Events @ MIT Foreign Languages & Literatures

  • Alien Citizen: An Earth Odyssey

  • Written and Performed by Elizabeth Liang

    Alien Citizen: An Earth Odyssey is a funny and poignant one-woman show about growing up as a dual citizen of mixed heritage in Central America, North Africa, the Middle East, and New England. Elizabeth Liang, like President Obama, is a Third Culture Kid or a TCK. Third Culture Kids are the children of international business people, global educators, diplomats, missionaries, and the military—anyone whose family has relocated overseas because of a job placement. Liang weaves humorous stories about growing up as an Alien Citizen abroad with American commercial jingles providing her soundtrack through language confusion, first love, culture shock, Clark Gable, and sandstorms…Our protagonist deals with the decisions every global nomad has to make repeatedly: to adapt or to simply cope; to build a bridge or to just tolerate. From being a Guatemalan-American teen in North Africa to attending a women's college in the USA, Alien Citizen reflects her experience that neither one was necessarily easier than the other. She realizes that girls across the world are growing into womanhood in environments that can be hostile to females (including the USA). How does a young girl cope as a border/culture/language/religion straddler in country after country that feels "other" to her when she is the "other?" Where is the line between respecting others and betraying yourself?

    Elizabeth Liang is an actress and writer who is touring nationally with her humorous and poignant one-woman show, Alien Citizen: an earth odyssey. As a child of Guatemalan and American parents of Chinese-Spanish-Irish-French-German-English descent, she spent her childhood in Central America, North Africa, the Middle East and Connecticut. Her show weaves humorous stories about growing up as an Alien Citizen in all the countries she lived in and what is what like coping as a border/culture/langauage/religion straddler in country after country.

    Sponsored by MIT Anthropology, Foreign Languages & Literatures, Women's and Gender Studieswith funding from the DeFlorez Fund.

    Free and open to the public.

    Date: Friday February 21, 2014
    Time: 6:00 PM Reception, 7:00 PM performance
    Location: 6-120

  • Cool Japan: Music, Culture and Transformation

  • A two-day series of events including live music (2/26) and panel discussions (2/26 & 2/27) organized by MIT/Harvard Cool Japan

    Wednesday, February 26, 2014

    Music Culture and Transformation (Part 1)
    3:00-5:00 PM - MIT Room E25-111
    Artist Talk + Panel on Fukushima Activism, Postwar Pop, Intermedia Art and Global Hip-Hop
    Conversation with Zeebra (Japanese hip-hop emcee) and Ian Condry, followed by presentations:

    Live Hip-Hop from Tokyo feat. Zeebra & Miss Monday, plus local faves WTF
    8:00 PM - Middlesex Lounge (315 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA)

    Thursday, February 27, 2014

    MIT Cool Japan / CMS Colloquium / Music, Culture and Transformation (Part 2)
    5:00-7:00 PM, MIT Room E14-633

    Public reception with the panelists, light food and drink
    7:00-8:00 PM, CMS headquarters

    For more information, please visit http://cooljapan.mit.edu or contact fll-events@mit.edu

  • Literary Reading by Jacques Fux

  • Literary Reading by Jacques Fux from his novel Antiterapias (in Portuguese, with English translation read by Ernest Hartwell)

    Fux was born in the city of Belo Horizonte, Brazil. He received degrees in mathematics and computer science, and later earned to Doctorates, one in Comparative Literatures from UFMG and another in French Language, Literature and Civilization from Université Lille. He had previously published Literatura e Matemática: Jorge Luis Borges, Georges Perec e o OULIPO (2001).

    Conscious of Portnoy's Complaint and Georges Perec's constraints, the author uses short sentences to awaken the reader to images, sensations, and questions. Testimony, memory, masturbation, fiction, history, Cabala, Bible, and literature enclose and permeate the biography of a young Jewish man in his search for a place in the contemporary Brazilian ghettos which followed the diaspora. From an international perspective, Antiterapias shows what is both exotic and common about a small Brazilian Jewish community in the twenty-first century.

    Refreshments and hors d'oeuvres will be served.

    Co-Sponsored by MIT-Brazil and Foreign Languages and Literatures.

    Date: Thursday February 27, 2014
    Time: 5:00 PM
    Location: E40-496

    MIT Research Seminar in French and Francophone Studies Spring 2014

  • "France's Jewish Star: Rachel at the Comédie Française"

  • Maurice Samuels (Yale)

    This talk examines one of the most stunning cases of Jewish integration in the "golden age" following emancipation: Rachel Félix, who became France's most celebrated actress in the 1830s and '40s with her electrifying performances as the heroines of Racine and Corneille at the Comédie Française. The daughter of poor, Yiddish-speaking peddlers, Rachel single-handedly revived the neoclassical theatrical tradition while at the same time maintaining—some would say flaunting—her Jewish identity. Reading the critical response to Rachel from the time, Samuels explores how she offered a model for the way French universalism, embodied in the neo-classical tradition, could be enabled rather than hindered by Jewishness.

    Maurice Samuels specializes in the literature and culture of nineteenthcentury France and in Jewish Studies. He is the author of The Spectacular Past: Popular History and the Novel in Nineteenth-Century France and Inventing the Israelite: Jewish Fiction in Nineteenth-Century France. He also co-edited Nineteenth-Century Jewish Literature: A Reader, which includes his original translations of nineteenth-century French Jewish fiction. Professor Samuels has published articles on diverse topics, including romanticism and realism, aesthetic theory, representations of the Crimean War, and boulevard culture. He is currently working on a new book on the relationship of antisemitism and philosemitism in France from the French Revolution to the present.

    Date: Monday March 3, 2014
    Time: 4:30-6:00 PM
    Location: 14E-304

  • Sovereignty and Empire in the Imperial Mediterranean: The Case of Tunisa

  • Mary Lewis (Harvard)

    Mary Lewis is Professor of History at Harvard University. She specializes in Modern French and European social, legal, and political history. Her current research interests center around international and imperial history, the history of rights, and the connections between international relationas and everyday local life. She will talk about her recent book, published in 2013 by the University of California Press.

    Date: Tuesday April 15, 2014
    Time: 4:30-6:00 PM
    Location: E51-275

  • Book Presentation: Returning to Reims

  • Didier Eribon (University of Amiens, France) & Michael Lucey (UC Berkeley)

    After his father dies, Didier Eribon returns to his hometown of Reims and rediscovers the working-class world he had left behind thirty years earlier. For years, Eribon had thought of his father largely in terms of the latter's intolerable homophobia. Yet his father's death provokes new reflection on Eribon's part about how multiple processes of domination intersect in a given life and in a given culture. Eribon sets out to investigate his past, the history of his family, and the trajectory of his own life.

    "On thinking the matter through, it doesn't seem exaggerated to assert that my coming out of the sexual closet, my desire to assume and assert my homosexuality, coincided within my personal trajectory with my shutting myself up inside what I might call a class closet."—from Returning to Reims

    Didier Eribon is well known for his groundbreaking biography, Michel Foucault, first published in 1989. He is also the author of Insult and the Making of the Gay Self, as well as numerous other books of critical theory.

    Date: Monday April 28, 2014
    Time: 5:00-7:00 PM
    Location: 4-231

  • "Contemporary China: A Path with Its Characteristics and Challenges"

  • Professor Wen Tiejun (Executive Dean, Institute of Advanced Studies for Sustainability; Dean, School of Agronomics & Rural Development; Director, Institute of Rural Finance Director, Centre of Rural Reconstruction at Renmin University of China, People's Republic of China)

    Professor Wen Tiejun is a renowned expert on social-economic sustainable development and rural issues, especially in policy studies on current affairs, macro-economic & geo-strategy of south-south cooperatives, inclusive growth. He is a recipient of State Council's Award for Outstanding Contribution, 1998, CCTV Annual Award to Top 10 Economic Talent, 2003 and the Beijing Municipal Government Award of Outstanding Study Outcome in 2010

    Sponsored by MIT Chinese Students and Scholars Association (MIT-CSSA). Co-Sponsored by Foreign Languages and Literatures.

    Date: Wednesday March 5, 2014
    Time: 5:30 PM
    Location: 4-270

  • 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.

    Brazilian lunch will be served.

    Co-Sponsored by the Portuguese section of Foreign Languages and Literatures and MIT-Brazil.

    Date: Thursdays
    Time: 1:15-2:15 PM
    Location: 14E-304

  • "It Wasn't Me" Staged Play Reading

  • MIT Theater Arts Senior Lecturer Anna Kohler, in collaboration with Bozkurt Karasu, Technical Director, and MIT students, will present a staged reading with video of It Wasn't Me, a play based on the novel Das War Ich Nicht by Kristof Magnusson. Free and open to the public.

    Date: Monday April 28, 2014
    Time: 7:30 PM
    Location: 14W-111 (Killian Hall)

  • Kristof Magnusson Reading

  • Kristof Magnusson reads in English and German from his soon-to-be published novel Arztroman (Medical Fiction). Free and open to the public. More info: fll-events@mit.edu

    Kristof Magnusson is the Max Kade writer-in-residence at MIT. Magnusson was born in Hamburg in 1976. After training as a church musician, he spent 1996-1998 working for homelessness organizations in New York before studying at the German Literature Institute in Leipzig, the Berlin University of the Arts and the University of Reykjavík. Magnusson lives in Berlin as a writer and translator. He has received numerous fellowships for his work as a dramatist and fiction writer from such institutions as the Academy of Arts, the Cultural Foundation of Saxony and the German Literature Fund. Currently, he is teaching a course in Theater Writing in German at MIT as the ninth Max Kade writer-in-residence.

    Date: Thursday May 1, 2014
    Time: 5:30 PM
    Location: 66-110

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