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


Dr. Dawn Duke (Hispanic Studies) published, “In Poetic Memory of Zumbi’s Palmares and Abdias do Nascimento Quilombismo.” Aletria: Revista de Estudios de Literatura. 28, 4 (2018): 11-29.

Dr. Dawn Duke
Dr. Yen-Chen Hao
Dr. Yen-Chen Hao (Chinese) published a book review in Chinese as a Second Language. The Journal of the Chinese Language Teachers Association, 53(2), p. 187-192. Professor Hao reviewed Dr. Chunsheng Yang’s 2016 book The acquisition of L2 Mandarin prosody.
Dr. Gregory Kaplan (Hispanic Studies) published an article, “Sem Tob's Proverbios morales: A Rabbinic Voice for Anti-Rabbinic Sectarianism,” in Enarratio: Publications of the Medieval Association of the Midwest (vol. 21, pp. 28-44). The article is available online.
Dr. Gregory Kaplan
Dr. Laura Trujillo-Mejía

Dr. Laura Trujillo-Mejía (Hispanic Studies) received a Teaching and Learning Innovation Support Award for the implementation of Project Based Learning in her courses.


2019 Chinese New Year Celebration — On Tue, Feb 5, the Confucius Institute hosted the Chinese New Year Celebration at Hodges Library. Students from the Chinese program presented Chinese New Year traditions. The Chinese Culture Club had an arts & crafts table at the event, teaching passersby how to make 3D-shaped Chinese character “Spring” and paper lanterns.

2019 Chinese New Year Celebration 2019 Chinese New Year Celebration
Chinese Chopped Competition — On Friday, March 1st, the Chinese Culture Club hosted its first ever Chinese Chopped Competition from 5-7 at the I-House Great Room. The competition was based on television shows Chopped and Cut-Throat Kitchen. Sixteen participants were divided into four teams. Each team consisted of a Chinese Culture Club member, Asian American Association member, Chinese language student, and an advisor from the Confucius Institute. Before cooking began, a series of mini-games decided which teams had to use certain punishment ingredients. Judges based their scoring on presentation, taste, and creativity. The Vice Provost and CIE director Dr. Gretchen Neisler attended the whole event, and her twin sons were two of the judges. The event had a great turnout of around 60 people, and it was a great opportunity for students to learn about Chinese food culture

Chinese Chopped Competition Chinese Chopped Competition
Chinese Chopped Competition Chinese Chopped Competition

Sue Choi (CCC president and Chinese minor) has won the Critical Language Scholarship to fully fund her study in China for two months in the summer of 2019.

Brooklyn Battle (CCC president and LWB Chinese major) hosted the Chinese New Year Celebration in Chinese on Feb 8 at Howard H Baker Jr. Center. This event was organized by the Chinese Students and Scholars Association and attended by mostly Chinese students.

Brooklyn Battle

Ashley Chen (CCC officer and Asian Studies Chinese major) hosted East Tennessee Chinese New Year Festival on Feb 10 at Cox Auditorium. Dan Wang (Chinese) was one of the festival organizers.

Ashley Chen


On February 20, 2019, 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, Schoko–Erdbeeren (chocolate-covered strawberries), and Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte (Black Forest cake).

German Coffee House German Coffee House
German Coffee House German Coffee House


The 6th annual Spanish Immersion Day 2019 took place on Saturday, March 2, 2019, at the TN School for the Deaf at Island Home. The event was organized by Pedro Tomás (Hispanic Studies) with a dynamic group of instructors from Hispanic Studies: Lisa Parker, Leonor Lundy & Francisca Chaudhary in the kitchen; activities led by Mia Romano and her dynamic team; Jae Resendes, Iker Sedeno, Ana George, Betsabe Navarro & Ana Honeycut helped with grammatical and cultural activities. The event was attended by 57 registered students. For 6 hours attendants and organizers had a great time with grammatical cultural activities, enjoyed an amazing lunch with food from Puerto Rico, Cuba, Mexico and Perú, and spent an afternoon of soccer and competed for prizes. Students not only left with nice prizes from the sponsors but also with a knowledge of what it is like to spend a whole day immersed in something that they have only experienced in the classroom. Fun was had by all. The event was sponsored by MFLL’s Hispanic Studies section, HoLa Hora Latina, WonderWorks, Alcatraz East, Dollywood, the Aquarium of the Smokies and the fabulous VolShop.
Spanish Immersion Day 2019 Spanish Immersion Day 2019
Spanish Immersion Day 2019 Spanish Immersion Day 2019
Spanish Immersion Day 2019 Spanish Immersion Day 2019


Tennessee Viticultural and Oenological Society Conference — Renée D’Elia–Zunino (Italian) and Laurent Zunino (French) attended the TVOS Conference on March 3. Renée and Laurent did a cultural presentation on Italian and French wines. They attended the conference with the aim of creating a liaison between TVOS and UTK. TVOS offers the Harry and Lora Westcott Scholarship Program, awarding every year a scholarship to one Tennessee college student who is conducting and promoting the study of grapes and wine, disseminating information on these topics, or fostering conditions to encourage TN grape growing or winemaking.This could be a wonderful opportunity for the students in Language and World Business. Dr. Lisa Parker (Hispanic Studies/LWB) has started contacts with the Westcott Foundation.
Italian–American Heritage Night — The Italian Club is proud to present and invite everyone in MFLL to the Italian-American Heritage Night, Tuesday April 2, at 6:00 pm, at Central Cinema in Knoxville. Introduction by Emeritus Professor Sal Di Maria (Italian) on The Italian Immigrant and the American Dream. The featured film is Big Night, by Campbell Scott and Stanly Tucci. Free admission includes popcorn and drink.

Italian-American Heritage Night


Public Lecture from the Consul-General of Japan — Dr. Noriko J. Horiguchi (Japanese) led the Japanese Industry Roundtable and Consul-General of Japan Kobayashi’s public lecture in early February with support from MFLL, the College of Arts and Sciences, CIE, and Corporate and Foundation Engagement. These events provided opportunities for the UT faculty, students, and officials in the upper administration (Interim President Boyd, Interim Chancellor Davis, Vice Provost Neisler, Deans of the Colleges of Arts and Sciences, Business, and Engineering) and local government officials to learn about (1) Japan as the largest foreign investor in the State of Tennessee ($17 billion in Foreign Direct Investment, 52,000 employees directly employed by 193 Japanese establishments in TN), and (2) Japanese industry’s workforce expectations and needs for future employees and UT graduates. At these events, members across units on the UTK campus were able to meet and exchange ideas with 25 representatives from Japanese companies in Tennessee and the Consul-General of Japan in Nashville. The media coverage before and after these events include articles on the Consul-General’s lecture on Japan–US/TN relations and the MFLL Japanese Program, and a radio interview on WUOT given by Dr. Horiguchi about the connections between Japan and Tennessee.
2019 Chinese New Year Celebration
International Festival at Children’s Museum of Oak Ridge — In late February, Mahagi LaCure (Japanese) and the Vol’s Japanese Culture Association (VJCA) participated in the festival. At the event they shared with the audience Japanese folk songs, plus a folk tale of Momotaro using kamishibai (traditional paper theater), and danced Tokyo Ondo with the accompaniment of a shamisen (three-string instrument) and a drum. Despite the flooding in the Knoxville area, it was a fun and educational experience for everyone involved.

International Festival at Children’s Museum of Oak Ridge International Festival at Children’s Museum of Oak Ridge


The Brazilian Film Series is celebrating Brazilian music this semester. The next feature is Elis, a biopic portraying the life of Elis Regina, one of the greatest Brazilian singers of all times. Dir. Hugo Prata, 2004. English subtitles - 1h 38m. March 31, Sunday, 4:00 p.m. at Hodges Library Auditorium. Free and open to the public. Gabriela Parizzi (Portuguese) will sing a couple of Elis’s songs before the screening of the film. Join us for what promises to be a very lively performance!

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

Bate-Papo Bate-Papo


Mirage Solo VR Headset World in my eyes

WebCAPE 2.0 is Coming! (seriously) — As we discussed last month, the LRC has been working for several months on shaping the mandatory transition to WebCAPE 2.0, which should be in place for the Summer Semester (and the First-Year Student Orientation sessions). We are still in need of several instructors and students who are willing to take one of the placement exams and provide feedback about user-friendliness and how we might improve the system in preparation for our impending transition to the new platform. If you or your students are interested in being a part of this (envision being able to accurately discuss the new exam to your students!), please click on and/or distribute the following links for the different exams we have ready to test (test is currently compatible with Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, and Microsoft Edge browsers):
Say hello to RTB! — In addition to all of our wonderful student workers, we have a wonderful avatar who, after many years as an alter-ego for research and exploration in Second Life, has traveled to the LRC via Bitmoji and will soon be seen on the LRC's websites and social media! Rockytop Berchot (or RTB for short) will be seen directing students, posting humorous observations, and inviting faculty to participate in various activities.
LTR Workshop–Betsabé Navarro
LTR Methods Workshops — The MFLL Language Teaching Resources Methods Workshop series will continue with a workshop THIS THURSDAY, March 7 from 1PM to 2PM in the Telecollaoration and Seminar Room (AMB 2). Dr. Betsabé Navarro (Spanish) will present on “Drama-based pedagogy in the foreign language classroom.”. We will facilitate a Facebook live-feed of workshops, and will be experimenting with 180° and 360° livecasting as well.Have an idea for a presentation? Contact the Methods Workshop organizing team! [Laurent, Mia, Thorsten, Doug]. All are welcome.
Workshop: The Pedagogy of Immersive VR — Ana George (Hispanic Studies) will conduct a hands-on lecture about the pedagogical implications of virtual reality environments on Tuesday, March 26th from 10AM to 12PM in AMB 02. More details will follow as we approach the date. Email Dr. Doug Canfield if you are interested in attending!


Experiential Learning Through Augmented/Virtual Reality (Wed., March 6, 1 PM - 3 PM, Hodges Library 220E ) You will learn ways to incorporate augmented reality into your classes as an experiential learning approach. The workshop will demonstrate free augmented reality authoring software/apps, and guide you through a process of building your own augmented reality projects. The workshop will consist of an augmented reality presentation, followed by a hands-on workshop where you will create your own augmented reality project and develop an augmented reality class assignment, as well as a general discussion period for your questions.
Click here to register
Enhancing Video Learning with Captions (Wed., March 13, 1:25PM - 3:25PM, COMM 43) Captioning has well-researched benefits for ALL learners. Indeed, captions are known to improve attention, retention, and comprehension of learning videos. In this hands-on workshop, you will have the opportunity to learn multiple ways to efficiently and effectively caption your own videos using YouTube or Arc Media (built into Canvas). Click here to register
Accessibility: Creating Accessible Course Documents (PC and Mac combined) (Tues., March 26, 9 AM - 11 AM, COMM 43) Learn how to create electronic course documents that are accessible to all students, including those with disabilities. Small changes in how you create Word, PowerPoint, and PDF documents can improve accessibility and benefit all of your students...and you as well!, This workshop is designed for both Mac and Windows users of MS Office 2016, and will introduce you to the accessible UTK Course Syllabus template. Click here to register
Online Training of the Month: Executive Presence on Video Conference Calls Whether you are a graduate student interviewing for a position or a professor giving a guest lecture online, learning how to shine on video conference calls is essential. This workshop will provide expert advice to look and sound confident, collected, and smart on your next conference call or video presentation. Discover how to prepare your material, how to contribute to the call, and how to incorporate engaging visuals. Get body language, posture, and wardrobe tips to make a powerful impression.
Click here to view


The next MFLL Newsletter will be published Tuesday, April 2. Submissions should be sent to esilva@utk.edu prior to 6:00 p.m., Sunday, March 31. 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.