Elizabeth Wood has just published a new book, Roots of Russia’s War in Ukraine (Woodrow Wilson Center Press/Columbia University Press, 2015). This volume is the fruit of Elizabeth’s engagement with other Russianist colleagues in residence at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington DC last year. She edited the volume and contributed a piece entitled “A Small, Victorious War?: The Symbolic Politics of Vladimir Putin.” Learn more about the volume:  Columbia University Press  •  Wilson Center

Jing Wang has received word that a special volume of the journal positions asia critique that she co-edited with Winnie Won Yin Wong called reconsidering the 2006 MIT visualizing cultures controversy has received an award from the Council of Editors of Learned Journals — the CELJ Award for Best Special Issue this year. The official announcement will come during the CELJ session at the MLA Convention in Austin, on January 9. The Council of Editors of Learned Journals, an Allied Organization of the Modern Language Association, is an organization of editors of scholarly journals in all disciplines. It is the major national organization dedicated to supporting academic journal publishing

Margarita Groeger’s co-authored textbook, Charlas de sobremesa: Conversación en español, was just published by Yale University Press. Aimed at third-year students of Spanish, this book fills a need not met by other Spanish conversation textbooks. It facilitates lively and meaningful conversations via a variety of texts, including newspaper and journal articles, short stories, and passages from novels, as well as visual material and detailed guides for three films and novels.

Shigeru Miyagawa’s research is featured in award-winning radio program. The 2015 AAAS Kavli Science Journalism Awards were just announced. The AAAS (American Association for the Advancement of Science) is an international non-profit organization dedicated to advancing science for the benefit of all people.The award is considered America’s top science journalism award, and this year was opened to programs abroad. Rami Tzabar and Angela Saini of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) won the Gold Award for radio reporting for “What the Songbird Said”  which explored how animal models of vocal communication may be useful in understanding how human language might have evolved.

Haohsiang Liao’s entry, “Chinese Language Pedagogy at the University Level in the United States,” has been officially published by the Encyclopedia of Chinese Language and Linguistics by Brill Online, 2015. The print version of the Encyclopedia will be available in October 2016.

Emma Teng published an article, “On the Hidden Histories of Chinese-White Mixed Families” in the Chronicle of the Chinese Historical Society of New England (Fall 2015).


Sabine Levet will be a co-leader of the 2016 Project-Based Language Learning & Interculturality Intensive Summer Institute of the National Foreign Language Resource Center. The prestigious National Foreign Language Resource Center (NFLRC) aims to expand the nation’s capacity to teach and learn foreign languages through research and materials development projects. The primary audience for most NFLRC endeavors is language instructors and applied linguists involved in these languages.

Andrea Wirth, GSL’s Academic Administrator, has accepted a position as the HASS Academic Administrator in the SHASS Dean’s Office. Andrea has been with the Section more than 11 years, supporting faculty, students and administrators. In addition to her MIT career, Andrea has been an active drummer with Middlesex County Volunteers Fifes and Drums. GSL wishes her the best!

Pilot program to teach beginning-level Cantonese in IAP: MIT Global Studies and Languages has announced a pilot program to teach beginning-level Cantonese in January 2016 during the Independent Activities Period (IAP). Until now, only Mandarin Chinese has been taught in the MIT Chinese program. Cantonese is spoken by some 60 million people globally, including China’s Guangdong province, Hong Kong, and Chinese diaspora communities worldwide. Cantonese and its dialects are widely spoken in Chinatowns throughout North America. Senior Lecturer Haohsiang Liao told Babel newsletter that in addition to offering a new Cantonese class, the Section also has plans underway to develop a class in Business Chinese. Section Head, Professor Emma Teng, said the new subjects “couldn’t come at a better time” because MIT has recently announced a new Hong Kong innovation node, a collaborative space that will connect the MIT community with unique resources and opportunities in Hong Kong, Shenzhen, and neighboring areas in Guangdong province.