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

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Department of Modern Foreign Languages and Literatures

MFLL Monthly Newsletter


Dr. Flavia Brizio–Skov (Italian, Chair) has written an essay entitled “L’universo tabucchiano tra letteratura e tempo,” accepted for publication in a special volume by the Gulbenkian Foundation, Lisbon, Portugal (3,330 words, forthcoming).
Dr. Brizio–Skov has been very active in her editorial work. She wrote a long review of a monograph on the renowned writer Antonio Tabucchi that will appear in an Italian peer-reviewed journal, Campi Immaginabili (fall 2019, 2,400 words). Professor Brizio–Skov has reviewed an article (“Pereira traduttore e l’etica della visibilità”), for Forum Italicum — Journal of Italian Studies, Stony Brook University; two articles for the Journal of Italian Cinema and Media Studies; three articles for Studies in European Cinema (“Arctic Gothic: Genre, Folklore, and the Cinematic Horror Landscape of Dead Snow,”, “Aesthetics of Federico Fellini's 8½. Self-reflective structure of the work of art,”, and “The ‘European Film Day’ in Venice: between Film Festival and European Media Policies (1956-1960).”
Dr. Brizio–Skov was a referee reader of Maria Escobar’s manuscript, Allied Encounters: The Gendered Redemption of World War Two Italy, for Fordham University Press (Fall 2018) and a silent reader for a manuscript entitled Redeeming Reality: The Cinema of Ermanno Olmi for McFarland & Company Publisher (Fall 2018). In Spring 2019, Professor Brizio–Skov taught a new course for Italian and Cinema Studies entitled “Mafia and Terrorism in Italian Cinema.” In Summer 2019, she is going to attend the International Conference of the Journal of Italian Cinema and Media Studies in Rome in June where she will present a paper. Dr. Brizio–Skov is finalizing with a publisher the publication of her manuscript on the film Western.
Dr. Flavia Brizio-Skov
Dr. Beatrice Flamenbaum
Dr. Beatrice Flamenbaum (French) presented the paper “Gaze as Gestus in Letters of Fanny Butlerd (1757) by Marie–Jeanne Riccoboni” at the 50th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Eighteenth Century Studies in Denver, Colorado.
Dr. Millie Gimmel (Hispanic Studies) attended the meeting of the Southern Association of History of Medicine and Science in Charlottesville, VA in March 2019. Professor Gimmel presented the paper “Metaphor, theory and practice: The nursing mother in the Early Modern New Spain”.
Dr. Millie Gimmel
Dr. Thorsten Huth
Dr. Thorsten Huth (German) presented the paper “Language assessment, talk–in–interaction, and normativity” at the 2019 convention of the American Association of Applied Linguistics (AAAL) in Atlanta, GA on March 12. The paper was part of the panel “Conversation Analysis, Interactional Competence, and Language Assessment: Practices, Challenges, and Implications”.
The journal article “Rethinking language teacher training: Steps for making talk–in–interaction research accessible to practitioners” which Professor Huth co–authored with Emma M. Betz (U of Waterloo) and Carmen Taleghani–Nikazm (Ohio State U) was accepted for publication in the journal Classroom Discourse and will appear later this year.
Dr. Daniel H. Magilow (German) published the article “Holocaust Photography beyond Atrocity” in the Spring 2019 issue of The German Quarterly as part of the forum: “Visual Studies—The Art Historians’ View.” The essay concerns the various functions that atrocity photographs fulfill besides bearing witness to crimes.
Another article by Professor Magilow, “Cute Jews: Modernist Photographic Forms and Minor Aesthetic Categories in Jüdische Kinder in Erez Israel. Ein Fotobuch” about the last explicitly Jewish–themed photographic book published in Germany before the Holocaust will appear next month in the 2019 edition of the Leo Baeck Institute Yearbook.
Dr. Daniel H. Magilow
Dr. Betsabé Navarro
Dr. Betsabé Navarro (Hispanic Studies) published the article “Enseñando Cultura a través del Teatro: Federico García Lorca, Bodas de Sangre” in Contextos: Estudios de Humanidades y Ciencias Sociales, Universidad Metropolitana de Ciencias de la Educación (Santiago de Chile).
Dr. Phillip Stokes (Arabic) gave an invited lecture at Vanderbilt University on April 3 entitled “Written in Stone: Pre–Islamic Inscriptions and the Changing Narrative of the History of Arabic.”
Dr. Phillip Stokes


Laurent Zunino and Elodie Dabbagh-Buehler
Laurent Zunino (French) and Elodie Dabbagh–Buehler (Arabic) both completed a Teaching Certificate in Gaming and Role–Playing, offered by Teaching and Learning Innovation. They learned how to incorporate gaming and role–playing into their coursework.
Renée D’Élia–Zunino (Italian) received the Service to the Community award at the 2019 MFLL Awards Ceremony.
Renée D’Élia–Zunino


TFLTA Mini–conference participation — Dan Wang (Chinese), Dr. Yen-Chen Hao (Chinese), Wenying Huang (Confucius Institute) and Yan Fan (Confucius Institute) presented “Bring the Community into the Classroom: The benefits of Community–Based Learning in Chinese Classes” at the TFLTA Mini–Conference on April 6 at Sacred Heart Cathedral School, Knoxville, TN.

TFLTA Mini–conference participation
6th Annual Chinese Karaoke Competition — On Friday, April 12th, the Chinese Program and Chinese Culture Club hosted their final event of the 2018/19 school year, the 6th annual Chinese Karaoke competition. Around 100 students and faculty attended the event. Dr. Gretchen Neisler (Vice Provost and Director of CIE) gave the opening remarks. The winner of the competition was a Chinese minor student and CCC co–president, Sue Choi, who sang 我多喜欢你,你会知道. The second-place winner was Quinn Curtis, a Chinese fourth–year student who sang a Chinese version of the song Despacito. The third-place winner was a second-year student, Josiah Hall, who sang 爱不爱我. It was great to see so many Chinese language learners challenging themselves to improve their Mandarin vocabulary through music. This event was sponsored by MFLL, CI and Asian Studies.

Chinese Karaoke Competition Chinese Karaoke Competition Chinese Karaoke Competition


Kerri Ann Considine
Dr. Beatrice Flamenbaum (French) had the pleasure of hosting Kerri Ann Considine, dramaturg of The Madwoman of Chaillot at the Clarence Brown Theater as a guest in her French literature class.


Brian Holt (sophomore in Hispanic Studies) was awarded “Honorable Mention” at The EURēCA annual competition. His project “Blood and Conquest, an investigation into the prominent diseases of 16th Century Mexico” was supervised by Dr. Millie Gimmel (Hispanic Studies).
Dr. Michael Handelsman
Sigma Delta Pi, the Spanish national honor society, nominated Dr. Michael Handelsman (Hispanic Studies, Emeritus) for the Order of Don Quixote Award, a nation-wide competition, and we recently received notification that Dr. Handelsman won the award.
In addition, the honor society nominated Iker Sedeno, a graduate student in the Hispanic Studies Program, for the Gabriela Mistral Award for his contribution to Sigma Delta Pi and its mission. Iker too was granted this award. ¡Felicidades a los dos!
Iker Sedeno
Dr. Thorsten Huth
In March, Sigma Delta Pi hosted the first “Dia de los tamales” at the International House. Students learned how to make tamales, made two of their own and while we cooked them, the students learned to dance and played games. Then they ate their own tamales. It was a fun and successful event.


The Italian-American Heritage Night — April has been a busy month for the Italian program! They started off on April 2nd with the Italian-American Heritage Night celebrated at Central Cinema. Dr. Sal Di Maria (Italian, Emeritus) did a brief introduction on the theme of “The Italian Immigrant and His American Dream”, followed by the feature Big Night, by S. Tucci and C. Scott. This event was followed by Professor Di Maria’s speech on a similar topic in The Last Lecture for the Mortar Board National Honor Society, on April 9th.
Italian-American Heritage Night
MFLL 2019 Soccer tournament
On April 10th, the Italian team participated in the MFLL 2019 Soccer tournament.
On April 17, the Division of Student life at UT nominated the Italian Club for the Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion Award 2019.
Italian Club
EURēCA Award
EURēCA Award — Five students of Italian (majors and minors) have won the EURēCA Award, the highest distinction for undergraduate research at the University of Tennessee. The students completed a translation of the Italian novella “Mons Pagus: La Leggenda del Borgo” (“The Legend of the Medieval Town”). The award recipients are Carla Whaley (left, pictured), Hrysoula Grammatikas (right, pictured), Margaret Stroud, Zoe Mazzu, and Aurora Parker. The students will present their translation in Roseto degli Abruzzi (Italy) on June 1st.


Picnic at the I-House — The VJCA (Vols Japanese Culture Association) wrapped up this year’s activities with a picnic at the I–House. They invited international students from Kansai Gaidai of Osaka, Japan, who are studying English at ELI (the English Language Institute at UT). The members of VJCA prepared some food including Japanese style fried chicken. Everyone seems to have enjoyed the food and their company. The picnic was a great opportunity to make new friends, practice speaking Japanese, and exploring a language partner to work with over the summer.
The Japanese Language Table was organized by UT student Mari Koguma and her friends this semester. They met every Thursday at the I–House and enjoyed chatting in Japanese and playing games — both linguistic and cultural.
12th Annual Tennessee Area Japanese Speech Contest 2019 — Yiying Zhu and Yu Yan from the fourth–year Japanese language course participated in the 12th Annual Tennessee Area Japanese Speech Contest. The Contest was held at Middle Tennessee State University on April 6, and a total of 36 participants from seven universities performed their speeches with the chance to win prizes. In her speech, Yiying expressed her views on loneliness, describing that one can come through loneliness by understanding one’s true self and strengthening one’s relationship with others and the world. Yu discussed challenges the Japanese society currently faces due to lack of desires, dreams, and motivation among the youth. The decrease in population, birth rate, and consumption were brought to attention as serious issues to be addressed in the near future. Both speeches were research–based, with the topics examined systematically and supported by findings in the fields of social sciences and humanities.
Overall, Yiying was pleased to find that she was able to compose a speech that showed how much her Japanese had improved since she began learning the language. For Yu, it was an eye–opening experience when he heard a first–year speech that thoroughly entertained the audience in spite of its limitations to very basic vocabulary and grammar. This experience reminded him that performing a speech is not merely about the speaker’s language skills but also about building relationships with the audience. Learning that other contestants were working on similar materials and facing similar challenges in their Japanese courses, Yu encourages students of the Japanese language at UT to build their confidence in their abilities in Japanese and participate in future Japanese speech contests.


Congratulations to two recipients of the Outstanding LWB Students for 2019, who will be graduating in May 2019:
Brynna Williams, LWB Japanese, is a recipient of the National Merit scholarship at UTK, and she has maintained a 4.0 GPA since entering the university. For the past four years, she has been a member of the Pride of the Southland Marching Band, with the past two spent holding the position of squad leader, and additionally is currently the Vice–president of the Vols Japanese Cultural Association, an organization in which she previously served as secretary. Last spring, she spent a semester abroad in Tokyo, Japan, and further developed not only her Japanese language abilities but also her capacity for intercultural exchange and cross–cultural communication.
Sarah Hoffmann, LWB Hispanic Studies, Cum GPA 3.86; Language GPA 3.93. Sarah is the Interim President of LWBSA (served as VP for 2 terms) who has offered her time participating numerous times in promoting MFLL and LWB–HS. She has studied abroad in Spain, and is currently doing a paid internship in Spanish with HolaHora in charge of marketing and finance in downtown Knoxville. Sarah is also the UG representative for the MFLL Advisory Committee.
We wish the very best to both Brynna and Sarah! Go LWB Vols!

In the picture, from left to right: Sarah Hoffmann, Dr. Lisa Parker, Brynna Williams.
Outstanding LWB Students for 2019
Boren Scholarship
Congratulations to Brooklyn Battle, LWB–Chinese, who has been awarded the Boren Scholarship to serve in Taiwan for the summer of 2019. Brooklyn has served as LWBSA’s Treasurer, and will be graduating in May 2019. Best to you, Brooklyn!!!
Boren Scholarships, an initiative of the National Security Education Program, provide unique funding opportunities for U.S. undergraduate students to study less commonly taught languages in world regions critical to U.S.

In the picture, from left to right: Brooklyn Battle, Dr. Lisa Parker.
LWBSA Members had the last activity for Spring 2019 — Trivia Night on April 17, 2019. Lots of fun together and wishing our seniors, Sarah Hoffmann, Loren Jones, and Brooklyn Battle, a wonderful future!

In the picture, from left to right: Sarah Hoffman, Loren Jones, Rachel Barnes, Brooklyn Battle, and Allison Rogers.
Trivia Night


A.J. Culpepper, a Russian major and Math minor, was the recipient of the EURēCA “Award of Excellence” in the college of Arts & Sciences, Humanities.
Mateos Hayes (Russian) has been awarded a US Department of State Critical Language Scholarship. He is currently studying in St. Petersburg, and will be in Vladimir for the summer CLS program.
Mickayla Stogsdill (Public Policy major, Russian minor) was selected as a Torchbearer at the Chancellor’s Honors Banquet.
Ryan White has been awarded a Boren Scholarship to study Russian in Minsk, Belarus for the 2019-20 academic year.


Let’s congratulate the Hispanic Studies program for winning the 7th edition of the MFLL soccer tournament 2019, after an epic final against the Portuguese team! The 2 teams had already met in the qualification groups and ended their first opposition with a last–minute tie of 3–3. The final was suspenseful until the end! The Hispanic Studies team showed incredible resources to come back from a 0–2, and finally scored the victory goal in the last seconds of the game. Hispanic Studies 3 – Portuguese 2 was the final score.

Thank you all, players, referees, supporters, sponsors, and organizers for a great afternoon of friendly competition, and multicultural communion, and see you next year for another unique moment in MFLL.

This is a nice video of this year’s competition:

MFLL Soccer Tournament 2019 from Language Resource Center on Vimeo.


Mirage Solo VR Headset World in my eyes

RTB Level up!
WebCAPE 2.0 is Here! —The transition process is complete. As of today, WebCAPE 2.0 has become our platform for placement testing. Services on the 1.0 platform have expired. Features such as API integration, single sign-on, and automatic data export will be made available over the next few months. The Placment Exam information page now gives students access to the six placement exams (Chinese, French, German, Italian, Russian, and Spanish). The test is currently compatible with Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, and Microsoft Edge browsers.
LTR Workshop for Fall
LTR Methods Workshops — As you go through your summer vacation and research period, consider presenting in the MFLL Language Teaching Resources Methods Workshop in the Fall! It is a great opportunity to present in a friendly atmosphrere in preparation for a conference presentation or for a presentation in an on-campus interview process. If you'd like to participate, contact the Methods Workshop organizing team! [Laurent, Mia, Thorsten, Doug]. All are welcome.


This is the last MFLL monthly newsletter for the 2018–2019 academic year. We will resume publication in August.

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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