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• Ivan Abarca published an article, in Spanish, in a unique journal on the social sciences and humanities called Al-Irfan (University Mohammed V-Rabat, Morocco, Instituto de Estudios Hispano-Lusos). The article titled “Las telenovelas en México: Objetos precursores del multiculturalismo y la globalización” [Telenovelas in México: Precursors to Multiculturalism and Globalization], and it is part of the magazine’s thematic issue on “multiculturalism.” The article shows how, since their inception, telenovelas have been multicultural objects par excellence.
• Nilma Dominique is the author of the book chapter “Panorama Do Ensino De Português Em Massachusetts, Estados Unidos” [An Overview of Portuguese Teaching in Massachusetts, United States] in A Língua Portuguesa No Mundo: Passado, Presente E Futuro, ed. Alexander Luís, Carla Luís, and Paulo Osório (Lisbon: Edições Colibri, 2017), 117-28.
• Takako Aikawa has co-authored an article titled “Serendipitous Learning in Mixed Reality,” Proceedings of the 2017 ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, pp. 2172-2179, Denver, Colorado.
• Jing Wang has received an advance contract on her 4th single-authored book The Other Digital China: Activism 2.0 and Change Makers from the Harvard University Press.
• Emma Teng authored the essay “Wang Tao as a Pioneer of New Literary and Journalistic Forms,” in A New Literary History of Modern China, ed. David Der-wei Wang (Harvard University Press, 2017). The book is a collection of writings by over 140 scholars and has been received positive acclaim, including by The National. As the cover states “it is essential reading for anyone seeking a deeper understanding of China’s literary and cultural legacy.”
• Emma Teng has also published a think piece titled “The Asian Turn in Mixed Race Studies: Retrospects and Prospects,” Asia Pacific Perspectives, vol 14, no. 2, Spring 2017.
• Emma Teng presented at a number of events in May and April:
“Early FF Brothers at MIT: Pioneers Across Diverse Fields,” MIT Archives and Special Collections.
“Education and Exclusion,” Chinese Historical Society of New England
“Piercing through the Great Wall of Isolationism: MIT’s Pioneering Chinese Students,” Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, Lincoln Lab
“China Comes to Tech: 1877-1931” (in Chinese), US Consulate, Guangzhou and Spaceyun, Shanghai, China
“Shanghai Eurasians Then and Now: From Problem to Promise,” NYU Shanghai, Shanghai
“At the Intersections of Sinophone Studies and Critical Mixed Race Studies: Re-Examining the Boundaries of Chineseness” (in Chinese), Institute for Modern History, Academia Sinica, Taiwan
“Chinese Exclusion as a Symptom of Illiberal Democracy,” Illiberal Democracies panel, MIT Day of Action, MIT
• Nilma Dominique gave a presentation titled “Brazilian Popular Music and Culture as a Mediator in the Construction of a Curriculum for Teaching Portuguese as a Heritage Language” at the 4th Conference about Teaching, Promoting and Nurturing Portuguese as a Heritage Language, New York, May 17-20.
• Amah Edoh gave an invited lecture in the Fibers program at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design (MassArt) on April 18. The lecture was based on her ongoing research on Dutch Wax cloth and the makings of “African-ness.” Following the talk, she co-led a hands-on workshop with a dozen undergraduate students in the program where we interrogated the idea of an “African aesthetic”.
• Amah Edoh was also invited to participate in a roundtable of artists, activists, and scholars at the MFA discussing arts activism and decolonization in the Black Atlantic taking place on May 24. She also contributed an interleaf on Dutch Wax cloth design practice to the exhibition catalog for the exhibition “African Print Fashion Now! A Story of Taste, Globalization, and Style.” The exhibit is on view at the Fowler Museum of UCLA until July 30th and the catalog should be published in late June.
• Sabine Levet gave a talk entitled “Interculturality in Technology-Mediated Project-Based Language Learning” at the 2017 CALICO Conference, Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, on May 18. Co-presenter was Stephen Tschudi, University of Hawaii at Manoa.
• Masami Ikeda-Lamm gave a presentation titled “Significance of Increased Self-Learners to Japanese Language Instruction,” at the AATJ (American Association of Teachers of Japanese) Annual Conference, Toronto, Canada, on March 16, 2017.
• Bruno Perreau presented at a number of events in April and May:
a paper titled “The Inner Voice: Minority Presence and Representation” at the Mellon Sawyer Symposium on “Ethical Subjects: Moralities, Laws, Histories,” at Rutgers University
a paper titled “Gender as Immunity. How France Conceptualizes America,” at the University of Chicago’s conference on “Querelles des femmes, or, the Long History of Feminism”
his recent book Queer Theory: The French Response at Boston University, Department of Romance Studies
participated in a panel discussion with Emmanuelle Saada, Camille Robics, Anne Verjus, and Laure Bereni at Columbia University’s Maison Française.
• Takako Aikawa presented “Revitalization of Grammar in the Digital Age: Grammar Pedagogy”, at The 31st Annual Conference of Japanese Language Teachers’ Association of New England (JLTANE), Harvard, Cambridge, MA. May 21, 2017.
• Bettina Stoetzer presented at a number of events in April and May:
a paper titled “Ecologies of Destruction in Berlin” on the “Geographies of Extinction” panel at the American Association of Geographers Meeting
presented and moderated an introductory lecture on the “Livable Panel” at the Being Material Conference hosted by the MIT Center for Art, Science and Technology
presented “Ruderal Ecologies: Rethinking Nature, Migration and the Urban Environment in Berlin” at a workshop on “Matters of Urban Citizenship” held at the Anthropology Department at Columbia University
presented and collaborated the same paper at a workshop on “Military Ecologies” at the Anthropology Dept and Mellon Sawyer Seminar at UC Irvine.
• Jing Wang was invited to give a talk titled “1001 Nights and Media Ecologies in China and the US” at the Media Object Workshop, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies, Harvard University. May 4 & 5, 2017
• Catherine Clark gave a talk entitled “French Maoism for the Masses: Jean Yanne’s Les Chinois à Paris (1974)” at the Society for Cinema and Media Studies annual conference in Chicago. In April, she spoke on the subject of “Twentieth-Century History: Profession and Pastime,” during an event on twentieth-century for the Mellon Sawyer Seminar “Visual History: The Past in Pictures” at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. She also presented her research at the conference “Photo Archives VI: The Place of Photography” at Oxford University. Her talk there was entitled “From ‘Trash to Treasure:’ Loss, Value, and the Photo Archive.”
• Bruno Perreau spoke about his recent book Queer Theory: The French Response on the New Books podcast, hosted by Roxanne Panchasi.
• Emma Teng was interviewed by the BBC podcast The Forum about the history of Taiwan, “Taiwan: An Island History.”
• Nilma Dominique I was certified as an ACTFL/AAPPL Portuguese Language Test Rater.
• Amah Edoh was one of two guests invited by the Africana studies department at Williams College to participate in their annual “Rethinking Africana Studies” faculty seminar. This year the topic was “Material Cultures” with the conversation ranging from how Africana studies might benefit from greater theoretical engagement with material culture studies, to how this area of scholarship might be brought to bear on the department’s undergraduate curriculum.
• Jane Dunphy coordinated and hosted a week-long visit (April 3-7) with faculty from the Technical University of Delft who want adopt aspects of MIT’s administration and instruction of academic/professional communication and world languages. During this week, the guests observed eight class sessions and met with different program administrators, GSL lecturers and CMS/W lecturers to learn about the history, philosophy and methods that inform the “MIT approach.”
• Shigeru Miyagawa is the co-founder of a new MOOC course Visualizing the Birth of Tokyo, along with John Dower and Ellen Sebring. The MOOC will be produced in collaboration with the Smithsonian Institution and the Japan Broadcasting Corporation (NHK).
• Tong Chen was appointed a member of the CLTA Fund Raising Committee for the term 2016 – 2018. He was also invited to be one of eight judges for the 7th High School Student “Chinese Bridge” Speech Contest for university students in the New England Area. This is his seventh time to serve as a judge. Under his direction, Liz Murray from Chinese VI Regular won the advanced group 2nd place in this competition.
• Emma Teng was invited to be a Visiting Scholar at the Institute for Modern History, Academia Sinica, Taiwan, May 2017. Teng was also invited to join the International Advisory Board, International Chinese Language Program, National Taiwan University.
• Catherine Clark won the prestigious Mellon Fellowship at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Princeton, where she will be spending the next academic year and working on her second book. She was featured in SHASS News
• Two students from MIT Russian Classes, Piper Sigrest and Damian Barabonkov, participated in the Russian Language Olympiad, a competition for college students of Russian as a foreign language, hosted by the Davis Center at Harvard University. Damian Barabonkov won the 3rd place in the First-Year Russian competition.
The GSL Award for Excellence Soirée, on April 22, was a resounding success and highlighted how important the work GSL does is for many MIT students.
The Portuguese Program with the MIT Language Conversation Exchange celebrated the first semester of partnership in the project Bridges. Students gathered with their local partners for an end-of-the-year lunch and an informational session about life in Brazil was held for students going to Brazil through the MIT-Brazil program.
On April 4, thirteen students studying German at Melrose High School visited GSL. Interested in learning how to integrate German at the university level, the high school students met with MIT students of German over pizza (GSL sponsored). They heard guest speaker Bettina Stoetzer and Tanya Raymond from the MIT-Germany program. This outreach event was organized by Dagmar Jaeger.
This semester’s Language Pedagogy Round Table explored the uses of videos and other materials to represent cultural content in teaching different levels of language. Margarita Ribas Groeger showed a wonderful array of tasks based on films and short videos; she also discussed various creative assignments and shared her students’ presentations, such as “advocating for a cause.” Leanna Bridge Rezvani talked about her use of songs and videos, as well as other cultural materials (such as “quote of the day”), allowing students to be immersed in authentic French culture from the moment they step into the classroom, and to create special class traditions. Min-Min Liang shared several videos that she uses in heritage classes to engage students in cultural analysis on a variety of topics, ranging from cooking and daily life to such complicated issues as intergenerational relations, education, and discipline. She also shared her experience of using short videos from the Beijing Film Academy project to design a variety of tasks.
• Jane Dunphy led a field trip for her class Communicating in American Culture (21G.221) to the Museum of Fine Arts for a curated introduction to some of the iconic pieces in the American wing. The same class held a May symposium entitled Culture 101: Necessary Tools for Navigating at MIT where the students presented a series of formal White Papers to an audience including professionals from the International Students Office and the Office of the Vice President for Research. The symposium was designed to provide the students’ perceptions of how successful the Institute has been in its efforts to support incoming international students. Using the analytical cultural frameworks learned in class, the student speakers highlighted the features that make some of MIT’s efforts successful; they also identified both weakness and gaps in the support, with suggestions for improvement.
• Ivan Abarca organized a guided tour of the MFA exhibition “Memory Unearthed: The Lodz Ghetto Photographs of Henryk Ross,” led by the curator.
• Emma Teng’s exhibit “China Comes to Tech: 1877-1931” has been extended for viewing until November 30, 2017. The exhibit has been the center of a number of events and meda coverage:
China Comes to Tech: 1877-1931,” MIT Libraries’ Donors’ Reception, MIT Archives and Special Collections, MIT
A presentation by Emma Teng in Chinese at the US Consulate, Guangzhou, China as well as one at Spaceyun, Shanghai, China
An article on the exhibit, China Comes to Tech appeared in the Chinese edition of the Technology Review