View as web page

The University of Tennesse, Knoxville. Department of Modern Foreign Languages & Literatures E-Newsletter


Good News


Harriet Wood Bowden

Harriet Wood Bowden (Hispanic Studies) presented a paper at the MLA conference in Vancouver titled "The dependence of language on memory systems in the brain: Electrophysiological evidence", and also recently had a co-authored paper published in Applied Linguistics, entitled "One Size Fits All? Learning Conditions and Working Memory Capacity in Ab Initio Language Development". 

Sébastien Dubreil

Sébastien Dubreil (French and Francophone Studies) presented two papers at the 2015 MLA annual convention in Vancouver:  "Internationalizing the Curriculum at Home: Transcultural Exploration in a French-German Joint Course" as part of a panel organized by the American Association of University Supervisors and Coordinators titled "The Interconnected Curriculum: Critical Transitions and Interfaces", and "Technology and Language Learning: From Beginning to Advanced Levels of Study" with Julie Sykes. He also co-organized two panels:  "The Brain as Site of Memory: Neurolinguistic and Psycholinguistic Approaches to Language Learning" and "Language Use in Multilingual Contexts".

Margarita Hernandez de Polaczyk

Margarita Hernández de Polaczyk, a graduate student in Hispanic Studies, collaborated in the new edition (the 23rd) of the Dictionary of the Spanish Language (DRAE) published in 2014 by the Spanish Royal Academy (Real Academia Española –RAE­–) and the Association of Academies of the Spanish Language (ASALE). As a grant holder, she was part of the Lexicography team of the Guatemalan Academy of Language that collaborated in the latest edition of the aforementioned Dictionary.  She studied Lexicography at the Escuela de Lexicografía Hispánica (ELH), the study center of the RAE and the ASALE located in Madrid, Spain.


Chris Holmlund

Chris Holmlund (French and Francophone Studies) will be Hedda Andersson Research Professor at Lund University in Sweden, February through the end of May. The appointment is in Film Studies, in the Language and Literature Department, while on research leave from UT.


Gregory Kaplan

Gregory Kaplan (Hispanic Studies) was featured in an article in the Spanish newspaper, El Mundo, December 28, 2014. The article, "Minas locales pueden blindar el origen cántabro del español" (Local Mines may Reveal the Cantabrian Origins of Spanish) focuses on Professor Kaplan's current research project in Spanish historical linguistics, which examines how long-term diglossia in the northern Spanish region of Cantabria during Late Antiquity promoted the fusion of the indigenous language and spoken Latin.

Daniel H. Magilow

Daniel H. Magilow (German) presented the paper “Nazisploitation, Neo-Nazisploitation, and the Margins of Holocaust Film” on December 15, 2014 for the panel “Very Marginal Holocaust Texts: Alternative Tropes and Traditions” at the 46th Annual Conference of the Association for Jewish Studies in Baltimore, Maryland.

Douja Mamelouk

Douja Mamelouk (French and Francophone Studies) presented “Narrating Revolution: Contesting Masculinities” on “Women, Gender and Masculinities in Post-Colonial Tunisia” November 25 , 2015 at the Middle East Studies Association of North America’s Annual Conference in Washington, D.C.  Her article, “New National Discourses: Tunisian Women Write the Revolution”, will appear in the May 2015 issue of ALIF: Journal of Comparative Poetics.

On January 13 she participated in a webinar at Georgetown University Press conducted by one of the authors of al-kitaab (Arabic Textbook) Mahmoud al-Batal (Associate Professor at the University of Texas, Austin) during which he discussed new strategies for teaching the third edition of al-Kitaab which we are using in our Arabic Program at the University of Tennessee.

Oscar Rivera-Rodas

Oscar Rivera-Rodas (Hispanic Studies) was named Quest Scholar of the Week.

Maria Stehle

Maria Stehle's (German) co-written article, an invited contribution titled “WiG Trouble: Awkwardness and Feminist Politics,“ co-written with Carrie Smith-Prei, was just published in Women in German Yearbook, Anniversary Volume 30, 2015.


Campus Visit


From left to right: Lisa Parker, Asst. Dir. LWB; Stefanie Ohnesorg, Associate Prof. German; Adrian Del Caro, Head MFLL; Peter Thomae, Buyer-Specialist VW-Chattanooga.

Peter Thomae of Volkswagen Group of America (Chattanooga) paid a visit to UT January 9, 2015, for the purpose of exploring expanded collaborations between Modern Foreign Languages and Literatures and the Chattanooga plant. While MFLL’s students have held internships with VW-Chattanooga in the past, Mr. Thomae is interested in establishing mechanisms whereby UT students can visit the site to determine whether they are interested, and VW can use the visits for recruitment of interns.

During this meeting Mr. Thomae met with colleagues from the German Program (Profs. Magilow, Stehle, Ohnesorg), the Department Head (Adrian Del Caro, also in German), and the Assistant Director of Language and World Business (Dr. Lisa Parker). It was agreed that VW would provide occasional lectures at UT, and that UT would participate in field trips to Chattanooga. According to Mr. Thomae, circa 500 jobs currently exist in and around Chattanooga as a result of VW’s current production, most of which would directly benefit from advanced proficiency in German. Further talks and visits are planned.


MFLL Awards and Endowments


New Endowments to Benefit MFLL Students

Chad Goldman (Chair, MFLL Advisory Board) and Brian Pendleton have donated $100,000 to establish the Chad Goldman and Brian Pendleton Language Resource Center Endowment. The purpose of the endowment is to encourage student engagement in the LRC and to enhance the educational efforts undertaken within it. Endowment earnings may be used for, but are not limited to, the following: 1) Awards to undergraduate students with a preference for those who can demonstrate integration of LRC technology into a research project; 2) Awards to graduate students, with a preference for those who can demonstrate innovative use of the LRC in their teaching methods; 3) Technology, equipment, laboratory, staffing, program and facilities support that enhance the operations of the LRC and its students and faculty.

Goldman and Pendleton have established a second endowment, the Chad Goldman and Brian Pendleton Travel Abroad Scholarship Endowment in the amount of $50,000. Undergraduates pursuing a degree in MFLL must demonstrate the need for and use of scholarship funds for a study abroad experience. The award will be made on a competitive basis and is not renewable.

MFLL’s students and faculty are grateful to Chad and Brian for their generous support. Chad is a Spanish-LWB alum who volunteers his time to the Dean’s Advisory Board and the MFLL Advisory Board. He is Chief Creative Officer of OmniForce LLC.


RFTW Award

The Ready for the World Global Action Committee awarded $1,150 to offset expenses associated with The French Immersion Weekend.


News from the French Section


From left to right: Dallas Dearmond, Alex Brito, Tricia Thrasher, and Madison Sloan

A French Medieval Banquet took place in December.  Students cooked all the different dishes and discussed the origins and tradition. They played music too.


Upcoming Events



News from the LRC Courses of Interest — All students, faculty, and staff have access to's library of online courses for brushing up on technology when and where you need it. The "Up and Running" series of courses contain all a novice user needs to become proficient in several technologies in under two hours. From staples like Audacity and Prezi to more esoteric technologies like Vine and the XBox One, you can become proficient in the tools you hope to experiment with in your classes at your convenience. Access from your computer, iPhone, iPad, Android device, or mobile phone and take advantage of just-in-time training on YOUR schedule!

LRC Training Workshops — Our slate of on-site training will begin in February with the promise of remote viewing on the horizon. If you have a technology you want to see training on, feel free to drop Doug a message at to let him know!

New Additions — We have added Zoom to our arsenal of video technologies and will begin training on Zoom using mobile devices soon. We have also upgraded the hardware in the MUVE Room to include XBox One and PS4...if you have a game you would like to experiment with for your language course, let us know!


This is the first MFLL newsletter for Spring 2015. The next one will be published Monday, February 23. Submissions should be sent to John Romeiser ( no later than 6:00 p.m., Sunday, February 22.

Contact Us

Department of Modern Foreign Languages & Literatures
701 McClung Tower
Knoxville, TN 37996-0470
E-mail: P: (865) 974-2311
F: (865) 974-7096

The University of Tennesse, Knoxville. Big Orange. Big Ideas

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