Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures
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The Department of Languages Literatures and Cultures strives to develop students’ knowledge of languages, literatures, and cultures. It provides a broad range of educational courses and programs that build foreign language competence and enhance the understanding of literatures and cultures both ancient and modern, both western and non western. The Department helps students develop a global perspective, training them to use their language skills in a variety of fields. Through research and publication, the Department advances scholarship in the discipline, furthering the critical understanding of world culture in its complexity and diversity.
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- ItemContemporary Values Encounter Classic Illustrations in Rebecca Solnit’s Cinderella Liberator (2019)(Forum for Modern Language Studies, 2023-01-09) Oancea, AnaRebecca Solnit’s retelling of ‘Cinderella’ in Cinderella Liberator (2019) transforms the fairy tale by infusing a slew of modern ideas into its ‘once upon a time’. Cinderella becomes an independent, active, empowered heroine not only freed from servitude, but able to liberate others in her community from oppression. While the rewriting targets the morals and values of traditional ‘Cinderella’ texts, it is anchored in a specific version of the tale. Cinderella Liberator reuses illustrations Arthur Rackham produced for a 1919 Cinderella gift book by C. S. Evans. This article analyses the interplay of text and image in Cinderella Liberator to establish how the particularities of the Evans/Rackham version inflect the adaptation’s wider discourse on the Cinderella narrative. It focuses on images correlated with the fairy tale’s reassessment of the value and significance of work, the separation of social classes and of external appearance as an indication of moral values.
- Item‘Fake News’ in Seventeenth-Century France: The Case of Le Mercure galant(Past & Present, 2022-10-31) Steinberger, DeborahLe Mercure galant, one of France’s first newspapers, is notable for its diverse content: politics and foreign affairs, court news, science and medicine, the arts and literature. Directed by Jean Donneau de Visé from its inception in 1672 until his death in 1710, this influential and innovative monthly publication circulated throughout France and beyond its borders. The Mercure’s tendency to blur the lines between truth and fiction, between history and propaganda, and between information and entertainment, makes it an instructive case study in early modern ‘fake news’. Donneau de Visé, a self-styled royal historiographer and the beneficiary of a generous royal pension, dedicated his periodical to the Dauphin and published abundant praise of Louis XIV. The Mercure’s news reporting included distortions and propaganda intended to bolster and further entrench the king’s foreign and domestic policies. The Mercure’s nouvelles, short stories presented as true recent events, constituted another type of ‘fake news’, one that often had a different effect, inviting the re-examination of social norms. The nouvelles appealed to the Mercure’s sizeable community of women readers by accentuating female agency and providing a vehicle for the exploration of scenarios of female empowerment.
- ItemJean-Jacques Le Franc de Pompignan (1709-1784)(Theodore E. D. Braun, 1996) Braun, Theodore E. D.; Braun, Theodore E. D.
- ItemL2 processing of filled gaps: Non-native brain activity not modulated by proficiency and working memory(Linguistic Approaches to Bilingualism, 2022-03-02) Dong, Zhiyin Renee; Han, Chao; Hestvik, Arild; Hermon, GabriellaThis paper investigates how late L2 learners resolve filler-gap dependencies (FGD) in real-time and how proficiency and working memory (WM) modulate their brain responses in an event-related potential (ERP) experiment. A group of intermediate to highly proficient Mandarin Chinese learners of English listened to sentences such as “The zebra that the hippo kissed *the camel on the nose ran far away,” in which the extra noun phrase “the camel” created a ‘filled-gap’ effect. The results show that although L2 behavioral responses are comparable to native speakers and are positively correlated with proficiency and WM span, the brain responses to the filled gap are qualitatively different. Importantly, L2 processing patterns did not become more nativelike with higher proficiency levels or greater WM capacity. Specifically, while the native speakers exhibited a P600 typically observed for syntactic violations and repair, the L2 group produced a prefrontal-central positivity. Similar ERPs have previously been reported to reflect domain-general attentional and non-structural-based processes, suggesting that the L2 group has a reduced sensitivity to structural requirements for gap positing in the online resolution of FGDs. Our findings are discussed in light of various proposals accounting for L1-L2 processing differences, including the Shallow Structure Hypothesis.
- ItemThe Mom Thriller: Motherhood on the Edge(The Journal of Popular Culture, 2022-08-18) Schmidt-Cruz, Cynthia“A New Crop of Mom Thrillers Taps Into Our Worst Fears” proclaims an essay by Jen Gann published in February 2018. While trolling for information about crime fiction from the mother’s perspective, Gann’s captivating essay about motherhood-themed thrillers sent this researcher on a quest for more examples of this seemingly new subgenre. The sleuthing paid off, yielding a rich and varied trove of “mom thrillers,” most published in recent years. Despite the growing popularity of the genre, a search for a definition or critical discussion of the “mom thriller” came up empty. In the hopes of beginning to fill this gap in scholarship, this article examines the image of contemporary motherhood projected by this intriguing subgenre, considering how it employs and disrupts generic conventions to deliver its message.
- ItemSharon T. Strocchia, Forgotten Healers: Women and the Pursuit of Health in Late Renaissance Italy (I Tatti Studies in Renaissance History)(Social History of Medicine, 2021-09-06) Ray, Meredith K.Sharon Strocchia’s illuminating study of female health practitioners promises an ‘integrative, gendered approach’ to healthcare practices in early modern Italy. Though Strocchia’s goal is to study women and healthcare ‘through the prism of class,’ she ends up doing so much more than this, taking us into the gendered and (from the perspective of the history of medicine) understudied spaces of court, convent, and hospital, revealing the myriad ways in which women healers operated within the broader medical economy. Women’s engagement with medical knowledge—from herbals and books of secrets to laboratory experiments and apothecary activities—has been the subject of increasing attention by scholars over the past years. Strocchia’s book builds on such studies to delve further into medical praxis and the production of knowledge by female care providers in sixteenth-century Italy, a period marked by both cultural richness and the ‘social unraveling’ caused by war and disease.