Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures
New in the Department

BlackBoardIT Help DeskPirateIDIndexEmail and PhoneOneStopCalendarAccessibility
Old Fountain in front of Wright Auditorium



The U.S. Department of Education has awarded East Carolina University a $158,000 grant to develop and expand the university's Asian Studies program. The grant began this fall and is overseen by Sylvie Debevec Henning, director of International Programs for Harriot College of Arts and Sciences and John Tucker, Professor of Asian History and Director of the Interdisciplinary Asian Studies Program. The Harriot College of Arts and Sciences and the U.S. Department of Education are providing funds for a full-time position in Japanese enabling additional sections of beginning Japanese to be offered.

Sylvie Debevec Henning, Director of International Programs, HCAS
John Tucker, Director of Asian Studies

It also provides for a quarter time position in Chinese to offer CHIN 1001-1002 for the first time in many years.  Students will have a chance to study upper levels of Chinese either during the summer at China Agricultural University in Beijing or during the next academic year through one of the available exchange programs.The grant will facilitate curriculum enhancement, faculty development (including travel abroad), library collection development, community and school outreach, a film series, a scholars' forum, a digital image bank and a comprehensive website of all the grant activities.

This fall, Prof. Asaoka presented 2 workshops on Japaneses calligraphy for beginners. The goals were to develop an appreciation of Japanese calligraphy by comparing examples; learn basics such as practising balance, strokes, stops, and splashes. The participants wrote a word of their choosing in kanji/Chinese characters, Japanese hiragana or katakana, and then decorated it in a traditional Japanese way for display.

Carol Christian and Ann Borisoff-Rodgers

Professors Carol Christian, left, and Ann Borisoff-Rodgers, right, have published online "Interactive Resources for Modified Spanish Instruction of At-Risk Learners". The downloadable flashcards and interactive online tutorials are intended to provide a resource not only for ECU students, but for instructors around the country who have expressed in this resource as they develop similar programs. Preparation of the materials for online publication was provided by Laurie Godwin of the University Multimedia Center.

Monterrey brochure


Prof. Marcela Ruiz-Funes has been named director of the UNC system summer study abroad program in Monterrey Mexico at Universidad Regiomontana. The Spanish Language and Mexican Cultural Perspective Program is intended for prospective teachers interested in improving Spanish fluency, meeting the learning needs of and developing a greater sensitivity to their Hispanic students, and expanding their general knowledge of the Mexican and Hispanic experience and Hispanic culture. The cost of the Summer 2007 program is $2700; application deadline is March 30.

More Information »»

Caminito, Argentina 2006


Prof. Susanna Castaño-Schultz took a group of students to Córdoba, Argentina in Summer 2006. The program included 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 were visits to the high sierras with a stay in an alpine cabin, mountain hiking, and an optional weekend tour of Buenos Aires. She will be taking a group again this summer.

More Information »»

Katherine Ford


Katherine Ford joins the Spanish faculty this fall as Assistant Professor. She specializes in Modern Latin American literature, concentrating on Latin American theater and performance of the twentieth century with a special focus on Cuba and Argentina. Her current research is centered on the use of violence in theater and performance and how this intersects with the social and political ramifications that characterize the moments in which the plays are written and produced. She is also interested in the use of ancient Greek plays in modern Latin American and Latino theater.



  • Nobuyoshi Asaoka full-time in Japanese
  • Mark Sanders part-time in Spanish
  • Peng Yu part-time in Chinese
  • Helen Halva part-time in Russian




Michael Schinasi: Ventura de la Vega Poemas

Michael Schinasi, ed.
Ventura de la Vega, Poemas.
Grupo de Estudios del Siglo XVIII. Universidad de Salamanca.
Born in Buenos Aires in 1807, Ventura de la Vega came to Spain at 11 and lived there the rest of his life. He was one of the founders of El Parnasillo, an influential circle in Spanish romanticism, and he participated in revolutionary activities of the period. After moderating his politics and renouncing romanticism, he became one of the most important men of letters of mid 19th c. Spain. Vega is best known for the zarzuela (Spanish operetta) and for El hombre de mundo (The Worldly Man), which in 1845 initiated the vogue of "high comedy" in Spain. His poems are at times intimate, sometimes civic, often composed for the albums of wealthy women. They show his delight in poetic form, rhetoric, the classics of Spain's Golden Age, cultural refinement and wordplay. They also contribute to our understanding of Spanish romanticism, neoclassicism, and national identity, as well as of the social and propagandistic functions of poetry. This edition, the most comprehensive to date, includes all of his published poems, others previously unpublished, and some pornographic poems of dubious attribution.

Fantazzi: De Officio Mariti

Charles Fantazzi, ed.
J.L. Vives: De officio mariti. Introduction, Critical Edition, Translation and Notes
This treatise is a sequel to Vives' On the Education of the Christian Woman, published in Brill's series, Selected Works of J.L. Vives. It studies the institution of marriage from a male vantage point, with interesting observations on female psychology, anticipating his later work, De anima. Vives insists more here on the weakness and instability of the woman than in the previous treatise, relying on the biological tenets of Aristotle and Galen. Much attention is given to the choice of a wife and to the husband's role as tutor of his spouse and disciplinarian. The marriage debt is regarded as a necessary evil, as in St. Paul, while the spirituality of the union is exalted. The book was often printed together with the De institutione feminae Christianae and even considered as a fourth book of that work.

Peter Standish: Companion to Mexican Studies

Peter Standish, ed.
The Culture and Customs of Mexico (Tamesis, 2006). This most recent of the Tamesis Companion series traces the evolution of the major creative aspects of Mexican culture from pre-Columbian times to the present. Dealing in turn with the cultures of Mesoamerica, the colonial period, the onset of independence and the modern era, the author explores Aztec arts, the role of the performing arts in the process of evangelisation, manifestations of cultural dependence and of the search for national identity, and the struggle for modernity. He draws examples from such diverse activities as architecture, painting, music, dance, literature, film and media. There is also a brief account of the distinctive characteristics of Mexican Spanish.

Javier Rivas


Javier Rivas won the College Research Award for Spring 2007 for his project to investigate the relationships between word-order typology, which deals with the position of clausal constituents across languages, and relational typology, which deals with grammatical relations in cross-linguistic perspective. Word-order types are generally established in terms of subject and direct object, even though these grammatical relations can only satisfactorily account for the clause structure of accusative languages such as English and Spanish. The purpose of this research is to provide a typology of word order that takes into account the relational type that languages exhibit. In this way, cross-linguistic concomitances can be established without disregarding the idiosyncratic structural characteristics of every individual language.




Joanna Woods Sayblack (BS Hispanic Studies Education 2003) writes that she is now teaching Spanish I and II at Williamston High School. "I am happy to say that I feel like I have finally found the school and the students of my dreams! I really miss everyone in the FL Department and look forward to visiting the department in the near future (that's your warning, HA, HA!)"

Jim O'Donnell (French BS 1984 and BA Anthropology 1983) writes that "Since 1999, I enjoy working at the Supreme Head Quarters for Allied Powers Europe, Belgium. I am currently teaching French II, III, IV in S.H.A.P.E. American High School. My students from 19 countries are a great pleasure. Their eagerness to learn French is refreshing!"

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.

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."

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."