Honors and Awards

  • Catherine Clark has been awarded the Class of 1947 Career Development Chair for her outstanding contributions to education and research.
  • William Uricchio and his team at the The MIT Open Documentary Lab received a three-year grant from the MacArthur Foundation in December.
  • Shigeru Miyagawa, together with AI specialists from MIT’s CSAIL and the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, has received a major grant from the Hong Kong government to explore applications of AI technology to MOOCs.
  • Jeff Ravel received a grant from the National Park Services for the Visualizing Maritime History project he is doing with the MIT Museum. GSL is also helping to fund this global history project.
  • Margarita Ribas Groeger was recognized as “MAP Mentor of the Year” by MIT’s Mentor Advocate Partnership Program of the Office of Minority Education. This is Margarita’s second time winning this award! MAP is a volunteer program designed to complement the current advisor system by helping first-year students to build relationships with staff and faculty; to monitor their academic performance and personal well-being; to offer encouragement; and to provide a proactive support network.
  • Masami Ikeda-Lamm and Roberto Rey Agudo have been selected by SHASS to receive the 2016 Levitan Teaching Awards. This award recognizes SHASS teachers who make a profound difference in the educational experience of MIT undergraduate and graduate students. Nominations are made by students themselves.
  • Kurt Fendt won a student-nominated Teaching with Digital Technology Award for 21G.420 Visual Histories: German Cinema 1945 to Present (read more about this on the CMS/W website ) and was honored at the Awards Luncheon June 1. GSL nominees Tong Chen, Shigeru Miyagawa, Leanna Rezvani, Peter Weise, and  Jin Zhang, were also honored at this event.
  • Takako Aikawa was awarded a Japan Foundation grant for her project “Teacher-sourcing for the development of AI Tutor.”
  • Min-Min Liang and Jon Griffith were awarded a grant from Council for the Arts at MIT to invite Chinese Avant-garde writer, Can Xue, and Iranian-American novelist Porochista Khakpour, to MIT in the fall for a literary reading and panel discussion. The event will be held in conjunction with PEN New England.
  • Maria Khotimsky was awarded an Alumni Class Funds grant for her proposed project “Bringing Russian to MIT: Developing Curriculum and Materials for the New Russian Literature Course.” This fund is the result of support of alumni and is dispersed as seed money for new “high risk” initiatives for creative curriculum and teaching.
  • The Gilberte Furstenberg & Douglas Morgenstern Fund for Innovation in Language Instruction fund is intended to sustain a culture of innovation in foreign language instruction in GSL, and is open to all regular full-time instructional members in the Section. Projects awarded this spring were: Cathy Culot for “Teaching cross-cultural communication in the language classroom with Tintin and The Blue Lotus,” Nilma Dominique for “The Beat of Brazil: Brazilian Society through its Music,” and Kang Zhao for “Incorporating video materials into the Chinese Curriculum.”
  • Tong Chen was invited to be one of the judges for The 11th Chinese Speech Contest for U.S. High School Students on March 19. He was also invited to be one of the judges for The 6th Chinese Speech Contest for University Students in New England on April 16.

Of note

  • Shigeru Miyagawa reports that MIT and the University of Tokyo signed an agreement to begin an undergraduate student exchange program between the two schools of engineering. The departments that will kick off the one semester long exchange are Material Science, Mechanical Engineering, and Nuclear Science and Engineering. Up to five UTokyo students will study at MIT in the fall of 2016, and up to five MIT students will go to the University of Tokyo starting in the spring of 2017. Each institution will recognize the credits for study undertaken. As part of their study, MIT students will take a Japanese language class at UTokyo, and a new humanities course, Visualizing Japan, designed after the MIT course. The supervising faculty on the MIT side is Shigeru Miyagawa and the exchange will be coordinated by the Global Education office.
  • MIT was selected as a member of the “JF Nihongo Network” for 2015 to 2019. The membership certificate was received from Mr. Hiroyasu Ando, President of the Japan Foundation, Tokyo. This is an honor for the entire Japanese language group.


  • Jing Wang published an edited volume in China: Internet Plus Public Good (Beijing: Electronics Publishing Co., 2016).
  • William Uricchio co-edited Many More Lives of the Batman published in August (London: British Film Institute / Palgrave Macmillan). He was also PI & lead author of a report to the MacArthur Foundation, “Mapping the Intersection of Two Cultures:  Interactive Documentary and Digital Journalism,” issued in November.
  • Bruno Perreau wrote a chapter, “The Power of Theory. Same-Sex Marriage, Education, and Gender Panic in France,” for a newly-published book, After Marriage Equality: The Future of LGBT Rights, Carlos A. Ball (ed.), New York, NYU Press, June 2016.
  • Catherine Clark’s article, “Capturing the Moment, Picturing History: Photographs of the Liberation of Paris,” appears in the June 2016 issue of the American Historical Review.
  • Antonio Igrejas was in the Azores and Lisbon in May to launch two books he edited with two colleagues from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He also authored a chapter in each. The two books are: Rememorando Daniel de Sá [Remembering Daniel de Sá] and Trinta e Muitos Anos de Devoção: Estudos Sobre Jorge de Sena em Honra de Mécia de Sena [Thirty and Many More Years of Devotion: Studies on Jorge de Sena in Honor of Mécia de Sena]. His chapters are “De ilhas, deus e vidas consentidas n´A Terrra Permitida” [Of islands, god and approved lives in A Terra Permitida] for the Daniel de Sá book, and “A Imagética Carceral Como Fio Condutor em Os Grão-Capitães [Carceral Imagery in Os Grão-Capitães] for the Jorge de Sena book. An article on the Azores book launch was published online by RTP Açores. In this PICTURE from a book launch in Lisbon, Antonio is being greeted by Ramalho Eanes, former President of Portugal! • YOUTUBE VIDEO

Conferences and Talks

  • William Uricchio gave two talks May 25 and 26 at the Center for Media, Data and Society, Central European University, Budapest. These were: “Interaction, Immersion and the Implications of User-Enacted Experiences” and “Digital Journalism: Transmission, Ritual, and the Re-Imagined Civic.” He also had some other talks earlier this year that weren’t yet reported in the newsletter. He gave a keynote last October, “Shifting Prepositions: aesthetics of the black & white cathode ray tube” at Une télévision allumée: les arts dans le noir et blanc du tube cathodique, International Festival of Films on Art, Montreal. He also gave a keynote, “Media, Metropolis, Mind: Wandering Through 150 Years of Urban Documentation,” at DOKU.ARTS Symposium “Architectures in Motion,” Deutsches Historisches Museum, Berlin, last September.
  • Nilma Dominique gave a talk, “Panorama do Ensino de PLE nas universidades em Massachusetts” [An overview of the teaching of Portuguese as a Foreign Language in colleges in Massachusetts], on May 13, at the International Conference on Cultures and Literatures in Dialogue: Identities in Motion, in Perugia, Italy. On May 20, Dominique was invited to present a  live Webinar on the Seminars of Theoretical Interdisciplinary Semiotics entitled “Actions speak louder than words: extra-linguistic strategies for effective communication,” organized by the Minas Gerais Federal University (UFMG), Brazil.
  • Maria Khotimsky presented at the New England Russian Language Pedagogy Roundtable n May 13. Her talk was, “Designing Interactive Class and Homework Activities for Second-Year Russian.”
  • Jane Dunphy conducted a workshop, “Teaching Multilingual Students in the Internationalized University: Toward Strategic Competence,” during a two-day program hosted by MIT May 20-21, the Boston Rhetoric and Writing Network Summer Writing Symposium. She also has several presentations upcoming in June. She will present a seminar June 9 as part of the Professional Communications Bootcamp, conducted  by Ed Schiappa, Head of CMS/Writing. On June 10, Jane will give a workshop for the instructors and TAs, “Active Teaching 101,” in the MITES Summer Program, run by MIT’s Office of Engineering Outreach (School of Engineering) every year.  MITES = Minority Introduction to Engineering & Sciences. MITES brings talented high school seniors from across the country to to spend the summer  studying science and engineering free of charge. MITES WEB. Jane will also be teaching a three-day course, “Culture Matters,” June 13, 14 and 15, in MIT’s Professional Education Program. Her co-teacher is Bhaskar Pant, the Executive Director of Professional Studies at MIT.
  • Takako Aikawa made a presentation “Grammar Rules Induced from Students’ Errors & Variance in Error Correction among Language Teachers,” at the 30th Annual Conference of the Japanese Language Teachers Association of the Northeastern Region, Wellesley College, MA, May 22.
  • Shigeru Miyagawa gave a plenary talk in April at a workshop at the 39th GLOW, the top theoretical linguistics conference in Europe. His talk was jointly presented with Liliane Haegeman of Ghent University.
  • Bruno Perreau will give a keynote on June 20, “Under the Majority Eye. Beyond Queer Visibility,” Lesbian/Gay/ Queer Visibility Matters, Keele University, United Kingdom. He will also present his forthcoming book on June 2: “France After Marriage Equality,” Law and Society Association, annual conference, roundtable organized by Carlos E. Ball, New Orleans, LA.


  • Jeff Ravel and Sylvaine Guyot (Harvard) successfully hosted an international conference on Early Modern Theatre Practices & the Digital Archive: The Comédie-Française Registers Project (1680-1793) at MIT and Harvard on May 19-21.
  • William Uricchio and his team hosted Virtually There: Virtual Realty Meets the Documentary, a conference and exhibition presented by MIT Open Documentary Lab, The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and the Phi Centre. William also gave a keynote there.
  • On May 17-20, GSL hosted and ACTFL OPI Training Workshop organized by Maria Khotimsky, Ana Yanez, and Roberto Rey Agudo. Also participating in the training were Kang Zhao, Eric Grunwald, Nilma Dominique, and Mariana San Martin.
  • When GSL hosted a successful open house in the “Global Tent” at the MIT Centennial Celebrations in April, a great time was had by those of all ages as seen in these images captured by Margarita Groeger of the “Multilingual Bingo” game.

GSL Student news

  • Maria Khotimsky’s student, Christianna Bonin (PhD Candidate, History, Theory, and Criticism of Architecture + Art) just won a Fulbright award to travel to Russia next year.
  • Austin Feel and Eric Koch from Chinese IV Regular, supervised by Tong Chen, won the 2nd place in The 6th Chinese Speech Contest for University Students in New England on April 16. There were 40 students from 18 universities who participated in this contest.
  • One of our alums, Shen Huang ’12, winner of the GSL Award for Excellence in 2011, has won a Rotary Peace Fellowship to pursue a Master’s degree in Queensland, Australia in International Relations. The Rotary Peace Fellowship is awarded each year to up to a 100 individuals from around the world to pursue a fully funded Master’s degree at one of their peace centers in premier universities in fields related to peace and conflict prevention and resolution.
  • The following GSL minors and concentrators are graduating this month as Phi Beta Kappa: Kamphol Akkaravarawong, Brent Belland, Kathryn Brink, Katherine Ellinger, Austin Freel, Victoria Gong, Camille Henrot, Vinay Mayar, Veronica Montgomery, Judy Pu, Forest Tong, Andres Wallentin, Shenghao Wang, and Xueyin Wen.

GSL Student Excellence Awards

Every spring GSL recognizes and celebrates undergraduates who demonstrate excellence in global languages and cross-cultural understanding. The GSL Excellence Awards and Isabelle de Courtivron Writing Prize recipients were recognized at the Awards for Excellence Soirée on Monday, April 25. The German Studies Excellence Award Ceremony was held on Thursday, April 28. • The awards went to:

  • Global Studies and Languages 2016 Award for Excellence went to: Award for Excellence: Camille Henrot, ’16, Louisville, CODistinguished Scholar AwardDerron Browne, ’16, San Fernando, Trinidad and Tobago; and Eve de la Serna, ’16, Toledo, OH.
  • Award for Excellence in German Studies at MITFirst Prize: Suma Anand, ’17, Newton, MASecond Prize: Dina Levy-Lambert, ’17,New York, NY; and Lucine Gabriel, ’17, Pittsburgh, PAThird Prize: Christina Curlette, ’16, Atlanta, GA; Marianna Agudelo, ’16, Roswell, GA;  Ola Kalinowska, ’16, Gdansk, Poland; Akshat Bubna, ’18, New Delhi, India;  Robert Knighton, ’17 (unknown); Anna Martinez, ,19, Miami, FL; Nina Petelina, ’17, Moscow, Russia.
  • Isabelle de Courtivron Writing PrizeFirst Prize: Pratyusha (Priya) Kalluri, ’16, Verona, WISecond Prize: Aneesh Anand, ’17, Newton, MA.