News FLL

Foreign Languages & Literatures Events Archive

Fall 2012 - Spring 2013

  • Molière and the Libertinage in "Les Fourberies de Scapin"

    Christian Biet is Professor of History and Esthetics at the Université de Paris X-Nanterre, and specializes in 17th century literature, in the history of ideas and in questions related to the Ancien Régime.

    This talk will be followed by a Q & A session on Molière and XVIIth Century French plays. (Thank you Professor Ravel and the French Fund for supporting this event!)

    Date: Tuesday September 25, 2012
    Time: 7:00 PM
    Location: 4-249

  • "Le théâtre et le public au temps de Molière"/ "The Theater and its Public in the Time of Molière"

    Jeff Ravel is a Professor of History at MIT, who holds a secondary appointment in MIT's Foreign Languages and Literatures Section, and specializes in the French and European political culture of the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. He is also cofounder of the web site César ( which is dedicated to the study 17th and 18th century French theater. He also directs the Comédie Française Registers Project.

    Date: Tuesday October 2, 2012
    Time: 7:00 PM
    Location: 4-249

  • Border Crossing: Citizenship, Race, Gender
  • Border Crossing: Citizenship, Race, Gender is a two-day interdisciplinary symposium at MIT as part of the WGS Borders Research Initiative along with the CB/BS and MIT French Studies.

    The Borders Research Initiative in Women and Gender Studies at MIT brings together an interdisciplinary group of MIT faculty in the humanities, arts and social sciences as well as experts from outside the academy (including lawyers, activists, and artists) in order to examine issues of border-crossing and citizenship, especially as they intersect with gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, class and religion. We seek to understand national borders and border crossings in historical perspective, in order to explore how concepts of citizenship, identity, gender and race have evolved over time, and to gain clarity on the contemporary manifestations of these issues.

    Friday October 12, 2012

    9:30 am - Opening remarks

    John Tirman (MIT, Center for International Studies)

    10:00 am- Panel 1

    Hiromu Nagahara (MIT, History) “Imagining Women as Borders and Border-Crossers: Gender, Race, and Mass Culture in Japan under the Allied Occupation”
    Lerna Ekmekcioglu (MIT, History) “In the Land of the Oppressor, Still: Armenians in the New Turkey”
    Margery Resnick (MIT, Literature) “Moors and Christians: The Second Wave”
    Manduhai Buyandelger (MIT, Anthropology) “One Thousand Border-Crossings: Women’s Strategies in Running for Parliament in Neoliberal Post-Socialist Mongolia”

    Discussant: Franziska Seraphim (Boston College, History)

    1:30 pm- Panel 2

    Bruno Perreau (MIT, Foreign Languages and Literatures) “Is Nature French? Adoption and the Imaginary of Border Crossing in Contemporary France”
    Frédérique Donovan (MIT, Foreign Languages and Literatures) “Literary Migrations and Border Crossings in Marie NDiaye’s Latest Work”
    Tess Wise (Harvard, Department of Government) “Do Naturalizations Cause Right-Wing Backlash?”
    Romain Cames (Northeastern University, Anthropology) “Perpetual Migrants: Romanies, Contested Boundaries, and the Remaking of Citizenship”

    Discussant: Emmanuelle Saada (Columbia University, French and History)

    4:00 pm - Keynote

    Nayan Shah, USC, American Studies and Ethnicity “Border Intimacies”

    Saturday October 13, 2012

    10:00 am - Panel 3

    Emma Teng (MIT, Foreign Languages and Literatures/History) “Dependent Citizenship and Chinese Exclusion: Race, Gender, and Class on Two Ends of the U.S.-China Migration Corridor”
    Sarah Song (Berkeley Law, University of California) “Rethinking Family in Immigration Law”
    Christopher Capozzola (MIT, History). “Gendering the DREAM Act: Men, Women, and Their Paths to Citizenship”
    Sasha Costanza-Chock (MIT, Comparative Media Studies) “Dreaming Out Loud: Media Activism by Undocumented Youth”

    Discussant: Malick Ghachem (University of Maine School of Law)

    1:30 pm - Panel 4

    Chuong-Dai Vo (MIT, Women’s and Gender Studies) “Post–9/11 U.S. Policy and Southeast Asia”
    Vivek Bald (MIT, Comparative Media Studies) “From Bellingham to Oak Creek: Considerations on Race, Immigration, and Empire”
    Azra Akšamija (MIT, Art, Culture and Technology) “Convertible Veils: Negotiating Muslim Identities in the West”
    Diana Henderson (MIT, Literature) “Magic in the Chain: ‘Othello,’ ‘Omkara,’ and the Materiality of Gender in Cross-Cultural Adaptation”

    Discussant: To be announced

    4:00 pm - Keynote

    Rachel Rosenbloom, Northeastern University, Law “Citizenship’s Borderlands”

    Free and open to the public.

    All events held in 32D-461 (Building 32 [the Stata Center] is located at 32 Vassar Street, Cambridge.)

    Sponsored by the MIT Program in Women’s and Gender Studies, Foreign Language and Literatures’ French Studies, Center for Bilingual/Bicultural Studies, and the Committee on Race and Diversity.

    For more info:

  • Solta a Lingua
  • Come practice your Portuguese speaking skills in a relaxed setting. Improve your pronunciation and vocabulary by reading short stories, poems and newspaper or magazine clippings. Enjoy one hour of fun and learn about Brazilian culture by reading IN PORTUGUESE!

    Thursday September 27, 2012
    Thursday October 18, 2012
    Thursday November 29, 2012

    1:00 PM – 2:00 PM
    Room 14E-304

    Free and open to the community!

  • MISTI Foreign Film Night: Tycoon: A New Russian
  • Tycoon: A New Russian is based on the true story of Moscow billionaire Boris Berezovsky. The movie chronicles the rise and fall of the billionaire who turns to capitalism in the wake of the failed Gorbachev era and the collapse of totalitarian communism. Tycoon is dramatic and provocative. It criticizes Communism, but also attacks the corruption rampant in Russian society and business. Beginning as an investigation into the assassination of one of the richest men in Russia, the story flashes back to late-'80s Russia, just after Perestroika has broken up the Soviet Union. Five intelligent Russian students abandon their academic careers in exchange for diving into the newly developing private business sector. As the rules for business in Russia are barely in place, the five new businessmen find a number of ways to profit from a wide array of nearly illegal dealings. Platon, in particular, has developed a knack for ingenious new ways of making money and very quickly becomes one of the wealthiest and most powerful men in Russia.

    Date: Wednesday October 17, 2012
    Time: 6:00 PM
    Location: 32-155

    Free and open to the public!

  • Meet the Director & Film Screening: Aysun Bademsoy's Documentary On the Outskirts
  • The periphery of Mersin, a coastal town in the south of Turkey, where a lot of garden cities have been built in the last years. Their structure and look is very unusual in Turkey. Big houses were built circleshaped around a park. In the middle, big swimming pools, meeting areas, restaurants, bars. The balconies of the houses face the artificial center, the inhabitants turn their back to the countryside.
    The "Deutschländer" ("Germanlands") live in these garden cities, they have worked lots of years in the Federal Republic of Germany and they saved all their money in order to enjoy now the suspensed life. But they never really came back to Turkey - to much happened inbetween. So they sit on their balconies, at the pools, in the evening in the restaurants. But they stay among one another, the returners.

    Date: Wednesday October 17, 2012
    Time: 5:30 PM
    Location: 35-225

    Free and open to the public!

  • CANCELLED - Portuguese Media - From state censorship to the age of the Internet (1968-2000)
  • Dr. Mário Mesquita teaches Journalism and Media Studies at the Escola Superior de Comunicação Social and at the Universidade Lusófona de Humanidades e Tecnologias. He is a member of the Executive Council of the Luso-American Foundation (FLAD) in Lisbon. He completed graduate studies in journalism and media at the Université Catholique de Louvain, Belgium. He was the executive editor of two daily papers, Diário de Notícias (1978-86) and Diário de Lisboa (1989-90), vice-president of the Press Council, and the ombudsman of Diário de Notícias (1996-97). Following the Portuguese democratic Revolution, he was elected Member of the National Constituent Assembly (1975) and Member of Parliament (1976-78). He is the author of several books and articles on journalism and media, namely the influential O quarto equívoco. O poder dos media na sociedade contemporânea (2003). He received journalism prizes from the Portuguese Press Club (1986); from Casa da Imprensa, for his professional career (1987); and from Clube dos Jornalistas, for his achievment as news ombudsman (1998).

    Light Dinner will be served.

    Location: CANCELLED

  • 21F.346 Presents Molière's play Les Fourberies de Scapin
  • Molière's play "Les Fourberies de Scapin" will be presented by the students of 21F.346 MIT in Killian Hall on November 20th at 8:00 PM.

    Date: Tuesday November 20, 2012
    Time: 8:00 PM
    Location: Killian Hall (14W-111)

    Funded (in part) by a Director's Grant from the Council for the Arts at MIT.

    Free and open to the public!

  • Literature in the Digital Age: And Roxane Created Cyr@no

  • Background:
    Bessora is a French writer, born in Brussels from a Gabonese father and a Swiss mother. She has lived in many countries including the US. After studying finance and anthropology, she now dedicates herself to writing. She is the author of seven novels and three collections of short stories.

    Bessora’s writings focus on the Representations of identity, taboos and the need to categorize people. She questions the path to finding one’s own identity and the difficulty of relationships in a globalized and technology-oriented world.

    Bessora will present Cyr@no, her latest novel published in 2011 by Belfond. Cyr@no is a free reinterpretation of the play by Edmond Rostand Cyrano de Bergerac. Roxane is a XXIst century actress, Cyrano her imaginary friend, Christian her former lover, and Cyr@no the avatar Roxane created on the net in an attempt to regain the love of Christian. Her witty and funny story mixing slang, numeric language and language from the XVIIth century is a satire of the constant readjustment of identity, promoted by the web.

    For more information, please contact

    Date: Tuesday March 5, 2013
    Time: 5:00 PM
    Location: E51-057

  • Solta a Língua
  • Come practice your Portuguese speaking skills in a relaxing setting. Improve your pronunciation, build up your vocabulary and enjoy one hour of fun learning about the Lusophone cultures.

    Thursday March 7, 2013
    Thursday April 4, 2013
    Thursday May 2, 2013

    1:00 PM – 2:00 PM
    Room 14N-417

    Free and open to the community!

  • Cool Japan Research Project: Anime Screening and Book Launch

  • Book Launch:
    "The Soul of Anime"
    Professor Ian Condry (MIT FLL / CMS)

    Why is Japan the world leader in animation? Come hear anthropologist Ian Condry give a multimedia presentation on his newly published book "The Soul of Anime: Collaborative Creativity and Japan's Media Success Story" (2013, Duke University Press), which is based on fieldwork in Tokyo's leading animation studios and includes a behind-the-scenes look at famed director Mamoru Hosoda's creative process.

    Date: Thursday March 14, 2013
    Time: 4:00-5:30 PM
    Location: E51-149

    Film Screening:
    "Wolf Children" (2012, Dir. Hosoda, Japan) - New England Premiere!!
    Anime screening followed by Q/A with director Mamoru Hosoda

    MIT COOL JAPAN is thrilled to present the brilliant third feature from Mamoru Hosoda, whose Summer Wars (2009) and The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (2006) have established him as one of the world’s top creative forces in animation. One day Hana spies a mysterious outcast sitting in on her college lecture. A romance ensues, even though her new beau is part wolf. Before long Hana gives birth to two children, Ame (Rain) and Yuki (Snow), rambunctious bundles of joy who share their father's secret. Brimming with Hosoda’s trademark visual splendor, Wolf Children is his most emotionally resonant film to date, a stunningly animated and heart-felt fable about growing up, growing apart, and the choices faced along the way. Appropriate for all ages. Japanese w/ English subtitles.

    Date: Thursday March 14, 2013
    Time: 7:00 PM (one screening only)
    Location: 26-100

    Both events free and open to the public

    Special thanks to Studio Chizu, NTV, Funimation, MIT Japan, and ANA for their support.

    For more information, please contact

  • The MIT Research Seminar in French and Francophone Studies

  • The Foreign Languages and Literatures section is pleased to announce the opening of The MIT Research Seminar in French and Francophone Studies. RSFFS aims to bring together MIT faculty, instructors, and graduate students interested in the study of French and francophone cultures across disciplines.

    Each semester, leading American and international scholars in the field of French and francophone studies will present their research. RSFFS will also be a space for discussing current research projects by MIT faculty, instructors, and graduate students, as well as recent readings and translations.

    If you want to contribute yourself, or discuss a specific reading or theme, please contact: Professor Bruno Perreau (

    For more information, please contact


    Program for Spring 2013

    Sex Talk, Race Talk, Empire Talk: The “Arab Man” in French Debates about Violence and Sex in the 1970s
    Professor Todd Shepard (Johns Hopkins)

    Todd Shepard will explore how French discussions over the course of the 1970s about sodomy and rape which in many other ways replicated debates then taking place in the US and elsewhere turned around the figure of the “Arab man.” While scholars at the time (notably feminists and Foucault) remarked that these discussions raised crucial questions about the relationship between “acts” and “identities,” Todd Shepard suggests that they were also sites where questions about empire, racism, and colonial violence (notably the Algerian War) shaped understanding of how politics functioned.

    Todd Shepard is Associate Professor of History and Co-Director of the Program in the Study of Women, Gender, and Sexuality at Johns Hopkins University. His first book The Invention of Decolonization: The Algerian War and the Remaking of France (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2006) won numerous awards, including The Council of European Studies’ 2008 Book Prize. He is now working on three book projects: Voices of Decolonization (A Brief History with Documents) (forthcoming, Bedford/St. Martin); La France, le sexe et les arabes (1962 à 1979) (forthcoming, Payot); and Affirmative Action and the End of Empires: ‘Integration’ in France(1956-1962) and the Race Question in the Cold War World.

    Date: Tuesday April 2, 2013
    Time: 5:00 PM
    Location: 14E-304

    Around the World in Eighty Moves: Bets, Races, and a Brief History of the Game of the Goose
    Professor Marie-Hélène Huet (Princeton)

    In her talk, Marie-Hélène Huet will examine the origins of the game of the goose and its role in an adventure novel written by Jules Verne in 1900: Le Testament d’un excentrique (The Will of an Eccentric).

    Marie-Hélène Huet is M. Taylor Pyne Professor of French at Princeton. Professor Huet has written extensively on cultural history, historiography, 18th- and 19th- century literature, and the French Enlightenment. She is the author of L’Histoire des voyages extraordinaires, Essai sur l’oeuvre de Jules Verne (Minard, 1973); Le Héros et son double (Corti, 1975); Rehearsing the Revolution. The Staging of Marat’s Death, 1793-1797 (University of California Press, 1982); Monstrous Imagination (Harvard University Press, 1993), which was awarded the Harry Levin Prize in Comparative Literature; Mourning Glory: The Will of the French Revolution (University of Pennsylvania Press, 1997); and The Culture of Disaster (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, Fall 2012).

    Date: Monday April 22, 2013
    Time: 4:30 PM
    Location: 14E-304

    Soccer Empire: Thinking Empire, Immigration, and Race Through Sport
    Professor Laurent Dubois (Duke)

    In this discussion, Laurent Dubois will present a chapter from his book ‘Soccer Empire’ and discuss some of the methodological and theoretical questions raised by using soccer as a way to think through the history of French empire, decolonization, and immigration. How does the study of sport -- which remains relatively marginal in French Studies -- allow us to re-think our approach to the categories of analysis and methods we use in understanding these topics?”

    Laurent Dubois, a specialist in the history and culture of France and the Caribbean, is Marcello Lotti Professor of Romance Studies and History at Duke University, and co-director of the Haiti laboratory of the Franklin Humanities Institute. He is the author of most recently, of Soccer Empire: The World Cup and the Future of France (University of California Press) and Haiti: The Aftershocks of History (Metropolitan Books, 2012).

    Date: Thursday May 2, 2013
    Time: 4:00 PM
    Location: 14E-304

  • Cool Japan: The Cultural Feedback of Noise

  • David Novak (Assistant Professor,Music Department University of California Santa Barbara) Author, Japanoise: Music at the Edge of Circulation

    David Novak’s work deals with the globalization of popular music, media technologies, experimental culture, and social practices of listening. He is the author of recent essays in Public Culture, Cultural Anthropology, and Popular Music, as well as the book Japanoise: Music at the Edge of Circulation (Duke University Press). NOISE, an underground music made through an amalgam of feedback, distortion, and electronic effects, first emerged in the 1980s, circulating on cassette tapes traded between fans in Japan, Europe and North America. With its cultivated obscurity, ear-shattering sound, and over-the-top performances, Noise captured the imagination of a small but passionate transnational audience, despite remaining deeply underground.

    HOW did the submergent circulations of Noise become such a compelling metaphor for the complexities of globalization, intercultural exchange and participatory media at the turn of the millennium? Novak will trace the “cultural feedback” of Noise through the productive distortions of its mediated networks: its recorded forms, technologies of live performance, and into the lives and creative practices of musicians and listeners.

    Date: Thursday April 4, 2013
    Time: 5:00 PM
    Location: 4-231

    Sponsors: CoolJapan Research Project, MIT Comparative Media Studies, MIT Foreign Languages & Literatures

    For more information, please contact or Prof. Ian Condry,

  • CB/BS Event: From Sinophobia to Expulsion: Anti-Chinese Campaigns and Ethnic Cleansing in Mexico (1900-1940)

  • Evelyn Hu-DeHart, Professor of History and Ethnic Studies Director, Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in America (CSREA), Brown University

    Date: Thursday April 4, 2013
    Time: 4:00-5:30 PM
    Location: W20-491

    For more information, please contact

  • A Conversation with Award-Winning Portuguese Author, Dulce Maria Cardoso

  • MIT Foreign Languages & Literatures, with the support of Camões, Instituto da Cooperação e da Língua, Portugal, presents:

    A Conversation with Award-Winning Portuguese Author, Dulce Maria Cardoso

    Dulce Maria Cardoso, born in Northern Portugal in 1964, is one of today’s most important Portuguese literary voices. After having spent her childhood in Angola, she returned to Portugal in 1975, shortly after Portugal’s Carnation Revolution and Angola’s declaration of independence. She earned a law degree at the University of Lisbon, worked as an attorney and wrote multiple scripts for cinema. Her premier novel, Campo de Sangue, published in 2002, and written with the support of a Fund for Literary Creation from the Portuguese Culture Ministry, was distinguished with the Acontece de Romance Grand Prize. Cardoso has since received other prestigious prizes for her work, such as the European Union Prize for Literature in 2009 for Os Meus Sentimentos and the Portuguese PEN Prize 2011 for O Chão dos Pardais. O Retorno, her latest novel, has been acclaimed by both critics and readers alike, and was awarded the Special Prize of the Critics 2011 in Portugal and selected as Book of the Year 2011. Her books have been translated into multiple languages and have been published in France, Brazil, Argentina, Spain, Italy, Serbia, and the Netherlands.

    Light dinner will be served.

    Date: Tuesday May 7, 2013
    Time: 5:30 PM
    Location: 14E-304

    For more information, please contact

    FLL Overview | News & Events | People | Projects & Initiatives | Publications | Academics | Help | IAP | Contact | ©2011 MIT MIT | Last Updated: 30 August, 2013