Department of Romance Languages and Literatures Newsletter December 2020

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Department of Romance Languages and Literatures Newsletter December 2020 Dear RLL family I write this note just a few minutes after ending, online via Zoom, the last class of the semester. The class, however, has been meeting every week on campus, in a safe environment made possible by the efforts of the entire Hofstra student, faculty, and administrative bodies. I could not be prouder of this family, whose members have carried on through these unprecedented circumstances brought about by Covid-19, to complete the educational goals of our programs and maintain a sense of community that is perhaps even stronger than during less unusual times. I am honored to work with colleagues – faculty, administrators, and staff – who showed professionalism, flexibility, and nimbleness when we had to convert classes to an online format in a matter of days. The efforts and care shown by the RLL faculty humbled me every day, and made the job of Chair considerably less difficult. Even more laudable, this newsletter’s content reveals that they have managed to advance in their intellectual endeavors, in spite of the pandemic and its obstacles. We were all impressed by our students, who showed understanding and maturity when it became clear that the Spring 2020 semester would be totally online. I am especially proud of our 2020 graduates, who completed their last semester at Hofstra yet were deprived of the ritual of celebration. I trust that we will be able to come together and celebrate their accomplishments in the near future. We salute them in the pages of this newsletter. We are also extremely proud of the students who came to Hofstra in Fall 2020 and have demonstrated great dedication and love for learning. We look forward to seeing them in class in the Spring 2021 when we hope to be able to return to an open campus, with Covid safety measures, and we trust that we will be able to welcome all of them to a more normalized campus in Fall 2021. In the meantime, I wish the entire RLL family, faculty, students, alumni, and their families a healthy end of the year and a joyful and safe 2021. Please stay in touch. All the best, Pepa Anastasio Pronouns She/Her/Hers Professor and Chair Romance Languages and Literatures


Faculty and Staff News Lynne Murray is the Administrative Assistant in the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, and she celebrated her fifth year with the department in February 2020. As she says, “time has certainly flown, and I am so grateful to have now spent five years at the nicest department on campus!” On October 18 2020, and despite the global pandemic, Lynne became engaged to David Kohanim, who is an executive officer with the New York State Insurance Fund. They are planning an April 2021 wedding, and the department is extremely happy with this news. Congratulations, Lynne!

Professor of Spanish Inés Mónica Archer was appointed by the Miguel Hernandez Cultural Foundation of Spain to serve as editor of a collection of poetry books; this is a two-year project to curate and edit a collection of prominent living HispanoAmerican poets, to honor the 80th anniversary of the death of Spanish poet Miguel Hernández. This project is a collaboration with bi/Coa: Base Intercultural/Community of the Americas, and the Cervantes Institute of Spain. In June 2020, professor Archer received the recognition of Women Leaders in Latin America, as part of the 1st World Congress of Women Alta Ponencia, organized by Global Creation without Limits Global Outreach. In August 2020, professor Archer was the organizer of “The 3rd Global Conference on University Research, Building Bridges between Researchers, Artists, Policymakers and Scientists on Hispanic Issues”; she also presented the paper “Descripciones poéticas amerindias: manifestación de la identidad” in one of the panels. In October 2020, Professor Archer presented The 2nd World Conference Proceedings at the Feria Internacional del Libro de la Ciudad de Nueva York. She also presented the edited poetry book Continuo, discontinuo, continuó, published by El Ángel Editor in Quito. Professor Archer’s work was featured in the collective exhibition and virtual gallery “Contemporary Surroundings,” hosted by the Saphira & Ventura Gallery in New York City. She was invited to be this year’s lecturer at the Modern Art versus Contemporary Concepts series, a conversation organized by the Saphira & Ventura Gallery. She also participated in the on-line poetry reading of EntreTmas and Cuarentemas.

Professor of French Rose Barth once again served as the faculty adviser for Pi Delta Phi, Hofstra’s chapter of the National French Honor Society. This past spring, she oversaw the acceptance and induction of seven French language students into the society in a virtual ceremony. Professor of Spanish Warren Bratter has established a blog on Hofstra University’s website,, in which he regularly comments on current events and political figures of the Hispanic world and beyond. The Hearst News Service published two of his articles: “A Sea Change of Women in Latin American Politics,” on the role of female political leaders in the Hispanic world and the region’s having elected 10 women as 2

Presidents of their respective countries during the past five decades; and “Growing Up in the Shadow of Roth,” recounting his memories of growing up as a teenager in Philip Roth’s Newark, NJ, neighborhood. also published two of his articles: “Traveling Bilingual,” on the differences between being a monolingual surface traveler and a deep-culture bilingual traveler to Costa Rica’s Talamanca Mountain range, on the border with Panamá; and “A Winter Trip in Italy,” on his return to Northern and Western Italy following an absence of 50 years after having lived and taught there. His articles “What If Harriet Tubman Had Been a Maroon Instead of an Abolitionist?” (on the masterless enslaved or maroon communities of Panamá) and “Lolita Lebrón: Ejemplo de Varón” (an eyewitness account of that Nationalist leader’s return home to Puerto Rico following the commutation of her life imprisonment sentence in the United States by the-then President Jimmy Carter). His article, “The unknown Irish of Latin America: Why St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated among Spanish-speaking Nations,” appeared recently in The New York Daily News. Professor of Italian Simone Castaldi completed, in 2020, the final installment of his English translation of the entire 12-book run of Hugo Pratt’s Corto Maltese series published by IDW. The last volume of this eight-year project, MU, was released in September. It is the first time that this important and massive (more than 1500 pages!) body of work, precursor to the modern graphic novel, has been made available in its entirety to English-speaking readers. Castaldi also published three articles focusing on Italian graphic novel artists, with “The inexhaustible surface of things: Stefano Tamburini’s comic book work” appearing in the journal European Comic Art; “Italian Underground: the secret life of Italian Comics 1968-1978,” appearing in The International Journal of Comic Art; and “Water for Polyhedrons: The Mechanomorphic Art Of Giorgio Carpinteri,” published by The Comics Journal. Additionally, Castaldi provided a monographic article, “Power out of balance: Guido Crepax’s literary adaptations,” for the sixth and final volume of Complete Crepax, published by Fantagraphics. This article focuses on this innovative and iconoclastic comic book artist’s erudite adaptations of classics like Venus in Furs, The Turn of the Screw, The Magic Mountain, and The Trial, among others. Finally, Simone Castaldi contributed a chapter to a volume entitled A Western Comics Reader, comprising essays on the representation of Western spaces in comics and published by Nebraska University Press. Throughout the last two semesters, Castaldi has 3

been busy adapting his courses, and his teaching, to support distance learning. During the fall semester, Castaldi taught Italian language, a course on the history of the Italian mafia, and a course on representations of food in Italian literature and cinema. Professor of Spanish Álvaro Enrigue was awarded the three-year Borchard Foundation Fellowship to keep working on a new book on early modern literary writing and history of the ideas. He just turned a chapter for Zoe Leonard’s book/art project Al río/The River. The book will accompany an exhibition scheduled to open in the MUDAM in Luxembourg in 2021and later in the Musee d’art Moderne in Paris. He kept active as a critic in this difficult year writing short reviews on translations from Latin American fiction for BookPost. Professor Enrigue oversaw the publication of the second volume of DREAMing OUT LOAD. Voices of Undocumented Writers, published by PEN America and edited by Nicole Marie Gervasio. He reached a deal with El Estudio Production Company to co-write an anime TV series based in his illustrated book Un samurai mira el amanecer en Acapulco. Professor of Spanish Alfonso García Osuna has announced that his latest book, The Atlantic as Mythical Space: An Essay on Medieval Ethea, is under contract with Vernon Press and will be published in January 2021. Also accepted for publication by The Journal of Arts and Humanities is his article entitled “A Tree Crosses the City: The Unconventional Artistry of Miguel Ángel Zapata,” He notes that the 2020 school year was an unusual experience on campus, with only a handful of students and faculty around. Professor of French Sabine Loucif continued in her scholarly role as Editor of Nouvelles Francographies, the Journal of the SPFFA (Société des Professeurs Français et Francophones d’Amérique), a learned society based in New York and dedicated to the promotion of French and Francophone culture in the United States and in the Americas. Among her various scholarly activities, Dr. Loucif is working on a forthcoming publication dedicated to the French singer Barbara, the most important female author, composer and interpreter of the twentieth century in France. Her attention focuses on the artist’s strategy to control her own posterity. Adapting the tools of reception studies developed for literature, Dr. Loucif proposes a new approach to the “chanson” that allows for a multi-disciplinary approach to a type of performing art often misunderstood by literary critics. Dr. Loucif also started exploring a new topic: the impact of social media on literature and literary writing; she has been re-writing and expanding a conference paper presented in Athens in 2019, entitled “Social Media and the French Novel: False Identity and True Love in Who You Think I Am by Camille Laurens,” Finally, Dr. Loucif became a member of the Africana Studies Committee at Hofstra University, and participated in a campus-wide effort to make Africana Studies more visible and relevant in the Hofstra curriculum. Professor of Spanish Vicente Lledó-Guillem has been recently selected as the Marià Villangómez Visiting Chair of Catalan Studies at Leipzig University in Germany. As a Visiting Chair, he has an open invitation to travel to the second oldest university in Germany to teach and to promote Catalan language and culture abroad. Important historical figures such as Leibniz, Goethe, Schumann, Nietzsche, and Angela Merkel studied at Leipzig University. He will probably travel to Leipzig in 2021 or 2022. In addition, he has also been teaching a course online for Leipzig University students from November 2020 to January 2021, titled Catalan and 4

Occitan: New Approaches to the Making of Catalan Linguistic Identity. This course focuses on language ideology in literary texts written between the 13th-17th centuries. Furthermore, Professor Vicente Lledó-Guillem has completed the revised version of the book chapter "The Masculine Body in the Mediterranean: Queering the Other in El Monserrate and Tirant lo Blanc", which will appear very soon in the volume Queering the Mediterranean: An Intersectional Sea of Sex, Gender, Identity and Culture (Leiden: Brill). He has also published two book chapters about Antonio de Nebrija and Cristòfol Despuig in the volume Autorretrato de un idioma. Crestomatía glotopolítica del español (Madrid: Lengua de Trapo). Dr. Vicente LledóGuillem’s class SPLT 62 – (LT) Magic and Witchcraft in Spanish Literature, which he created in Spring 2019, was approved as a new course for the Hofstra Bulletin in Spring 2020. Also, in Spring 2020, Professor Lledó-Guillem organized the ceremony of the Spanish Honors Society, Sigma Delta Pi, which recognizes the achievements of several senior students who are about to complete either a major or a minor in Spanish. Finally, Dr. Vicente Lledó-Guillem wrote the citation for the winner of the Academic Excellence Award for Spanish and attended the ceremony online on October 13, 2020. Professor of Italian Gregory Pell has just started translating into English the seventh of seven novels by the Italian writer Angelo Cannavacciuolo. The bitter-sweet news is that while he has been at work translating his latest book, the author Cannavacciuolo has been finishing his eighth novel, so Pell will have to catch up, but the positive news is that he is negotiating a publishing contract with a University Press for the Neapolitan novelist’s complete collection. Pell’s translation of Cannavacciuolo’s short story “Sogno ingannatore” (rendered as “A Nazi in the Catacombs”) will be published in January by Words Without Borders: The On-line Magazine for International Literature. Pell and Cannavacciuolo are working on a dual-language screenplay (based on the latter’s “story for the screen”) designed for an American-Italian cinematic coproduction. All filming plans have been put on hold because of the COVID crisis, but the two remain optimistic. In Pell’s “Italian 105: Music and Culture” course, the semester wound down on a very positive note: students did a remarkable job on their “parody project,” for which they were supposed to take a song from the semester’s list, alter the lyrics into a parodic form in Italian, and then record themselves singing over a de-voiced instrumental track. The results have been a clamorous (and extremely humorous) success. Complimenti a tutte le studentesse dell’ITAL 105!! Professor of Spanish Luz Marina Ruiz led her Spanish 3 students in a research project, which required them to create travel brochures for different Spanish-speaking countries from around the world. The aim of this project was to engage students with the wide geography of the global Hispanophone world. Professor of Spanish Benita Sampedro Vizcaya continued to assiduously advise students in the programs of Latin American and Caribbean Studies and Spanish, helping them to further develop their research skills. In December 2019 she had two students presenting their research at the Hofstra Undergraduate Research Day; in March 2020 she had two students presenting at the LACAS Fifth Biennial Undergraduate Conference at Binghamton University; and in October 2020, she attended the Academic Excellence Awards ceremony honoring one more of these majors. During the last calendar year, professor Sampedro Vizcaya served as Associate Director of Hofstra’s Center for “Race,” Culture and Social Justice until September, and was responsible for its research and scholarly programming. Since December of 2019, she published two book 5

chapters: “¡Aquella mansión de desconsuelo y de horror!” in Lo que sabemos, ignoramos e inventamos sobre el pasado y el presente de Guinea Ecuatorial. Revisión crítica multidisciplinar y nuevas vías de investigación, edited by Juan Aranzadi et al. (Madrid: UNED, 2020); and “Inscribing islands. From Cuba to Fernando Poo and back,” in Transatlantic Studies: Latin America, Iberia, and Africa, edited by Cecilia Enjuto-Rangel et al. (Liverpool University Press, 2020). She has also submitted a third book chapter, “No daban respuesta ni buena ni mala: Franco’s Instituto de Estudios Africanos meets African resistance,” for the Routledge Companion to Twentieth and Twenty-first-Century Spain: Ideas, Practices, Imaginings, edited by Luisa Elena Delgado et al., which is forthcoming. Finally, she has a journal article also forthcoming in the Bulletin of Spanish Visual Studies and entitled “Houseboy Stories. Reframing Domestic Service in Spanish Settlers’ Homes in Central West Africa.”. In terms of public speaking engagements, she received the following invitations: to Yale University in November 2020, for a roundtable on “Mediterranean Iberian connections and the Sahel”; to Michigan State University in October 2020, for a roundtable on Yomaira Figueroa’s book Decolonizing Diasporas; to New York University, also in October 2020, for a talk on “Transatlantic connections and the Global Hispanophone”; to the Centro Cultural de España in Bata in September 2020, for a roundtable on the work of Equatoguinean writer Juan Tomás Ávila Laurel; to New York University in July 2020, as a guest speaker of their Summer Institute on Global Iberia; and she was the Keynote speaker at Numax, in Santiago de Compostela (Spain), on the occasion of the premier of the documentary film El escritor de un país sin librerías in December 2019.

Spanish Professor Miguel-Ángel Zapata has just published the second edition of his book Un árbol cruza la ciudad (Mexico: El Tucán de Virginia, 2020), and its bilingual version, A Tree crossing the City (New York Poetry Press, 2020), translated by Gwen Osterwald. He also published his selected poems, El jardín de Pushkin (Municipalidad de Lima, 2020). Professor Zapata has published the essay “La educación del ojo”, as part of the project "Bitácora del encierro" sponsored by the UAMCuajimalpa, Mexico, and coordinated by Philippe Olle-Laprune (June 2020). In addition, the following essays were published this year, “Carmen Ollé: callada pero no ausente" Buenos Aires Poetry Journal (October 2020), and “Rosella Di Paolo: Me gusta la poesía tanto que a veces pienso que no la quiero” (Buenos Aires Poetry Journal, October 2020). Miguel Angel has also participated as guest speaker and poet in several literary festivals, among them: “The International Festival of Literature Turrialba-Costa Rica”, sponsored by UNESCO (August, 19, 2020); “XXIII Encuentro de Poetas Iberoamericanos” Salamanca, Spain (October 16, 2020), and the II Global Conference of University Researchers, where he read his 6

article: "Carlos Oquendo de Amat: The first book-object of the Latin American avant-garde” (New York, August 21, 2020). He presented his book Un árbol cruza la ciudad at "The Independent Book Fair", sponsored by the Fondo de Cultura Económica (Mexico, September 20, 2020). He organized a bilingual poetry reading, with guest poets Juan Carlos Mestre, Maria Angeles Pérez López (Spain), Efrain Bartolomé (Mexico), and María Antonieta Flores (Venezuela) (October 22, 2020). Some of his poems have been published in Sibila 61- Revista de Arte, Música y Literatura, Seville, Spain, April 2020, and El Cobaya, Avila, winter 2020.

Student Achievements: Alexa Follo: “I graduated in December 2020 with a triple major in Early Childhood/Childhood Education, Spanish, and Latin American and Caribbean Studies (LACS). During my senior year at Hofstra, I was honored to receive the Academic Excellence Award in October 2020 and, during Spring 2020, I participated in a Latin American and Caribbean Studies Seminar where I conducted a semester-long research project on the special education programs in Barbados entitled “Secrets in Education: Special Education in Barbados.” I plan to travel to Barbados to further my studies in this area. Since my graduation, I have pursued my certification in Early Childhood and Childhood Education, and I will soon be working as an elementary teacher. In the future, I intend to return to Oaxaca, Mexico to further my studies, teach English, and share what I have learned from the Education and LACS departments at Hofstra University.” Erin McCall: Our sincerest congratulations to Erin for being the recipient of the Academic Excellence Award for Spanish in October 13, 2020. Erin is an outstanding student majoring in Spanish and in the Dual-Degree Early Childhood/Childhood Education program. After graduation, Erin intends to become both a middle-school Spanish teacher and an elementary school teacher. Since she started at Hofstra, Erin’s main objective has been to find a topic that she is passionate about. In her first year, Erin was a participant-observer for one of her education classes at Hofstra’s Child Care Institute (CCI), where she realized that teaching was her calling and learned the importance of making a positive impact on children’s lives educationally. After completing her required observation hours, Erin has been collaborating with the Institute since then. Furthermore, Erin has been nominated to become a member of the Spanish Honors Society, Sigma Delta Pi in Spring 2021, which recognizes her impressive academic performance in Spanish. Erin’s accomplishments predict a brilliant career as a Spanish teacher in the future.

Michael Callahan, a major in Political Science with a Spanish minor, received the Axinn Library Research Award for the best research paper in 2020, entitled “American Extended Deterrence and Allied Nuclear Non-Proliferation.”


Honors Societies In Spring 2020, the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures recognized student excellence and achievement with the induction into the French, Italian, and Spanish Honor Societies during a virtual ceremony. All students inducted into the societies are majoring or minoring in the department and maintained a high GPA in the content area.

Phi Delta Pi French Honor Society inductees: Aden Khan Emma Trombetta Liza Rothkoff Cybele Laisney Natalia Day Rebecca LoPresti Sherene Lambert

Gamma Kappa Alpha Italian Honor Society inductees: Brianna DePaulo Rachel Farina 8

Olivia Hillebrand Issybella Lang Allegra Larrera Venessa Lozado Dana Schwab Bianca Vita

Sigma Delta Pi Spanish Honor Society inductees: Ellary Mischel Claudia Steel Jenny Angelica Maldonado Joanne Peragine Kathryn LaFaye Krishna Pandit Sofiya Jooma Sabrina Arevalo Michael Callahan

Alumni News: Ellary Mischel: I graduated in May 2020 with a double major in Spanish and Psychology and a minor in Latin American and Caribbean Studies. During my senior year at Hofstra, I was honored with the Academic Excellence Award, which I received in October 2019, and during Spring 2020, I participated in a Latin American and Caribbean Studies Seminar where I conducted a semester-long research project entitled “The Relationship between Non-Native Spanish Speakers and the Puerto Rican Community in the United States.” Since my graduation in May, I have matriculated into Stonybrook University for graduate school in the MATTeaching of Foreing Languages-Spanish program, where I will be for the next two years, in order to become a certified Spanish teacher for K-12. Jenny Maldonado: I graduated in May 2020 with a triple major in Spanish, Latin American and Caribbean Studies, and Education. During my senior year at Hofstra, I was honored with the Academic Excellence Award in LACS, which I received in October 2019 and, during Spring 2020, I participated in a Latin American and Caribbean Studies Seminar where I conducted a semester-long research project on the migration of Nicaraguans to Costa Rica, entitled “Costa Rica: Pura Vida, For Whom?” Since my graduation in May, I have started a position as a high school Spanish teacher in Nassau County, New York. Additionally, I am earning my Master's Degree in TESOL from Queens College. Recently, I presented at The Long Island Language Teachers Conference, in October 2020, to promote teachers taking on student-teachers and to seed light on Hofstra’s prestigious educational programs. All of my professors from Hofstra truly helped me pave my way to success after graduation.


Tiffany Martino: I graduated in May 2020 from Hofstra University with a Master’s Degree with Distinction in Public Relations, Advertising, and Applied Communication. I previously received a Bachelor’s degree in Italian and English from Hofstra in 2018. While at Hofstra, I served as the President of Hofstra’s Cultural Italian American Organization, and worked as a student aide and graduate assistant in the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures for four years. I am so thankful for the time that I spent at the department, both as a student and as a studentemployee. Not only did I receive an excellent education from Hofstra; I made lifelong friendships with some of the faculty and my student colleagues. This means the world to me. I cannot say enough good things about the department faculty, especially Dr. Pell, Dr. Ultsch, and Professor Colletti, who were always there for me while I was studying Italian. Even though I did not study French or Spanish, Professors Ehrlich, Metzger, and Sumner always offered me an infinite amount of support. All of you have impacted my life in more ways than you will ever know. I’ll never forget all the good times that I shared with everyone. Being a part of the Romance Languages and Literatures department as a student and employee was one of the best decisions that I have ever made. Gwendolyn Osterwald: An alumna of the class of 2017, she provided the English-language translation for Romance Languages and Literatures professor Miguel-Ángel Zapata’s new book, A Tree Crossing the City, published in February 2020, by Nueva York Poetry Press in a bilingual version. Since graduating from Hofstra, Gwendolyn has become a successful translator of Spanish language poetry. Alyssa Acierno: Ms. Acierno earned her Bachelor’s Degree with Honors from Hofstra University in May 2016, with a double major in Spanish and Italian. She then pursued a Master’s Degree from Hofstra in Foreign Language Education and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. She worked first as a student aide, and subsequently as a graduate assistant, in the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures for the duration of her university career. While in graduate school, she was given the opportunity to co-teach various Spanish courses over the summer. Immediately after the completion of her graduate studies, she began her secondary-school career, teaching both Italian and English as a New Language. She currently teaches Spanish and English as a New Language in Garden City, and she credits much of her success to the mentorship and guidance she received from her Spanish and Italian professors at Hofstra University! James Carter (class of 2012): This March 2020, “Jim” successfully completed his Ph.D. in Italian Studies at University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. His dissertation title is: “Communities of Labor: Adriano Olivetti and the Humanization of Industrial Society.” In addition to his Ph.D. degree, University of Michigan also conferred on him a Graduate Certification in Film Studies. Despite the current Covid situation, Jim remains hopeful in finding a research and/or teaching position at the post-secondary level.


The entire Romance Languages and Literatures department congratulates all of our 2020 graduates! Spring and summer 2020 Graduates:

Fall 2020 graduates:

Sabrina Arevalo (Spanish)

Gaetana D’Auria (Spanish)

Dennis Belen Morales (LACS)

Alexa Follo (Spanish, LACS)

Maia Buchman (Spanish)

Ahjane Forbes (Spanish)

Michael Callahan (Spanish)

Kathryn LaFaye (Spanish)

Ana Cuenca (Spanish)

Rebecca LoPresti (French)

Julia Drubel (Spanish)

Dana Schwab (Italian)

Felipe Fontes (Spanish) Katya Freitas (Spanish) Laura Giannotti (Spanish)


Sofiya Jooma (Spanish) Cybele Laisney (French) Issybella Lang (Italian and Italian American Studies) Penelope Lopez (Spanish) Adryana Maestas (Spanish) Jenny Angelica Maldonado (Spanish, LACS) Pauline Medina Fournier (Spanish) Ellary Mariel Mischel (Spanish) Shelby Mitchell (Spanish) Jocelin Montes (Spanish) Gabriela Ocampo Mejia (LACS) Andrew William Orihuela (Spanish) Krishna Pandit (Spanish) Joanne Peragine (Spanish) Bailey Reynolds (Spanish) Liza Rothkoff (French) Courtney Shapiro (Spanish) Claudia Steel (Spanish) Madison Tompkins (Spanish) Bianca Vita (Italian)

@2020 Newsletter @Lynne Murray, Benita Sampedro Vizcaya, Gregory Pell, Alvaro Enrigue.