A message from the Department of Modern Foreign Languages & Literatures, University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

View as web page

Department of Modern Foreign Languages and Literatures

MFLL Monthly Newsletter


The University of Tennessee Press recently published Celluloid Chains: Slavery in the Americas through Film, a volume co–edited by Rudy Alcocer and Dawn Duke (Hispanic Studies). “Featuring a variety of disciplinary perspectives and analytical approaches, Celluloid Chains is the most comprehensive volume to date on films about slavery.” For more information check the UT Press website.
Rudy Alcocer

Dawn Duke
Stephen Blackwell
Stephen Blackwell (Russian) has published “Calendar Anomalies, Pushkin, and Aesthetic Love in Nabokov.” Slavonic and East European Review (London). Vol. 96, No 2, pp. 401-431. Professor Blackwell also published “Science.” In David M. Bethea and Siggy Frank, eds. Vladimir Nabokov in Context. Series: Authors in Context. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, pp. 193-200.
Alejandra Galindo (Hispanic Studies) was a faculty fellow at the Teaching and Learning Innovation Summer Institute 2018. She participated in the Evidence-Based Teaching track group and worked on redesigning some aspects of the Spanish 300 course she teaches.
Alejandra Galindo
Thorsten Huth

Thorsten Huth (German) presented papers at two international conferences this summer:
“On graded scales: Interaction, proficiency, and assessment frameworks”, presented at Assessing speaking in context: New trends, Center for Languages and Intercultural Communication (CLIC), Rice University, May 4–5, 2018.
“Language as assessable vs. language as social action: Conversation analytic perspectives on the second language curriculum” at the 5th International Conference on Conversation Analysis (ICCA), Loughborough, UK, July 11-15, 2018.

Annachiara Mariani (Italian) has published an article on film director Paolo Sorrentino, entitled “The Antithetical Coherence in Sorrentino’s Youth: Visual (Ab)Use and Male Dominance” in South Central Review 32.5, The Johns Hopkins University Press, Summer 2018: 117-132. Also, this summer, while in Italy, Professor Mariani was invited to present her book on Pirandello and the Italian Grotesque Theater. The presentation was part of the Cultural Week Lecture Series in Roseto degli Abrruzzi.
Noriko Horiguchi
Daniel H. Magilow
Dolly Young (Hispanic Studies) presented a paper titled, “Forward–looking Curricula; Rethinking the Grammar Curriculum of Intermediate Level Spanish Programs” at the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese (AATSP) in Salamanca, Spain, June 25-28th. Professor Young has also taken advantage of her time in Spain to collect data for another research paper in Madrid, June 28-July 2nd.


Catherine Greer (German) received summer research and travel grants from the American Academy of Jewish Research and the University of Tennessee Humanities Center. She used these funds to conduct research in Germany and Israel.
Jodie Miller


Summer Camp in China — In the summer of 2018, students from the Chinese Program participated in a Summer Camp in China hosted by the Confucius Institute at UTK. Students were involved in a variety of activities, including Chinese language study, hands-on workshops, social activities with local Chinese students and excursions to places with cultural and historical significance.

Summer Camp in China
Summer Camp in China
Chinese Culture Club interest meeting — On August 29, 2018, Chinese Culture Club held its first interest meeting to inform new students about what our club does and how students can get involved through volunteering, becoming a member, or running for officer positions. There were more than 30 new students who showed up to the meeting and seemed very interested in joining. It seems that this will be a great year for the CCC.

Chinese Culture Club interest meeting
Chinese Culture Club interest meeting


Asian Festival — The Vols Japanese Cultural Association took part in the 5th Asian Festival in downtown Knoxville. The club members and students from Japanese classes contributed their time and energy to helping visitors learn about Japan and Japanese culture. They also offered a fun traditional game of water balloon fishing and the opportunity for kimono try-ons. On stage, the dance group performed an energetic fishermen’s dance of soran–bushi. Also, Mahagi LaCure (Japanese) played music with a delegate from the city of Muroran, Knoxville’s sister city in Japan.

Asian Festival

Asian Festival


The Brazilian Film Series starts this Sunday with the feature O Escaravelho do Diabo (The Devil’s Scarab), Dir. Carlo Milani, 2016. English subtitles, 1h30m. Free and open to the public. September 9th, 4:00 pm. at the Hodges Library auditorium.

O Escaravelho do Diabo
The Portuguese Table (Bate-Papo) is meeting on Fridays, 6:00-7:30 pm. at the Golden Roast Café, 825 Melrose. For information: esilva@utk.edu



Mirage Solo VR Headset World in my eyes
Oculus Rift
Let Me Show You the World in My Eyes — The wired and wireless virtual/augmented reality (VR/AR) headsets have arrived! The Telecollaboration and Seminar Room (AMB 2) has been equipped with 13 Oculus Rift Headsets for interacting with VR photos and movies, and the LRC is also equipped with 25 Lenovo Mirage Solo wireless VR/AR headsets for exploring 360 photos and videos with YoutubeVR, as well and Google Earth and Street View, which can easily be done in the TELL Classroom (AMB 3). If you would allow us to channel Depeche Mode for a moment...we can take you on a trip around the world and back, and you won't have to move, you just sit still!
We will soon be conducting workshops on how to intergrate VR/AR pedagogy into your courses, as well as AUTHOR VR and AR content for your courses. Stay tuned, and feel free to drop in to the LRC anytime to try the headsets out!
Alexa, en tu idioma One of the requests from students using the LRC was to make access to our media assets easier. “Remotes are so last-century!” They asked why they couldn't just tell the TV what to play. Now, that is possible! We are testing the FireTV Cube with Alexa on the televisions in the VOLS Room, and the Echo Dot with Alexa for classroom use. The Cubes give access to Netflix, our Plex Server, and dozens of language channels (like Telemundo and Azteca Más for Spanish). We also have Amazon Music Unlimited, and on the Cubes, you get to see the lyrics while you listen to your favorite international artist! In the classroom, the Dots can access Amazon Music Unlimited, news, and answer questions your students might have...and in many cases, in the language they are studying! We will soon be conducting workshops on how to intergrate voice-based media assistants into your courses. Stay tuned, and feel free to drop in to the LRC anytime to try the Cubes or the Dots out!
Amazon Echo Dot
360 Content Creation — In addition to the VR/AR headsets, the LRC has purchased both 180° and 360° cameras to allow instructors to create their own immersive environments, and we have partnered with InstaVR to allow for the creation of augmented reality experiences as well. We have been testing the capabilities on our own “LRC Virtual Tour”, and we are excited about the potential! If you are on a web browser, you should be able to see our interactive VR tour below. If you can't see it, you are probably on a mail client. No worries! Just click here to see what we have put together so far! We are preparing workshops on what these AR environments offer, and will be assisting some of you to create and deploy these AR environments in your courses. Please email Doug if you are interested!

LRChat Coming! — Our podcast will be published on the 2nd and 4th Fridays of each month, and the easiest way to find them is on the LRC homepage. We envision this as a conversation, so if there is anything you would like to have us talk about, or any questions you would like us to answer, please let us know! Our first podcast will have the proctors from the Language Assessment Center (Briana and Bryan) revealing what they wish students knew when they come in to take a test. It should be published on the 14th.
LTR Workshop–Robert Sauveur
LTR Methods Workshops — The MFLL Language Teaching Resources Methods Workshop series will continue with workshops on September 20, October 18, and November 15 from 1PM to 2PM in the Telecollaoration and Seminar Room (AMB 2). On September 20, Robert Sauveur (Spanish) will present on “Small-Scale, Task-Based Assessment as an Alternative to Traditional Quizzes.”. We will facilitate a Facebook live-feed of workshops, and will be experimenting with 180° and 360° livecasting as well. We will have more details of Robert’s workshop as we get closer to the 20th. Have an idea for a presentation? Contact the Methods Workshop organizing team! [Laurent, Mia, Thorsten, Doug]. All are welcome.
Plex Server — Our student workers were busy this summer converting the entire LRC Collection to digital format, and we are just about finished! You can now search the LRC Media Database, and if the movie is on the database, it is likely already on the Plex server! If you want to learn how to use the Plex server on your computer, with your students for a course, or on one of our media devices for your classes, let us know!
If there are titles you would like to acquire for your classes, please let us know by filling out this form!


Introduction to NVivo 12 (Wed., September 12, 1 PM - 3 PM, HSS 202) NVivo 12 allows researchers to analyze documents, electronic web surveys, audio and video files, images, database tables, web pages, and social media content in one platform. This workshop will provide an overview of the software. The interface and features are demonstrated, along with examples of research projects utilizing the software. Participants will learn to import and organize data in NVivo 12, add research notes and annotations, and code qualitative data in a variety of ways. Participants will also understand the potential of NVivo 12 as a tool for organizing, questioning, visualizing, and reporting qualitative research data.
Click here to register
Getting Started with Arc (Tues., September 18, 3PM - 4:30PM, Online) This workshop will provide an overview of the new Arc video platform - the next-generation online video learning platform. Arc integrates with Canvas and allows you to seamlessly create media interaction and active learning experiences in the online classroom. Learn how Arc can engage both you and your students, provide insightful viewing analytics, generate captions, and turn video and audio content into conversation. Click here to register
Using Student Digital Devices for Active Learning (Tues., September 25, 2:15PM - 4:15PM, 220E Hodges Library) Student laptops, tablets, and smartphones provide you options for interaction, creativity, collaboration, research, and more. In this workshop, you will explore instructional strategies and techniques to effectively use student digital devices for active learning. You will be able to compare mobile learning tools for individual teaching context, plan an activity for student pre-class preparation, design an interactive in-class activity, and develop a collaborative assignment for post-class assessment. Click here to register
Online Training of the Month: Social Media in the Classroom Learn how to harness common social media platforms—such as Twitter, Facebook, Google, YouTube, and Flickr—to accelerate student learning. You will explore using social media to aid content mastery, increase academic focus, and foster effective classroom discussion. you will learn how to engage students with backchannels and polls, solicit feedback for presentations, and assess learning with Twitter, Facebook, and other tools. You will also see how social media can extend students' experiences outside the classroom, providing opportunities for collaborative reading, group projects, fieldwork, and shared student portfolios.
Click here to view


The next MFLL Newsletter will be published Tuesday, October 2. Submissions should be sent to esilva@utk.edu prior to 6:00 p.m., Sunday, Sep 30. Please be prompt in submitting items in time to meet the deadline.

Contact Us

Department of Modern Foreign Languages & Literatures
701 McClung Tower
Knoxville, TN 37996-0470
P: 865-974-2311
F: 865-974-7096
E: mfll@utk.edu

Big Orange. Big Ideas.

The flagship campus of the University of Tennessee System and partner in the Tennessee Transfer Pathway.