (LASA) May 23-26 in Barcelona, Spain. Her presentation “‘Xib’e pa El Norte’: Ethnographic Encounters With Kaqchikel Maya Transnational Migration From Lake Atitlán, Guatemala” was part of a seminar on the theoretical and methodological challenges in studying migrations. Miller was an NEH (National Endowment for the Humanities) Summer Scholar at the University of Georgia. The NEH Summer Institute June 17-29 focused on Digital Technologies in Theatre and Performance Studies. In July, Miller was invited to deliver a talk at Oxlajuj Aj, a Kaqchikel Mayan language field school, offered through Tulane University. This presentation – “Kojb’ixan pa qach’ab’äl!: El papel de las canciones infantiles en las aproximaciones pedagógicas a la revitalización cultural y lingüística en el idioma kaqchikel” – took place July 25 in San Juan Comalapa, Guatemala. Her presentation focused on Kaqchikel Maya children’s songs in bilingual classrooms in the context of contemporary Pan-Maya activism in Guatemala. Miller was also elected secretary of the Central America section advisory board of the Latin American Studies Association (LASA).

Arelis Moore de Peralta, assistant professor of Spanish and Health, returned from a spring break trip to the Dominican Republic, along with her Creative Inquiry and “Tigers Building Healthier Communities Abroad (TBHCA)” students. Moore and six students conducted research in an effort to develop sustainable, collaborative interventions to improve health and well-being in a low-resource community. This was the third TBHCA trip to the Dominican community of Las Malvinas II. This time, Moore and her group collaborated with a colleague from Boston University’s School of Social Work and their local partner university, Universidad Iberoamericana (UNIBE). Together they conducted two focus groups and a “photovoice” project with the youth of Las Malvinas II to identify effective ways to engage them in local health improvement efforts.

Salvador A. Oropesa, professor of Spanish and chair, read the paper “Fantasías Neoliberales en la Serie Procedimental de Eva Sáenz de Urturi” at the XIV Congreso de Novela y Cine Negro: Clásicos y Contemporaneos at the Universidad de Salamanca, Spain. His article “Mitología y terrorismo en la Trilogía del Baztán de Dolores Redondo” appeared in the collection “Clásicos y Contemporáneos en el Género Negro,” edited by Álex Martín Escribà and Javier Sánchez Zapatero (Santiago de Compostela: Andavira, 2018, pp.121-27).

George Palacios, assistant professor of Spanish, was a visiting professor in the school of history at the Universidad Industrial de Santander in Bucaramanga, Colombia, where he taught the literature, culture and history of the African diaspora in Colombia and the Caribbean. Palacios lectured on “Reflexiones en torno a la diaspora Africana en Colombia” and “Literature and History through the Prism of the Haitian Revolution.” He also gave the inaugural lecture for the master in education program of the faculty of social sciences and humanities at the Universidad de Medellín in Colombia: “Una reflexión sobre el currículo: procesos y crítica para el contexto Latinoamericano.” Palacios presented the paper “Resistencias Afrodiaspóricas frente al destierro en la novela Colombiana hacia mediados de siglo XX” at the VI International Conference on Afro-Hispanic, Luso-Brazilian and Latin American Studies, held Aug. 7-10 in Accra, Ghana.

Kelly Peebles, associate professor of French, published “Renée de France’s and Clément Marot’s Voyages: Political Exile to Spiritual Liberation” in a special issue of the journal Women in French, “Les femmes et le voyage (Women and Traveling),” edited by Catherine R. Montfort and Christine McCall Probes. She also published “Embodied Devotion: The Dynastic and Religious Loyalty of Renée de France (1510-1575)” in “Royal Women and Dynastic Loyalty” (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018), edited by Caroline Dunn and Professor Emerita Elizabeth Carney (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018, pp. 123-137). She also presented the paper “From Mother to Daughter and Bride to Widow: Transforming the Gender Roles of Renée de France and Anne d’Este” at the Royal Studies Network Kings & Queens 7 conference, held July 9-12 in Winchester, England.

Johannes Schmidt, professor of German, presented (in German) on the differences in Johann Gottfried Herder’s and Nietzsche’s philosophies of history at the meeting of the International Herder Society in Turku, Finland. He also chaired two panels and gave the laudation honoring Karl Menges of University of California, Davis, the recipient of the 2018 Herder Medal. He was one of several scholars interviewed for a German radio feature on Johann Gottfried Herder, titled “Herder: a Grandniece Discovers the Poet.” The feature was recently released as a podcast.

Daniel J. Smith, associate professor of Spanish, presented “Spanish and English Contact and the Order of Morpheme Acquisition” April 5 at the 2018 SouthEast Coastal Conference on Languages and Literatures (SECCLL) in Savannah, Georgia. While referencing a “natural order” of the acquisition of morphemes in first and second language acquisition, the presentation highlighted how two languages can influence each other and make changes in the order of acquisition. Implications were made regarding teaching English and Spanish as second languages and for children learning both languages simultaneously.

Gabriela Stoicea, assistant professor of German, published the chapter “When History Meets Literature: Jonathan Israel, Sophie von La Roche, and the Problem of Gender” in a collection edited by Carl Niekerk, “The Radical Enlightenment in Germany: A Cultural Perspective” (Brill/Rodopi, 2018), pp. 211-37.

Jae Takeuchi, assistant professor of Japanese, was awarded the Hamako Ito Chaplin Memorial Award for excellence in Japanese language teaching. The national award is given out to only one or two instructors of Japanese each year. Takeuchi also presented her research “Our Language”– an autoethnographic analysis of Japanese Dialect Use in L1/L2 Interaction” at the annual American Association of Teachers of Japanese annual conference in Washington. She was also invited to be a panelist for a discussion “On Knowledge, Skills, and Dispositions Expected of Future Japanese Language Educators” at the 27th meeting of the Central Association of Teachers of Japanese Conference, held at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. She also presented her research at the same conference, in a talk titled “‘His Japanese Makes No Sense’ – Native Speaker Bias and Depictions of L2 Japanese Competence.”

Pauline de Tholozany, assistant professor of French, gave the keynote address at “Equinoxes,” the French Studies Graduate Conference on March 17 at Brown University. Her paper was titled “‘Sophie, avec impatience’: of Impatient Children, Broken Stuff, and Irritated Adults in 19th-Century France.” She also presented a paper at the Southeastern Women’s Studies Association, along with two Clemson Students, Surabhi Poola and Kaitlin Samuels. Their panel was titled “Of Plots, Readers, and Change: Norms and Transgressions in 19th-Century French Literature.” She also published a chapter in the Modern Language Association book “Approaches to Teaching Hugo’s ‘Les Misérables,’” edited by Michal Ginsburg and Bradley Stephens (2018). Her piece describes teaching the novel in the context of an interdisciplinary course on childhood.

On March 14, Graciela Tissera, associate professor of Spanish, presented her research at the Congreso Internacional Interdisciplinario “La ciudad: imágenes e imaginarios,” which was organized by Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, Spain. Her paper entitled “La ciudad a través del cine: visión del individuo y los sistemas” focused on the portrayal of the cities of Caracas, Rio de Janeiro, and Barcelona in the following movies: “Secuestro Express,” by Jonathan Jakubowicz (Venezuela, 2005); “Cidade de Deus,” by Fernando Meirelles and Kátia Lund (Brazil, 2002); and “Biutiful,” by Alejandro González Iñárritu (Spain, 2010). The analysis explored the profile of the cities as structured systems and their influence on the individual from social, cultural, economic and philosophical perspectives. She presented her research April 6 at the SouthEast Coastal Conference on Languages and Literatures, which was organized by Georgia Southern University. Her paper “‘Box 507’ (2002) by Enrique Urbizu: Crossroads of Human Spirit and Economic Systems” focused on the unforeseen outcomes of confrontations between companies investing in real estate. She also organized and chaired a session at the conference, “Individuals vs. Systems in Cinema,” to discuss the complex relationships portrayed inside and outside systems in multicultural environments and in relation to psychoanalysis, metaphysics, ethics, technology, health, business and gender. Tissera’s students, Jesse Bynum (Modern Languages-Spanish major with an English minor) and Hannah Cheeks (Psychology and Modern Languages-Spanish major) participated in the session. Bynum’s research paper “Systematic Defensive Memory and Psychological Trauma in David Carreras’ ‘Hipnos (2004)” discussed dissociative identity disorders as coping mechanisms and experimental treatments for severely emotionally disturbed patients. Cheeks’ research paper “Exploring the Treacherous Systems of the Mind: Sergi Vizcaíno’s ‘Paranormal Xperience’ (2011),” centered on altered perceptions and symbols created by the unconscious mind as representations of systems influencing human behavior. The professional presentations were made possible through the Creative Inquiry program and Department of Languages travel grants.

Eric Touya, professor of French, and Col. Lance Young led a group of Clemson students to Paris and Normandy in France during the summer. The aim of the course was to revisit the journey of the American soldiers during World War II from a French perspective. Through this journey, the students analyzed and reflected on the meaning and purpose of the GIs’ actions and experiences, and the current place and role of France and the United States in the world.