Major Awards and Grants

• Paul Roquet was awarded a long-term Japanese Studies Research Fellowship from the Japan Foundation for research on augmented reality and virtual reality in Japan during the academic year 2018-2019.

• Takako Aikawa has been awarded Japanese Language Education Project Grant for “AI Tutor: Data Validation and Usability Test” by the Japan Foundation, Los Angeles, May 2018.

• Mariana San Martin and Elizabeth Wood have both been named recipients of the 2018 Levitan Teaching Award, which recognizes instructors in SHASS who have demonstrated outstanding success. Recipients are nominated by their students for work that goes above and beyond ordinary classroom responsibilities.

• Eric Grunwald has been awarded an Alumni Class Grant for his proposed project “Course Development: Testing the Bounds of English Through Creative Writing.’”  The review committee “saw great value in expanding the opportunities for this underserved population.”

• Cathy Culot won a Gilberte Furstenberg & Douglas Morgenstern Fund Award for the project “Teaching cross-cultural communication in the language classroom with Tintin and The Blue Lotus: Phase II.”

• Panpan Gao won a Gilberte Furstenberg & Douglas Morgenstern Fund Award for the project “Bridging the Gap between Language Learning and Real Use: Integrating Video Materials about case studies into Business Chinese Class.”


• A.C. Kemp published a book chapter “Guinness World Records” in New Ways in Teaching Grammar, Second Edition, edited by Connie Rylance and Andrea Kevech (TESOL Press), 2018.

Antonio Igrejas published a book Empenho e Arte. Os Grão-Capitães: Uma Sequência de Contos de Jorge de Sena, Edições Colibri, Lisbon, spring 2018. The book deals with the short story sequence literary genre and the Estado Novo authoritarian regime in Portugal.

• Bettina Stoetzer published “Ruderal Ecologies: Rethinking Nature, Migration and the Urban Landscape in Berlin” in the Journal of Cultural Anthropology (33(2): 295-323), May 21, 2018.

• Bruno Perreau published two articles: “Adoption or the Metaphor of Power,” Adoption & Culture, special issue, (6) 1, May 2018, 33-34; and “Politique de la frustration,” Analyse Opinion Critique, April 16, 2018.

• Emma Teng’s article, “Passing for Chinese: Reading Hybridity in Wang Tao’s ‘The Story of Mary’ (Meili xiaozhuan),” was published in Texts and Transformations edited by Haun Saussy, New York: Cambria, pp.165-197. A review of Taiwan’s Imagined Geography: Chinese Colonial Travel Writing and Pictures, 1683-1895 (台灣的想像地理: 中國殖民旅遊書寫與圖像1683-1895), recently translated into Chinese, was published in Bookish Asia.

• Maria Khotimsky‘s  review of The Penguin Book of Russian Poetry (Penguin Classics, 2015), edited and translated by Robert Chandler, Boris Dralyuk, and Irina Mashinsky, was published in Delos: A Journal on Translation and World Literature, Vol. 33, no. 1.

• Michelle Ho published “Housewives Watching Crime: Mediating Social Identity and Voyeuristic Pleasures in Japanese Wide Shows” in Routledge Handbook of Japanese Media, edited by Fabienne Darling-Wolf, 213-227, 2018

• Takako Aikawa published a book chapter “T. Virtual study-abroad experience: JaJan, an application of the next generation” in Digital Resources for Learning Japanese, Bologna: Bononia University Press, May 2018.

Major Events

GSL successfully launched the annual T.T. and W.F. Chao Distinguished Buddhist Lecture Series. The Venerable Bhikkhu Bodhi, an American Buddhist monk, gave the inaugural lecture Forging a New Moral Vision in an Age of Crisis on April 19 which drew over 140 people. The Venerable Bhikkhu Bodhi also led a meditation session on April 20 for about 40 students, faculty, and staff, at the Burton-Conner dormitory.

• Kurt Fendt organized and led the three-day Topographies of Writing Symposium which celebrated the 20th Anniversary of the Max Kade Writer-in-Residence Program in German Studies. The event brought together well-known German and Swiss writers who each taught for one semester in the MIT German program. The Symposium addressed such topics as identity formation in different cultural contexts, shifting borders, cultural closeness and distance, language and cultural spaces, and the “taste” of languages in a mix of readings from published/unpublished texts and discussions.

Lectures, Seminars, and Conference Presentations

• Amah Edoh presented

  •  “Design’s new objects: Branding and the renegotiation of Africa-in-the-world” at the American Ethnological Society/Society for Visual Anthropology’s biannual meeting, Philadelphia, PA, March 24, 2018
  • “‘Wax is the new black’: Cloth, skin, and African visibility in the global” at the Sound/Scenes symposium at MIT, Cambridge, MA, April 21, 2018
  • “‘Wax is the new black’: Cloth, skin, and digital reworkings of African visibility” at the “Digital Imaginaries of Africa” workshop organized as part of the Afropixel Festival in Dakar, Senegal, May 6, 2018.
  • the keynote speech titled “Our Grandmothers’ Cloth: Learning, forgetting, and remembering in a material archive” at Boston University’s African Studies Center Graduate Student Conference, Boston, MA, March 30, 2018.

Amah Edoh organized and moderated a panel discussion around the film Black Panther in collaboration with the African Students’ Association, the Black Students Union, and UrbanAfrica on April 6, 2018. Additionally, she took part in a panel titled “Black Panther: Call for liberation or repressive desublimation?” for the MIT Day of Action with Professors Sally Haslanger, Michel DeGraff, and Gregory Pierrot.

She also gave a “lightning talk” on her research on Dutch Wax cloth in Togo and Holland as part of a Campus Preview Weekend presentation of current SHASS faculty research, and gave a talk and led a Q&A session with students going to African countries this summer as part of the MIT-Africa pre-departure training.

• Catherine E Clark gave a presentation titled “Qianjiatang: Franco-Chinese Networks of Urbanism since the 1980s” at the Entangled Urbanisms: History, Place, and the Shaping of Cities Conference, Department of Art History, Northwestern University, May 17-18, 2018.

She also gave several talks

  • “Picturing Liberation: Paris 1944, Shanghai 1949” at Parker Lee Lecture Series,” Department of Media Studies, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, April 18, 2018
  • “Henri Cartier-Bresson’s China Photos: From Timeless Past to Socialist Realist Future” (in English with simultaneous Chinese translation) at the Socialist Realism around the Soviet Bloc Conference, Chinese Academy of Art, Hangzhou, China, April 10-11, 2018
  • “From Paris to Beijing and Back Again, 1973-1974,” Department of Modern Languages and Literatures and Department of Political Science and Law, Montclair State University, March 28, 2018
  • “France, China, and the Cliché of History” at the Photography: The Black Box of History Conference organized by the Ryerson Image Center and University of Delaware, Toronto, March 16-17, 2018.

• Dagmar Jaeger was re-invited as a guest to give a two-day seminar on Franz Kafka’s literary works at the Jerusalem and Athens Forum at Gordon College, Wenham, MA, March 27 and 29, 2018. She also moderated the panel “Shifting notions of Heimat” at the Topographies-of-Writing Symposium, April 27, 2018.

• Emma Teng was invited to deliver the Chang Chuen Memorial Public Lecture at Hong Kong Baptist University, April 10, 2018. She also delivered several other talks in April

  • “The Engineer as Literatus: The Literary Work of MIT Engineering Student Ku Yuhsiu (1902-2002)”
  • “Reconsidering Chinese Literature in the World” symposium, Harvard University
  • “Learning from the Hidden Histories of Transpacific Mixed Families between China and the US,” Departments of Asian Studies, History, and Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies, College of the Holy Cross
  • “China Comes to MIT: 1877-1931,” MIT Alumni Club, Shenzhen, China
  • “A History of Early Chinese Students at MIT and Overview of the Current Curriculum,” Vanke Meisha Academy, Shenzhen, China
  •  “The ‘Eurasian Problem’ and Schooling in 19-c Hong Kong and Shanghai,” Department of History, Hong Kong University.

• Eric Grunwald presented at the Student Success in Writing Conference in Savannah, GA, on the topic of “A Truly Authentic Audience: Editing and Writing on Wikipedia,” April 2018.

• Haohsiang Liao chaired a panel at the 2018 National Chinese Language Conference in Utah on May 18, 2018. His presentation is entitled “Beyond Literacy – An Innovative Aesthetic Method of Chinese Characters Instruction.” Haohsiang was invited to spend a week at the Moscow City University, where he gave lectures and had meetings with the Institute of Foreign Languages faculty.

• Kang Zhao made a presentation titled “Instructional Methods and Activities for Systematic Chinese Culture Teaching” at the CLTA Annual Conference, Washington D.C., April 6, 2018. He also presented a paper, “Thoughts on Developing a Structured Chinese Calligraphy Course at College Level” at the Teachers, Textbooks, and Pedagogy in Teaching Chinese International Conference, University of Massachusetts, Boston, MA, April 29, 2018.

• Maria Khotimsky presented a talk “Interview Project for Intermediate Russian Class” at the Annual New England Russian Pedagogy Round Table at Brandeis University, Waltham, MA, May 18, 2018.

• Masami Ikeda-Lamm made a presentation titled “Implementing Learning Methods of Self-Learners into an Advanced Japanese Class” at the AATJ (American Association of Teachers of Japanese) Annual Spring Conference, Washington D.C., March 22, 2018.

• Michelle Ho presented a paper titled “Amber’s Gender Play: Androgynous Idols in K-Pop” at the Association for Asian Studies (AAS) Annual Conference, Washington, D.C., March 22-25, 2018. She also participated in Gender and Sexuality in Japan Dissertation Workshop organized by the Center of Japanese Studies (CJS) and sponsored by the Japan Foundation, University of California-Berkeley, on March 27-30, 2018.

• Min-Min Liang organized a webinar titled “How Do MIT Students Find Motivation in Learning Mandarin,” Mirman School, Los Angeles, CA, April 17, 2018. She also presented a paper titled “Strategies and Implementation for Teaching Chinese Heritage Language Learners” at 2018 CLTA-US Annual Conference, Washington D.C., April 6, 2018.

• Nilma Dominique gave a keynote speech entitled “Intercultural competence in the foreign language class: comprehensiveness, relevance and challenges” by video conference to the Iberian Studies Department at University of Warsaw, April 25, 2018.

• Paloma Duong gave a speech titled “Streaming Havana: Moving screens and urban soundscapes” at the Princeton School of Architecture, Spring 2018. She also presented a paper titled “Portable Cubas and the Politics of Media in Latin America” at the Latin American Studies Association (LASA) for a panel called Cuba 2.0 2018, Barcelona, Spain, Spring 2018.

• Panpan Gao presented “Instructional Methods and Activities for Advanced Level Chinese Culture Teaching” at the CLTA Annual Conference, April 6, 2018.

• Paul Roquet presented a talk entitled “Living with Ambient Computation in Japanese VR Narratives” and chaired a panel “VR Aesthetics: Immersion and Empathy” at the 2018 Society for Cinema and Media Studies Annual Conference, Toronto, Canada, March 17, 2018. He also gave a keynote speech entitled “VR in Japan: Anime Bodies, Algorithmic Worlds” at the Japan Week at Brown University, Providence, RI, April 11, 2018.

Sabine Levet was invited to give a full-day workshop entitled “Developing Telecollaborative Projects to Foster Interculturality” at the Sixth International Conference on the Development and Assessment of Intercultural Competence, CERCLL (Center for Educational Resources in Culture, Languages and Literacy), University of Arizona, Tucson, January 25, 2018. She also gave

  • a workshop entitled “How telecollaboration can foster intercultural learning” at Instruction Innovation Workshop, Questioning culture(s)/Teaching culture(s ), Yale Center for Language Study, May 15, 2018
  • a talk entitled “Reading the News” for MIT-France student orientation and training program, April 30, 2018.

• Takako Aikawa gave a presentation entitled “Language Learning based on Augmented Reality: JaJan,” at the 24th Princeton Japanese Pedagogy Forum, Princeton University, NJ, May, 2018. She was also invited to give a lecture entitled “Recent Trend of the Japanese Language Education in the U.S., and MOOCs,” Waseda University, Tokyo, Japan, May 2018.

• Tong Chen chaired a panel and gave a presentation titled “Applications of Successful Strategies and Approaches in Teaching Beginning Chinese” at CLTA Annual Conference, April 7. He was also invited to be one of the six judges for the 17th Chinese Bridge Proficiency Contest for College Students (East USA Preliminary) and the 8th Chinese Bridge Speech Contest for University Students in New England held at the University of Massachusetts, Boston, MA, April 21, 2018.

In the Media

• Shigeru Miyagawa has been interviewed by Times Higher Ed on his proposal for a “Nobel Prize for Teaching.” ARTICLE

• Bruno Perreau presented his book, Qui a peur de la théorie queer?, during the interview with one of the main daily newspapers in France, Libération. You can read the interview HERE.

Of Note

Organized by Dagmar Jaeger, GSL hosted the 5th Annual High School Visit, May 4, 2018. Learning about German at the next level, 15 Juniors from Melrose High School met with William Uricchio and had pizza lunch with MIT students studying German.

• Jing Wang received an invention patent (February 2018) and a use patent (April 2018) from the Intellectual Property Bureau of the People’s Republic of China for a smart piggy bank she conceptualized.

• Leanna Rezvani took her French students to the Boston Camerata’s production of Tristan et Iseult, April 22, 2018.

Ellen Crocker reported that the German Group organized The German Studies Excellence Award, sponsored by GSL and MISTI-Germany. The Awards Ceremony was attended this year by distinguished guests Elizabeth von Wagner of the German Consulate General Boston and Dr. Christine Möller-Sähling of the Goethe-Institut in Boston, as well as Tanya Raymond, the program coordinator for MIT-Germany.

Thanks to a CAMIT grant Nilma Dominique took a group of students to a concert by the Portuguese fado singer Ana Moura, at Berklee Performance Center, April 6, 2018. On the latest Portuguese Solta-a-Língua on May 3, 2018, students and other attendants had an opportunity to listen to a talk by video conference by the Brazilian federal government’s labor inspector Jamille Virgilio, who spoke about her work in combating contemporary slave labor in Brazil. It was followed by Q&A.

Sabine Levet became a Board Member of NERALLT (New England Regional Association for Language Learning Technology) and also continued to serve as an Advisory Board Member for Center for Integrated Language Communities (CILC),  CUNY, New York, NY. This semester Sabine Levet’s French 4 students (21G.304) partnered with students at Enseirb-Matmeca in Bordeaux, France, to discuss French and American cultures (Cultura project).

• Tong Chen was elected as the President of New England Chinese Teachers Association (NECLTA), a non-political, nonprofit, academic, and educational organization, which is registered with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Tong Chen’s Chinese VI student from last year, Eric Koch, who was also supervised by Tong,  won the Advance Group (the 3rd place) at the 17th Chinese Bridge Proficiency Contest for College Students (East USA Preliminary) and the 8th Chinese Bridge Speech Contest for University Students in New England. Another of Tong’s Chinese VI student from last year, Liz Murray, was invited to be the MC for the 17th Chinese Bridge Proficiency Contest for College Students (East USA Preliminary)  and the 8th Chinese Bridge Speech Contest for University Students in New England.

Upcoming Events

•  Jane Dunphy will be doing a two-day teaching and learning workshop, “Leading Recitations 101,” for instructors in the Minority Introduction to Engineering and Science (MITES) program, OEOP, School of Engineering, MIT, June 19, 2018.

• Nilma Dominique is co-organizing the 5th CPLH – Conference about Teaching, Promoting and Maintaining Portuguese as a Heritage Language with the support of GSL section and several cultural Lusophone organizations in the Boston area. The conference, happening for the first time in Massachusetts, will bring together the world’s leading experts in Portuguese for heritage speakers and will be held on MIT campus from May 31 to June 2. It will end on June 3rd with a special family event and a children´s Portuguese book fair in Somerville, free and open to the public.