Kodjo Adabra (French) successfully defended his dissertation, "Mongo Béti ou l’écriture d’un révolté en exil: anatomie, analyse et impact de ses critiques à travers ses articles dans «Peuples noirs, peuples africains» (1978 à 1991)" in July.

Stephen Blackwell's (Russian) scholarship is featured in a chapter of the new book Nabokov, Perversely, by Eric Naiman (Cornell UP). The chapter is called "Blackwell's Paradox and Fyodor's Gift: A Kinder, Gentler Nabokov."

Harriet Bowden (Spanish) had a paper accepted in Language Learning. The paper is provisionally entitled "Optimizing Explicit Instruction through CALL: How Much and When?" and is co-authored with Stafford and Sanz. She also gave a presentation in July on first and second language language processing at the Tennessee School for the Deaf as part of a conference on Strategic Interactive Writing Instruction.

Luis Cano (Spanish) presented the paper "La ciencia ficción en la obra de Rodrigo Rey Rosa (Science Fiction in the novels of Rodrigo Rey Rosa)” at the 92nd Annual Conference of the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese (AATSP) , July 10‐13, in Guadalajara, México.

Dawn Duke (Spanish and Portuguese) and Millie Gimmel (Spanish) have both been granted tenure and promotion to associate professor.

Joy Essigman (German) received a $1,000 scholarship from the Huguenot Society of the Founders of Manakin. For the graduate scholarship contest, she wrote a 25-page essay titled "I'm Fighting for that Child: A Huguenot Tradition in American Literature," which examined the heritage of Huguenot descendant Paul Revere in two novels by Esther Forbes. The essay will be published in the society's publication, The Huguenot.

Gregory Kaplan (Spanish) won a 2010 University of Tennessee National Alumni Association Outstanding Teacher Award and had a paper, "Poetic Expressions of Otherness and Humanness: Rodrigo de Reinosa's Sympathetic Attitude Toward African Slaves" accepted for presentation (in the New Perspectives in Medieval Spanish Literature session) at the MLA Conference to be held in Los Angeles, January 2011.

On August 6, in order to commemorate the publication of his book, Valderredible, Cantabria (España): La cuna de la lengua española, Gregory Kaplan (Spanish) gave a presentation in Polientes, Spain, on the birth and early evolution of the Spanish language. Information on the presentation can be found at the following web link:

Katherine Kong’s (French) Lettering the Self in Medieval and Early Modern France was published by Boydell and Brewer in July. She also had an article accepted by Romance Quarterly ("Writing Love in the Thirteenth Nouvelle: Marguerite de Navarre’s Epistolary Fictions").

Michael Handelsman (Spanish) served as president of the Comisión Andina de Evaluación y Acreditación which in July evaluated the Universidad Andina Simón Bolívar in Quito and recommended the institution for international accreditation by the Andean Community in a ceremony held at the General Secretariat of the Andean Community in Lima, Peru. The recommendation was accepted and the UASB is Ecuador’s first internationally accredited university. Handelsman also taught a graduate course ("Literatura, mestizaje e interculturalidad") in the PhD program in Latin American Cultural Studies in Quito.

Mary McAlpin (French) has signed a contract with Ashgate Press to publish her study, Sexuality and Cultural Degradation in Enlightenment France: Medicine and Literature, forthcoming 2011.

Koji Nishida (Spanish) successfully defended his dissertation, "El tema de la simulación en el teatro de cinco países hispanoamericanos" in May.

Natalia Pervukhina (Russian) presented the paper "The Secretive Code of Pain in Chekhov" at the International Conference "Knowledge and Pain", at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in May, and she organized the panel "Mind in Exile" and also presented the paper "From the 'Mansard Facing West' to Astral Travel: ‘Astral'naia buria’ by Leonid Chertkov" at the 8th World Congress of the International Council for Central and East European Studies in Stockholm this past July.

Oscar Rivera-Rodas (Spanish) organized two international conferences on Latin American Literature this summer. The first focused on theatre and the second on poetry. Thee conferences were held in the city of Puebla, Mexico. Attended by scholars from throughout the world, the conferences’ keynote speakers were the distinguished Venezuelan dramatist Rodolfo Santana and Nicaraguan poet Ernesto Cardenal. Professor Rivera-Rodas has organized and presided over these yearly conferences in Mexico since 1992.

UTK's Russian program has five students returning from a summer term in Russia, and five more heading straight over there this fall for a year or a semester.

Gilya Schmidt (Religious Studies) and Erec Koch (French & Department Head) have received a grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Undergraduate International Studies and Foreign Language Program. With additional funding from the College of Arts and Sciences, the grant will make several faculty initiatives possible: the instruction of elementary and intermediate Arabic; the infusion of Arab culture in courses that currently do not have such content; the enhancement of Arab cultural content in courses that currently have some such content; development of a gateway course to a possible Arab studies minor and/or major; the development of study abroad and exchange programs in the Arab world.

Maria Stehle (German) presented at two international conferences this summer. She gave a paper titled "Gender, Performance, and the Politics of Space: Germany and the Veil in Popular Culture" at the conference "Veiled Constellations" in Toronto, Canada and a paper titled "'Is it Cos I is Black?': Performative Antworten auf mediale Konstruktionen des 'Authentischen Anderen'" at the Kongress der Internationalen Vereinigung der Germanistik in Warsaw, Poland.


The next MFLL newsletter will be published Monday, September 18. Deadline for submissions is 6 p.m., Sunday, September 17. Please send news items to John Romeiser (

Fall 2010
August 23, 2010

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