Alberto Ribas-Casasayas (Modern Language Studies) presented the paper Echoes of Comala: Debt and Necropolitics After the Turn of the Century at the IV Conference in Critical Theory in Rosario, Argentina. The paper proposes a rereading of the classical Mexican novel Pedro Páramo under the light of recent developments, specifically, the renewed relevance of debt following the global financial crisis and the violence of the so-called Mexican Drug War.
Translated from the Spanish by Francisco Jiménez. Stories Never to Be Forgotten (Historias para tener presente) (Arizona State University: The Bilingual Press, 2015) tells the extraordinary stories of five young people who were separated from their families as children during the Salvadoran Civil War (1980-1992) and reunited with them once peace was established again. The protagonists are some of the first teenagers found by the Pro-Búsqueda Association of Disappeared Girls and Boys. "Through these transparent accounts, in a frank and direct style, these young people have given us something new and astonishing: a unique and remarkable experience. The truths in these stories are shocking, and they reflect a reality that many people are unaware of or refuse to accept. Stories Never to be Forgotten clearly demonstrates that the present does not exist without history. This is true for these young people, for [their] country, and for the present that we are trying to build. "Above all, this book inspires much more than it saddens. It affirms young people's strength, creativity, and capacity to struggle and move forward." Jon de Cortina, SJ (1934-2005), founder of Pro-Búsqueda
Catherine R. Montfort
Catherine R. Montfort (Modern Languages and Literatures) published an article titled Mme de La Tour du Pin: An Aristocrat Farmer in America, in New Perspectives on the Eighteenth Century 12.1 (2015): 35-47. The paper proposes a reading of Mme de La Tour du Pin?s Journal that offers the unique and invaluable perspective of an exceptional émigrée who fled to America with her husband and two children during the Terror in France.
Jimia Boutouba has recently attended the 30th annual conference of the International Council of Francophone Studies (CIEF) held in Dakar, Senegal. The CIEF annual conference is a major event for all scholars working in the field of Francophone studies. She gave a paper entitled: They had a Dream: The March for Equality and against Racism in which she explored the significance, representation and legacy of the first national anti-racist movement in France. The six-week march was a historical touchstone event that mobilized over 100,000 demonstrators. It was described as France’s equivalent of America's civil rights protests, a 500-mile march from Marseille to Paris, intended to awaken France to state racism, violence, and rampant discriminatory practices in its midst. Jimia also organized and chaired a panel entitled Gender and Sexuality in Francophone Societies.
Evelyn Ferraro (Modern Languages and Literatures) recently published a book chapter, ?Songs of Passage and Sacrifice: Gabriella Ghermandi’s Stories in Performance in Artistic Citizenship: Artistry, Social Responsibility, and Ethical Praxis (Oxford University Press, 2016). The questions this book addresses include: How does the concept of citizenship relate to the arts? What socio-cultural, political, environmental, and gendered "goods" can artistic engagements create for people worldwide? Do particular artistic endeavors have distinctive potentials for nurturing artistic citizenship? What are the most effective strategies in the arts to institute change and/or resist local, national, and world problems? Co-authored with Dr. Laura Dolp. (Montclair State University), the chapter focuses on writer, musician, and performer of Ethiopian and Italian descent, Gabriella Ghermandi, her musical collaborations and storytelling as a form of activism. Dr. Ferraro's research interests across disciplines is also evident in the essay Drawing Testimony, Coming to Writing: Ebe Cagli Seidenberg’s Le sabbie del silenzio and Il Tempo dei Dioscuri published in the special issue of NeMLA Italian Studies devoted to the Jewish Experience in Contemporary Italy. Engaging the literary and visual arts, the essay combines biography, art criticism and inter-medial literary analysis in order to explore the life and artistic journey of Ebe Cagli who relocated to the U.S. as a result of 1938 Fascist racial laws and spent several decades in Berkeley, California.