IN THIS ISSUE .....
  STUDY ABROAD
         UT IN ALICANTE
         UT IN COSTA RICA
         UT IN PARIS
         UT IN SANTANDER
         UT IN URBINO

A Closer Look at the Work of Graduate Students in the Department of MFLL

….. Showcasing "Six out of Sixty" Great Stories
Graduate Student Profiles – 2010-11 Edition


Amevi Bocco
Ph.D. Student in Modern Foreign Languages with a first concentration in French
Amevi Bocco is originally from Togo, West-Africa. After study in Linguistics at the University of Lomé, Togo, Amevi was forced to leave his home country due to his involvement in the student protests against the Togolese government for the improvement of student and teacher working conditions, democracy and freedom at the University and in the nation as a whole. In the United States, he was granted political asylum and started his first job at a local car wash. While working there, Amevi started learning English and had the opportunity to be hired as a French Translator in the World Language Department in Cleveland, Tennessee. Then he decided to pursue his education by taking classes at Cleveland State Community College. After successfully completing an Associate Degree, he was granted a scholarship at Lee University, where he graduated in Spring 2008 with the Paul Conn Award, the highest honor given to the graduating senior who demonstrated the greatest promise for future academic and professional careers.
In Fall 2008, Amevi was accepted into the French Graduate Program at the University of Tennessee and graduated in Spring 2010 with a Master's in French. He is currently a PhD candidate with Francophone Literature and Applied Linguistics as respectively his first and second concentrations. Amevi is currently engaged in dissertation research and writing. In the summer of 2011 he went to France in order to meet Kossi Efoui, an exiled politically engaged writer from Togo whose work he is planning to explore in terms of how literature can serve as a tool for development in Africa. While at UTK, Amevi has presented a number of papers at national and international academic conferences, and he was also the recipient of the Graduate Diversity Fellowship (2010-2011). He is a Teaching Associate and also serves as the representative for the French Graduate Students in the MFLL Department. In addition to his study, Amevi is still a full time French Translator for the World Language Department in Cleveland, Tennessee. He is now a naturalized U.S. citizen and was recently reunited with his wife Benoîte Bocco after 10 years of separation from each other.


Janelle Coleman

Ph.D. Student in Modern Foreign Languages with a first concentration in Spanish
Janelle Coleman is in her fourth year as a graduate teaching assistant in the Spanish doctoral program. Her research interests include Afro-Caribbean cultures, as well as Afro-Latino identity formation in the United States. She is also a scholar in the SREB (Southern Regional Education Board) program, an organization that provides fellowships for deserving minority students in Doctoral programs all over the Southeast region. In addition to participating in the SREB program, Janelle has presented papers on Latino and Afro-Caribbean identity development at professional conferences, including the Graduate Student Symposium at the Ohio State University, and the Kentucky Foreign Language Conference at the University of Kentucky. During the Fall semester, she recently presented a paper on the Afro-Cuban poet, Nicolás Guillén, at the Mountain Interstate Foreign Language Conference, at Auburn University.
Aside from teaching and studying literature, Janelle enjoys writing poetry. Two of her poems—"Sweet Africa" and "Morning Love Song" were published in The Phoenix, a arts and creative writing publication here at the University of Tennessee. Before starting the Spanish doctoral program in 2008, Janelle was a high school Spanish teacher at Karns High School in Knoxville, TN and then at First Lutheran School, where she worked with middle school students.


Emily Pace
Ph.D. Student in Modern Foreign Languages with a first concentration in French
Emily Pace, a native North Carolinian, happily traversed the mountainous border and became a Tennessee Volunteer in 2006. She graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. in French and Theatre from Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia, and she completed her Master's in French Literature at the University of Tennessee. While pursuing her Master's, Emily also worked in the College of Architecture and Design as a Student Advisor and Activities Director for the College's annual summer camp "Design Matters." Last year, Emily traveled to Lille, France, where she taught English at l'Université de Lille 3 Charles de Gaulle and researched topics related to architecture and fiction and translation theory. Currently, she is a fourth-year PhD student in French literature at the University of Tennessee and is writing her dissertation on the notion of the "home", metaphorically and linguistically, in the French novel.


Andrew Ray
Ph.D. Student in Modern Foreign Languages with a first concentration in Spanish
Andy Ray's main focus of studies is Latin American literature (primarily Hispanic American), and he is also doing work in Portuguese Studies, his second Ph.D. concentration. Through his work as a Rural Community Development Volunteer for the Peace Corps (2005-2007) in Costa Rica, Andy developed an interest on Afro-Costa Rican and indigenous forms of knowledge in an effort to offer another perspective on how to read Costa Rican literary works which deal with environmental themes. He is the first ever Peace Corps UT campus recruiter in the history of Tennessee, and recently, he has been awarded a McClure Scholarship from the University of TN in order to carry out his dissertation studies on Central American literature involving the environment.
He has presented papers in professional conferences including the 4th Crossing Over Symposium at Cleveland State U, the 61rst Mountain Interstate Foreign Language Conference at Auburn U, the 64th Annual Kentucky Foreign Language at the U of Kentucky, the 19th Colloquium on Hispanic and Luso-
Brazilian Literatures and Linguistics at the U of Texas, Austin, the First Annual Texas A&M Department of Hispanic Studies Graduate Student Symposium at Texas A&M U, the 2010 Colloquium on Literature and Film at West Virginia U, The XIII Annual Hispanic and Lusophone Studies Symposium at Ohio State U, and the 9th Ohio Latin Americanist Conference Modern Latin America at Ohio U.


Anja Seiler
Ph.D. Student in Modern Foreign Languages with a first concentration in German
Anja Katharina Seiler was born in Lörrach, Germany. In 2006, she graduated from the University of Karlsruhe in Karlsruhe, Germany, with a Bachelor's Degree in German Studies and Art History. During her studies, she focused on Travel Literature, the European-Arabic cultural dialogue, and Applied Cultural Studies. As a Research Assistant at the University of Karlsruhe, she was actively engaged in two exchange projects with the University La Manouba in Tunis, Tunisia. Both of these exchange projects were supported by the DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service).
In 2008, she entered the German Program at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville as an exchange student from the University of Karlsruhe and concluded her studies with a Master's Degree in German Studies from UT Knoxville. During that time, as a Graduate Teaching Assistant, she was teaching German as a foreign language at the 100-level.
After returning to Germany, Anja finished her Master's Degree in German Studies at the University of Karlsruhe in December 2009 and came back to UT Knoxville in January 2010 to pursue a Ph.D. in Modern Foreign Languages with w first concentration in German. To expand her interdisciplinary work at the interface of comparative literature and linguistics, to do research and teach, she has been spending the academic year 2010-11 as a graduate exchange student at the University of Mannheim in Mannheim, Germany. There, she taught a seminar on "Cultural Theory and its Relevance in a Globalised World" and a course entitled "Linguistic Interculturalism – Multilingual German Contemporary (Migration) Literature." Linguistic Interculturalism constitutes the framework for her dissertation where she analyzes performativity and other modes of expression in the work of Ilma Rakusa, Marica Bodrožić and Dimitré Dinev.
In 2007, Anja worked as a part-time freelance editor in Switzerland, and she was a member of the editorial team for Mihael Puhar's Memoiren eines Europäers: Immer am Zahn der Zeit (Memoirs of a European). Currently, she is also working as an editor for a German-Slovenian book project and translating a diary in which a Slovenian-born man gives his perspective on World War I and life in the Balkan countries at the beginning of the 20th century. The translated diary entries will be contextualized within the larger framework of Eastern-European history and culture at that time.
As part of her academic education, she regularly attends professional workshops and conferences, including TFLTA (Tennessee Foreign Language Teaching Association) where she presented a paper on Modern German Film in 2010 and a paper on Ilma Rakusa's poetry in 2011. In August 2011, she represented UT by presenting on her dissertation topic at the Annual Conference of GIG (Association for Intercultural German Studies) in Bangkok, Thailand.
Anja is the recipient of several prestigious fellowships, including the Nordsieck Scholarship and the Maria Harris Scholarship (both awarded by the German Program at UT, Knoxville), and the Baden-Württemberg Fellowship awarded by the State of Baden-Württemberg, Germany.


Noah Soltau
Ph.D. Student in Modern Foreign Languages with a first concentration in German
Noah Soltau is a Ph.D. candidate in the Modern Foreign Languages and Literatures Department, with concentrations in German and Applied Linguistics. In the last year, Noah worked diligently to bring attention to his program and his home institution. He published two book reviews for the humanities digital consortium H-Net, and translated Georg Büchner's Woyzeck, along with Dr. Stefanie Ohnesorg, for the Clarence Brown Theater. He presented papers at several regional and international conferences, including the annual TFLTA conference, the International Büchner Symposium at the University of Tennessee, and at Wayne State University's Center for the Study of Citizenship. Additionally, Noah organized a number of campus events that showcase the integral role that the Department of Modern Foreign Languages and Literatures plays on campus, including the aforementioned International Büchner Symposium and the "do Deutsch Campus Week" (Oct. 10-14, 2011) which was co-sponsored by the German Embassy in Washington (http://dodeutsch.utk.edu/ ) . One of his many responsibilities in the context of organizing the "do Deutsch Campus Week" was to serve as the event coordinator for a German Career Fair that will be hosted in collaboration with UT Career Services on Oct. 12, 2011.
Noah earned his Bachelor's Degree in German and Comparative Literature from the University of Georgia. He earned his Master's Degree in German from the University of Tennessee, and as part of his M.A. Program at UT, he spent a year as a graduate exchange student at Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen in Germany. His exchange year at the University of Tübingen was in part funded through the prestigious Baden-Württemberg Fellowship awarded by the State of Baden Württemberg, Germany. After the completion of the M.A. degree, Noah entered the Ph.D. program in Modern Foreign Languages at UT, and upon entering the Ph.D. Program he was awarded the prestigious Spivey Fellowship by the UT Graduate School. He is also a recipient of the Nordsieck Scholarship awarded by the German Program at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
In 2010-11, Noah served as Graduate Student Representative for the Department of Modern Foreign Languages and Literatures. He currently teaches lower division German and is writing his dissertation. The focus of his dissertation project is to examine some of the challenges associated with reconstructing and translating literary fragments. His other research interests include film and twentieth century German history and literature.

Copyright © 2011-2012 Modern Foreign Languages & Literatures, University of Tennessee at Knoxville, TN
All Rights Reserved.