The infamous French mission civilisatrice did not end with the colonial empire. In St. Paul, Minnesota where I grew up, the Alliance Française civilized us with Saturday morning language classes for children, to which grateful parents sent my sister and me for several years. These classes failed remarkably well in teaching me to speak French. The grammar exercises in the very limited homework stumped me entirely, despite my mother’s efforts to show me how to imitate the sample conjugations. But then there were crêpes, and since it was the late seventies, at least one quiche lorraine...
PhD candidate in Spanish Alexander Eastman researches Cuba’s forgotten abolitionist and civil rights journalism.
It’s tough to study a nation’s racial history when that nation denies one exists.
Washington University in St. Louis student Alexander Sotelo Eastman tackled that challenge when he traveled to Cuba to study the black press of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He wanted to explore how black publications helped abolish slavery and champion civil rights. But librarians could only shrug when he he asked for their collections of black newspapers.
“Many Cubans are hesitant to talk about things in racialized terms,” said Sotelo Eastman, who graduates Friday with a PhD in Hispanic studies. “Because of this founding myth of racial harmony — there is only one race, the Cuban race — you can’t go to the archives and ask for black press newspapers. It’s quite the ideal but that was not the lived reality. The color line was present then as it is now.”
Congratulations to Siham Bouamer, who has accepted a tenure-track offer from Carroll College in Helena, Montana, where she’ll be an assistant professor of French this fall...
Congratulations as well to Alexander Eastman, a PhD candidate in Spanish, who will enter the Dartmouth Fellows Program this fall after winning a highly competitive three-year post-doctoral fellowship...
As this year’s job season comes to a close, the Department records three tenure-track assistant professorships for our PhDs, as well as one excellent post-doc. Taken together this record testifies not only to the quality of our graduate students but to also to the superior education they receive here at Washington University.
Two of our recent graduate students in Spanish have landed tenure-track jobs during this highly competitive season.
Irene Domingo, who received her PhD in Spring 2015, has accepted a tenure-track position as an assistant professor of Peninsular Literature (20th-21st centuries) at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN.
Stacy Davis, a PhD candidate in Spanish, has accepted a tenure-track position in Spanish and pedagogy at Truman State University.
During my freshman year in college I was fortunate to take a handful of inspirational humanities classes that started me thinking about the goal of becoming a professor. I had enrolled in college as a potential biology major, but after that first semester my heart and head were set on the humanities...
Today we celebrate PhD candidate Andia Augustin-Billy, who is concluding her graduate career with some singular achievements. Recently she traveled to Yale University, where she was inducted into the Edward A. Bouchet Graduate Honor Society.
Many of us know the name “Seth” from the book of Genesis, where he plays a minor role as the third son of Adam and Eve. Others of us think of Seth Meyers, erstwhile Saturday Night Live cast member who has parlayed his ductile humor into a talk show of his own. It turns out that the name “Seth” lends itself well to talk show hosts, because we have one among us: Seth Graebner, associate professor of French and International and Area Studies, who recently completed a stint as acting director of Special Collections at Olin Library...[Read More]
We’ve had a busy few weeks in the department, even if we haven’t been there. One of the largest freshman classes in the University’s history recently completed its fall registration process, and this led to a frenzy of activity as we had to open several new sections of Spanish to accommodate the burgeoning numbers. While our numbers in Spanish are unprecedented, enrollments in French, Italian, and Portuguese likewise are running strong, with long waiting lists in some of our sections. Our terrific faculty will be busy come August with classrooms full of students ready to tackle the language of their choice.
This winter’s heavy snowfall led to an avalanche of good news in RLL in March—and we’re not even talking about Spring Break. On Friday, March 7, the Board of Trustees met and approved our recommendation that Julie Singer to be promoted to associate professor of French with tenure, effective July 1. Singer, a specialist in medieval French literature, is the author of a brilliant first book, Blindness and Insight in Late Medieval French and Italian Poetry, published by Boydell and Brewer. She’s currently hammering out a new book, Rusted Me(n)tal: Virtual Breakdowns in Late Medieval French Thought, which studies the intersection of mental illness and metallic metaphors during the reign of the mad French king, Charles VI (1380-1422). In her free time this winter she appeared on the syndicated game show Jeopardy!, where she herself ruled for one day and helped us get our blood flowing again after the January deep freeze...[Read More]