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Florida State /  Department of Modern Languages and Linguistics

Department News

Dr. William Leparulo Retirement

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The Department of Modern Languages congratulates Dr. William Leparulo on his retirement.  Dr. Leparulo served as a Professor of Italian from 1970 through 2015.  During his tenure, Dr. Leparulo contributed actively to the development of the Italian Program and was the recepient of several teaching awards.  On January 5, 2016, the Department held a reception in celebration of Dr. Leparulo’s achievements and awarded him the title of Professor Emeritus.





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Winthrop King International Symposium: November 19, 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

For more information:

American Occupation



Barthes Symposium November 12 - Save the Date!

A Faculty Symposium on the centenary of French theorist Roland Barthes’s birth is planned for November 12, 2015. One of the most influential thinkers of the twentieth century, Barthes (1915-1980) is known as the leading figure in Structuralism and Semiotics who proclaimed the “death of the author.” During this symposium, faculty from Modern Languages, English, and Art History will discuss how his path-breaking and idiosyncratic writings, and his interest in fragments, music, and photography, have affected their research. Further details can be found here.

Alberto López receives competitive scholarship


Alberto López (PhD, Spanish) attended a two-week, intensive summer institute (Jul 19-Aug 1) on “Emotions in Late Modern Societies: Persons, Politics, and Social Practices,”at The European University Viadrina-Frankfurt, in collaboration with the University of Minnesota-Mineapolis. Every year, the Institute for Global Studies at the University of Minnesota-Mineapolis offers several, highly competitive scholarships to graduate students in US universities to attend this institute and we are honored that one of our own was awarded one of them.

Professor Ariel Stilerman to Join the Department in Fall 2015

We are pleased to announce the appointment of Ariel Stilerman (PhD, Columbia University) as Assistant Professor of Japanese, to begin in the fall of 2015. Professor Stilerman's research interests include classical, medieval, and early modern Japanese literature and cultural history, and he has also done work on modern Japanese literature, Japanese art history, and Japanese drama. Additional interests include Psychoanalysis and the Tea Ceremony (Ariel trained at Konnichian, Kyoto).


Leslie N. Wilson - Delores Auzenne Graduate Assistantships Awarded

Olga Romero (PhD Spanish, pictured right) and Natasha Sutherland (MA Italian, pictured left) are the proud recipients of the 2015-2016 Leslie N. Wilson-Auzenne Graduate Assistantship for Minority Students from the Graduate School at Florida State University! Leslie N. Wilson-Delores Auzenne Assistantships are awarded to minority graduate students after a steep competition (only 12 granted to a pool of university-wide applicants). The award carries a supplemental $5,000 stipend, plus tuition waivers for the academic year. Recipients also participate in a professional development program organized by the Graduate School in order to facilitate networking and professional development.

Austin Wisdom Wins Global Citizen Award

From a small town in Alabama without even a single stoplight, Austin Wisdom has become a citizen of the world during his years at FSU. As an International Affairs major with a minor in Portuguese, Austin has sought out opportunities to participate in community service, both at home and overseas. In Honduras, he helped repair a church and build a home for a family in an isolated area, and later taught English in Ecuador and Japan. His interest in the fight against human trafficking led Austin to co-found Freedom at FSU, an anti-human trafficking organization that raises funds to increase awareness and lend support to this cause, and the first annual Run for Freedom assisted former victims of sex slavery in Cambodia. Austin has also been active with FSU's international student community. In his work at CIES, he founded an English Club where foreign students are paired with native English conversation partners, and his ongoing efforts to assist international students integrate into the campus community have led to valuable friendships with students from around the globe. Throughout his years at FSU, Austin has participated in various conferences to increase his exposure to world issues and engage the academic and local communities in fostering social justice at home and abroad.

Elena Belkin and Amy Bustin receive Hispanic Honor Society Research Grants

Elena Belkin and Amy Bustin have been selected as recipients of the Hispanic Honor Society's Graduate Research Grants. They were selected among a very competitive pool of applicants, and only four grants were awarded nationwide.



Lindsey Scott receives Graduate Student Research and Creativity Award


Lindsey Scott (PhD candidate, French) was recently recognized by The Graduate School at a ceremony honoring graduate student research at FSU. The Graduate Student Research and Creativity Award recognizes students for their outstanding research and creative productivity within their programs. Awards were made to students in three disciplinary categories: natural and physical sciences including mathematics and engineering; social and behavioral sciences; and the humanities and arts.



2014-2015 Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award Nominations in MLL

A very impressive number of MLL TAs have been nominated for FSU's 2014-2015 Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award: 26, more than any other unit on campus, and even more than last year. Congratulations on this recognition of your commitment to excellence in teaching! The following MLL TA's have been nominated: Eliane Aoun, Daphne Browning, Amy Bustin, Matthew Childs, Stephanie Contreras, Jessica Craft, Liset Cruz Garcia, Jamile Forcelini, Perla Esmeralda Garcia Frutis, Samantha Gillen, David Huffman, Jennifer Irish, Jeremy Kasten, Tyler King, Kathleen Laylle, Merry Low, Alberto Lopez Martin, Johanna Mendez, Katherine Moore, Alan Parma, Anika Scheuermann, Stirling Spasaro, Summer Schuler, Natasha Sutherland, Daniel Van Jelgerhuis, Brett Walter.

Professor Jeannine Murray-Román to join the Department in Fall 2015

We are pleased to announce the appointment of Jeannine Murray-Román (PhD, UCLA) as Assistant Professor of French and Spanish, to begin in the fall of 2015. Professor Murray-Román's research focuses on comparative Caribbean literatures with an emphasis on postcolonial, transnational, digital humanities, and performance studies. During a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship at UCLA and Visiting Assistant Professorship of French at Reed College, she taught courses on Caribbean creolizations, disaster writing, and theatricality in Hispanophone Caribbean literature. Her work has appeared in Small Axe, the International Journal of Francophone Studies, Extensions, and The French Review. Her monograph, Performance and Personhood in Contemporary Caribbean Writing, is forthcoming with University of Virginia Press.

Department Celebrates Faculty Publications

In 2013-2014, nine faculty members published books, and one received a major grant from the Department of Education. To honor this achievement, the Department hosted a Celebration of Scholarship event in the Law School Rotunda. (From left to right: Christian Weber, Silvia Valisa, Yanning Wang, Delia Poey, Roberto Fernandez, and Martin Munro. Not pictured: Aimée Boutin, Juan-Carlos Galeano, Keith Howard, and Gretchen Sunderman.)

Aimée Boutin. City of Noise: Sound in Nineteenth-Century Paris. (University of Illinois Press)

Roberto Fernandez. El Príncipe y la bella cubana. Los amores de don Alfonso de Borbón y Battenberg y doña Edelmira Sampedro y Robato. (Editorial Verbum)

Juan-Carlos Galeano. Cuentos Amazonicós. (Tierra Nueva)

Keith Howard. The Reception of Machiavelli in Early Modern Spain. (Tamesis)

Martin Munro. Writing on the Fault Line: Haitian Literature and the Earthquake of 2010. (Liverpool University Press)

Delia Poey. Cuban Women and Salsa: To the Beat of Their Own Drum. (Palgrave)

Gretchen Sunderman was part of a team (led by Dr. Carla Wood Jackson: Communication Science and Disorders) that received the following grant: $1.25M Grant from the Institute of Educational Sciences: “Bridging for Language Outcomes in the Classroom”

Silvia Valisa. Gender, Narrative, and Dissonance in the Modern Italian Novel. (University of Toronto Press)

Yanning Wang. Reverie and Reality: Poetry on Travel by Late Imperial Chinese Women. (Lexington)

Christian Weber. Die Logik der Lyrik. (Rombach)

Hispanic Honors Society Hosts Panel

Florida State's Hispanic Honors Society, Sigma Delta Pi, hosted a research panel for Spanish Literature doctoral students entitled "Estrategias de subversión en la cultura hispana" on Tuesday, November 18. Four students presented their current research, and as the title of the panel states, each paper was linked by the use of subversion in text. Olga Romero Mestas presented "Subversión discursiva en el conjunto epistolar de Gaspar Betancourt Cisneros". Jeremy Kasten's presentation was "Mitos, monstruos, y memoria: trauma latente y subversión tática en Hijos de la ira", followed by Alberto López who presented "Viñetas y afectos truncados: miedo y subversión en el cómic chileno durante el gobierno pinochetista". Lastly, Liset Cruz presented "¿La calle es de los revolucionarios? La subversión del espacio público y oficial en La Habana post-soviética". The event was moderated by Kate Wesolek.