Department of Modern Foreign Languages & Literatures

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New Faculty

Rudyard Alcocer

Rudyard (or Rudy) Alcocer is Associate Professor of Spanish with a courtesy appointment in the French section. Rudy holds the Forrest and Patsy Shumway Chair of Excellence in Romance Languages. His interests include Latin American (especially Caribbean) narrative studies, Afro-Hispanic literature and culture, cinema, and the links between literature and scientific discourses. Before coming to UT, Rudy spent eight years at Georgia State University in Atlanta and three years at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa. His Ph.D. is from the University of Iowa‚s Department of Cinema and Comparative Literature. Rudy would like to hear from anyone (faculty, students, etc.) with ideas for making our department the best it can be.

Yen-Chen Hao

Yen-Chen Hao is our new assistant professor in Chinese. She earned her B.A. from National Taiwan University, and received her M.A. and Ph.D. in Linguistics from Indiana University. She was working as a visiting assistant professor in Chinese at Bard College before she joined MFLL at UTK. Her research areas are concentrated on phonetics, second language acquisition, and phonology. She is particularly interested in second language learners of Mandarin Chinese as well as of English, examining the relationship between speech perception and production, influence of first language background and second language experience on sound learning, and the relative difficulty in acquiring consonants, vowels, and lexical tones. Some of her work has been published in Journal of Phonetics and Current Issues in Chinese Linguistics.

Drew Paul

Drew Paul received his B.A. in Middle Eastern Studies from Emory University, and his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin in Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures. His research focuses primarily on modern Arabic literature, with secondary interests in Arab cinema and Hebrew literature. His current major research project investigates the representations of border spaces in Israel and Palestine in literature, film, and art. He is also working on projects on humor in the modern Arabic novel, and the evolving concept of “home” in Palestinian literature. Many of his research interests developed as a result of his time living and traveling in the Middle East, including a year in Cairo and several months in Jerusalem as well as shorter periods in Damascus and Beirut. He is also interested in Arabic pedagogy, particularly the roles of literature and culture in the language classroom. He has taught Arabic language courses at all levels as well as courses on literature in translation.


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