Foreign Languages and Literatures

Foreign Languages and Literatures (FL&L) is dedicated to providing MIT students with the tools for a sensitive and successful involvement in the global community by contributing to the internationalization of their MIT education. During academic year 2003, FL&L faculty continued to provide national and international leadership in the fields of foreign language pedagogy, technology in the humanities, and literary and cultural studies, while demonstrating their commitment to educational excellence within the Institute.

Highlights of the Year

Highlights of 2002–2003 included personnel changes, several awards, a number of events, a new French immersion program, and contributions beyond the Institute.

Beginning in July 2002, professor of Spanish and Latin American studies Elizabeth Garrels became section head, succeeding professor of French studies Isabelle de Courtivron. Professor William Uricchio became acting director of Comparative Media Studies (CMS) in February 2003. The section will welcome two new permanent lecturers beginning July 1, 2003. Arianne Cathy Culot will begin as lecturer in French and Patricia Brennecke will begin as lecturer in English language studies. In addition, Isaiah Wonho Yoo will join us as a lecturer in English language studies for three years. Professor de Courtivron and Class of 1956 career development and associate professor of Chinese Emma Teng were on leave during the academic year.

Professor de Courtivron was named a MacVicar Faculty Fellow, signifying the importance and quality of her contribution to the education of MIT's undergraduates.

The French Film Critics Association awarded professor of French studies and film Edward Baron Turk this year's Prize for Best Book by a Foreign Author, honoring the new French edition of his book Child of Paradise: Marcel Carné and the Golden Age of French Cinema.

S. C. Fang professor of Chinese language and culture Jing Wang was awarded an American Council of Learned Societies research fellowship to begin in fall 2003.

Professor Teng won the MIT Class of 1956 career development chair, beginning July 1, 2002, which will last for three years.

In addition, FL&L received a "first place" standing from MIT's OpenCourseWare Advisory Committee, which did an extensive review of online course presence by each academic unit in the spring. The committee found that 91 percent of the section's courses have an online presence.

This year FL&L cohosted talks by several guests, including the following:

The section cohosted with Comparative Media Studies the largest Cambridge-MIT Initiative workshop to date, "Languages, Film, and Technology." Faculties from MIT and Cambridge University (CU) convened September 25–27 to plan further collaborations in terms of pedagogical materials development, research, and eventually possible development of multimedia publications that could be used and tested within the MIT and CU classrooms. Beyond the possible collaborations between the humanities at CU and MIT, an additional positive outcome of the workshop was that FL&L and CMS strengthened their ties, which augurs well for the continued collaboration of these two academic groups within the School.

Thanks to a generous gift from an MIT alumnus and his spouse, FL&L began a new noncredit French cultural immersion program, January Scholars in France. The program, led by Professor Turk, gave seven undergraduate students a two-week experience, focusing on French arts, letters, and history, in Paris during MIT's Independent Activities Period (IAP). The award was based on a demonstrated commitment to French studies at MIT, and declared French majors and minors were given special consideration. Activities included attending plays, movies, concerts, and operas, viewing permanent and special exhibits at art and history museums, visiting urban sites, attending public and university-based lectures on cultural issues, and meeting French people in the arts. Students assembled on a regular basis for seminar-style discussion and reflection on the works and events explored. Upon their return, Professor Turk and the students worked in collaboration to produce a detailed, multimedia, web-based account of the trip. It can be found on the web at

Members of FL&L participated in various roles outside of MIT that involved foreign languages and literatures. Associate professor of Hispanic studies Margery Resnick continued as president of the International Institute in Spain and organized the International Symposium on Spanish/American Women at the International Institute.

Professor Wang began work as a senior member of the advisory council for the Project for Critical Asian Studies at the University of Washington.

Assistant professor of Japanese cultural studies Ian Condry served on the advisory board of the Children's Museum of Boston regarding a new Japanese exhibit to open in 2004 entitled "Five Friends from Japan."

Senior lecturer in German Ellen Crocker served on the American Association of Teachers of German Executive Board.

Senior lecturer in Chinese Julian Wheatley served as chair for the Burma Studies Foundation and as an executive committee member on the journal editorial board for the Chinese Language Teachers Association.

Senior lecturer in Spanish Douglas Morgenstern continued his service as MIT's representative on the governing board to the Consortium for Language Teaching and Learning.

Director and lecturer of English language studies Jane Dunphy was a consultant to the Malaysia University of Science and Technology for language assessment and professional and academic communication training.

Director and lecturer in Japanese language Yoshimi Nagaya served as board member for the New England Association of Teachers of Japanese.

Awards and Grants

FL&L faculty and lecturers continued to develop materials and new technology to enhance the teaching of foreign languages, literatures, and culture funded by awards and grants. Kochi Prefecture–John Manjiro professor of Japanese and linguistics Shigeru Miyagawa received funds from MIT's d'Arbeloff grant, with professor of history John Dower, for the project Visualizing Cultures, which is aimed at utilizing the potential of the digital world to enhance historical appreciation of other peoples. Professor Miyagawa also codeveloped a web site with Professor Dower as part of the OpenCourseWare initiative, which is now an exhibition entitled "Facing 'East,' Facing 'West.'" The exhibition, which will travel to various venues during the year, chronicles the dramatic confrontation of Commodore Matthew C. Perry and the long-secluded country of Japan through the artwork produced by each side at the time.

Professor Wang continued as the principal investigator (with A. Saich at the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University) of a three-year grant from Harvard University's Asia Center for an interuniversity research program entitled Policy Culture in Contemporary China.

Professor Condry received funds from dean for undergraduate education Robert Redwine for his project, Asian Panoramas: Cultural Studies through Multimedia and Performance.

Professor Resnick, Senior lecturer Morgenstern, and director and lecturer in Spanish language Margarita Ribas-Groeger also received funds from Dean Redwine's office and the Office of Minority Education for their project, Heritage Spanish Learners: A Model of Academic Support.

Senior lecturer in French Gilberte Furstenberg is in the process of converting her successful teaching program, �� la Rencontre de Philippe, from laserdisc to DVD-ROM. It is being funded by a gift from an anonymous MIT alumnus.

The Consortium for Language Teaching and Learning remained a strong supporter of FL&L multimedia projects. Research Associate Fendt received funds for the integration of FL&L projects into the MetaMedia Framework, which provides faculty and students with a flexible online environment to create, annotate, and share media-rich documents for the teaching and learning of core humanistic subjects. Consortium support was given to lecturer in Chinese Tong Chen's campus web-based project, A Glimpse of Cultural Revolution. Lecturer in German Dagmar Jaeger received funds for the web-based module "Gedächtnis und Gedenken: Memory and Commemoration in Contemporary German Literature."

Research and Publications

Professor de Courtivron had two books published in 2003. She was editor of Lives in Translation: Bilingual Writers on Identity and Creativity (New York: St. Martin's/McMillan) and coeditor of Beyond French Feminisms: Debates on Women, Politics and Culture in France, 1981–2001 (New York: Palgrave/McMillan).

As mentioned under awards, Professor Turk had a new French edition of his book Child of Paradise: Marcel Carné and the Golden Age of French Cinema (Paris: L'Harmattan) published.

Visiting associate professor Odile Cazenave's book, Afrique sur Seine: une nouvelle génération de romanciers africains �� Paris (Paris: L'Harmattan) was published in the spring.

Faculty published the following papers during the academic year:

Faculty continued to serve in editorial positions for a number of publications. Professor Wang was a reviewer for Positions: East Asia Cultures Critique; the Inter-Asia Cultural Studies Journal; the International Journal of Cultural Studies (Australia); and the Minnesota University Press. In addition, Professor Wang was a consulting editor for the Encyclopedia of Contemporary Chinese Culture (Routledge). Professor Miyagawa was associate editor for Language, a journal of the Linguistic Society of America; the Journal of East Asian Linguistics; the Journal of Japanese Linguistics; and Linguistic Inquiry from MIT Press. Professor Turk continued his work as assistant film editor for the French Review, a journal of the American Association of Teachers of French. Research Associate Fendt served as a reviewer for the Springer Journal, Virtual Realities.

Conferences and Presentations

FL&L members were invited to numerous national and international conferences. Professor Miyagawa gave the following talks: "EPP and Scrambling" at the English Language Society Conference, Japan; "Phase and QR/Scrambling Correlations" at Tohoku University, the University of Kyushu, and Phase/EPP Workshop at MIT; "Visualizing Cultures" (with John W. Dower) at the conference "Africa and Asia" at Boston University; "Using Technology to Advance the Humanities Agenda" at the University of Calgary; and "Argument Structure and the Ditransitive Verb Construction in Japanese" at the University of Calgary, the University of California at Santa Cruz, the University of Arizona, and at Syracuse University.

Professor Resnick presented "International Education and the Role of Missionaries in Spain" at the International Institute of Spain.

Professor Turk's talk, "Voice and Silence in Marcel Carné," was given at the University of Bordeaux, the University of Caen, the University of Paris VII, the University of Paris X, and Cambridge University.

Professor Wang presented "���Creative Industries' WTO, and the Knowledge Economy in the Chinese Context" at the symposium, "The New Economy, Creativity and Consumption," at Queensland University of Technology. She also organized and chaired the panel, "Asia as Method: Dialogues in Cultures and Places," at the 2003 Convention of Asian Studies Association.

Professor Teng presented "Can the ���Western Woman' (xifu) Make a Proper Chinese Wife?: The Ambivalent Discourse on Intermarriage During the Late Qing" at the China Gender Studies Workshop at Harvard University's Fairbanks Center for East Asian Research, and she presented "Eurasian Hybridity in Chinese Utopian Literature: From ���Master Kang' to ���dr. Sex'" at the "Race, Science, and Culture in 20th Century East Asia and America" workshop at MIT.

Associate professor of Hispanic studies Nicolas Wey-Gomez presented "The Machine of the World: Place, Colonialism, and the Question of Christopher Columbus's Geography" at Brown University.

Professor Condry presented the paper, "Translating Worlds," at the Fulbright Japan 50th Anniversary Symposium at Harvard University, and he presented the paper, "Piracy or Innovation? MP3, Copyright, and Entertainment Capitalism in the Digital Age," for the panel he organized, "Money Power: The Cultural Dimension of Capitalism," for the American Anthropological Association's annual meeting. He also gave the following talks: "Japanese Popular Music: A History from Pop to Hip-Hop" at Union College; "Japanese Hip-Hop and the Politics of Youth Culture" at Dartmouth College; "Race and Hip-Hop in Japan" at Duke University; and "Nihon no hippu hoppu shiin o kangaeru [Analyzing the Japanese Hip-Hop Scene]" at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, Japan.

Professor Scribner gave the following talks: "Prada Meinhof: Advanced Art Goes Radical Chic" at the RAF's "Germany: Terrorism, Politics, and Protest Conference," Harvard University; and "Checkpoint: Maurice Halbwachs, Sophie Calle, and the Literature of Collective Memory" at the American Comparative Literature Association Annual Conference, California State University.

Senior lecturer Crocker gave talks entitled "Participatory Narratives: Community, Identity, and the Teaching of Culture" and "Berliner sehen and Berliner sehen Exchange: A Hands-on Workshop" at the Berkeley Language Center lecture series at the University of California at Berkeley.

Senior lecturer Furstenberg was an invited panel member at the Seventh Annual McGraw-Hill Live Satellite Teleconference and Webcast on the topic of "Teaching Culture in the Digital Millennium." She also gave the talk, "Redefining the Teaching of Culture: The Pedagogy of Electronic Media," at the University of California at Berkeley and presented the paper, "Les apprenants comme co-constructeurs d'un savior," at the ��cole Normal Supérieure in Lyon, France.

Lecturer Morgenstern presented his research on MITUPV Exchange, a distance learning multimedia exchange with universities in Spain, Cambridge University, and the University of Texas, for the panel "Innovative Spanish via Technology" at the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages Conference.

Senior lecturer Wheatley presented "Linguistic and Social Aspects of Word Play in Burmese" for a panel on language and literature at the Burma Studies Conference in Sweden and "Learning about Language and Culture through Electronic Engagement" at the inaugural Conference on Cross-Cultural Collaboration and E-Meaning at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing, China.

In the fall a number of FL&L lecturers participated in a national conference, "Version 2.0: Foreign Language Collaborations and the Web," hosted by the Consortium for Language Teaching and Learning and the University of Pennsylvania. Senior lecturer Crocker presented "Berliner sehen Exchange: A Workspace for Collaboration." Senior lecturer Furstenberg was an invited panelist on the topic of "Cultural Exchanges on the Web." Senior lecturer Morgenstern was also a panelist on "Student Collaborations" at the annual conference. Research Associate Fendt gave the talk, "Sharing Experiences in Collaborative Project Development at MIT." In the spring, Senior lecturer Morgenstern organized a meeting of the consortium's Governing Board at MIT and a panel for the meeting entitled "Cultural Literacy/Media Literacy."

Programs at MIT

Faculty and lecturers also participated in programs organized at MIT. Many in the section participated in the MIT/Cambridge University workshop, "Languages, Film, and Technology." Professor Turk presented the paper, "Dealing with the National and the Global in Syllabus Design." Professor Miyagawa presented "Media, Education and the Marketplace." Senior lecturers Furstenberg, Morgenstern, and Crocker and research associate Fendt participated in the panel "Educational Project Demonstrations I," which gave an overview of FL&L media projects. In addition, Professor Scribner, visiting professor Cazenave, and director Ribas-Groeger participated in the panel "Film in Education and Research I," which explored a variety of ways faculty use film in classroom teaching.

Professor Miyagawa organized the first international workshop on Altaic in Formal Linguistics held at MIT.

Professor Resnick was on the organizing committee for the Teachers As Scholars Program funded by the Mellon Foundation.

Professor Turk was a member of the planning committee for MIT's 2003 International Conference on Government and the Arts.

Professor Uricchio coorganized the "MiT3 (Media in Transition 3): Television in Transition" conference in which Senior Lecturer Morgenstern participated as a moderator for the panel "Money Matters."

Professor Resnick continued to serve on the Faculty Committee on the Library System, which formulates policy for the administration of the Libraries, and was director of the MacVicar/Oral Histories of MIT Women Graduates.

Professor Teng served as faculty advisor to the MIT Association for Asian American Students.

Both director Ribas-Groeger and lecturer Gutiérrez were student group advisors and activities coorganizers for MIT's Counseling and Support Services program "Mujeres Latinas."

Senior lecturer Wheatley continued his roles as housemaster for East Campus and as director of the China/Singapore MISTI Programs. Visiting professor Cazenave served as curator of the Genevieve MacMillan-Stewart Lecture series for 2002–2003. Director Dunphy continued her work for the Singapore-MIT Alliance Program as a consultant for the English curriculum, as well as serving as director of their Academic and Professional English Program during the summer. She was also a house fellow for MIT's graduate women's dormitory Green Hall. Research associate Fendt was codirector of the Transforming Humanities Education Research Group in CMS.

MIT Service and Enrollments

Members of the FL&L faculty also contribute to MIT through their service on the following Institute-wide committees: The OpenCourseWare Advisory Committee, the Academic Computing Strategic Planning Committee, the Committee for Undergraduate Policy, the Burchard Scholars, the Women's Studies Steering Committee, Women's Studies Programming Committee, CMS Steering Committee, CMS Graduate Admissions Committee, CMS Colloquium Committee, Crosstalk Forum, the Edgerton Prize Committee, the Institute Nomination Committee, International Film Club, the Institute Committee on TA Training, Teaching and Learning Lab (TLL) Advisory Board, the IS Server Discovery Project, and the CMS Graduate Student Orientation Committee.

FL&L has maintained its commitment to making full-time appointments and to attracting qualified candidates from minority groups. In order to achieve these goals, we have targeted historically black colleges and universities and advertised in journals and association web sites focusing on the minority community. We currently have several members of our full-time faculty and full and part-time teaching staff who are minorities or women.

The number of majors in FL&L is one; the number of minors is 16. FL&L has the second highest number of concentrators in the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences, with a total of 464. Spanish continues to have the largest enrollment at 520, followed by French, 296; Chinese, 288; English Language Studies, 253; Japanese, 205; German, 154; and Italian, 30 (only offered during IAP). Enrollment in studies in international literatures and cultures (cross-cultural language and culture subjects taught in English) was 275.

Elizabeth J. Garrels
Section Head
Professor of Spanish and Latin American Studies

More information about Foreign Languages and Literatures can be found on the web at


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