From the Director I hope that you will enjoy this issue of the SLLC Newsletter, which is dedicated to the research and accomplishments of our faculty, graduate students, and undergraduate students. The books featured within give only a partial idea of faculty research involvement: space precludes a more complete account that would include articles and other publications in many of the areas that combine to form Jeff Maurer’s cover design. We are especially pleased to highlight the scholarly activities of many of our junior faculty, ranging in interest and focus from the modern Arabic narrative, to how the author of the 11th-century Tale of Genji was constructed across various periods of Japanese history; from two projects in applied linguistics to the drawings of Russian filmmaker Sergei Eisenstein. There is more, but I leave those discoveries to you—not without adding, however, that the future of the School lies in our young scholars, and a bright future it is!
SLLC Welcomes New Faculty
Luka Arsenjuk Assistant Professor of Film Studies
Luka Arsenjuk received his BA in Cultural Studies from the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia and his PhD from the Program in Literature at Duke University (2010). He has published essays on Jacques Rancière’s concept of politics, on cinema as mass art, on Eisenstein’s idea of intellectual montage, on Alexander Kluge and the filming of Marx’s Capital, as well as on how to survive encounters with the specters of cinema. With Michelle Koerner, he co-edited Polygraph 21: Study, Students, Universities (2009). He is currently working on two projects: a book on the Soviet filmmaker Sergei Eisenstein and a study of cinematic figures of proletarian existence from early cinema to the present.
Peter Glanville Assistant Professor of Arabic Peter Glanville received his Ph.D. in Arabic Studies from the University of Texas at Austin in December 2011. His dissertation, “The Arabic Verb: Root and Stem and their Contribution to Verb Meaning” examines the interaction between the Arabic root and a variety of verbal templates. He holds an MSc in Applied Linguistics, awarded with distinction by the University of Edinburgh. In addition to morphology, Peter’s research interests include anaphora and word order in Arabic, and in particular the role of pronouns in permitting the topicalization of certain elements in a clause. He is also interested in Arabic language pedagogy and is working with representatives from other American universities to create an online Arabic proficiency test. Copy: Lauretta Clough | Design: Jeffrey Maurer Distribution: David Watson
Joseph Brami. Persévérer dans l’être. Correspondance 1961-1963. Co-edition of the letters of Marguerite Yourcenar, v. 3. Paris: Éditions Gallimard, 2011.
José María Naharro Calderón. Celso Amieva. El paraíso incendiado. La almohada de arena. Versos del maquis. Critical Edition. Llanes: El Oriente de Asturias, 2011.
Nan Jiang. Conducting Reaction Time Research in Second Language Studies. London: Routledge, 2011. Michele Mason. Reading Colonial Japan: Text, Context, and Critique. Edited with Helen J.S. Lee. Palo Alto: Stanford U Press, 2012.
Valérie K. Orlando. Screening Morocco: Contemporary Depictions in Film of a Changing Society. Athens: Ohio University Press, 2011.
Steve Ross. Richards, K., Ross, S. and Seedhouse, P. Research Methods in Applied Language Studies. London: Routledge, 2011.
Faculty Awards Ana Acedo (Span): Philip Merrill Presidential Scholar Mentor Silvia Carlorosi (Ital): Visiting Research Fellow, Faculty of Arts of the University of Leeds Elke Frederikson (Germ): Graduate Faculty Mentor of the Year Ana Patricia Rodriguez (Span): Outstanding Faculty Member - Office of Multi-ethnic Student Education
Graduate Student Awards Ann Wylie Dissertation Fellowship 2012-2013: Rocío Gordon (Spanish and Portuguese) CTE International Teaching Fellow Mentor: Melda Baysal (Germanic Studies) 2012 Graduate Summer Research Awards: Victoria Finney (Germanic Studies); Anna Lukyanchenko (SLA) NSF Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship: Gisela Granena (SLA) Graduate School Flagship Fellowship: Mario Escobar (Spanish and Portuguese) 2012 Graduate Student Minority Achievement Award, awarded by the President’s Commission on Ethnic Minority Issues: Oscar O Santos-Sopena (Spanish and Portuguese)
Undergraduate Research Day Weimin Chen: A Cultural and Practical Approach to Rationalizing the Continued Separation of China and Taiwan
Marissa Troiano: Life in Genoa Angie Kaufmann: The Hunger Struggles of Salvadoran Women in the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Area Gavin Elliott: Argot and Verlan in France Laura Doran: Ligurian Architecture Jordan Foster: Old Norse Language and Icelandic Sagas Nicholas Boltz: Gender as a Mirror of National Discourses in the Moroccan Letters and Whims Loretta Bacon, Kayleen Kulesza, April Sanders, Christina Shimel: Proyecto Cultural: “The Office”: Dwight va a México
Inna Tsys: Tanya Grotter/Harry Potter: Plagiarism or Parody
Michele Mason Fellow, Japan Society for the Promotion of Science
Q: You were in Japan for all of 2011. What were you working on?
Thanks to a research fellowship, I was able to complete Peripheral Visions: Imagining Colonial Hokkaido and Imperial Japan [Palgrave Macmillan, forthcoming, 2012]. The Japan Society for the Promotion of Science has been around since 1932, but only in recent years has it begun giving out a handful of fellowships in the humanities each year. Peripheral Visions examines how the island of Hokkaido, known for centuries as the “Land of Barbarians,” was successfully naturalized as Japanese territory just over 140 years ago. Today, Hokkaido is thought of as “one of Japan’s four main islands” rather than as a former colony, but that’s only because the prevailing narratives mask the fact and the nature of Japan’s recent colonial past. My critical readings of fiction, colonial policies, settler and militia recruitment campaigns, popular essays, and newspaper reports from the Meiji period (1868-1912) challenge the omissions and distortions that erase the history, culture, and existence of Hokkaido’s indigenous Ainu population. I show how most writings on Hokkaido cast Japanese people as the main characters, agents, and even victims of the “modernization” process in Hokkaido. I’m interested in critiquing this “modernization” model, which favors the language of development and progress over colonization and conquest. Also, I argue that the colonial project pursued in Hokkaido was a major force in the formation of modern Japan’s national and imperial identities, ideologies, and institutions.
Q: How does this project fit in with your overall research agenda?
One of the central investments in this book is to challenge the conventional dating and conceptualizations of Japan’s age of empire, which focus narrowly on the formal empire. My deliberate employment of the phrase “colonial Hokkaido” signals a significant break with the usual ways of describing not only Hokkaido, which was unilaterally claimed by the nascent nation-state of Japan in 1869, but also Japan’s colonial era, typically dated from 1895, when Japan acquired its first formal colony, Taiwan. This is also an important intervention in the Reading Colonial Japan anthology [see below, ed.], the first book in Japanese or English to date Japan’s age of empire from 1869.
Q: Can you talk a little bit about the anthology?
I can talk a lot about the anthology! Each of the eight chapters has a translated primary source and an accompanying analytical essay, together highlighting how cultural production reinforced the colonial project and how colonialism permeated every facet of life. We include the text of a law, a cookbook, children’s literature, serialized comics from the 1930s, a memoir by a female Japanese settler, and literary texts by well-known authors. I think it will be useful in the classroom and so far we’ve received enthusiastic responses to it.
Q: How do Japanese colleagues tend to approach your work on Hokkaido and colonialism?
Both Japanese and Western scholars have been quite supportive of my work. There have been a few histories written on modern Hokkaido on both sides of the pond, but no literary or cultural studies projects. No one has used the term “colonial Hokkaido” before and many recognize that Hokkaido has been overlooked, so I’ve received nothing but encouragement. Some historians make take issue with my re-dating the Japanese empire, but I’m looking forward to some interesting, and hopefully productive, discussions about that.
5 Q: Did any unexpected elements find their way into your work? Any challenges or particular pleasures in doing your research over there? Well, I have to say that the highlight of my year was being able to speak with Ainu elders, who were tremendously gracious and generous with their time. They were very frank about the challenges they face, and their frustrations. Also, since the Japanese government finally recognized the Ainu as an indigenous people in 2008, there has been an important resurgence of an Ainu movement. I was able to see amazing exhibits and films produced by Ainu about what their lives are like in contemporary Japan. What was unexpected was the triple disaster that happened in March. That had a profound effect on me, as you can imagine.
Q: In what ways?
Well, when the earthquake first hit, I was in Tokyo, and those were the longest three minutes of my life. For the next few weeks it was extremely disorienting – trying to make sense of the death toll in the north, checking in with friends, keeping up with the unfolding nuclear disaster, negotiating food shortages and reduced train schedules, and keeping my heart rate down with each new aftershock. I was deeply impressed by many ordinary Japanese, who were calm and caring. Despite repeated appeals from family and friends to come home, I didn’t want to leave. I felt I wanted to be part of the great groundswell of energy that was working to help people in the north and to bring attention to the dangers of nuclear power. I did a lot of translation for a group that represents the survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki that was coming out with position papers on the situation. Personally, it was a life-changing experience. It’s hard to explain, but it really woke me up. I really thought I was going to die, but I got a second chance, and once I had enough presence of mind, I vowed to never take for granted the preciousness of life. Using my regular meditation practice, I make good on that promise every day. I grieve for the many who lost their lives and the families who miss their beloveds – and I’m sorry if this sounds strange – but for me the earthquake was a gift. I’ve never felt more alive and centered than I do now.
Q: Have you been able to bring your year in Japan into the classroom?
I’ve taught a course on the history and rhetoric of discrimination in Japan, and I feature the Ainu experience in that. And I’m thrilled that next fall I’ll be able to teach a course on Japanese colonialism for the first time. Believe me, my students will have to read every word of that anthology! More seriously, I think the issues of imperialism are at the heart of many of the thorny problems facing contemporary U.S. society, so I hope to have some fruitful conversations in class about that too.
Q: Any plans for a return to Japan?
This summer I’ll be going back to finish up an article on a 1960s manga [comic] series by a Hiroshima survivor. Contrary to the usual and important altruistic messages of survivorled anti-nuclear movement since the 1980s, these manga are full of violence and seething anger. I want to take an honest look at that earlier period to understand varied responses to the atomic bombings. Also, I’ll be starting research on Nagasaki, which has been neglected for too long. I’m going to research several interesting Nagasaki filmmakers who have produced films about the war and atomic bombings. I also hope to do some volunteer work in the earthquake-devastated areas, as there is still a lot to be done.
Silvia Baage (French) successfully defended her PhD dissertation entitled “From Myth to Performance: Rewriting the French Colonial Topos of the Island.” Directed by Caroline Eades.
Cristina Burneo (Spanish) successfully defended her PhD dissertation entitled “Gramática de un pensamiento solitario. Lenguaje y poesía en Alfredo Gangotena.” Directed by Jorge Aguilar Mora.
Svetlana Cook (SLA) successfully defended her PhD dissertation entitled “Phonological form in L2 lexical access: Friend or Foe?” Directed by Kira Gor.
Nermine Elhaddad (French) successfully defended her PhD dissertation entitled “(RE) Négociations des
Frontières, Pensée du Monde et Discours sur La Modernité chez Jean D’Ormesson.” Directed by Pierre Verdaguer.
David Ellis (SLA) successfully defended his dissertation entitled “The Impact of Item-Analysis Method on
the Ordinal Ranking of Examinee Scores: A Comparison of the Effects of Classical Test Theory and Item Response Theory Models on the Outcome of a High-Stakes University Entrance Exam.” Directed by Steven Ross.
Carolina Gomez-Montoya (Spanish) successfully defended her PhD dissertation entitled “La rebeldia de la
letra: escritura, viaje y teoria en las novelas de Enrique Vila-Matas y Hector Libertella” Directed by Laura Demaria.
Gisela Granena (SLA) successfully defended her PhD dissertation entitled “Age differences and cognitive aptitudes in ultimate L2 attainment.” Directed by Michael Long
Joel Koeth (SLA) successfully defended his PhD dissertation entitled “Mix and Switch Effects in Bilingual Language Processing.” Directed by Nan Jiang.
Sun Young Lee (SLA) successfully defended her PhD dissertation entitled “Looking into bilingualism through the heritage speaker’s mind.” Directed by Robert DeKeyser.
Dolores Lima (Spanish) successfully defended her dissertation entitled “Trastornos de la representación: el afecto en Macedonio Fernández, Antonio Di Benedetto y César Aira.” Directed by Jorge Aguilar Mora.
Laura Maccioni (Spanish) successfully defended her PhD dissertation entitled “Puntos de fuga: literatura y
politica en Reinaldo Arenas y Juan Jose Saer (1960-1970).” Directed by Juan Carlos Quintero Herencia.
Martha Maus (Spanish) successfully defended her PhD dissertation entitled “Theaters of Anatomy: Diseased Bodies and History Writing in the Hispanic Transatlantic World.” Directed by Eyda Merediz
Jihye Moon (SLA) successfully defended her PhD dissertation entitled “Maturational and Non-Maturational Factors in Heritage Language Acquisition.” Directed by Robert DeKeyser.
Charles Mueller (SLA) successfully defended his PhD dissertation entitled “Comparison of an Integrative
Inductive Approach, Presentation-and-Practice Approach and Two Hybrid Approaches to Instruction of English Prepositions.” Directed by Robert DeKeyser.
SLLC Faculty Granted Graduate School Research and Scholarship Awards (RASAs)
Valerie Anishchenkova, Arabic, Fall 2011
Assistant Professor Valerie Anishchenkova spent her RASA semester working on a book manuscript entitled “Autobiographical Identities in Contemporary Arab Narrative Discourse,” under contract with Edinburgh University Press. The focus of her research explores the evolution in narratives of the self from traditional, Bildungsroman-style autobiographies of static subjectivity into the heterogeneous, mobile, and unrestricted forms of life-narrative of the late 20th and early 21st century in Egypt, the Levant, Iraq, and North Africa. In addition to broadening views of contemporary Arabic narrative discourse, and analyzing the influence of rapid political and ideological changes on notions of subjecthood, the book aims to challenge the belief, still prevalent in Western audiences, that Arab culture and cultural identity are monolith constructs, devoid of internal divergences.
Luka Arsenjuk, Film Studies, Summer 2012
Assistant Professor Luka Arsenjuk will spend the summer in Moscow researching the drawings of Sergei Eisenstein, a trove of 5,000 drawings that Eisenstein considered central to his work as a film director, artist, and theorist. The resulting formal and thematic analysis will appear as an independent essay, with more in-depth work contributing to a book project entitled “The Dynamism of Form: Sergei Eisenstein’s Cinematic Thought,” especially as a means of opening primarily film theoretical questions to a wider series of interdisciplinary concerns that relate to our understanding of art and artistic images and serve as an important dimension to the role of comedy and laughter in Eisenstein’s work. The archival investigation of the drawings, which have thus far not received this kind of focused analysis, despite the importance Eisenstein gave them, will thus play a crucial role in both the aesthetic and art-historical arguments of this book and the discussion of Eisenstein’s place in his own political, ideological, and historical context.
Nan Jiang, Second Language Acquisition, Spring 2013
Associate Professor Nan Jiang will spend his RASA semester working on a book manuscript entitled “Second Language Processing: An Introduction.” Second language processing is an emerging and fast-developing field within SLA whose overarching aim is to understand how processing a nonnative language (L2) is similar to or different from processing one’s native language, and then what these similarities and differences can tell us about how the mind works. Second language processing research also offers insights into approaches to second language teaching. Its five subareas, L2 phonological processing, L2 lexical processing, L2 sentence processing, bilingual language processing, and L2 and thought will guide the structure of the book, with the goal of providing the first comprehensive, critical overview of the field.
Marianna Landa, Russian, Fall 2012
In her book manuscript “Maximilian Voloshin and Post-Soviet Russia: Literary Memory and National Identity,” Assistant Professor Marianna Landa proposes to explore contemporary Russian national identity through a reevaluation of the literary legacy of Voloshin, Russian modernist poet and critic (1877-1932), addressing his new-found popularity in post-Soviet Russia. Little known during the Soviet era, he became one of the most popular cultural figures of Russia after the demise of the Soviet Union, continuing through to the present. What makes Voloshin so relevant for Russians today? How have they re-read their past? Dr. Landa will begin her RASA semester in Moscow and St. Petersburg to complete her research, envisioning a completed manuscript by the end of Summer 2013.
Satoko Naito, Japanese, Spring 2013
My current book project is based on my dissertation, which deals with various depictions of Murasaki Shikibu, the author of The Tale of Genji (ca. 1008). The project begins with mid-11th century reception of the tale and continues into the early 20th century to follow moments of heightened preoccupation with its author. During my RASA semester in Spring 2013 I will focus on the three extant exegetical texts on The Diary of Murasaki Shikibu(ca. 1010) composed before the Meiji period.
The School of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures JimĂŠnez Hall, University of Maryland College Park, MD 20742