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Department of Modern Foreign Languages and Literatures

MFLL Monthly Newsletter


Thorsten Huth (German) co-presented with Emma M. Betz (U of Waterloo, CA) a 3-hour workshop titled “Beyond the language textbook: Understanding interaction and teaching interaction patterns”. This invited workshop was sponsored by the Goethe Institut and presented in the context of the British Columbia Council of Teachers of German Conference (BCCTG) in Vancouver, CA, October 20-21, 2018.
Thorsten Huth
Bernard Issa
Bernard Issa (Hispanic Studies) attended the Second Language Research Forum at the Université du Québec à Montréal (October 16-18). Dr. Issa gave two research presentations along with his co-authors: (1) “Multi-site research on study abroad and L2 development: First steps, challenges, and opportunities” and (2) “Heritage speakers’ online processing of Spanish: Group and individual profiles of ERP patterns”. Additionally, Dr. Issa’s article, “Effects of External and Internal Attentional Manipulations on Second Language Grammar Development: An Eye-tracking Study”, was published in Studies in Second Language Acquisition in October.
Daniel H. Magilow’s (German) newest book, It Will Yet Be Heard: A Polish Rabbi's Witness of the Shoah and Survival is being published this month (November 2018) by Rutgers University Press. This scholarly edition of a lost classic of Holocaust literature, Rabbi Leon Thorne’s 1961 memoir Out of the Ashes: The Story of a Survivor makes available for the first time Rabbi Thorne’s previously unpublished manuscript of his arduous postwar experiences in Germany and Poland. In a review that appears as the edition’s preface, Nobel literature laureate Isaac Bashevis Singer described the memoir as a work of “bitter truth” that he compared favorably to the works of Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, and Proust.
Daniel H. Magilow
Mary McAlpin
Mary McAlpin (French and Francophone Studies) was an invited speaker at the Legacies of the Enlightenment symposium at Michigan State University, funded by a Humanities Without Walls Grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Dr. McAlpin presented her current book project, Rationalizing Rape: Nature and Sexual Violence in the French Enlightenment.
Anne-Hélène Miller and Klayton Tietjen (French and Francophone Studies) have received the Student/Faculty Research Award (SFRA) to conduct research together at the Manuscript department of the French National Library (BNF) in Paris during the Summer of 2019.
Anne-Hélène Miller
Klayton Tietjen
Mia Romano
Mia Romano (Hispanic Studies) had an invited book review of B. Christine Arce’s México’s Nobodies: The Cultural Legacy of the Soldadera and Afro–Mexican Women published in the Fall Newsletter for Feministas Unidas.
Maria Stehle (German) has published two new articles: (1) Willkommenskultur Documented: Can’t be Silent (2013), Land in Sicht (2014), and Willkommen auf Deutsch (2015).” In Seminar, Special Issue “Heimatlosigkeit / Precarity,” Issue 54. 5, Fall 2018. (2) “Awkwardness and Assemblage: Digital Schemes for Feminist World–Making,” with Carrie Smith. In: ADA: A Journal of Gender, New Media, & Technology, Special Issue “Visualizing Protest.” Issue 14, 2018.
Maria Stehle
Rossy Toledo
Rossy Toledo (Hispanic Studies) gave the talk, “Juggles and Maneuvers: Mexican Female Directors of the Last Decade”, at the South-Central Modern Language Association conference in San Antonio.




Several MFLL faculty members presented papers and chaired sessions at this year’s MIFLC in Knoxville, October 4-6.
Dan Wang (Chinese), Wenying Huang and Yan Fan (Visiting Professors from the Confucius Institute) presented a panel titled: “Bring the Community into the Classroom: The benefits of Community–Based Learning in Chinese Classes”.
Dan Wang, Wenying Huang, and Yan Fan
Florence Abad-Turner
Florence Abad–Turner (French and Francophone Studies) presented “Teaching French & Francophonie with the Highly Popular Graphic Novel Aya de Yopougon”.
Annachiara Mariani (Italian Studies) chaired Italian session I and presented “Dannunzian Echos in Paolo Sorrentino’s Films”.
Annachiara Mariani
Flavia Brizio-Skov
Flavia Brizio-Skov (Italian Studies) chaired Italian session II and presented “Transnationalism and the Italian Western”.
Renée D’Élia-Zunino (Italian Studies) chaired Italian session III and presented “Synchronous eLearning: Creating a Successful Language Immersion Experience”.
Renée D’Élia-Zunino
Laurent Zunino
Laurent Zunino (French and Francophone Studies) presented “Implementation of Location–Based Learning Games: From Playing to Designing”.
Mia Romano (Hispanic Studies) presented the paper “The Young Female Bodies and Identities of Ana Clavel’s Mexican Lolitas”.
Mia Romano
Check here for more details about the 68th Annual MIFLC in Knoxville.


Maria Gallmeier (German /Assistant Director of UG Studies), Lisa Parker (Hispanic Studies/Assistant Director of LWB), Mia Romano (Hispanic Studies), Jae Resendes (Hispanic Studies), and Dolly Young (Hispanic Studies) represented MFLL at the 50th annual TFTLA conference on November 2-3 in Franklin, TN.

MFLL participation at TFLTA
For the first time, MFLL had a booth in TFLTA Exhibitors Hall. Our MFLL participants had two days to connect with foreign language educators from the entire state of Tennessee, high school teachers, especially those from the greater Memphis area, colleagues from community colleges and other universities in Tennessee about developments and challenges in their programs. We look forward to more high school visits and virtual conferences to continue our conversations and to reach out to students and to administrators in these programs. The presence of representatives from UTK was warmly welcomed and appreciated both by the TFLTA board members and by the high school teachers.

Check here for more information about the 50th Annual TFLTA!


Lunch at the Asia Kitchen Chinese Restaurant — On October 13th, Dr. Yen-Chen Hao (Chinese) and Dan Wang (Chinese) took students from all four levels of Chinese classes to Asia Kitchen, one of the most authentic Chinese restaurants in Knoxville. Three Chinese Program alumni also joined the lunch. The food was placed in the middle of the table and shared by everyone, as it would have been done in China. Students practiced their language skills by communicating with the waiters in Chinese. Lunch at Asia Kitchen is a great way for students to practice their speaking skills in an authentic context and mingle with their teachers and peers in a relaxing atmosphere.

Lunch at the Asia Kitchen Chinese Restaurant
Visits to High School Chinese Classes — On October 19th, Dr. Yen-Chen Hao (Chinese) and a LWB Chinese student, Brooklyn Battle, visited the Chinese classes at Hardin Valley Academy and Webb School of Knoxville. They gave an overview of the UT Chinese program, including classes, minor requirements, program activities, and related majors such as Asian Studies and LWB Chinese. Brooklyn shared her experience as a LWB Chinese major and talked about internship and job opportunities for LWB majors. We hope that these visits will help the department recruit high school students who are already taking Chinese.

Visits to High School Chinese Classes
Visits to High School Chinese Classes
Cross–Cultural Conversation BBQ — On Thursday, October 25th, the Chinese Program, the Chinese Culture Club (CCC), the Chinese Students and Scholars Association (CSSA), and the Confucius Institute (CI) jointly organized one of the largest cross–cultural events at the Tennessee Recreation Center for Students (TRECS) on campus. Multiple group games were designed to encourage communication between Chinese and American students. Each attendee was required to complete a fact card with two people of the opposite nationality before receiving food. Students from Intermediate Chinese classes also completed an interview project in Chinese.The Cross-Culture BBQ was one of the most successful events for genuine cross–cultural communication here on our campus. The event was generously sponsored by the Confucius Institute and the Asian Studies IDP.

Cross–Cultural Conversation BBQ
Cross–Cultural Conversation BBQ

Cross–Cultural Conversation BBQ
Cross–Cultural Conversation BBQ


On October 24, 2018 the German Club hosted the German Coffee House in collaboration with the International House. The event was in the Mary Greer Room of Hodges Library and over two hundred students stopped by for coffee, freshly baked Honigkekse, and Apfel Bitte.
Hal Meng, the father one of our new club members, Sarah, not only provided his family’s recipe for German apple pie, but also came to the baking at the I-House to teach the students how to make it. The club peeled and grated over 65 apples!

German Coffee House
German Coffee House

German Coffee House


For the fifth consecutive year the Second Year Spanish Program organized the student altar competition to celebrate the Day of the Dead at Hodges Library this past Friday, November 2nd. More than fifteen teams showcased altars for their loved ones as well as for their favorite historical figures and celebrities. The event was attended by students, the university community, and the community at large. Winners of the competition were invited to showcase their altars at the HoLa First Friday Gallery opening.

Day of the Dead

Day of the Dead

Day of the Dead

Day of the Dead


Annachiara Mariani (Italian) and her Italian Theatre students will perform extracts from Commedia dell’arte, Machiavelli’s La Mandragola, Goldoni’s La Locandiera, Mozart-Da Ponte’s Don Giovanni and Alfieri’s Mirra. There will be performances of musical intermezzi and a Renaissance dance. The show will take place on Dec. 4th at 6 pm, at the Natalie Haslam Music Center, Sandra G. Powell Recital Hall.

Teatro Italiano


MFLL 199 Class Visits DENSO, Maryville TN — On Wednesday, October 10th, Dr. Lisa Parker (Hispanic Studies) and her class (MFLL 199) visited DENSO Manufacturing Tennessee, Inc. (DMTN). The purpose of this visit was to expose students to possible internships and future job opportunities with global companies that have local facilities and are particularly interested in students with language and business skills. Students were given a presentation by upper management and a floor tour of one of the four manufacturing plants onsite. DENSO produces starters, alternators, instrument clusters, various automotive electronic products and inverters for hybrid vehicles. We are thankful for the participation of Adrian Del Caro (German, Head of MFLL) and Noriko Horiguchi (Japanese), as well as LWB-Japanese ’17 alum, Gregory Day, currently working as a Purchasing Contractor with DENSO, who facilitated the visit with Lisa Parker.

LWB visits DENSO
LWB Reads to Elementary Children in Different Languages — On Thursday, November 1st, members of the LWBSA and Dr. Lisa Parker (Hispanic Studies), faculty advisor for the organization, volunteered to read children’s books in different languages at Inskip Elementary School in Knoxville. Dr. Parker and Sarah Hoffmann read books in Spanish. Brooklyn Battle and Madison Rinio read books in Chinese, and Hannah Johnson in Japanese. We are looking forward to continuing to bring more LWB students to read and encourage children to learn new languages.

LWB visits Inskip Elementary

From left to right: Madison Rinio (LWB-JAPA), Brooklyn Battle (LWB-CHIN), Dr. Lisa Parker (Advisor LWBSA), Hannah Hoffmann (LWB-HS)


Brazilian Cultural Evening — On October 18th, the Portuguese faculty and students got together at the International House to celebrate Brazilian Music. Students from all levels of the Portuguese program presented and sang to a full audience several genres of Brazilian music, from Música Sertaneja, Funk, Bossa Nova, Tropicália, MPB, and Brega to the more traditional Samba. Dr. Fátima Buchert (MFLL alumna, French) taught an enthusiastic group of Volunteers how to dance the Samba. The lively audience of students and members of the campus and the Knoxville community also had the opportunity to sample the popular Brazilian desserts brigadeiros and pudim. Fun was had by all.

Brazilian Cultural Evening

Brazilian Cultural Evening

Brazilian Cultural Evening

Brazilian Cultural Evening
The Brazilian Film Series will wrap up the semester with the feature film Primo Basílio (Cousin Basílio), Dir. Daniel Filho, 2007. A married young woman discovers the price of infidelity when she meets a childhood love. Based on the famous 19th century Portuguese novel O primo Basílio by Eça de Queiroz. English Subtitles – 1h46 min. Sunday, November 18th , 4:00 pm at the Hodges Library auditorium. Free and open to the public.

Brazilian Film Series: Primo Basilio
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



Mark your calendars: Wednesday, Dec. 12th from 12:00 noon – 2:00 pm. in McClung 1210-11. Pam Hughes has a sign-up sheet in the main office. Adrian Del Caro (German, MFLL Head) will be providing paper products and drinks. We do hope to see lots of people there!!


Bretford VR Cart
Daydreams are mobile! We are still excited about the imagination that many of you came with to last month's workshop on VR/AR/XR! Our acquisition of the Bretford VR cart allows us to help you transport your students into truly immersive learning environments — on demand. No tethered cables. No PCs. No smartphones. Just total freedom of movement and total immersion. If you weren't able to come to the workshop, feel free to drop in and take a look at them!
LTR Workshop–Robert Sauveur
LTR Methods Workshops — The MFLL Language Teaching Resources Methods Workshop series continued on October 18, as Harriet Bowden (Spanish) presented “Should I Let Students Use Computers in the Classroom?”. Harriet discussed pitfalls with laptops and tablets in the classroom, what students normally intend to be doing on their computers, what empirical research has found, and how that research may inform when/why/how technology could be simultaneously useful for FL learning and not be a tool for distraction. The video from the workshop is archived on the LRC Facebook page and will soon make its way to the LTR Website. The series will continue with our third and final workshop of the semester on November 15th from 1PM to 2PM in the Telecollaoration and Seminar Room (AMB 2). Details to be anounced next week. We will facilitate a Facebook live-feed of this final workshop, and will continue experimenting with 180° and 360° livecasting as well. Modest refreshments will be provided. Have an idea for a presentation? Contact the Methods Workshop organizing team! [Laurent, Mia, Thorsten, Doug]. All are welcome.
VR Drop–In — Get a handle on setting up your VR profile, finding content/activities, and building your own pedagogical frameworks. Stop by anytime between 10am and 2pm on Wednesday, November 21.

If there are apps or other content you would like to acquire for your VR classes, please let us know by filling out this form!


Getting Started with Arc (Wed., November 14, 10AM , COMM 43C) 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 instructors to seamlessly create media interaction and active learning experiences in the online classroom. Learn how Arc can engage both students and instructors, provide insightful viewing analytics, generate captions, and turn video and audio content into conversation.
Click here to register
Google Forms (Wed., November 28, 9:05AM - 10:05AM, COM 43C) Yes, you can do surveys, you all now that, but you can also create registration information, take a quick poll, and even create a pop quiz that can be taken on any device and the results sent back to a spreadsheet in real-time where you can create charts to help you analyze the data. In this class you’ll learn the basics of using Google Forms by designing a form to collect email addresses and creating a quick opinion poll. Click here to register
Online Training of the Month: Learning VR Photography and Video Virtual reality can transport you around the world. And it's easy to test the (virtual) waters — not only as someone who views VR content but also a teacher who creates it and can guide students to do the same. In this course, you will be introduced to the essential concepts and tools behind photographic- and video-based VR. After detailing a brief history of VR, you will see a sampling of inexpensive VR viewers (such as VR apps and VR goggles for your smartphone) and where to go to check out great VR content. You will also get a look at the tools and techniques for creating your own VR photos and videos, and dealing with challenges in post-production, such as moving media to the computer, stitching and mapping 360-degree images and video, playing back VR video, and sharing VR content online.
Click here to view


The final MFLL Newsletter for the Fall Semester will be published Tuesday, December 4. Submissions should be sent to esilva@utk.edu prior to 6:00 p.m., Sunday, December 2. 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

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