Languages, Literatures and Cultures

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Faculty News ~ 2001


Dr. Anna Adams had her bilingual book published: Hidden from History: The Latino Community of Allentown, PA. She has had numerous speaking engagements to discuss the book with local groups such as the League of Women Voters, Lehigh County Historical Society, Volunteers of America, Community in Schools Project. She has also written an essay entitled "Perception Matters: Latina Pentecostals in Allentown, PA," which will appear as a book chapter in Religion, Feminism and Justice: An Introduction to Latina Feminist Theologies (U. of Texas Press). She is secretary for the Mid Atlantic Conference on Latin American Studies and gave a paper at their annual meeting in Washington, DC. As part of her work on Latin American culture, last summer she spent time in Guatemala doing research on Protestant churches, and she will spend this summer in Mexico. She continues to be active in the Allentown community, serving on the boards of Casa Guadalupe, Latin Alliance, and the Hispanic American League of Artists.

Prof. Helen Bachochin has enjoyed her first year as a full-time instructor. Last summer she traveled to Spain and plans to visit there again this summer.

Dr. James Barnhart-Park continues his work on the indigenous poetry of South America and has presented several papers this past year: "Geopolitics and Historicism in Mapuche Poetry of Chile: Lorenzo Aillapán and Rayen Kvyeh," at the 15th International Symposium on Latin American Indian Literatures in June; "Variaciones en torno a la temática de la poesía Mapuche contemporánea: un diálogo intercultural e interdisciplinario" at the Congreso Internacional: Chile y la Poesía Hispánica de Europa y las Américas, held in Valdivia, Chile in January; "Medium as Message: Latin American Indigenous Poetry and Media Technology" at February's Twentieth Century Literature Conference; "From Quchua to Mapuzugun: Configurations of Space-Axes of Communication" at the University of Iowa in April. He also published a review (November, 2000 issue of the journal Chasqui) of the collection of essays edited by Gastón Lillo and J. Guillermo Renart, in collaboration with Naín Nómez: Re-leer hoy a Gabriela Mistral: Mujer, historia y sociedad en América Latina. He is currently Director for the LVAIC Study Abroad Program in Cuernavaca, Mexico, taking place from May 26 to July 7, 2001. In addition to his research and teaching, he worked with the Muhlenberg Soccer team on a weekly basis last fall as an assistant to Coach Tipping, and plans to continue working with the team this coming fall.

Dr. Franz A. Birgel presented a paper in October on Ula Stöckl and Edgar Reitz' short films Geschichten vom Kübelkindat the West Virginia University Colloquium on Literature and Film. In March, he brought Ula Stöckl to campus for a screening and discussion of her films. At Villanova University, he gave a guest lecture on Fritz Lang's Metropolis. His article "Luis Trenker: A Rebel in the Third Reich?" was published in Cultural History through a National Socialist Lens: Essays on the Cinema of the Third Reich. Together with Prof. Klaus Phillips of Hollins University, he is editing a collection of essays on the filmmaker and author Doris Dörrie. With the aid of summer grants, he will attend a seminar on East German films and research that country's feature films about Native Americans. These Marxist "Indian films" present an interesting variation on the Western genre, showing how Native Americans suffered from and rebelled against the economic forces behind the myth of manifest destiny.

Dr. Barbara Gorka has co-authored two articles with Dr. Richard Niesenbaum of Biology. The first, titled "Beyond the Language Requirement: Interdisciplinary Short-Term Study Abroad Programs in Spanish," was published in Hispania in March, 2001. The other, "Community Based Eco-Education: Sound Ecology and Effective Education," will appear in The Journal of Environmental Education. Professors Gorka and Niesenbaum will be restructuring their course, "Environmental and Cultural Conservation in Latin America," to include more service learning and community involvement in small towns in both Costa Rica and Nicaragua for the spring and summer 2002.

Dr. Luba Iskold gave a talk entitled "President Putin: Assessing the First Year in Office" to the Hi-Neighbors Group at first Presbyterian Church in Bethlehem and the Friendship Circle at the JCC in Allentown. This year Dr. Iskold is teaching a new course in 20th century literature in translation entitled "Russian Nobel Prize Winners in Literature," which she developed last summer with the help of a grant. She will spend the coming summer preparing another new course entitled "Readings in Russian Literature," which she will offer in Russian in Fall, 2001.

Dr. Luba Iskold and Dr. John Pearce presented their paper: "Evaluating the Effectiveness of Teacher-Made Software: A Case Study" at the annual international CALICO (Computer-Assisted Language Instruction Consortium) conference "Core Technologies: Impact on the Future" at the University of Arizona in June, 2000. They also did a multimedia presentation designed and developed specifically for this conference.

Dr. Albert Kipa co-authored two articles with Leonid Rudnytzky (president, Ukrainian Free University): "Heinrich Heine and Ukraine: An Overview" (in German), published in Studien zu Deutsch-Ukrainischen Beziehungen and "Goethe's Weimar and Ukraine" (in Ukrainian), which was included in the Publications of the Shevchenko Scientific Society. Dr. Kipa's translation into Ukrainian of Mychajlo Hrushevsky's "Die Ukraine, Weissrussland, Litauen" appeared in the Spring 2000 edition of Ukraiinsky Istoryk. He also served as editor of Volume XX of The Annals of the Ukrainian Academy of Arts and Sciences in the U.S. entitled SEVEN LIVES: Vignettes of Ukrainian Writers in the Nineteenth Century. Dr. Kipa's lectures included "Ukraine Today" at the AgeWell Center in Bethlehem, "Rethinking Higher Education in Ukraine" at the Annual Conference of the Ukrainian Academy of Pedagogical Sciences in Kyiv (both in April 2000), and "Ukraine and its Cultural Heritage" at Lehigh University's Zoellner Arts Center (November 2000). He also delivered the opening remarks at the March 2001 Shevchenko Conference in New York City, which was sponsored by Columbia's Harriman Institute, Harvard's Ukrainian Institute, The Shechenko Scientific Society, and The Ukrainian Academy of Arts and Sciences in the US. In the summer of 2000 Dr. Kipa directed LVAIC's German Program in Bonn. At the College's May 2000 Commencement Dr. Kipa was named Muhlenberg's first Professor Laureate "for exceptional service, scholarship, and teaching."

Dr. Joan Marx continues her professional work in the areas of contemporary Mexican and Mexican-American literature as well as in the pedagogy of language teaching. She is preparing for submission her article on Under the Feet of Jesus by Chicana writer Helena María Viramontes, after which she will begin research on the works of the Mexican writer Ángeles Mastretta. In November of 2000, she attended the ACTFL (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages) Conference in Boston. Last summer, she worked with her colleague from the Department of Accounting, Business and Economics, Dr. Donna Kish-Goodling, to develop the team-taught, interdisciplinary course, The Culture and Economy of Spain through research grants from the College and from the Faculty Center for Teaching. With the goal of integrating a foreign language experience with content-based instruction, this course was designed for Business and Economics students in order to provide a truly global experience within their discipline. An intensive, two and a half-week study component in Spain will follow the current spring semester course. She and Dr. Kish-Goodling plan to present their experience in a workshop at the Teaching of Economics Conference at the University of Pittsburgh in February of 2002. In addition, they plan to present the pedagogical analysis of such specialized study abroad programs at the international conference of the Congress of Political Economy during the summer of 2002. They also plan to submit a proposal for a paper to be presented at ACTFL in 2002.

Dr. John Pearce is advisor to Alpha Phi Omega, a fraternity dedicated to service projects beyond the campus. He also continues to edit the semi-annual newsletter for the PA State Modern Language Association. In the community, he works on three boards: first, in his second year as president of the board of Meals on Wheels of Lehigh County; on the board of the Lehigh Valley chapter of NAMI (National Alliance for Mental Illnesses) as a member of the newsletter committee and a facilitator of "Family to Family," a seminar for relatives of people with brain disorders; and as vice-moderator of the Education, Vocation & Nurture Unit, Synod of the Trinity, Presbyterian Church USA.

Dr. Lisa Perfetti presented a paper called "Medieval Laughter: The Body, Behavior, and the Question of Gender," for the annual meeting of the Illinois Medieval Association meeting in Chicago. This paper comes out of a book she is writing about women's laughter in medieval comic literature. She is also editing a volume of essays on the representation of women's emotions in medieval culture. In addition to teaching and writing about medieval culture, she continues her interest in francophone Africa. Last summer she developed an internship for Muhlenberg students who have training in science, French language, and Francophone culture with Rodale International in Senegal. One intern last year (senior French minor Adam Deising) worked on several of Rodale's regenerative agricultural projects, and another student is scheduled to work as an intern this summer. As part of her recent interest in interdisciplinary approaches to environmental issues, she is exploring the growing field of environmental approaches to literature, and is currently engaged in two grant initiatives (a Mellon interdisciplinary teaching grant and the Public Engagement Project, through the Hewlett Foundation) to explore options for developing new courses. In June, she will attend the meeting of the Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment in Flagstaff, Arizona to meet other teachers and scholars.

Dr. Erika M. Sutherland presented her paper, "'Dime si las aceitunas tienen patas': La nueva marginación socarrona," at the International Society for Luso-Hispanic Humor Studies in Montréal. Dealing with the new Gypsy narratives coming out of Spain, the paper was her first presentation in this new area. She will be following up on her research in Gypsy literature in Spain this summer thanks to a faculty research grant. Her research in the nineteenth-century Spanish narrative is ongoing, with a second paper presented at the Northeast Modern Language Association ("The Path to Eros: Picón's Pornographic Successors") and an article submitted for publication ("La cuestión que quiso palpitar: El divorcio en España"). Dr. Sutherland's work with the Latino immigrants of the Lehigh Valley continues. Her Latin-focused business incubator has garnered local and national attention this year, as has the new offshoot, the Grupo de Apoyo e Integración Hispanoamericano, a support group for Hispanic professionals. These projects, both of which seek to empower Latinos and foster integration and understanding, have been the topic of numerous talks throughout the area.

Dr. Kathy Wixon will present a paper in May at the Cincinnati Romance Languages Conference on the tension between the public and private in the autobiographical work of 20th-century French writer Annie Ernaux. She and Kim Ilardi, senior French major, have been researching écriture féminine while reading Ernaux's works this semester. Wixon has become interested in self-reflexive writers-writers who critique their writing process as part of the work itself. In her research she isalso moving into the scholarship of teaching, specifically an assessment of peer editing in her Advanced French Conversation and Composition course. In her capacity as Co-Director of Muhlenberg's Faculty Center for Teaching with Dr. Kathleen Harring of the Psychology Department, she attended the Professional Organizational Developers (POD) Network Conference in Vancouver, Canada, and the American Association of Higher Education Conference in Tampa. Attendance at these conferences was funded by a faculty development grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, which Wixon authored last year. These days she is often seen with her copain of the canine persuasion, Perry, a puppy she is raising to be a future guide dog for the Seeing Eye in Morristown, New Jersey. The Muhlenberg campus is a wonderful place to expose a dog to the sights/sites, sounds and stresses of life.

Muhlenberg College - Languages, Literatures and Cultures