News FLL

Foreign Languages & Literatures Events Archive

Fall 2010 - Spring 2011

  • "Engendering Violence and Trauma in Haiti" with Erica James
  • WGS and CB/BS invite you to our first Intellectual Forum of the Fall...

    Abstract: "In this talk I will discuss some of the ways in which gender has been an integral feature of armed conflict and political violence in Haiti. Gender is also a factor influencing how Haitians experience posttraumatic stress. Ideas of gender and culture also play a significant role in how postconflict development initiatives are conceived. The crisis of the state remains a critical factor governing the extent to which security can be achieved for Haitian citizens. Toward this end, I will argue that countries that are undergoing the process of postconflict reconstruction must also renegotiate the gendered relationships between the domestic and global economies in order to be successful."

    Please RSVP to by Friday, October 15th. Lunch provided. Please include any dietary restrictions.

    Date: Wednesday October 20, 2010
    Time: 12:00 - 1:30 PM
    Location: 14N-417

  • Le jour où Nina Simone a cessé de chanter/The Day Nina Simone Stopped Singing
  • WGS and CB/BS invite you to our first Intellectual Forum of the Fall...

    The MIT French Studies Program in Foreign Languages and Literatures cordially invites you to attend the American premiere of the play Le jour où Nina Simone a cessé de chanter/The Day Nina Simone Stopped Singing (performed in French with English-language supertitles composed by Philippa Wehle)

    The play will be performed on Tuesday, October 26 at 7:30 p.m., MIT Media Lab Complex, sixth floor; free admission; reception to follow the show.

    A round-table discussion and Q&A about the play, focusing on the topic “Writing and Staging Interculturalism,” will take place at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, October 27, in Room 14E-310 (Humanities Building, 160 Memorial Drive)

    This event will be of special appeal to students and faculty with interests in such fields as contemporary culture and society in the Middle East; women and gender studies; current French and Francophone literature; and the dramatic and performing arts.

    The Lebanese-born actress, memoirist, and filmmaker Darina al-Joundi, who now resides in Paris, performs this stage adaptation of her semi-autobiographical text, Le jour où Nina Simone a cessé de chanter (Actes Sud, 2008; co-written by al-Joundi with Mohamed Kacimi). The play, originally directed by Alain Timar, is an astonishing first-person account of a young woman’s attaining social, intellectual, and sexual freedom amid the violence of civil war in Beirut and with the support and example of her beloved father. Hailed by Le Monde as “a story that flows from [al-Joundi] like a surging river” and by L’Humanité as “a song of resistance. . . for all her sisters of Palestine, Algeria, Irak, and Syria,” the play premiered at the 2008 Avignon “Off” Festival and has since toured throughout France and much of Europe.

    The Day Nina Simone Stopped Singing will soon be published by The Feminist Press (NYC). Nancy Huston describes it as “at once heart-breaking and very funny”; Siri Hustvedt calls it “the testament of an unrepentant rebel.”

    This program is made possible by the support of Foreign Languages and Literatures and the French Initiatives Endowment Fund.

    Date: Tuesday October 26, 2010
    Time: 7:30 PM
    Location: MIT Media Lab, sixth floor

  • The Beauty of Chinese Painting

  • Beauty of Chinese Painting

    Barry Lam, Chairman/Founder of Quanta Computers

    Barry Lam is the founder and Chairman of Quanta Computers. With over 30 years of experience, Barry is widely hailed as a visionary and has been globally recognized for his accomplishments. In 1999 and 2002, Barry was chosen by Business Week as one of fifty “Stars of Asia”. In 2002, he was highlighted in Business Week’s list of the top 25 managers of the year for his achievements in leading Quanta in becoming the world’s largest notebook producer. Barry continues to play an active role in the company’s strategies and visions as well as R&D initiatives.

    Date: Tuesday November 2, 2010
    Time: 7:00-8:30 PM
    Location: 32-155 (Stata Building)

  • "An Assemblage of Fragments: Post-war Returns in Vietnam and the Diaspora"
  • Chuong-Dai Vo (Postdoctoral Fellow, MIT FL&L)

    Date: Friday February 11, 2011
    Time: 12:00 - 1:30 PM
    Location: 14E-304

  • The Humanities' Choice: Knowledge Economy or Culture of Interpretation?
  • Yves Citton (Professor of French Literature at the University of Grenoble)

    What we are now accustomed to call the "knowledge economy" may be the Humanities' worst enemy as well as their best friend. This presentation will attempt to focus the Humanities on a certain definition of the interpretive activity: while machines can "read" data, only human subjectivities can "interpret" them. This typically human activity of interpretation requires specific conditions (a suspended time, a protected space, a certain indifference to objective truth, an indirect mode of enunciation), which are often at odds with the demands of the capitalist knowledge economy (obsessed with communication, information, accuracy, speed, short-term profit). It is the future of Mankind, which is at stake in the future of the Humanities, insofar as they represent a continuous effort to promote an open culture of interpretation against the increasing pressure of the knowledge economy.

    Yves Citton is a professor of French Literature of the 18th Century at the Université de Grenoble-3. He taught for 12 years in the department of French and Italian of the University of Pittsburgh, PA, and has been invited Professor at NYU, Harvard and Sciences Po. He recently published Zazirocratie. Très curieuse introduction à la biopolitique et à la critique de la croissance (Ed. Amsterdam, 2011), L’Avenir des Humanités. Économie de la connaissance ou cultures de l’interprétation ? (La Découverte, 2010), Mythocratie. Storytelling et imaginaire de gauche (Ed. Amsterdam, 2010), Lire, interpréter, actualiser. Pourquoi les études littéraires ? (Ed. Amsterdam, 2007) and L’Envers de la liberté. L’invention d’un imaginaire spinoziste dans la France des Lumières (Ed. Amsterdam, 2006).

    Free and open to the public. Talk in English. Co-sponsored by MIT FL&L and MIT-France.

    Date: Friday February 11, 2011
    Time: 2:00 - 3:30 PM
    Location: E40-496

  • "Affirmative Action and National Identity: the View from France"
  • Bruno Perreau (Assistant Professor of French Studies, MIT FL&L / MIT Newton Research Fellow, Cambridge University)

    Date: Friday March 4, 2011
    Time: 12:15 - 1:45 PM
    Location: 14E-304

    Cosponsored by the Center for Bilingual/Bicultural Studies, the MIT Committee on Race and Diversity, and the Council on Staff Diversity and Inclusion

  • "Cinco días sin Nora (Nora’s Will)"
  • Film Screening and Discussion with Mexican Director, Mariana Chenillo

    Date: Monday March 14, 2011
    Time: 7:00 PM
    Location: 32-141 (Stata Center)

    Cosponsored by the MIT Foreign Languages & Literatures, MISTI-Mexico Program and MIT Council for the Arts.

  • "The Wall Street of China - Making Films in the Middle Kingdom"
  • A lecture by Christina Yao (Director of Empire of Silver)

    Director Yao will show the official trailer of her award-winning historical epic EMPIRE OF SILVER. She will illustrate the traditional Chinese banking system from Ming Dynasty to Qing Dynasty through characters and stories from her film, and examine how the amalgamation of a unique system based on respect for talent, the operative principles, and the ethical standards produced a culture that is conducive to business success and its longevity. She will introduce the current film industry in mainland China through examples ranging from her real-location shooting to post production. Please visit for more information.

    Lecture is in English.

    Date: Tuesday March 29, 2011
    Time: 7:00 PM
    Location: 32-141 (Stata Center)

    Cosponsored by the MIT Foreign Languages & Literatures and MISTI China Program.

  • WGS and CB/BS Series on Citizenship, Identity, Border Crossing and the Family
  • "New Holes in Swiss Cheese? How institutions influence the Swiss naturalization process"
    Tess Elizabeth Wise (MIT Class of 2011, Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures/Department of Political Science)

    "Gray Fantasies of French National Identity: the Case of Transracial Marriage"
    Bruno Perreau (Assistant Professor of French Studies, MIT FL&L / MIT Newton Research Fellow, Cambridge University)

    Date: Friday April 1, 2011
    Time: 12:00 - 1:30 PM
    Location: 14E-304

    Cosponsored by MIT Women's and Gender Studies and the MIT Center for Bilingual/Bicultural Studies

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