International Research Collaboration on “Assembling the Global” Underway
Professor Hall Bjørnstad, in collaboration with scholars at universities in Oslo, Paris, and Chicago, is facilitating research on the topic of “Assembling the Global: University History, Past and Present.” The project focuses on the period 1550-1800 when thinkers in Europe attempted to incorporate all known historical events and intellectual developments into one global history. This was (and is) a difficult task, as this period included several major changes in world view including the Reformation, the discovery of the New World, and the development of humanism. After a successul workshop at IUB in September, the working group will meet again at the University of Oslo next year. To find out more about the project, visit the College of Arts & Sciences news website.
Dow Receives Annual Weathers Fellowship
Michael Dow, a dual-degree PhD student in French linguistics (Department of French & Italian) and linguistics (Department of Linguistics), has received this year’s Gertrude F. Weathers Fellowship for dissertation research in French studies. Michael received his BA in French and Classics from St. Olaf College (Minnesota) in 2008 and his MA in French linguistics in 2012. He is working on his dissertation entitled “A Comparative Study of Regressive Vowel Nasalization in Picard and French” under the direction of Professor Julie Auger. He will use the fellowship funds to travel to France to collect data in the form of recordings of speakers of French in Bretagne and speakers of Picard in northeastern France. In addition to adding to our knowledge of language development, Michael’s research will serve to further document Picard before this endangered language vanishes completely from use.
Professor Julie Auger praises Michael’s work so far as a graduate student, saying “Michael Dow is a very promising young phonologist.” Indeed, he has already co-authored an article in the acclaimed scholarly journal Lingua, and he has presented at prestigious conferences in the US and abroad. The Department is pleased to support his dissertation research with the Weathers Fellowship this year.
The fellowship is named after Gertrude Force Weathers, an alumna of the Department and a teacher of French in public schools in Indiana for many years, and it was established in the mid-1980s. We would also like to acknowledge the Marjorie and Francis Gravit Fellowship Fund, which is providing supplemental financial support this year. This fund is endowed in memory of Francis Gravit, a former French professor here, and his wife, who were both devoted to Indiana University.
Valazza Wins Larry Schehr Memorial Award
Assistant Professor Nicolas Valazza received the Larry Schehr Memorial Award for the best junior faculty essay presented at the 39th Nineteenth-Century French Studies Colloquium, on October 24-26, 2013, in Richmond, Virginia. The essay he presented, "Seuils livresques et horizons textuels, entre Parnasse et Zutisme," is part of his new book project, provisionally entitled La Poésie délivrée: le livre en question du Parnasse au Symbolisme, which explores the impact of the politics of printing upon the transformations of poetic textuality in the second half of the nineteenth century in France.
Also participating in the colloquium were Adjunct Assistant Professors Aiko Okamoto-MacPhail, who chaired a session titled "Barrières, clôtures, limites et vides chez les Goncourt," and Erin Edgington (PhD '13), who presented a paper on "Crossing the artist's threshold: unstable boundaries in Edmond de Goncourt's La Maison d'un artiste."
Storey Receives Grant for Digital Petrarch Project
Professor of Italian H. Wayne Storey is spending Fall 2013 continuing work on a digital edition of Petrarch’s Rerum vulgarium fragmenta (Canzoniere), the iconic book of 366 poems that served as a model for much of lyric poetry in Europe from the 15th to the 18th century. He and collaborator John A. Walsh, professor in the School of Informatics and Computing, received an IU New Frontiers in the Arts and Humanities Grant to support their project. Their small team of specialists in codicology, textual editing, early Italian lyric, and Text Encoding Initiative includes two Italian PhD students, Isabella Magni, and Sandro Puiatti.
In November, Professors Storey and Walsh will present their work in a plenary session of the 10th Conference of the European Society for Textual Scholarship: “Variance in Textual Scholarship and Genetic Criticism / La variance en philologie et dans la critique génétique” at the École Normale Supérieure in Paris. Their paper is entitled “Indexicality, Visual Poetics and the PetrArchive: A Scholarly Digital Edition of Petrarch’s Songbook.” They will also give an hour-long presentation of the edition and the PetrArchive at the Digital Library brown bag lunch series on Wednesday, Dec. 4 at the Wells Library (room E174, 12-1 pm). More information about the project can be found in the news release.
PhD Candidate Hired by University of the West Indies
Jason Siegel, a PhD candidate in French linguistics, has been hired as a Junior Research Fellow in Lexicography at the University of the West Indies-Cave Hill in Barbados. Starting in January 2014, he will be taking charge of the Centre for Caribbean Lexicography, a small, international research center whose goal is to enable publication of lexicographic material (including terminology guides, bilingual dictionaries, differential dictionaries, and glossaries) of Caribbean language varieties. He will be responsible for promoting studies of three categories of languages: 1) Caribbean varieties of European languages, like Cuban Spanish or Martinican French, 2) Caribbean creole languages, such as Papiamentu, Jamaican Patwa, or St. Lucian Creole and 3) endangered languages of the Caribbean indigenous populations, such as those spoken in Belize or the Guianas.
This position complements well the lexicographic work Siegel has done on Louisiana French for a dictionary co-edited by Rudy Professor Emeritus Albert Valdman and Associate Professor Kevin Rottet. He also spent several months in French Guiana in 2011 working on lexicographic analysis of Guianese French Creole, so the position at UWI is a good fit for him. Siegel is currently writing his dissertation on code-switching between Haitian Creole, Guianese Creole, and French.
In addition to his duties at the research center in Barbados, he will also be teaching a linguistics course each semester at UWI. He is excited to start his new job and also about the location: “The campus is only a few blocks from the Caribbean Sea,” he says, “Perfect for those days when I just need to get out of the office for a little while.”
FRIT Welcomes Two New Faculty Members
This fall we welcome two new faculty members to the Department: Cara Takakjian and Kelly Farmer. Ms. Takakjian is a Visiting Lecturer in our Italian language program. She joins us from the PhD program at Harvard University, where she recently defended a dissertation titled "The Italian Graphic Novel: Reading Ourselves, Reading History." Her research and teaching interests include language and literature, particularly Italian popular culture, and film and modern literature with a focus on youth and other subcultures.
Ms. Farmer, who is a doctoral candidate in French linguistics at IUB, joins us as a Visiting Lecturer in our French language program. She is working on her dissertation titled "A diachronic study of sociopragmatic interrogative variation in French films from the 1930s to the present day" under the direction of Professor Julie Auger. She has many years’ experience teaching French at the secondary and college levels, and she served as editorial assistant for the journal Studies in Second Language Acquisition during the last two years.
FRIT Congratulates its Graduating Seniors
Graduating Italian majors Abigail Silbert, Greg Attra, and Sam Park. Next to Sam is his girlfriend Rosella, whom he met while studying abroad in Bologna last year.
The Department of French and Italian once again partnered with the Department of Spanish and Portuguese to celebrate our graduating seniors at a reception the day before the spring commencement ceremonies. On May 3, 2013, State Room East of the Indiana Memorial Union was adorned with vases of roses and lilacs, and also with the smiles of students finishing their BA degrees. Among the attendees were our Directors of Undergraduate Studies, Professor Eric MacPhail and Associate Professor Massimo Scalabrini, who wished the students well in a brief program during the event.
Abigail Silbert, Sam Park, and Greg Attra sat together and reminisced about the Bologna overseas study program, which all three participated in during 2011-12. Abby will be teaching high school English in the Lombardy region of Italy next year, while Sam has applied to an MA program at the University of Gastronomical Sciences in the town of Bra, in the Piedmont region of northern Italy. Greg has a job lined up with Senator Angus King in his home state of Maine this summer, and he plans to pursue a degree in public service and social policy analysis at the Muskie School of Public Service of the University of Southern Maine.
French graduates Eleanor “Ellie” Berry and Bailey Hacker will both be teaching English at secondary schools in France next year through the French government teaching assistant program, while Jessica Johnson is looking forward to returning to francophone Africa, specifically Senegal, where she studied on IU’s Dakar program in Summer 2011. She has been admitted to a dual MA program in African Studies and Public Affairs at IUB for next fall.
In all, 30 French majors and 9 Italian majors are set to graduate this month. Congratulations to all our graduates. May your knowledge of French and Italian enrich your lives for years to come!