The Department is pleased to welcome Lucas Wood as a Visiting Assistant Professor for 2015-16. Professor Wood received his Ph.D. in French from the University of Pennsylvania in 2012, completing a dissertation entitled “Allegory Effects: The Romance of Redemption, the Redemption of Romance, and the Queste del Saint Graal. Before coming to IU, Wood served as Lecturer in the Department of French & Francophone Studies at Pennsylvania State University (2012-13) and as Junior Research Fellow in the School of Modern Languages and Culture of Durham University, UK (2013-15).
2015 News Archive
Medieval scholar joins faculty as visiting professor
Professor Wood’s publications include articles in French Forum, Medium Aevum, and the Romanic Review, as well as a chapter on the Queste del Saint Graal in Murder Most Foul: Medieval and Early Modern Homicide (Larissa Tracy, ed., Boydell & Brewer press). He also has a wide range of teaching experience, including Sex, Gender & Identity in the Middle Ages & Renaissance at Durham, Paris: Anatomy of a City at Penn State, and French language courses. Here at IU, he is teaching F361 La France medieval (à 1500) and F300 Reading & Expression in French. This young scholar is indeed a welcome addition to our community!
Professors receive NEH grant for summer institute
Professor Eileen Julien and a team of faculty collaborators from three universities have received a National Endowment for the Humanities grant of nearly $200,000 for a summer institute in 2016 entitled "Arts of Survival: Recasting Lives in African Cities." Professor Oana Panaïté, also in our department, is a collaborator on this important enrichment opportunity for twenty-five college and university professors. The other team members are Professors James Ogude (Research Fellow, University of Pretoria, South Africa), Akin Adesokan (Department of Comparative Literature and the Media School, IUB), and Grace Musila (English, University of Stellenbosch, South Africa).
The project explores contemporary urban culture and arts in African and African diaspora cities--Accra, Lagos, Nairobi, New Orleans and Port-au-Prince. These cities share African "roots," but are distinctive because of the unique "routes" that subsequently shaped them: landscapes and histories; multiple languages; waves of immigrants who brought and continue to bring their labor, culture and creativity; and the sometimes tragic events, both “natural” (hurricanes and earthquakes) and man-made (political violence and legacies of colonialism and slavery), that these cities have undergone. Says Julien, “Our goal is to examine how art engages the political and social hierarchies embedded in these cities and often recasts marginal or precarious lives into lives that exceed their constraining structures.”
The Department congratulates Professor Julien and her team for this prestigious award! View a complete list of NEH grants awarded this summer.
Pi Delta Phi chapter installed at IUB
The Department of French and Italian is the proud location of the newest chapter of the French national honor society Pi Delta Phi. The Omicron Upsilon chapter was officially installed at IU-Bloomington on Friday, April 3 in the University Club, in the Indiana Memorial Union. Pi Delta Phi Vice President and IU alumna Olga Amarie (PhD ’11) conducted the installation. Professor Barbara Vance, Director of Undergraduate Studies in French, planned and organized the chapter installation, and identified students who met the membership criteria. Thirty-two students were initiated into the organization as the first class of honorees in the new chapter.
Pi Delta Phi is the oldest academic honor society for a modern foreign language in the United States, founded at the University of California, Berkeley, in 1906. It is comprised of more than 370 chapters and is a member of the Association of College Honor Societies and endorsed by the American Association of Teachers of French. Its purpose is to recognize outstanding scholarship in the French language and its literatures, to increase the knowledge and appreciation of Americans for the cultural contributions of the French-speaking world, and to stimulate and to encourage French and francophone cultural activities. The current president of Pi Delta Phi is Professor Scott Fish (Augustana College).
Department mourns the passing of Mark Musa
We are saddened by the passing of Distinguished Professor Emeritus Mark Louis Musa in Mallorca, Spain on Dec. 31, 2014. Professor Musa was a world-renowned scholar of Dante whose critical editions and translations are essential reading in the field of medieval Italian studies. He was a professor in the Department from 1965 to 1999.
Mark Musa earned an undergraduate degree at Rutgers University in 1956, where he studied with poet and literary critic John Ciardi, under whose tutelage he translated and published a new version of Dante's Vita Nuova, an edition that has been continuously in print since its appearance in 1961. Musa completed his doctorate in Italian Studies in 1961 at Johns Hopkins University, where he studied with Leo Spitzer, Charles Singleton, and Anna Granville Hatcher before coming to Indiana University in the same year. In 1965, Musa founded the Indiana University Bologna Consortial Studies Program, which continues to offer students an enriching study abroad experience to the present day, and it was under his guidance that the Italian doctoral program was first established on the Bloomington campus.
Professor Musa received a Fulbright Fellowship to Italy (1956-58) and a Guggenheim Fellowship (1971), as well as Indiana University's Distinguished Teaching and Mentoring Award in 1996. During his long and productive career, he became known as one of America's most skillful translators and critics of Italian literary classics, including not only the Vita Nuova but also Dante's Divine Comedy, Petrarch's Canzoniere, Boccaccio's The Decameron, Machiavelli's The Prince, The Italian Renaissance Reader, and Pirandello's Six Characters in Search of an Author, some of which were products of his collaboration with other Indiana University colleagues. His books were published by major university and commercial presses, including The Viking Press, Penguin, Norton, Oxford University Press, and Indiana University Press. For his fine work on Dante, he was awarded the "Fiorino d'oro" ("gold florin") by the city of Florence, Italy.
Thanks to Peter Bondanella, Distinguished Professor Emeritus, for the obituary.