A few days later, the Department hosted Áine O’Healy, Professor of Italian at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. Her book Migrant Anxieties: Italian Cinema in a Transnational Frame (Indiana University Press, 2019) was a primary resource for “Migration/Mediterranean/Italy,” an interdisciplinary Italian film course taught by Professor Colleen Ryan in Fall 2021. O’Healy gave a lesson in this course on the subject of adolescents and children in contemporary Italian cinema of migration. She later gave a public lecture, titled: “Italian/Not Italian: Italy through the Lens of 'Second-Generation' Filmmakers. An Exploration of Contemporary Transnational Identities on Screen.”
In February 2022, Professor Oana Panaïté, with assistance from Comparative Literature doctoral candidate Julie LeHegarat, organized a visit by the French filmmaker, afrofeminist, activist, and scholar Amandine Gay, and her partner in the Bras de Fer production company, Enrico Bartolucci. The three-day visit included a showing of Gay’s documentary Speak Up (2017), a series of interviews with Black women living in Francophone Europe; participation in two courses; a master class; and a public lecture entitled “Practicing Intersectionality and Being Actively Antiracist: Working towards equality and social justice is a dirty job - are you still up for it?”
Alumna Anne-José Villeneuve (PhD ’11, French Linguistics) returned to campus to participate in a French linguistics graduate seminar and give a public lecture in March. Her interactions with current graduate students showed them “what it’s like on the other side” of getting the PhD, said Corentin Mazet (MA ’22, French Linguistics). Villeneuve discussed her career path as well as her sociolinguistic research, through which she “aims to raise awareness of the connections between language, marginalization and social justice” (according to her own short biographical sketch).
The towering literary and philosophical work, as well as the cultural and political impact, of Martinican author Édouard Glissant (1928-2011) were the focus of a semester-long reading group this past spring, organized by Professor Anke Birkenmaier (Spanish and Portuguese) and Oana Panaïté under the aegis of the Center for Theoretical Inquiry in the Humanities. The weekly meetings of the group culminated in a two-day symposium held April 8-9 which featured guest speakers John Drabinski (University of Maryland), Adlai H. Murdoch (Tufts University), Yolanda Martinez-San Miguel (University of Miami), and Silvio Torres-Saillant (Syracuse University). The hybrid (in-person/Zoom) event occasioned rich and stimulating discussions about Glissant, whose works cover virtually all genres and forms, from lyrical poetry to scholarly studies, from historical and experimental fiction to philosophical essays and political manifestos, and who engaged with topics as enduring and urgent as slavery, racism, colonialism, creolization, “Relation,” and the “chaos-world.” Following the event, a peer-reviewed issue of the Journal of Francophone Philosophy with contributions from IU and guest scholars is in preparation.
Our final departmental guest this academic year was Heidi Tsai, an alumna of the Jacobs School of Music who currently resides in France. Professor Alison Calhoun was able to take advantage of Dr. Tsai’s tour of the United States and invited her to Bloomington. Tsai presented a lecture recital program of French harpsichord music and harpsichord transcriptions. Music on the program included Lully, Chambonnières, d’Anglebert, Mesangeau, Caix d’Hervelois, Barrière, Forqueray, and Couperin. Tsai explained the history and scandal surrounding the pieces she played, often related to the cross-dressing Abbott François-Timoléon de Choisy, whose image was projected behind her.