Languages, Literatures, & Cultures

Faculty News ~ 2002

Dr. Anna Adams' article, "Perception Matters: Pentecostal Latinas in Allentown, Pa." has just been published in Religion and Justice: A Reader in Latina Feminist Theology (Univ. of Texas Press). Prof. Adams continues to be active in the Allentown Community as a board member of Casa Guadalupe and the Latin Alliance and a commissioner for the Allentown Human Relations Commission. She has been chosen as the secretary for the Mid Atlantic Committee on Latin American Studies (MACLAS) and serves on the executive committee of that organization. She attended the conference of MACLAS at the University of Delaware in March. Last summer she and her husband moved into their new house near Tulum, Mexico on the Yucatan Peninsula. They will spend three months there this coming summer.

Prof. Helen Bachochin has enjoyed her second year as a full-time instructor. She especially likes working with her students and colleagues and participating in department activities such as the Mesa Española. She has made no definite plans for the summer, but is always looking for an opportunity to visit a country where Spanish is spoken.

Dr. James Barnhart-Park served as the coordinator for the 2002 LVAIC Summer Study Abroad Program in Cuernavaca, Mexico. In Cuernavaca, he gave a talk entitled "Of knotted cords and HTML: from orality and non-traditional texts to Native American communities on the World Wide Web." Jimmy organized a panel titled, "Transmisión e instituciones de la palabra: Literaturas del Conocimiento Indígena," for the XXIII International Congress of the Latin American Studies Association, where he also presented his paper "Werken y Wewpife: la oralitura tradicional y la poesía Mapuche contemporánea." These research interests were brought to campus in his seminar on Indoamerican Literatures, taught for the first time this spring semester. Jimmy organized and hosted the campus visit of Chilean/Mapuche poet, Jaime Luis Huenún Villa. During the poet's U.S. visit Jimmy served as his translator at a poetry reading at the Americas Society in New York City. Jimmy was selected as Secretary for the Latin American Indian Literatures Association, and he is the co-coordinator for their 2003 XVI International Symposium to be held in Buenos Aires, Argentina. At this symposium he will participate in a round table discussion on the teaching of indigenous American literatures in the college classroom. He plans to spend four weeks in both Chile and Argentina compiling materials by young indigenous writers of the region. Jimmy plans to present a paper at the 51st International Congress of Americanists, to be held in Santiago, Chile in July on eco-criticism.

Dr. Franz A. Birgel presented a paper on East German Indianerfilme at the 2001 conference of the American Society for Cinema Studies. His article on Ula Stöckl and Edgar Reitz' Geschichten vom Kübelkind just appeared in West Virginia University's Philological Papers. An essay on Das doppelte Lottchen (the basis for Disney's The Parent Trap) was published in Verba et Litteræ: Explorations in Germanic Languages and German Literature, the Festschrift honoring Professor Albert L. Lloyd of the University of Pennsylvania. Together with Professor Klaus Phillips of Hollins University, Professor Birgel is putting the finishing touches on a collection of essays on the filmmaker and author Doris Dörrie. During the summer he plans to write an article on Der große König, Veit Harlan's 1942 film about Frederick the Great. He will spend his spring 2003 sabbatical semester writing a book on the cinema of the Third Reich.

has been actively involved with the PSMLA Executive Council in the selection process of K-16 faculty to participate in the upcoming NECTFL, 2002. He is also an Advisory Council Member to the conference. He will propose diversity issues in the foreign language classroom. This summer he will be a member of the World Language Strategic Planning Committee in Pennsylvania. He will conduct a workshop on "Best Teaching Practices" at the Pennsylvania Governor's Institute for Teachers.

Prof. Patricia Conrad taught day and evening French classes and was also privileged to host a church group on a two-week tour trip to Turkey. On her second day there, she found herself alone in the countryside with a peasant farmer. When it came time to say "Thank you," she looked up the Turkish words only to find that the phrase was rather long in Turkish. BUT there was a second way to express thanks and, although a woman of her level of society would never use that phrase herself, the woman would understand it and Pat could pronounce it: "Mersi".

Dr. Barbara Gorka collaborated with her colleague Dr. Erika Sutherland last summer on a summer research grant funded by the Faculty Center for Teaching. They researched effective ways to teach courses on Civilization of Latin America and Spain and undertook an extensive review of syllabi from universities across the country. As part of the grant, she took a course on PowerPoint, and is currently taking a WEB-design course. She will be attending the NAFSA: Association of International Educators Conference in San Antonio, Texas, in May, 2002. Dr. Gorka will be on a leave of absence from Muhlenberg next year in order to accept a position as Associate Director of International Programs at Temple University in Philadelphia. She looks forward to hearing updates from her current and past students on their academic and professional accomplishments as well as their travels and athletic endeavors. She encourages you all to keep in touch with her via e-mail at

Dr. Luba Iskold attended the annual international CALICO (Computer Assisted Language Learning Consortium) Conference "Creating Virtual Language Learning Communities" hosted by the University of California at Davis. She moderated a panel discussion "Using the Proven, Proving the New: Convergence of Language Learning and Research." Dr. Iskold is currently participating in a semester-long PEP (Public Engagement Project) seminar for faculty. Her research project this summer will focus on immigrant writers in post-World War II US literature. Both the seminar participation and the summer research project will result in a new First Year Seminar entitled "Strangers in Paradise" which she will offer in the fall. Dr. Iskold continues her work on the departmental home page. This year, she designed and supervised the development of the new Russian Studies home page.

Dr. Albert Kipa co-authored two articles this year: "Lessing in Ukraine," which appeared in the Lessing Yearbook, 2000 and "Zehn Jahre Unabhängigkeit: Ein Blick auf die heutige Ukraine," (Ten Years of Independence: Ukraine Today) published in liberal 4/2001, a publication of the FDP, Germany's Free Democratic Party. At the Fourth Annual Conference of Scholars of the Eastern European Institute recently held at Midland Lutheran College, Dr. Kipa's presentation was entitled "Contra Spem Spero: A Feminine Voice in Ukrainian Literature." In addition to his responsibilities as head of the Department, he continues to serve as vice-president and Editorial Board member of the N.Y.C.-based Ukrainian Academy of Arts and Sciences in the U.S.

continues her professional work in contemporary Latin American literature. She will present her article, "Breaking the Silence in Alba Ambert's Porque hay silencio: One Woman's Journey" at the International Conference on Literatures and Cultures of the Caribbean: Where Choice is Born: Caribbean Voices & Visions. Last spring she offered her special topics course, The Culture and Economy of Spain, with Dr. Donna Kish-Goodling of the Dept. of Accounting, Business and Economics. This course was a team-taught, interdisciplinary course, developed through a Faculty Research and Development Grant and a Summer Research Grant for Innovative Teaching. With the goal of integrating a foreign language experience with content-based instruction, the course was designed for Business and Economics students in order to provide a truly global experience within their discipline. The course included a travel/study component in Spain.

continues as faculty advisor to Alpha Phi Omega, national service fraternity, which provides various services to the Lehigh Valley and to the campus. He also is active with the Pennsylvania State Modern Language Assn., as board member and newsletter editor. Dr. Pearce enjoys doing church work: he is secretary of the board for AHLAN, a social service agency in Allentown for Arab immigrants; he chairs the Nominating Committee of Lehigh Presbytery (a group of 36 churches in and around the Lehigh Valley). He chairs the Public Relations Committee of Meals on Wheels, Lehigh County. He teaches a course called "Family to Family" for NAMI (National Alliance for the Mentally Ill). Dr. Pearce was the first of our faculty in Languages to encounter the new European currency, the euro. He brought back some samples from a recent trip to Belgium and Germany during spring break.

had the opportunity to teach her specialty (medieval literature) twice this year (once in the English department and once in French). She has also begun to work on a new course, a freshman seminar, to be offered in the spring of 2003. The course, entitled Whose Land Is it? will treat land use issues, with particular focus on public areas such as parks. In preparation for the course, last summer, she attended the biennial conference of the Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment in Phoenix. Dr. Perfetti also participated in the Public Engagement Project, a campus-wide faculty initiative to help students develop the skills necessary for civic engagement, which will be a central component of her course since it deals with different stakeholders in land use issues. She is also working on two book projects. Her first book, Women and Laughter in Medieval Comic Literature, will be published by the University of Michigan Press some time in 2003. Her other project is an edited collection of essays on the representation of women's emotions in medieval culture. She will again be attending the International Medieval Congress this year, where she will present her work on the French farce and participate in a round table on feminist approaches to studying the Middle Ages. Perhaps the most fun she has had this year is playing soprano and tenor recorder with our Collegium Musicum group on campus, directed by Ted Conner; their concert of Renaissance music will be performed in April.

Dr. Erika M. Sutherland traveled to Spain last summer on a Faculty Summer Research Grant to interview two Gypsy writers, the poet José Heredia Maya and the novelist and short story writer Joaquín Albaicín. The interviews are being prepared for publication, with some of Albaicín's observations incorporated in her paper "Just Saying No: A Modern Pícaro Rejects Life a la droga" presented in October, 2001 at the MACHL Conference. Her ongoing collaboration with Albaicín includes upcoming translations of his short stories and the opportunity for her 20th Century Literature students to have an on-line question and answer session with the Madrid-based writer. Dr. Sutherland will be directing the LVAIC Summer Study Abroad program in Seville, Spain this summer. In Jaén, Spain, she will also be presenting her paper "Death in the Bedroom: Eduardo López Bago and his Fuzzy Forensics" at the International Association of Zola and Naturalism (AIZEN) Conference. On this side of the ocean, her work has included a new edition of the elementary Spanish textbook Tú dirás (forthcoming late fall, 2002) and articles for the forthcoming Gale publication World Literature and Its Times. Beyond her academic work, Dr. Sutherland continues to work with the Hispanic and immigrant communities with the Grupo de Apoyo e Integración Hispanoamericano and Fiestas del Corazón, Inc., winning a Community Leader Salute from LA MEGA radio station.

Dr. Kathy Wixon was eager to get back to Muhlenberg this spring following a medical leave. She continues to serve both as coordinator of the French program and co-director of the Faculty Center for Teaching. In the latter role, she attended the American Association of Education's annual conference on Faculty Roles and Rewards in Phoenix, and another conference devoted to supporting faculty development at liberal arts colleges in March at Rollins College. She is working on a grant application to the Mellon Foundation for the Faculty Center for Teaching, and the conferences she attended gave her many new ideas. On the department side of things, she combined pedagogy and scholarship in a paper presentation entitled "Where Literature and Learning Meet: Annie Ernaux's L'Evénement as a Paradigm for Teaching French Composition" at the Twentieth-Century Literature Conference at the University of Louisville in Kentucky this past February. She has recently been named to the Advisory Board of the American University Center of Provence and will travel to Aix-en-Provence, France this summer for meetings with the program directors. Many of our students study abroad on this program, and she looks forward to her increased involvement with it. Dr. Wixon continues to teach intermediate French language, Advanced French composition and conversation, French civilization, and 19th and 20th-century French literature, and she is always delighted to hear from former students. Dr. Juan Zevallos Aguilar just finished post-doctoral studies on "Space Across Borders" at the Humanities Institute at Dartmouth College. His latest research concerns the cultural identity of Andean migrants in the United States. He is carrying out field research in the Peruvian community of Patterson, New Jersey for this purpose. He is the author of the book Indigenismo y nación: Desafios a la representación de la subalternidad quechua y aymara (Puno, 1926-1930) (Lima: Instituto Francés de Estudios Andinos and Fondo Editorial del Banco Central de Reserva del Peru, 2002), and his latest book MK(1982-1984): Cultura urbana juvenil de la postmodernidad periférica peruana is forthcoming. He is the U.S. executive secretary of both Jornadas Andinas de Literatura Latinoamericana (JALLA) and the International Association of Peruvianists. He was invited to read a paper at "The Other Latinos" Conference at Harvard University on April 5, 2002.