2012 News Archive

French literature written outside of France, particularly in the area of North Africa known as the Maghreb, captured McHenry's interest a few years ago. When he signed up for the individual reading class with Prof. Panaïté, he originally planned to focus on literary translation, but after reading Djebar's novel for the second time (in preparation for translation), he was struck by the literary themes and became more interested in literary criticism and analysis of the work. He read several theoretical works by modern and contemporary experts in the field of literary criticsm and began to explore the representations of the body and sexuality, uses of speech and language with a text, specifically within Women of Algiers. Professor Panaïté was so impressed with the final essay that she recommended Will submit it to the Women in French contest.

Women in French is an group of scholars who wish to promote research on women writing in French, on women in literature and culture of French expression, and other domains of feminist literary criticism. It is affiliated with the Modern Language Association.

Among the attendees were two friends from the Italian program, Stefanie Orlowski and Jessica Wehr, both of whom participated in the Bologna overseas study program in Spring 2011 and plan to return to Italy soon. Stefanie will start the Middlebury College Italian M.A. program in June, first with classes in Middlebury, Vermont, and then in Florence. Jessica, this year's Mary V. Lèbano Prize winner, has applied to teach high school English in Lombardia as part of an exchange program.

From the French program, attendees included Sarah Chestnut and Alexandra Moxley, who chatted with Professor Hall Bjørnstad. Sarah, an alumna of the High School Honors Program in Brest (Bretagne) plans to pursue graduate study in education, and Alexandra will be teaching as part of the French government's teaching assistants program in Montpellier next fall. At another table, Olivia Stidham, one of this year's Grace Young Undergraduate Award recipients, also expressed her excitement at being selected as a French teaching assistant through the same program. She will be located in the Nancy/Metz area in northeastern France. Her friend and fellow French B.A. recipient Allison Billows plans to pursue a certificate in ESL (English as a Second Language) to follow her own path back to France. Both students participated in the semester study abroad program in Aix-en-Provence, which was a "cultural eye-opener," according to Allison.

We wish all our students the best of luck as they pursue jobs or further education after graduation!

La Renaissance Française is a public non-profit organization benefiting from the patronage of the President of the French Republic. It was founded by French president Raymond Poincaré in 1916 with the mission of promoting French culture throughout the world. The US delegation was founded in 2009, and his Excellency François Delattre, Ambassador of France to the United States, serves as its Président d'Honneur. Albert Valdman is professor emeritus in the Department of French and Italian and in the Department of Linguistics. He is founder and director of the IU Creole Institute and editor of the journal Studies in Second Language Acquisition. He has been for many decades a leader in the field of French language education and in the study of French as spoken outside of France, especially in Haiti and Louisiana.

As usual, Professor Margot Gray was adorned by a festive hat while presenting the Grace P. Young Undergraduate Awards, which this year went to Olivia Stidham, Jessica Johnson, and Andrew Johns. Professor Gray's hat was a nod to the namesake of this award, Grace P. Young, who taught French at IU from 1917 to 1956 and felt a hat to be an essential part of her teaching attire. Professor Emeritus Edoardo Lèbano again presented the Carol Brush Hofstadter Memorial Scholarships, saying with grace and good humor that this proves he is still alive and kicking. After the ceremony, attendees enjoyed coffee, petit fours, and personal congratulations from their peers in the sunny banquet room of the Wells House.

The SPCL award recognizes the important contribution of the IU Creole Institute to research on French-based creoles, especially those of Louisiana and Haiti, and to the preparation of teaching and lexical resources for these languages. Most instructional programs in Haitian Creole in the United States, including that of the State Department Foreign Service Institute, use materials prepared by the Creole Institute. Several former Creole Institute research assistants now lead Haitian Creole programs across the nation; for example, Ben Hebblethwaite (Ph.D. French, 2007) at the University of Florida, Nicolas André (M.A. French, 2008) at Florida International University, Tom Klingler (Ph.D. French, 1992) at Tulane University, Marc Prou at the University of Massachusetts, and Jacques Pierre at Duke.

While at IU-Bloomington, Professor Merlin-Kajman will teach two courses: F451 "Sorcellerie, magie et littérature" and F630 "Le rôle public des émotions." She will also be a featured keynote speaker in "The Language of the Baroque: An Interdisciplinary Conference Between Literary Historians and Musicologists," to take place Saturday, April 14 in the Walnut Room of the Indiana Memorial Union.

Mickel is the author of six books including Eugène Fromentin (G. K. Hall, 1982) and Ganelon, Treason and the "Chanson de Roland" (Penn State University Press, 1989), and he is also editor of several works, including the immense 10-volume Old French Crusade Cycle (University of Alabama press, 1977-2003, co-edited with Jan Nelson). He was invited as Visiting Scholar at Pembroke College, Cambridge (UK) in 2006 and has served as chair of 19 Ph.D. dissertation committees. We are pleased to congratulate Professor Mickel on the well-deserved honor of the Palmes Académiques.