2013 News Archive

This position complements well the lexicographic work Siegel has done on Louisiana French for a dictionary co-edited by Rudy Professor Emeritus Albert Valdman and Associate Professor Kevin Rottet. He also spent several months in French Guiana in 2011 working on lexicographic analysis of Guianese French Creole, so the position at UWI is a good fit for him. Siegel is currently writing his dissertation on code-switching between Haitian Creole, Guianese Creole, and French.

In addition to his duties at the research center in Barbados, he will also be teaching a linguistics course each semester at UWI. He is excited to start his new job and also about the location: “The campus is only a few blocks from the Caribbean Sea,” he says, “Perfect for those days when I just need to get out of the office for a little while.”

FRIT Welcomes two new faculty members

This fall we welcome two new faculty members to the Department: Cara Takakjian and Kelly Farmer. Ms. Takakjian is a Visiting Lecturer in our Italian language program. She joins us from the Ph.D. program at Harvard University, where she recently defended a dissertation titled "The Italian Graphic Novel: Reading Ourselves, Reading History." Her research and teaching interests include language and literature, particularly Italian popular culture, and film and modern literature with a focus on youth and other subcultures.

Ms. Farmer, who is a doctoral candidate in French linguistics at IUB, joins us as a Visiting Lecturer in our French language program. She is working on her dissertation titled "A diachronic study of sociopragmatic interrogative variation in French films from the 1930s to the present day" under the direction of Professor Julie Auger. She has many years’ experience teaching French at the secondary and college levels, and she served as editorial assistant for the journal Studies in Second Language Acquisition during the last two years.

Assistant professor of French publishes first book

Assistant Professor of French Nicolas Valazza has published his first book Crise de plume et souveraineté du pinceau - Écrire la peinture de Diderot à Proust with the distinguished French press Classiques Garnier. The work explores the development of French art criticism as a literary genre, in light of the emerging paradigm of sovereignty of painting. The thesis at the core of the book is that the fall of the ut pictura poesis regime, which was governing the classical relationship between painting and literature until the second half of the 18th century, represents a critical moment in the discourse on art—corresponding to the birth of art criticism with Diderot—while causing a proliferation of new literary forms in the 19th century.

After the awards were presented, family and friends joined in for coffee and sweet treats. The faculty members present agreed that there were many talented nominees this year, and it was difficult to choose even though 17 awards were available. We are indeed proud of our students who have excelled in their classes in the Department, as they are both a pleasure to teach and an inspiration to their peers.

The Department of French and Italian has also rewarded a promising PhD student with a departmental fellowship. Georgy Khabarovskiy has received a Grace P. Young Fellowship to attend the Dartmouth Summer Institute in French Cultural Studies in June-July 2013. The Institute, now in its 11th year, aims to revitalize and enrich the teaching of French language, literature, and culture, and its theme this year is “Culture and Gastronomy.” Khabarovskiy, who plans a dissertation on the topic of travel narratives, looks forward to a summer experience that is beneficial both to his teaching and his research, as he makes connections with scholars from the U.S. and France.

Graduate student Nicole Burkholder publishes article

An article by first-year graduate student Nicole Burkholder (French literature program) has been published in the online French journal Transitions. The article, entitled "Penser le contresens avec Cyrano de Bergerac," examines the role of the dream in Cyrano's novel Etats et empires du soleil. Specifically, it considers how three of Cyrano's characters, in refusing to assign meanings to their dreams, commit the ultimate contresens. They forego an interpretation only to precipitate the realization of their nightmares, demonstrating that sometimes a dogmatic refusal to interpret is the greatest misinterpretation. This article is part of Nicole's ongoing engagement with the subject of dreams in French literature.

Transitions is a journal edited by Hélène Merlin-Kajman from the Université Sorbonne Nouvelle - Paris 3, who was a visiting professor at IUB in Spring 2012.

Hendrickson awarded Weathers Fellowship

Ryan Hendrickson, a doctoral candidate in French linguistics, has been awarded the departmental Gertrude F. Weathers Fellowship for dissertation research for Spring 2013. Hendrickson (M.A. French Linguistics, 2010) is working on a dissertation tentatively titled "The Liquid Consonants in Picard." The Picard language is closely related to French and is spoken as a minority language in the northern French provinces of Nord-Pas-de-Calais and Picardy. Hendrickson has studied the language as a research assistant for Professor Julie Auger and has already completed one chapter of the dissertation under Professor Auger's direction. The fellowship is named for Gertrude F. Weathers, an IU alumna and long-time teacher of French in Indiana public schools.

Abigail Silbert, Sam Park, and Greg Attra sat together and reminisced about the Bologna overseas study program, which all three participated in during 2011-12. Abby will be teaching high school English in the Lombardy region of Italy next year, while Sam has applied to an MA program at the University of Gastronomical Sciences in the town of Bra, in the Piedmont region of northern Italy. Greg has a job lined up with Senator Angus King in his home state of Maine this summer, and he plans to pursue a degree in public service and social policy analysis at the Muskie School of Public Service of the University of Southern Maine.

French graduates Eleanor “Ellie” Berry and Bailey Hacker will both be teaching English at secondary schools in France next year through the French government teaching assistant program, while Jessica Johnson is looking forward to returning to francophone Africa, specifically Senegal, where she studied on IU’s Dakar program in Summer 2011. She has been admitted to a dual MA program in African Studies and Public Affairs at IUB for next fall.

In all, 30 French majors and 9 Italian majors are set to graduate this month. Congratulations to all our graduates. May your knowledge of French and Italian enrich your lives for years to come!