Department News:

Below is a sampling of updates from the Fall 2015 Romance, German, and Slavic Languages and Literatures Newsletter. To read the full newsletter, click on the thumbnail to the right.

Spanish & Latin American Languages & Literatures News
French News
Media Coverage
Alumni Updates/Class Notes


Spanish & Latin American Languages & Literatures News

IMPACTO Service Learning Student GroupThe Spanish Program’s Academic Service-Learning initiative was developed and is led by Dolores Perillán, Instructor of Spanish, in partnership with GW’s Center for Civic Engagement and Public Service. The program offers GW students the opportunity to engage in diverse service projects with community partner organizations working for underserved Latino populations. Students’ participation can take place via the Advanced Spanish Service-Learning 3040 course, and GW Impacto, offered as a co-curricular component to enrich our students’ language learning at other levels, while extending their civic engagement experiences. Read more about the program here.

Christopher Britt, associate professor of Spanish, published the essays “La irrealidad histórica de España” and “Intelectuales e idiotas” in Almanaque Literario México, Universidad de Guanajuato.

María José de la Fuente, Associate Professor of Spanish, is editor-in-chief of The Open Journal of Modern Linguistics, and is on the editorial board of the journal Interlingüística. Professor de la Fuente also published the book chapter “Explicit negative feedback and computer-based, focus on form tasks: The role of L1 in promoting L2 attention and awareness” in Spanish Technology and Second/Foreign Language Learning: A Psycholinguistic and Psychocognitive Approach.

Sergio Waisman, professor of Spanish and international affairs, served on the board of directors (treasurer) of the American Literary Translators Association (ALTA), and as the chair of the Discussion Group on Translation for the Modern Language Association (MLA); he is also on the editorial board of the Translation Review, and of Variaciones Borges. Professor Waisman also published the refereed article “The ‘Other Sort’: A Nearly Invisible Scene of Translation” in CiberLetras, and the refereed book chapter “Otro mapa posible de Orbis Tertius: Borges, Sebald y los viajes de clásicos en traducción” in Una profunda necesidad en la ficción contemporánea: La recepción de Borges en la república mundial de las letras (Iberoamericana/Vervuert); also, Professor Waisman’s book Borges and Translation: The Irreverence of the Periphery (Bucknell, 2005) was translated into Italian and published by Edizioni Arcoiris in Italy.

Photo Caption: IMPACTO Service Learning Student Group

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French News

French and Francophone Events this year included: a book presentation and discussion in Gelman library with Professors Abdourahman Waberi and Kathryn Kleppinger; participation by Professor Kleppinger in the “Framing Ferguson” event with Professor Jennifer James; and Professor Masha Belenky hosting lectures by Dr. Sarah Kennel, associate curator of photographs at the National Gallery of Art; “The gastronomic meal of the French” with Jean-Robert Pitte; and a talk on Impressionist and post-Impressionist paintings by Dr. Mary Morton, director of French galleries at the National Gallery of Art.

Leah Chang, associate professor of French, published the scholarly volume Portraits of the Queen Mother: Polemics, Panegyrics, Letters (Univ. of Toronto Press), and the refereed article “Marie de Gournay" (in an Oxford Bibliography). She also contributed to the proposal for a Global Humanities Institute.

Kathryn Kleppinger, assistant professor of French, published the refereed article “Relighting Stars and Bazaars of Voices: Exchange and Dialogue in Léonora Miano's Tels des astres éteints and Alain Mabanckou's Black Bazaar” in Francophone Afropean Literatures.

Abdourahman Waberi, assistant professor of French, published the novel La divine chanson (in France); a book translation of his poetry (The Nomads, My Brothers, Go Out to Drink from the Big Dipper) came out in the United Staes and India; and a re-edition of one of his books of poetry came out in Canada.

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Media Coverage

Kathryn Kleppinger, assistant professor of French, appeared as a commentator in Al Jazeera America-TV’s “Inside Story” and in NTN-TV’s “Breaking News” in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo attacks.

Peter Rollberg, professor of Slavic languages, film studies and international affairs, appeared in Georgian Cinema Lecture in Washington, D.C., Voice of America (Georgian Service)/Imeda TV channel (Georgia)-TV; Jonson's Russia List hosted by Institute Buzzfeed -Digital Media; was interviewed by Rosy Gray of Buzzfeed about Johnson's Russia List (the interview was later reprinted by the Ukrainian service Stopfake!); was interviewed and quoted by Larry Rohter of The New York Times for his article on Russian director Andrei Zvyagintsev.

Mary Beth Stein, professor of German, was interviewed by James Irwin for GW Today-TV: “Twenty Five Years Later; The Fall of the Berlin Wall”.

Abdourahman A. Waberi, assistant professor of French, appeared in “La Grande Librairie” Literary TV Show, France 5, Paris–TV; “Africanités” TV5 Monde, Paris, France-TV; “7 jours sur la planète” TV5 Monde, Paris, France-TV; “64', Le Monde en Français” TV5 Monde, Paris, France-TV; “Le Grand débat” Political Radio Show, 60 minutes, Francis Laloupo Africa n°1 -Radio; “Le RenDez-Vous.” Laurent Goumarre, Paris France Culture–Radio; “Les Bonnes Feuilles,” Sandrine TreinerFrance Culture, Paris- Radio; “Cosmopolitaine,” Paula Jacques famous literary show Radio Paris France Inter, Paris-Radio; “Le Matin du départ ,” Dorothée Barba France Inter, Paris–Radio; “Le Matin du depart,” Dorothée Barba France Inter, Paris–Radio; “L'Afrique Enchantée,” Hortense VolleFrance Inter, Paris–Radio; “Littérature sans frontier,” Catherine Fruchon-Toussaint, Radio RFI-Radio France International, Paris–Radio; and “Danse avec les mots,” Yvan Amar RFI-Radio France International, Paris–Radio.

Sergio Waisman, professor of Spanish, was featured in a full-page article and interview in La Nación, Argentina's most important daily newspaper: "El traductor jamás es invisible…"

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Alumni Update/Class Notes

Anda Andersons, BA ’62, has used her language skills over the years in various capacities including translations work at both the National Science Foundation and the Smithsonian Institute, and as a guide at the World’s Fair in Brussels, Belgium. Andersons received her MA in clinical art therapy from a graduate program in California.

Sophia Carter, BA ’11, recently graduated from Duke Law School and is currently working for Intel Corporation in Washington, D.C., and Brussels, Belgium.

Jessica Denson, BA ’07, appeared in the New York Post, The Wall Street Journal and multiple other outlets following her role in the HBO political mini-series, Show Me a Hero.

Eileen Dorfman, BA ’09, graduated cum laude from the University of Wisconsin Law School in 2015, where she was also a 2014-15 Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellow in Russian. She is currently working as a judicial law clerk in the Dane County Circuit Court.

Donna Farina, BA ’81, is currently on sabbatical from New Jersey City University. She traveled to Tbilisi, Republic of Georgia, giving lectures at two universities and observing English teachers in schools.

Debra McDonald, BA ’72, is enjoying her retirement. When not traveling, she is a docent at the Small Mammal House at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C.

Jorge V. Ordenes, MA ’68, PhD ’80, is in the process of organizing degrees in Bolivian history and literature at universities in Bolivia. He has written for newspapers and has published books, some of which are kept in the Gelman Library. He currently resides in Vienna, Va.

Nancy Rogers, MA ’70, PhD ’74, currently works as foundations manager for a human rights-based organization operating in 47 countries called ActionAid. She resides in Colorado following completion of an MA in food studies at New York University.

Ruthanne Withers, BA ’00, worked as a paralegal after graduation and then attended Northeastern University School of Law. She has practiced in the areas of family law and domestic violence for 10 years. Ruthanne is married and has two beautiful boys. She and her family live in the Boston area.

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