News FLL

Foreign Languages & Literatures Events Archive

Fall 2008 - Spring 2009

  • Cool Japan Film Screening and Discussion: Tekkon Kinkreet
  • Cool Japan: Tekkon KinKreet
  • TRANSMISSIONS: A Celebration of Isabelle de Courtivron
  • TRANSMISSIONS:  A Celebration of Isabelle de Courtivron

  • Emile Bustani Middle East Seminar: Islam and Europe: The Changing Face of Public Culture

  • Cool Japan Film Screening and Discussion: Campaign
  • Cool Japan: Camaign
  • International Cultural Capital Seminar

  • Street Songs in Paris, 1749: A Cabaret-Lecture
  • Cabaret
  • Cool Japan Seminar:"Digital/Mobile Youth in Japan: New Cultural and Political Movements"
  • Yoshitaka Mori
  • Filmscreening and Panel Discussion: The Edge of Heaven
  • Edge of Heaven
  • Cool Japan Research Project: Gendering Robots: Posthuman Sexism in Japan

  • Gendering Robots

    Seminar with Professor Jennifer Robertson (University of Michigan) who will discuss her research on robotics in Japan, in which she examines from the perspective of feminist anthropology.

    Robertson explores and interrogates the gendering of humanoid robots manufactured today in Japan for use in the home and workplace. She shows that Japanese roboticists assign gender to their creations based on rigid assumptions about female and male sex and gender roles. Thus, humanoid robots can productively be understood as the vanguard of a “posthuman sexism,” and are being developed in a socio-political climate of reactionary conservatism.

    For more information about the Cool Japan research project, visit:

    Date: Thursday March 5, 2009
    Time: 5:00-7:00 PM
    Location: 32-155

    Co-sponsored by MIT Women's and Gender Studies Program, and MIT Comparative Media Studies

  • Cool Japan Research Project: UNCOOL JAPAN: Otaku, Nationalism, and the "Never Be Cool!" Politics of Tsurumi Shunsuke

  • Uncool Japan

    Seminar with Professor Toshiya Ueno (Wako University [Japan]).

    Topic: What's wrong with the talk about "soft power" and the narcisstic nationalism of "cool Japan"? What can the resolutely uncool "otaku" (obsessive fans) teach us about popular culture and political protest? What does the life of philosopher Tsurumi Shunsuke tell us about the changing meaning of politics in the postwar period and the new millennium?

    Come join in a dialogue with one of Japan's leading cultural studies scholars. Prof. Toshiya Ueno of Wako University (Tokyo) and McGill University (Montreal) is the author of many books in Japanese including "Red Metal Suits: Anime as War Zone" (1998) and "Urban Tribal Studies: A Sociology of Party Club Culture" (2005).

    RSVP requested, but not required:

    For more information about the Cool Japan research project, visit:

    Date: Tuesday March 17, 2009
    Time: 12:30-2:00 PM
    Location: 14E-310

  • German/Turkish Poet and Essayist Zafer Senocak

  • Türsprachen / Door Languages
    Poetry Reading in German and English (with translator, Elizabeth Oehlkers Wright)

    Date: Thursday April 2, 2009
    Time: 5:00 PM
    Location: 14S-200

    Co-sponsored by Foreign Languages & Literatures, MISTI MIT-Germany Program, and Kelly Douglas Fund

  • MIT European Short Film Festival 2009

  • MIT's European Short Film Festival – now in its 5th year - offers a unique glimpse into the most recent short-film productions from Europe, with a special focus on productions from European film schools and award-winning films from recent Festivals in Europe.

    The MIT European Short-Film Festival caters to a diverse audience drawn from many local universities and a rich mix of international communities from the larger Boston area. The festival is co-sponsored by a variety of MIT departments and European cultural institutions located in Boston.

    All films are shown in Room 10-250, programs start at 7:00 pm.

    Free Admission – All films with English subtitles.

    Date: Friday April 17-Sunday April 19, 2009
    Time: 7:00 PM
    Location: 10-250

    For further information please contact the Short Film Festival Team:

    The Festival is co-sponsored by: The Foreign Languages and Literatures Section (MIT), The Comparative Media Studies Program (MIT), The Goethe-Institute (Boston), The French Consulate (Boston)

  • Foreign Language Film Festival @ LLARC

  • The Language Learning and Resource Center (LLARC) is announcing April as foreign language film festival month.

    Every Wednesday, starting at 7:00 p.m. we will show 1-2 films in 16-676. All are welcome to attend.


    4/1 - Chinese

    4/8 - French

    4/15 - German

    4/22 - Japanese

    4/29 - Spanish

    Date: Every Wednesday in April, 2009
    Time: 7:00 PM
    Location: 16-676

  • 2008 Nobel Prize Winner in Literature - Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clézio

  • Talk and reading (in English) by Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clézio, "The Writer and the World: Reflections of an Author."

    Open to public (no charge)

    Sponsored by: Foreign Languages & Literatures Section, Contemporary French Studies Fund and The French Cultural Services in Boston, MA.

    Date: Tuesday April 28, 2009
    Time: 6:00-8:00 PM
    Location: 32-123

  • CB/BS Diversity Dialog

  • The Center for Bilingual/Bicultural Studies and the Committee on Race and Diversity will be cosponsoring a "diversity dialogue" on April 29 as part of the MIT campus-wide diversity initiatives this spring. Students, staff and faculty are all welcome to attend. You can find the information through the link below:

    The Diversity & Inclusion at MIT website ( has just been updated to announce the upcoming Diversity Dialogues.

    Date: Wednesday April 29, 2009
    Time: TBA
    Location: TBA

    Live Action Anime 2009
  • MIT Dance Theater Ensemble presents "LIVE ACTION ANIME 2009: MADNESS AT MOKUBA"

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    Performances at Anime Boston (May 22, Fri. at 4pm) Hynes Convention Center and at Tokyo University of the Arts (May 29-30, Fri/Sat. at 7pm) in Japan

    How can Massachusetts Institute of Technology students bring to life the excitement and eccentricities of anime? The MIT Dance Theater Ensemble will demonstrate the possibilities with its performance Live Action Anime 2009: Madness at Mokuba at the convention Anime Boston on May 22, 2009 (Fri.) in the Hynes Convention Center. The troupe will then take the show to Japan, where they will collaborate with Japanese students to perform the play at Tokyo University of the Arts on May 29-30, 2009.

    This project highlights the diverse paths of globalization by drawing inspiration from fan activities around Japanese popular culture. Globalization is not driven only by large corporations and national governments, but also through the less understood but increasingly important channels of grassroots fan activities and digital media—a kind of globalization from below. Anime (Japanese animated films and TV shows) is a popular culture form that is driving American interest in Japan, especially among young people. Live Action Anime 2009: Madness at Mokuba aims to bring some of that energy back to Japan, while also underscoring the on-going importance of Boston as a center for US-Japan cultural exchange.

    Who else but MIT students and faculty could invent “live action anime”? Part homage to anime history, part commentary on the plight of undocumented workers in the US, and over-the-top tribute to anime creators and fans worldwide, this original theatrical production features giant robots, a Japanese schoolgirl, a lovelorn fanboy, a masterless samurai, a gamer woman, evil media magnates, and a vengeful deathgod who all battle for truth, justice, and the anime way.

    SYNOPSIS: The stage is set for the finals of the giant robot battle contest at the Mokuba Institute of Technology. But as the two teams prepare for battle, a strange disease called VIRTIGO is sweeping the school, causing unpredictable reality slippages. And it's getting worse. Does it have something to do the suspicious arrest of undocumented Japanese gamers at Infinite Channel Network? Can our heroes solve the mystery of VIRTIGO, help the workers, and find love?

    Photo credit: Eric Levenson (2007)
    Directed by Prof. Thomas F. DeFrantz (Music and Theater Arts, MIT) with original script by Prof. Ian Condry (Foreign Languages and Literatures, MIT), the play features a cast of MIT students and community members as they attempt to do the impossible: create live action anime. Through dance, words, music, and anime-inspired backdrops, the show explores the joys and peculiarities of Japanese animation. It is appropriate for audience members age seven to seventy and lasts about one hour.

    Performed first in December 2007 at MIT’s Kresge Little Theater to sold out crowds, the show has been updated for a performance on May 22 at 4:00pm at Anime Boston at the Hynes Convention Center. Anime Boston is a convention that draws upwards of 15,000 anime fans over three days. People wishing to see the play in Boston must register for the Anime Boston convention (see for more details).

    The fifteen-member crew will then take the show to Japan where they will perform at Tokyo University of the Arts (Kitasenju campus) on May 29-30 2009 (Fri, Sat.) at 7pm both nights. Profs. DeFrantz and Condry (MIT) are collaborating with Profs. Sachio Ichimura and Yoshitaka Mori (Tokyo U. of the Arts) to create this unique international exchange event. The show in Tokyo will include a dance performance by students at Tokyo University of the Arts (a.k.a., Tokyo Geijutsu Daigaku, ).

    Live Action Anime is a collaborative project that is performed by the MIT Dance Theater Ensemble. This particular project emerged out of two on-going initiatives at MIT, namely, SLIPPAGE: Performance, Culture, Technology, and the MIT Cool Japan research project.

    Live Action Anime 2009 is sponsored by the MIT Japan Program, MISTI Global Seed Funds, MIT Office of the Arts, MIT Council of the Arts, the De Florez Fund for Humor, MIT Music and Theater Arts, MIT Foreign Languages and Literatures, SLIPPAGE: Performance, Culture, Technology, and the MIT Cool Japan research project.

    For more information, please visit or

    Friday May 22, 2009 (Boston) and
    Friday May 29-30, 2009 (Tokyo, Japan)
    4/22: 4:00 PM, 4/29-4/30: 7:00 PM
    Boston: Anime Boston - Hynes Convention Center
    Tokyo: Tokyo University of the Arts

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