2006-2007 Foresman Funded Events

Project Coordinator, Cheryl Johnson, Instructional Technologist
Thanks to the Patti Foresman Foundation Fund we subscribed to Wimba, a collection of web-based voice tools designed for creating vocal exercises in language learning.

Teatro Luna
Event Organizer: Joanna Mitchell, Assistant Professor of Spanish


Teatro Luna is a theatre company and ensemble with the mission of exploring the experience and culture of Latina/Hispana women, showcasing their talent and providing a forum for social, political, and educational outreach into the community. In “S-E-X-Oh!” Teatro Luna ensemble offered a bold new look at Latina sexuality from the point of view of six very different Latina women. Teatro Luna performed at Denison University on October 11, 2006.

Chilean Writers at Denison University
Event Organizer:  Bernardita Llanos, Professor of Spanish




Two Chilean writers visited Denison University in the fall of 2006. Writer Pia Barros who is one of Chile’s long time feminist writers visited Denison Sept 25-26, 2006. She gave a workshop for our Spanish students on how to write a micro short story. She gave a talk on the survival of writers and literary work during the Pinochet dictatorship and drew parallels and differences with democratic times. The title of her talk was “Literatura de mujeres en Chile.” She visited our literature and upper division classes.  Barros’ work is posted at: http://www.letras.s5.com/archivobarros.htm




In the spring, Chilean writer Guadalupe Santa Cruz visited Denison sponsored by the Women’s Studies program and the Patti Foresman Foundation.

International Film Festival
Event Organizer:  Gabriele Dillmann, Associate Professor of German


The Denison Film Society (DFS) is freshly composed of very engaged and interested students who have some great ideas on cooperating with Denison departments and groups. One of the ideas was to get Modern Languages involved in their International Film Festival, which took place in the fall and again in the spring. For the fall festival the DFS group showed the following films:
Hyenas (Africa) on November 1.
Goodbye Lenin (Germany), November 3-4.
Quitting (China), November 8.
Water (India), November 10-11.
The Department of Modern Language’s involvement included: planned one or more of the films into fall curricula, encouraged students to participate, had representative advanced students in the respective language and culture area give a short intro and/or hold a post-screening discussion, and helped defray some of the costs involved.
While this fall’s films would only directly represent two of the languages from our department, DFS agreed to include further appropriate films from other language sections in the spring.

French Culture Students at the Virginia Commonwealth University’s 15th French Film Festival
Event Organizer:  Christine Armstrong, Associate Professor of French


This film festival coined « Cannes away from Cannes » has drawn attention from both sides of the Atlantic, being featured in national newspapers such as The Washington Post, Le Figaro, and L’Humanité.
It is the only one in this country that presents so many French and Francophone movies not yet released in the United States (about 20 each year). Full-length features and shorts are equally represented, providing the public with the opportunity to see a variety of cinematographic works that will not necessarily be distributed in the US.
The second wonderful aspect of this festival is the fact that film directors and main actors come to introduce their movies and to discuss them after each showing. In 2006, our students and Professor Armstrong were able to meet Bertrand Tavernier, one of the greatest French movie directors, and actors such as Philippe Torreton, Patrick Braoudé, and Jalil Lespert.  Every student’s response after the film festival was extremely positive.

Monica Vorbeck, an Ecuadorian-German Art Curator and Art Critic Works with Students
Event Organizers:  Micaela Vivero, Assistant Professor of Art, and J. Eduardo Jaramillo, Professor of Spanish
Mrs. Vorbeck is a well-known art critic in Ecuador. She lectures, publishes articles, and curates art exhibitions.
Mrs. Vorbeck was invited by the Art Department to work with students and to curate their end-of the-year exhibition.
Thanks to the support of the Patti Foresman Foundation, Mrs. Vorbeck gave a presentation in Spanish about contemporary art in Latin America and Ecuador. She also visited German and Spanish classes in April 2007.

German Writer Susana Piontek
Event Organizer:  Gabriele Dillmann, Associate Professor of German


Susanna Piontek visited Denison University in the fall of 2006. Mrs. Piontek read from her book “Rühlings Erwachen,” a highly praised collection of short stories published the year before in Germany. Besides a formal reading and discussion, to which the general German-speaking community at Denison was invited, she also visited all upper-division German classes and discussed individually selected stories prepared by students in their respective German classes.
As an added bonus, Professor Guy Stern, who has delivered two campus convocation lectures at Denison in the past three years, introduced Susanna Piontek – the writer and her work, and joined her in various individual classroom discussions. Furthermore, Dr. Stern, who is a leading scholar in German exile studies, gave a talk and led a discussion in Leo Riegert’s Honors seminar “Mapping the (Post-)Modern City” on one of the texts by a Jewish author Leo included in his course reading list.
The Piontek reading took place on Thursday, October 19, whereas the class visits were on Wednesday and Friday of that week.

Colombian Storyteller Carolina Rueda
Event Organizer:  J. Eduardo Jaramillo, Professor of Spanish


Carolina Rueda is the leading oral narrator (or story teller) of Colombia, founder of the Oral Narration Movement in the 1980s.  She has traveled extensively, giving presentations in Spain, Peru, Chile, Mexico, and the United States. Her stories are inspired by folkloric tradition and literature.
While at Denison, Carolina Rueda presented “Cuentos entre-tenidos y sueltos” (which one may translate as “Tied and Untied Stories”). It was a collection of anecdotes and stories (one of those anecdotes is included in our podlangs collection, “La medusa.”)
Ms. Rueda also gave a three-day workshop on oral narration to students of Spanish Oral Communication.
This is the third time Ms. Rueda has visited Denison University. Some of her stories are included in our podcast collection, Podlangs (http://www.denison.edu/modlangs/podcasts/index.html).

Equatorial Guinea Writer Donato Ndongo
Event Organizers:  Dosinda García-Alvite, Assistant Professor of Spanish, and Nicole Price, Visiting Assistant of Spanish


Donato Ndongo is the foremost writer and cultural leader of Equatorial Guinea, Africa, a former colony of Spain.  He has been the Director of the Centro Cultural Hispano Guineano in Malabo (E.G), the Director of the Center for African Studies at the University of Murcia (Spain) and a Visiting Instructor of Spanish at the University of Missouri-Columbia.  He has published two novels, two history books, two anthologies and several short stories.
Mr. Ndongo visited Spanish 330 and Spanish 430 and discussed with the students the African immigration in Spain and the Spanish colonialism in Africa. Additionally, Mr. Ndongo delivered a lecture in Spanish entitled “Hispanic Culture in Equatorial Guinea.”

Flamenco Workshop
Event Organizers:  Dosinda García-Alvite, Assistant Professor of Spanish, and Nicole Price, Visiting Assistant of Spanish


Professors García-Alvite and Price organized a Flamenco workshop with María Pontones, director of El Ritmo Flamenco Group for over 20 years (Columbus, OH) and dance instructor at OSU.  This was the second time that the workshop was organized. Spanish 330 and Spanish 430 students took part in it.

Event Organizer:  Judy Cochran, Professor of French


Thanks to Professor Cochran we have the third edition of Collage, the departmental magazine for language and the arts.
Collage was created on the principle that art is a language, and that all language is a form of exchange, or communication. Collage is an interdisciplinary magazine whose goal is to bring together different forms of artistic and linguistic expression by both faculty and students.
The third edition of Collage was co-sponsored by the Office of the Provost. 

Soy Andina, Film and Dance
Event Organizer:  Julio Noriega, Visiting Professor of Spanish
Soy Andina is a newly filmed 70 minute documentary movie that portrays the story of two New York women: Nelida and Cynthia. Their journey to Peru in search of roots unravels the mystery of Peruvian authentic indigenous fiestas and dances. It is “an exuberant cross-cultural road trip, bursting with traditional music and dance rarely seen outside the country. But the core story is intimate and universal: a yearning for roots and connection in turbulent times”. It participated in the Lima Film Festival and Festidanza (2006). Previous trailers of it were presented in a tour program at Ohio State University, Columbia University, and Tulane University.
Both the director, Mitchell Teplitsky, and its main character and folk dancer, Nelida Silva, visited Denison in November 16, 2006. They visited classes and discussed the documentary. Nélida danced a composition of Peruvian motifs.
For more information about Soy Andina, visit http://www.soyandina.com/weblog/

Quebecois Write Marie Claire Blaise
Event Organizer:  Janine Ricouart, Visiting Associate Professor of French


The very well known Quebecois writer Marie Claire Blaise visited Denison University in the spring of 2007. Ms. Blaise has been a dominant figure in her country’s literary landscape for more than 25 years. Her works include La Belle Bête, Une saison dans la vie d’Emmanuel and twenty more books including vie plays and a collection of poems. Her latest novel Soifs (1995) received the Governor General’s Award in 1996.
Ms. Blaise visited classes in Women Studies and the Honors Program and also gave a talk on her work.

Students in Chinese-212 visited Chinatown in New York


Event Organizer:  Xinda Lian, Associate Professor of Chinese


Chinese-212 students visited Chinatown in New York City on March 23-25, 2007

Event Organizer:  Margarita Jácome, Visiting Assistant Professor of Spanish
Spanish-215 students interacted with Guatemalan speakers through web conferencing in the spring. The Interlangua tutors are native speakers of Spanish, with a college degree in language teaching and 5 or more years tutoring experience.  The program uses live (real-time) audio and video, and writing tools over the Internet.  Professor Jácome assigned the lessons or areas of study, and the Interlangua tutors implemented the program.  This ensured that the learning objectives were shared and reinforced by both the professor at Denison and the tutor.
The primary objective of this project was to offer students an opportunity to foster communicative skills in Spanish while developing an awareness of and appreciation for the Guatemalan culture.  Students studied and applied grammar in context, while learning about past and current events in Guatemala and Central America.  Since the constant acquisition of vocabulary is as important as the study of grammar, students were also in contact with Guatemalan idioms and expressions.  The communicative goals of an exchange with a native speaker balanced and enriched the peer communication established in the classroom.
This project benefited 17 Spanish majors and minors registered in the Writing Workshop (Spanish 215) for the spring semester of 2007. Each student had a conversational practice for an hour once a week for ten weeks. The experience took place from February 5 through April 9th, 2007.
The Interlangua project was co-financed with a Denison Grant for Innovation with Technology.

Films for the Human Rights Film Festival
Event Organizer: Gary L. Baker, Professor of German and Director of International Studies
The Patti Foresman Foundation Fund sponsored two films in the Human Rights Film Festival: Winter In Baghdad (February 5, 2007) and Rosita (February 19, 2007). For more information on these films: website http://www.eliasquerejeta.com, http://www.attiegoldwater.com

Christopher Robbins
Event Organizer:  Michael Tangeman, Assistant Professor of Japanese Christopher Robbins studied links between design and society in Japan, and developed cross-cultural instructional materials as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Benin, West Africa before focusing on educational technology at the Media Centre of the University of the South Pacific. He is currently exploring physical interfaces to digital media at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) in the USA.

German Artist Jörg Schlinke
Event Organizer:  Alexander Mouton, Assistant Professor of Arts, and Gabriele Dillmann, Associate Professor of German


The Art Department invited the German section and its students to participate in an event they co-sponsored with the McGregor Connections Initiative.  Our students had several opportunities to engage in discussions with former East German performance and installation artist Jörg Schlinke during his visit at Denison. The artist’s latest work, large sculptural words, whose letters are made of natural materials and displayed in public spaces, has received notable attention.
Jörg Schlinke was on campus during the week of March 5 to 9. He gave a talk and presented his work in the Cleveland Art Annex on Tuesday, March 6th, at 7 p.m.
Mr. Schlinke gave a talk in German on Thursday, March 8, during common hour. He visited and discussed aspects of his work and life as a former East German artist with students in English. Furthermore, our students had the opportunity to be creatively involved in a sculptural project at the homestead.

Dinner with Japanese Dance Teacher Juju Alishina
Event Organizer: Michael Tangeman, Assistant Professor of Japanese
Two advanced language students involved in a directed study had dinner with the visiting Japanese dance teacher, Juju Alishina. Ms. Alishina is skilled in Nihon buyo (traditional Japanese dance) and Butoh, a modern, avant-garde dance form.

Dinner at a Middle-East Restaurant
Event Organizer: Sadika Ramahi, Visiting Instructor of Arabic
Thirteen students of Arabic attended a dinner at the ME restaurant in Columbus.

Dinner at Lucky Bamboo
Event Organizer: Xinda Lian, Associate Professor of Chinese
After finishing a Chinese cuisine lesson, the class of Chinese 112 tried out the new things they learned at a local restaurant, the Lucky Bamboo.

Art Work Purchase
Event Organizers: Michael Tangeman, Assistant Professor of Japanese, and Gabriele Dillmann, Associate Professor of German
The Modern Languages Department purchased a work of art from the current senior exhibition, Matt Messmer’s “Sarariman,” for its hallway on the third floor of Fellows. Messmer is a senior student in the Studio Arts Program, a gifted painter and installation (conceptual) artist who also studied Japanese and spent a year in Tokyo. His work has been shown nationally and internationally with great success and he has won prestigious awards for several of his pieces. As such, he truly stands out among current and previous Denison art students.
“Sarariman” is a rather large (about 8×6 ft.) print painting on canvas, which depicts a busy subway scene in which a (business) man is represented multiple times as a shadow like figure at a train platform. What makes this work relevant, as an experience for our students is what it represents, i.e. what can happen when one encounters a culture on its own terms. Matt immersed himself in Japanese culture, particularly Japanese commuter culture, and the ensuing series of experiences informed not only his education as a language student but also his identity as an artist existing in two very different cultures.

Cheryl Johnson