Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures
Archives: 2005 News

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Old Fountain in front of Wright Auditorium



John Stevens



The decision of Prof. Henning to step down as chair has led the department to consider thoughtfully its direction and future. Prof. Henning continues to be intimately involved in the life of the department in her new role as Director of International Programs for the Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences. The faculty are undertaking a major effort to create more time for research and more than ever are involved in international programs. In addition to the search for a new chair, this year we also have searches for a Germanist and a Coordinator in Spanish, as well as major curriculum revisions and a new textbook in Spanish 1001-1004. We are planning new programs (an Interdisciplinary Russian Studies minor and a German option in the MAIS program), enjoying new facilities (upgraded smart classroom, new offices in Ragsdale), new friends and colleagues, and a renewed sense of purpose to create an environment that promotes the life of the mind.

-- John Stevens, Interim Chair
Flower market in Tours, France



Tours, France
The French faculty are pleased to announce a new student exchange program for spring 2005 between ECU and Université François-Rabelais in Tours. One hour away from Paris by train, Tours possesses an exceptional situation in the heart of the Loire Valley area, praised by such writers as Balzac, Ronsard and Rabelais. The University has an enrollment of about 22,000 (1,900 foreign students), and offers a comprehensive education in the natural and social sciences, fine arts and humanities, including the Centre d'Études Supérieures de la Renaissance, founded in 1956. The exchange is open to ECU students in any department.

Córdoba, Argentina


Córdoba, Argentina
Prof. Susana Castaño-Schultz is leading a summer study abroad program to Córdoba, the second city of Argentina with a population of over 1 million. The program will include traditional cuisine and dancing lessons, visits to historical and cultural sites, such as the Jesuit Route, with a stay at an estancia to watch gauchos do their work and enjoy a traditional asado (barbecue). There are visits to the high sierras with a stay in an alpine cabin, mountain hiking, and an optional weekend tour of Buenos Aires.

Montevideo, Uruguay

Life and Tradition in Uruguay and Argentina

Prof. Marcela Ruiz-Funes is leading a summer study abroad program to Montevideo and Tacuarembó in Uruguay, and Córdoba and Buenos Aires in Argentina. The program will feature visits to historical sites such as La Boca in Buenos Aires, Los Gigantes Mountains in Córdoba, and the Gardel Museum in Uruguay. In addition, there will be outdoor activities, including horse-back riding and mountain climbing, and conversation lessons in Spanish. The group will also spend some time on an organic farm (BioUruguay) in Tacuarembó.



Juanjo Daneri

Juan José Daneri joins the faculty in Spanish as an Assistant Professor. He studied English literature at the Universidad Católica de Valparaíso and lectured at its Art Institute. He has taught at Marquette University and as Graduate Faculty at the Middlebury College Summer Language School. His research focuses on issues of ethnicity, social class, economy, and the writing of history in colonial Latin America. Professor Daneri has co-authored Retaguardia de la vanguardia (1992) and Los novios de Ariadna (1993). His book Nobleza obliga. Historia, clase y etnia en Nueva España, 1585-1625, an interdisciplinary study of historiographical works written by members of the Amerindian nobility in colonial Mexico, is currently under review. At present, he is preparing a series of articles on Argentine and Chilean novels dealing with colonial myths written for a juvenile audience.

Jennifer Valko

Jennifer Valko joins the Spanish faculty as an Instructor. She was born in Heidelberg, Germany and raised in the United States. She received a B.A. in Spanish and Anthropology from the University of Colorado, Boulder and an M.A. in Spanish at Washington University in St. Louis. Currently, she is finishing her dissertation, titled "Expressing Patagonia: Sightseeing, Journalism, and Immigration in Argentina," which examines portrayals of Patagonia in works by Argentine authors as well as texts generated by prominent German immigrants to provide a new take on national identity formation and the representation of the nation. Her research interests include 19th- and 20th-century Latin American tourism and travel narratives. In addition, she serves as an Editorial Committee member emeritus for the journal Brújula: revista interdisciplinaria sobre estudios latinoamericanos.


I Tatti Renaissance Library


Charles Fantazzi. Angelo Poliziano. Sylvae. The I Tatti Renaissance Library (Harvard U. Press 2004).
Angelo Poliziano (1454-1494) was one of the great scholar-poets of the Renaissance and a leading figure in the circle of Lorenzo de'Medici "il Magnifico" in Florence. His "Silvae" are poetical introductions to his courses in literature at the University of Florence, written in Latin hexameters. They not only contain some of the finest Latin poetry of the Renaissance, but also afford unique insight into the poetical credo of a brilliant scholar as he considers the works of his Greek and Latin predecessors as well as of his contemporaries writing in Italian.

Culture and Customs of Mexico

Peter Standish and Steven M. Bell. Culture and Customs of Mexico (Greenwood 2004).
Mexico, with some 90 million people, holds a special place in Latin America. It is a large, complex hybrid, a bridge between North and South America, between the ancient and the modern, and between the developed and the developing worlds. Mexico's importance to the United States cannot be overstated. The two countries share historical, economic, and cultural bonds that continue to evolve. This book offers students and general readers a deeper understanding of Mexico's dynamism: its wealth of history, institutions, religion, cultural output, leisure, and social customs.

Modified Program


Carol Christian and Ann Borisoff-Rodgers have registered a copyright for the color-coded illustrated flashcards they have developed for use with the Modified Spanish program. The thematically-based cards are used in the classroom to assist students with acquisition, pronunciation and retention of basic Spanish vocabulary. By color-coding the vowels to reflect the vowel sounds in Spanish, students are able to model correct pronunciation as well as to practice independently: e.g., the Spanish "e" sounds like the "e" in red. Consonants are in black. Silent letters, both consonants and vowels, appear as outlines. Verbs are in italics, indicating movement. Nouns and adjectives are in block letters. The Spanish vocabulary words appear on one side of the card and a picture representing the word appears on the reverse side. There is no English translation to avoid interference from the student's native language. The cards were produced by ECU's multi-media center. Part two of the project will create interactive multimedia for a web site. The project will be expanded to include grammar and language concepts for all four semesters.


At the request of the Honors Program director, Dr. Michael Bassman, Paul Fallon, Judith Noval, and Ramón Serrano developed Aquí estamos: Here in Greenville, a 26-minute film about the Latino community in the Greenville area. The video is designed to aid in orienting Honors students as they prepare to work on community service projects. The entire staff of the University Multimedia Center also played a crucial role in filming, editing, and producing the video. The film takes up the subject of the increasing presence of the Latino/a population in Eastern North Carolina to examine and critique many commonly held stereotypes. Through a series of interviews with local residents spliced with information and statistics about the growing group, the work addresses Latinos' experiences in the region and invites the viewer to question his/her own perspective regarding this segment of the community. Presently, students working with the Service Learning Center are working to improve further the film production quality.



Javier Lorenzo

Prof. Javier Lorenzo was given the College Research Award for Spring 2005 for his project to investigate the relationship between poetry and nationhood in early modern Spain. He focuses on the figure of Juan Boscan, a bourgeois poet from a Catalan (non-Castilian) background, who becomes the subject of a debate over how poetry should reflect the interests and spirit of the nation in sixteenth century Spain. Prof. Lorenzo's study concentrates on Fernando de Herrera's Anotaciones a las obras de Garcilaso (1580) and Jorge de Montemayor's prologue to his Cancionero (1554) or songbook. He examines the way these two authors appropriate and manipulate the image of Boscan in order to create two different views of the Spanish nation and the poetic canon: one that promotes all-Castilian, aristocratic models (Herrera) and one that acknowledges diversity and tries to incorporate the non-Castilian group. This study will be part of the first chapter of his book, Nuevos versos, nuevos casos: Juan Boscan y los discursos del renacimiento.

Brian Harris

Prof. Emeritus Brian Harris was honored by Disability Support Services with their Outstanding Teacher Award. He is pictured with his student, JoAnna Waldhour (right), and her cued speech transliterator, Deborah Leisey (left). The three of them worked together to make the German courses a success: Ms. Leisey learned to communicate the subtle variations of German umlauted vowels with hand symbols. Dr. Harris allowed her to trail him around the room as he lectured on the go, and even shaved his beard and moustache so that Ms. Waldhour could read his lips. For shaving below and teaching above the call of pflicht, Liz Johnston, Director of DSS, presented Dr. Harris their highest honor at a year-end party in the dept. Ms. Waldhour read her letter of nomination to the faculty and Dr. Harris returned the mead of praise to her and Ms. Leisey.

John Stevens

Prof. John Stevens received the University Award for Outstanding Teaching in Spring 2004.

Further details »»


For many years, members of Phi Beta Kappa in the Greenville area have honored seniors in the Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences at East Carolina University with outstanding academic records who have majored in areas recognized by Phi Beta Kappa. Chancellor Steve Ballard and the Eastern Carolina Alumni Association of Phi Beta Kappa hosted a reception in April at the Chancellor's home.

Matthew CookEmilie ElksLuke ErtleJulie Williams

Twenty-two students were recognized; all have a GPA over 3.9. Four of the students honored were from the Department of cs-cas/foreign Languages and Literatures: Matthew Cook (minor in Hispanic Studies), Emilie Elks (double major in Biology and Hispanic Studies) Luke Ertle (minor in Hispanic Studies) and Julie Williams (double major in English and MULT: Classical Civilization)



If you would like to make a donation to the Department of cs-cas/foreign Languages and Literatures, there is an online form you can use. Under "college/school/area", select "Harriot College of Arts & Sciences". Under "*Select Account*", choose "cs-cas/foreign Language Department". There is also a printable mail-in form. (On that form, write in "Dept. cs-cas/foreign Languages" under "other"). Any amount you choose to give will help us recruit and support the best students and faculty, and pass on to more of East Carolina the excellent education in cs-cas/foreign culture, civilization, & language that you received. Please don't be shy about small gifts. If we all band together and give a little, the department will do truly great things. And thank you!




Wendy Mumy (Carey) (BS French 1989) writes that she is teaching at West Craven High School in Craven County. She says, "I fondly remember my days as a student in the FL department with Georgeanne, Dr. Schwarz, Dr. Fladenmuller, Dr. Dock and Dr. Aronson.

Rodolfo Ruiz-Toledo (BS Spanish 1994) writes that he has joined the faculty at Cedar Ridge High School in Hillsborough, NC, where he hopes to establish a chapter of the National Spanish Honors Society. "I appreciate all those who have contributed to my present and past successes in education. It brings me great joy to remember how it all began with a small tour of the ECU campus. Former Instructor Manolita Buck welcomed me into what later became like a family to me. Georganne, thank you for all your support! I would like to send you a most sincere thank you, and to Ms. Buck for passing on the love for teaching and caring for our students. Of course, that is not to forget all those great professors still on faculty at ECU whose advice and friendship I will always cherish. Dr. Knickerbocker, thank you for listening and offering very sincere and heartfelt advice when needed. My future plans involve returning to school for an MA."

Sulykeey Palacios (Spanish 2000) writes, "I want to thank everyone who taught me at ECU. I truly miss those carefree days. Thank you Georgeanne!!! Thank you Dr. Knickerboker and Dr. Standish!!! I am now teaching English as a Second Language with Nash-Rocky Mount Schools and working on my ESL certification at Barton College."

Leroy Salazar (Spanish 2001) writes "I miss being a student of Spanish at ECU; Georganne, thank you for everything you do. Being a Spanish teacher at a local high school, J. H. Rose High School, is not easy; Thank you Marcela for all your guidance. Not only am I teaching Spanish at Rose, I also coordinate the National Spanish Exam for North Carolina. Being part of professional organizations like AATSP, ECFLEC, FLANC, etc. is helping me to stay in the field. Teaching Spanish is fun for me, but it is more fun to teach someone to become a Spanish teacher after my third year of teaching! You all in the Literatures and FL Department at ECU are in my heart and will always be!"

Taya Owens writes "I graduated with honors - finally - and I am working at the Berlitz language center here in Raleigh BUT the best part is that I am waiting to go into the peace corps. I have been nominated and I have completed all the preliminary rounds of clearance.... now I am waiting for my PAPERS... I think I should be leaving around the beginning of 2005." And she sends her thanks to Georganne for all of her help and motivation, as do we all!

Karen Carr (BS Hispanic Studies Education 2002) writes that she is now teaching and instructing classes at Community Christian Church Academy and Pitt Community College. "Thanks to dedicated professors that never gave up on me, I now give back to my community. Thanks Georganne, Puri and Dr. Knickerbocker for your encouragement, love and kindness."

Joanna Woods Sayblack (BS Hispanic Studies Education 2003) writes that she is now teaching Spanish at E.B. Aycock Junior High in Greenville.

Jennifer Roberson McCollough (French 1999) writes that with the help of Dr. Fladenmuller, she was among several Ivy League students to receive an English Assistantship in France.

Rebeka Goode (Luther) (Spanish 2000) writes that she is teaching ESL with Rowan-Salisbury Schools, NC and working on an M.Ed. in Teaching English as a Second Language at UNC Charlotte.