Posted by: SSU Lingua Franca | May 4, 2021

¿Qué pasa? Quoi de neuf? Novità? Department News Abounds

Department News

The Department of World Languages and Cultures is proud of how well our students have adapted and persevered through pandemic learning. Not only did they continue to work towards graduation, but they do so adding value to their education by enhancing the intercultural competence and communicative skills. That ability to talk to people who are different and to do so in more than one language is highly valued and we are sure that our students are prepared to contribute constructively to the US’s global future.  

Ronni Wongus, the department’s Administrative Assistant, was inducted into the Salem State University’s Civic Engagement Hall of Fame. She received this honor thanks to her efforts addressing social and environmental challenges facing our community. She demonstrated sustained commitment and passion for improving, assisting, and helping organizations through her civic engagement efforts. 

As we finish this school year and look forward to the next, we are happy to announce that our department will offer half of its classes in-person and half online in fall 2021. 

The following students finished their undergraduate thesis and presented their findings during the Undergraduate Research Symposium: 

Sophie Aguirre – “La salud mental en la comunidad Latínx en comparación a países en América Latina” (Mental Health in the Latinx Community in Comparison to countries in Latin America)

Raquel Barboza – “La educación especial en Estados Unidos y Costa Rica” (Special Education in United States and Costa Rica)

Danilsa Espinal – “Los ignorados: Familias inmigrantes Latinx en el sistema educativo de EEUU” (The Ignored Ones: Latinx Immigrant Families in the Education System of the USA)

Spencer Feuerbach – “El voluntariado en Latinoamérica: Una manera para mejorar el mundo” (Voluntarism in Latin America: A Way to Make the World Better)

Courtney Field – “El muro fronterizo y sus diferentes significados” (The “Wall” and its Different Meanings)

Alexandria Floyd – “Los carteles de México: ¿El único problema del país?” (Drug Cartels in Mexico: Is This the Only Problem?)

Ariana Gelvez – “La importancia de usar literatura auténtica en la escuela primaria para los Latinx” (The Importance of Using Authentic Literature in Primary School for Latinx Students)

Sage Grant – “La Loi 101 au Québec: est-elle utile pour les nouvelles générations?” (Is Quebec’s language law useful for today’s young Quebeckers?)

Marshleen Hernandez – “Los beneficios de los libros infantiles en el aula de español” (Benefits of Children’s Books in the Spanish Classroom)

Adelajda Malaj – “Las diferencias de la educación universitaria entre España y los EEUU” (The Differences in University Education Between Spain and USA)

Pamela Soto – “¿Falta de educación, choque lingüístico y cultural o simplemente prejuicio? Indagando sobre los problemas dominico-haitianos” (Lack of Education, Linguistic and Cultural Shock or Simply Prejudice? Investigating the Roots of the Dominican-Haitian Problems)

Emily Waldman – “El uso de la música en las clases de español en los Estados Unidos” (The Use of Music in the Spanish Classroom in the USA)

Beyond these undergraduate thesis, there are also two graduate thesis that were completed this year:

Arely Fagan – “Alcanzando el dominio de un segundo idioma a través de TPRS”

Scott Ryan Sumrall – “El contexto de los aprendices de herencia en las clases mezcladas: una pauta para la evaluación”

Two students completed the department’s Certificate in Translation this spring: Raymond Harris ‘22 (English / French / Spanish) and Sam Stickney ‘22 (English / French). 

Faculty Highlights 

Elizabeth Blood has been working on a number of translation projects this year, including an English translation of the history of Worcester’s Franco-American community and translations of French-Canadian folktales for a collection that will include a dozen translations by undergraduate students and alumni and original artwork by Sam Stickney ‘22, a double major in French and Art (Printmaking) who will complete the prints as her senior honors thesis in 2021-2022. Both works will be added to the French Canadian Heritage Collection in the University Library’s Digital Commons in 2022 (https://digitalcommons.salemstate.edu/fchc/). Blood also offered presentations on Franco-Americans in Massachusetts to students of French at The Waring School (Beverly, MA) and Swampscott High School this spring. 

Michele C. Dávila Gonçalves published “Las ironías de la soledad en Doce versiones de soledad de Janette Becerra” (The Ironies of Solitude in Twelve Versions of Solitude by Janette Becerra), in Cuadrivium, vol. 14, no. 21, 2021, pp. 72-78; and “Testimonio de torturas visibles e invisibles: trauma y espectralidad en Batismo de Sangue” (Testimony of Visible and Invisible Tortures: Trauma and Spectrality in Blood Baptism), in Espectros del Poder: Representaciones y discursos de resistencia en literatura y cine – s. XX-XXI (Specters of Power: Representations and Resistance Discourse in Literature and Film – XX-XXI Century), edited by JM. Persánch & Fabricio Silva, Pliegos, 2020, pp. 71-98.

Kristine Doll’s translation of American poet Carolyn Kleefeld’s book Soul Seeds has been co-published by Edicions Saldonar and Cross-Cultural Communications (Barcelona and New York, 2021). Doll’s translation, Semillas del alma, is the book’s first translation into Spanish. Professor Doll also translated into English the Spanish memoir of Argentinian composer Efraín Guigui, Dulce de leche. In addition to her translations, Doll published her own poetry and narrations in Syndic Literary Journal, #38.  March 2021.  Read and listen to her poetry here: https://www.syndicjournal.us  Doll also read at the Shabdagucha International Poetry Reading (New York, 2020).

In March 2021, Anna Rocca was invited by the Center for Peace and Development at the University of Oklahoma to join the panel Genocide and Healing to discuss the role of aesthetic expression in responding to conflict, genocide, and multiple other forms of violence. In March 2021, at the Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA) Virtual Conference, she organized and chaired a roundtable entitled: “Visual Africa: Francophone Women’s Aesthetic Representations of Africa,” in which she presented new research, and a panel entitled “Francophone Women Writers Embracing Eco-Feminism.” Continuing to work on Tunisian female authors’ post-revolutionary literary production, Dr. Rocca also published two articles and one chapter. Both articles are available in Project MUSE, the first article appeared on Expressions maghrébines, under the title “Textual and Photographic Representations of Attachment in a Minimalistic Tunisia,” and the second on L’Esprit Créateur, entitled Héla Ammar’s À fleur de peau / Body Talks: From Anonymous to Familiar Bodies. Dr. Rocca’s chapter entitled Héla Ammar’s Tarz appeared in the book collection Women and Photography in Africa, published by Routledge. Finally, expanding her research on Sub Saharan female writers, she published a groundbreaking article in the special issue of Women in French Studies dedicated to Francophone Central African Women’s Writing, entitled “Adrienne Yabouza’s Co-épouses et co-veuves: Female Exemplary Stories of Hardship and Improbable Alliances,” also available in Project MUSE. 

Nicole Sherf has been studying world language programming in the state and published two related articles this year:

  • Sherf, Nicole with Eagan, Timothy, Curran, Dana and Talbot, Kimberly.  “Proficiency Development and the Seal of Biliteracy:  Three Paths, One Goal.” The Language Educator, Fall 2020, Volume 15, Issue 4.
  • Ritz, Catherine, and Sherf, Nicole.  “World Language Programming and Leadership in K-12 Massachusetts Public Schools.”  Foreign Language Annals, Volume 54, Issue 1, Spring 2021.

Fátima Serra published a book chapter: “Vitoria, La Ciudad Blanca: Subversive Noir in the Fiction of Eva G. Sáenz de Urturi.” Women Writers of Female Crime Series in the XXI Century in Spain. Inmaculada Pertusa and Melissa Stewart eds.  Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2020. She also presented the following conference presentation: “Nuevas tendencias narrativas: la trilogía del Baztán de Dolores Redondo.”Diáspora Española: Migración y exilios. Actas seleccionadas de la XXXVII Asamblea General y  Congreso Internacional de ALDEEU. Co-ed with Marta Boris Tarré. Lakeville, MA: ALDEEU, 2020. (105-115)


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