7/28/2020 Christopher Barnes

Scholarly Spotlight - Languages

  • Stefania Benini

Stefania Benini
Visiting Assistant Professor of Italian

Benini, Stefania. From Blasphemy to Saint Paul: Multistable Subjectivities, Queer Cinema, and Pasolini’s Subversive Hagiographies 
Biblical Interpretation, vol. 27, no. 4–5, Nov. 2019, pp. 549–67.

An inquiry on Pier Paolo Pasolini's "Pauline" turn - the script "Saint Paul" (1966-1974) - after the Franciscan stage of his subversive hagiographies - particularly his unpublished work "Blasphemy" (1962-1967) - in the horizon of the rise of European Queer Cinema.


  • Daniel A. Brooks, visiting assistant professor of Russian

Daniel A. Brooks
Visiting Assistant Professor of Russian

Brooks, Daniel A. Bitter Tears: Emotions in Texts by and about Maksim Gor’kii 
Slavic and East European Journal, vol. 62, no. 4, Winter 2018, pp. 706–26.

Superstar Soviet author Maksim Gor'kii (1868-1936) was a notorious and indiscriminate weeper in real life, despite the fact that his semi-autobiographical texts tended to profile unsentimental, Nietzschean strongmen. This article complicates perennial accusations of the author's "crocodile tears" and examines how instances of crying in Gor'kii's fiction, memoirs, and others writers' memoirs about Gor'kii became an instrument of community-building and self-articulation in Soviet and emigre culture.


  • Jessica Cox

Jessica G. Cox
Assistant Professor of Spanish and Linguistics

We investigated factors related to variation in bilingual codeswitching (switching between two languages in one conversation). In our study of Spanish-English bilinguals, participants' self-report of their codeswitching practices on a questionnaire generally correlated with their codeswitching frequency in conversation. Additionally, participants' more frequent codeswitching was not necessarily related to lower language proficiency.

We investigated how bilinguals who had learned their two languages naturalistically (rather than in a classroom) varied in their aptitude for learning new languages. In our study of Spanish-English bilinguals, those who had equivalent proficiency in Spanish and English outperformed those with less balanced proficiency when learning new grammar and spelling systems; similarly, those with higher nonverbal IQ also did better at those two tasks compared to those with lower nonverbal IQ.


  • Giovanna Lerner

Giovanna Faleschini Lerner
Associate Professor of Italian

An article on a documentary, based on home videos by a woman migrant from Benin who lived in Italy for 20 years, apart from her children and her family, who were left behind.

Millicent Marcus, whose Filmmaking by the Book: Italian Cinema and Literary Adaptation (1993) reframed conversations on filmic adaptation, has shaped generations of students and researchers through her scholarly practice of adapting art and life. In this article, my co-authors and I explain the impact and influence of her teaching and research, a feminist legacy grounded in an ethics of collaboration.


  • carrie profile pic

Carrie Landfried
Associate Professor of French

Landfried, Carrie. Claude Ollier à l’écoute de l’ACR : une radio «strictement pour initiés» ? Komodo 21, vol. 10, Mar. 2019.

Claude Ollier's critiques of the 39 episodes comprising the 1975-1976 season of the French radio program "Atelier de création radiophonique" examine the nature of the program, its audience, and its mission. They also reveal key aspects of Ollier's own vision of radiophonic creation.


  • Jennifer Mackenzie headshot

Jennifer K. Mackenzie
Assistant Professor of Italian

Mackenzie, Jennifer Kathleen. Lorenzo Valla’s Critique of Jurisprudence, the Discovery of Heraldry, and the Philology of Images. Renaissance Quarterly, vol. 72, no. 4, 2019, pp. 1183–224.

This article shows that scholars of Latin and Greek ('humanists') who rose to prominence in the Renaissance used their new understandings about the historical and social character of language(s) to come to new understandings about the historical and social character of images as well. In other words, I highlight here underappreciated connections between traditions of scholarship focused on language and texts (philology), and traditions of scholarship focused on images as codes, or visual languages, embedded within social systems (eventually the anthropology of images). The relationship between the study of greco-roman antiquity and the study of "other" cultures - distant in time and space - is under investigation from the perspective of intellectual history.


  • Jennifer Redmann

Jennifer Redmann
Professor of German

Redmann, Jennifer. The Backfischroman as Bildungsroman: German Novels for Girls, 1863–1913. Feminist German Studies, vol. 35, no. 1, 2019, pp. 1–25.

In the essay, I offer a new perspective on books written for teenage girls in German, the Backfischroman, which I recast as a form of the more canonical Bildungsroman. I trace how, over the course of 60 years, the social realities experienced by middle-class women of the day came to be integrated into the otherwise idealized fictional world of the girls’ novel.


  • sofi a

Sofia Ruiz-Alfaro
Associate Professor of Spanish

This chapter explores the figure of la doméstica in two Hollywood films that locate their stories in connection with the US–Mexico border: Babel (Alejandro González Iñárritu, 2006) and Cake (Daniel Barnz, 2014). The border defines and separates the foreign from the domestic, and thus the housemaid becomes a paradoxical figure of being an outsider with access to the most intimate form of the US domestic, the family.

This is the first book to present and analyze the character of the domestic worker in current Latin-American cinema.This edited volume explores the representation of domestic work and workers in relationship to affect and emotion, space and place, and agency.


Veronika Ryjik
Professor of Spanish

Ryjik, Veronika. “La Bella España”: El Teatro de Lope de Vega En La Rusia Soviética y Postsoviética. Iberoamericana; Vervuert, 2019.

This book studies the reception of Lope de Vega’s theater in Soviet and post-Soviet Russia. It explores the reasons behind the Russian directors' --and their audiences'-- extraordinary fascination with the Spanish Early Modern playwright, as well as some of the factors that have influenced the processes of consolidation of a specifically Russian Lopean canon.


  • Jon Stone headshot

Jonathan Stone
Associate Professor of Russian and Russian Studies

Stone, Jonathan. Decadence and Modernism in European and Russian Literature and Culture: Aesthetics and Anxiety in the 1890s. Palgrave Macmillan, 2019.

Decadence and Modernism in European and Russian Literature and Culture rewrites the story of early modernist literature and culture by drawing out the tensions underlying its simultaneous engagement with Decadence and Symbolism, the unsustainable combination of this world and the other. With a broadly framed literary and cultural approach, Stone examines a shift in perspective that explodes the notion of reality and showcases the uneasy relationship between the tangible and intangible aspects of the surrounding world. Decadence and Symbolism complement the broader historical trajectory of the fin de siècle by affirming the novelty of a modernist mindset and offering an alternative to the empirical and positivistic atmosphere of the 19th century. Stone seeks to recreate a significant historical and cultural moment in the development of modernity, a moment that embraces the concept of Decadence while repurposing its aesthetic and social import to help navigate the fundamental changes that accompanied the dawn of the 20th century.


  • Kathrin Theumer

Kathrin Theumer
Associate Professor of Spanish

Theumer, Kathrin. Becoming Casal: José Manuel’s ‘Canto Élego’ and ‘Para Una Lectura de La Rimas.’ Ciberletras, vol. 41, Jan. 2019, pp. 24–37.

Analyzing the dialogue between Cuban poets José Manuel Poveda and Julián del Casal, I argue that Poveda recognizes and internalizes Casal’s rootlessness as the basis for his own itinerant poetics of identity. Poveda’s gesture is controversial since to follow Casal is to deviate from the dominant discourse of Cuban identity grounded in 19th century patriotic ideals and the symbolic meaning of Cuba's national hero, José Martí.

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