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Latinx Film Festival

latinxff committee.jpgBetween February 1-4, 2018, MSU held the MSU Latinx Film Festival under the direction of Spanish professor Scott Boehm. The inaugural edition of the festival featured films from the United States, Mexico, Peru, Bolivia, Venezuela, Brazil, and Spain. All films were followed by Q&A sessions with the directors or interactive panel discussion with MSU faculty, graduate students, local filmmakers and community leaders.


Co-Chair Announcement

Full Prof RQA copy (2).jpg

It is our pleasure to announce that Professor Rocío Quispe-Agnoli has been appointed Interim Co-Chair of the Department of Romance and Classical Studies. The 12-month appointment is effective August 16, 2017 through August 15, 2018. 

As Interim Co-Chair of MSU’s Department of Romance and Classical Studies, Quispe-Agnoli will work together with Co-Chair Doug Noverr to serve as the chief representatives of the department. 

Quispe-Agnoli will also serve as the chair of the Executive Planning Committee (EPC), which will lead Phase 3 of the planning of the School of Language Sciences and Literary and Cultural Studies.

Please welcome Rocío to her new position.


jonathan.jpgCongratulations to Jonathan Montalvo, for the successful defense of his Doctoral Dissertation "Rhetoric of Imitation: Sexual Identity and Race in Contemporary Dominican and Puerto Rican Cultural Production" under the guidance of Professor Danny Méndez. In fall of 2017, Jonathan starts a position as Assistant Professor of Spanish at Graceland University in Lamoni, Iowa. 




Safoi.jpgThe award-winning documentary feature and 2017 MSU production Growing up Hmong at the Crossroads, directed by Professor Safoi Babana-Hampton was screened at the Michigan Theater, Ann Arbor, on September 19, 2017, as part of its fall programming, followed by a panel discussion.  This event was sponsored by the University of Michigan.  

This transnational film is a 2017 production of Michigan State University in partnership with the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Humanities Without Walls Consortium, funded by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.  Institutional and international project partners include Indiana University, the University of Michigan, the Musée de l'Histoire de l'Immigration (France) and the Collège d'Études Mondiales (France).  To know more about the film,visit: http://growinguphmong.com

frey.jpgCongratulations to Jon Frey, Associate Professor of Classics and Art History, has received the 2017 Faculty Leadership Award from the College of Arts and Letters at Michigan State University. This award seeks to recognize faculty who go beyond the routine tasks, are generous in sharing insights, and provide hard work and mentorship to others that creates excellence and vision in programs and departments



rocio.jpgLatest Book and Book  Award: The latest book by Professor Rocío Quispe-Agnoli was published last spring: Women’s Negotiations and Textual Agency in Latin America, 1500-1799  (Routledge 2017) is a collection of essays on colonial women’s writings, edited with Professor M. Díaz (University of Kentucky).  In addition, her 2016 book, Nobles de papel, received the 2017 LASA-Peru Flora Tristán Book Award for being “an innovative study that fits well in the current global critical situation characterized by immigration bans and women’s claims on gender equality” and for its “remarkable interdisciplinary method.” More information: http://www.cal.msu.edu/news/bookaward  


safoi.jpgCongratulations to Safoi Babana-Hampton, Associate Professor of French, for receiving the Best Documentary Award at the 2017 Universe Multicultural Film Festival, in Palos Verdes, CA, a festival dedicated to bridging cultures and people through film. Her film, Hmong Memory at the Crossroads weaves the stories of three generations of Hmong refugees in the Midwest and France. This film is a 2015 production of Michigan State University, in partnership with the Humanities Without Walls Consortium, based at the Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.  Trailer: https://vimeo.com/138744767


BVPFINALCOVER.jpgCongratulations Bill VanPatten, Professor of Spanish, for his most recent book publication. Bill VanPatten is an international scholar of second language acquisition and second language teaching. In this book, he uses an accessible and conversational style to present six principles that underlie contemporary language teaching. The principles are related to the nature of communication, the nature of language, the nature of acquisition, the role of input, the role of tasks, and what is called "focus on form." In addition, the second edition of his 2015 book "Key Terms in Second Language Acquisition" has been translated to Japanese. 



Lasetima.jpgCongratulations to Rocío Quispe-Agnoli, Professor of Spanish, for the publication of her latest book, Nobles de papel: Identidades oscilantes y genealogías borrosas en los descendientes de la realeza Inca (2016). She is also the recipient of a 2017-2018 HARP-Development grant with her book-length project: “From Coyas to Doñas: Inca Noblewomen and the Making of the Colonial Archive.” 



bvp link.jpgCongratulations to Bill VanPatten, Professor of Spanish Hispanic Literatures, on his presidency election to the AATSP. The AATSP is an organization of about 10,000 members that represents all levels of the teaching of Spanish and Portuguese as well as all disciplines.



DSC_0881- Denzel scaled.jpgCongratulations to Valentina Denzel, Assistant Professor of French, for receiving one the 2017-2018 Humanities Without Walls  grants.  Her project, The Legacies of the Enlightenment: Humanity, Nature and Science in a Changing Climate, has been funded by the HWW Consortium at the Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.  She is collaborating with Professor Tracy Rutler (Penn State University) and MSU faculty members from English, Philosophy, and Spanish



bentley.pngCongratulations to Andrew Bentley, a third year PhD student at MSU. Andrews' short story “El Gringo Chapín,”  was published in The Wandering Song: Central American Writing in the United States. 
Bentley, Andrew. “El Gringo Chapín.” The Wandering Song: Central American
Writing in the United States
Eds. Hernández Linares, Leticia, Rubén Martínez, and Héctor Tobar. Los Angeles: Tía Chucha Press, 2017. 270-276.



IMG_0245.JPGCongratulations to our new PhD's, Elizabeth White and Andreea Prundeanu. Elizabeth successfully defended her dissertation Subtitles and the Cultural Referent in Francophone Film in August. Professors Babana-Hampton, Harrow , Porter (director) were the members of her dissertation committee.Andreea defended her dissertation Cutting Delilah's Hair: Sentimental Collaborators and the Politics of Female Sexuality in WWI/II Francein December. Professor Ahmed, Denzel and Norris (director) were the members of her dissertation committee




Jonathan Montalvo, Osvaldo Sandoval and Claudis Berríos-CamposPhD candidates in Hispanic Cultural Studies, are featured in the College of Arts and Letters Graduate Site and the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies. Jonathan speaks of his experiences of bringing Puerto Rican Culture to the MSU Spanish Program: http://www.cal.msu.edu/news/jonathanmontalvo . In short video-interviews, Osvaldo tells us a brief history of corn and chocolate and Claudia talks about her reasons to study literature and Latin America. Both videos are available here:    



anna kirkwood graham.JPG Congratulations to Anna Kirkwood Graham, Assistant Professor of Latin, for the publication of her new book Catalogue of the Manuscripts in the Dom Edmond Obrecht Collection of Gethsemani Abbey. Dr. Kirkwoods extensive descriptions include a full analysis of the manuscripts written before 1500.

Link to the book: https://mip-archumanitiespress.org/products/c-6797-101121-85-8335-1/

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A new edition of a novel first published in 1826 about the slave revolt that began in 1791 and led to the Haitian Republic, founded in 1804. Edition by French Professor, Marshall Olds and PhD student in French, Language & Literature, Sarah Mecheneau.

Please see the attached article for more information.




PHD.pngCongratulations to our fall semester 2016 PhD candidates who passed their Doctoral Examinations and defended successfully their dissertation proposals (left to right): Claudia Berríos-Campos, “La gran ceguedad de esta miserable gente: Violencia cultural y negociaciones discursivas en el Manuscrito de Huarochirí” (Prof. R. Quispe-Agnoli); José Adrián Badillo, “Representaciones de la corrupción y la violencia mexicana en producciones culturales”(Prof. M. Cabañas); Osvaldo Sandoval, “Lo irrepresentable en escena: los olvidados en la dramaturgia latinoamericana y española contemporáneas (1990-2010)” (Prof. Anthony Grubbs), and Andrew Bentley “Traversing the Zones: Cultural Responses to Urban Violence in Postwar Guatemala”(Prof. M. Cabañas


Capture.JPG Congratulations to our Graduate Students who were honored in the College of Arts and Letters Awards ceremony on May 5, 2016: Osvaldo Sandoval (Spanish Contributor Award), Lucie Lecocq-Aussignargues (Johannes Sachse Award for Outstanding Graduate Student in French), Dr. Douglas Noverr (Interim Chairperson); Sophie Brunau (Outstanding TA of French), Claudia Berríos-Campos (2016 CAL Varg Sullivan Award, and Johannes Sachse Award for Outstanding Graduate Student in Spanish); Jonathan Montalvo (Outstanding TA in Spanish).


rocio award.JPGCongratulations to Rocío Quispe-Agnoli, Professor of Spanish, recipient of the College of Arts and Letters 2016 Faculty Leadership Award. This award recognizes faculty who go beyond the routine tasks, are generous in sharing insights, and provide hard work and mentorship to others that creates excellence and vision in programs and departments.

More information: http://www.cal.msu.edu/facultyalumniawards/




Congratulations to Valentina Denzel, Assistant Professor of French, recipient of the College of Arts and Letters 2016 Alumni Award for Innovation and Leadership in Teaching and Learning.  Created by the College Alumni Association, this award recognizes excellence among faculty who have served the college between 3 and 10 years. Professor Denzel has set a new standard for engaged teaching, both for students and for community partners.  More information: http://www.cal.msu.edu/facultyalumniawards/


babana.JPGSafoi Babana-Hampton was selected in 2016, as a 2nd time recipient of the Humanities Without Walls 2nd round of Global Midwest grants.  The HWW Consortium is based at the Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.  After the first documentary Hmong Memory at the Crossroads, the award will support the production of its sequel Growing Up Hmong at the Crossroads, a transnational film project, set in the United States, France, Thailand and Laos.


 Congratulations to our latest PhDs in Hispanic Cultural Studies who successfully defended their doctoral dissertations last April: Octavio Borges-Delgado (Diss: “National Disidentifications: Diasporic Identity Formation in Contemporary Puerto Rican and Dominican Narratives of Migration”); Diomedes Solano-Rábago (Diss: “La Gente Bien: Literary and Cultural Representations of the Mexican Aristocracy from the Mid-Twentieth Century to the Present”); and David Vidal-Jones (“Narrativas de transición en el cine y la literatura de Chile: Neorrealismo, virtualidad y cuerpos cibernéticos de la post-dictadura”).

 image_6.jpgCongratulations to our 2016 Student Award Winners!

On April 29, 2016, we held our annual student awards ceremony followed by a reception. We are happy to celebrate the undergraduate and graduate students as the best in their respective categories.




Julio_Judit_Fatou.jpgJoin us in celebrating the accomplishment by Doctoral students Julio C Paredes, Judit Fuente Cuesta, and Fatou Faye. Julio and Judit passed successfully their doctoral comprehensive examinations in the fall of 2015. Their dissertation proposals, on nineteenth-century Austral American masculinities and women’s power and affectivity in Spanish media respectively, were also approved and now Julio and Judit are ABDs (All But Dissertation) and PhD candidates in Hispanic Cultural Studies.  Also, last December, Fatou defended successfully her doctoral dissertation "Femme, religion et littérature: La place de l'Islam dans l'écriture féminine sénégalaise francophone" under the direction of professor S. Babana-Hampton.  Fatou is now the recipient of a PhD in French Language and Literature from Michigan State University.

 chavez (2).jpgJosé A. Badillo & Osvaldo Sandoval, PhD students in Hispanic Cultural Studies, are featured presenters along with Lansing mayor Virg Bernero at the 6th Annual César E. Chávez Commemorative Celebration on Friday, April 1, at MSU Kellogg Center. The event is organized by the MSU César E. Chávez Commemorative Celebration Planning Committee, Lansing's Human Relations and Community Services Department, and the LCC LUCERO Program http://www.cal.msu.edu/chavezevent/. Their graduate experiences were also featured in the State News: http://statenews.com/article/2016/02/dreamers-seek-education

d533dbad48dc2f304c2298afaac62710_f171.jpgCongratulations to Anne Violin-Wigent, Associate Professor of French, for receiving the 2015 Barbara Ort-Smith from the Michigan World Languages Association. This award is the most prestigious award a professional in the field of world languages can receive in the State of Michigan and honors those who show a strong commitment to the profession, and the promotion of excellence in world language education.



Joseba.jpgCongratulations to Professor Joseba Gabilondo who has recently won the 2015 Miguel de Unamuno Essay Prize. His winning essay “Globalizations and the New Middle Ages: On the Return of Differences” stemmed from Professor Gabilondo’s SPN 872 class on Globalization and Theory.  For more information:



 rociodoc2.JPGCongratulations to Rocío Quispe-Agnoli on the documentary “Guamán Poma de Ayala” which aired in Peru’s National Television November 23, 2015. Added to UNESCO’s Memory of the World Programme, 2015 marks the 400th anniversary of Guaman Poma’s chronicle. Professor Rocío Quispe-Agnoli, specialist in this author’s works, participated as a consultant for the program and was featured alongside Dr. Juan Ossio, Peru’s former Ministry of Cultural Affairs, and Dr. Raquel Chang-Rodríguez, Distinguished Professor of Hispanic Studies, CUNY.

50-1D0-3467-50-9780870137884.jpgInterim Chairperson, Dr. Douglas A. Noverr, recently published his book on the history of MSU The Rise of a Research University and the New Millennium, 1970-2005. In the 1960s and ’70s, Michigan State College transformed into the major research institution known today as Michigan State University, a true “megaversity.” Michigan State University, the final volume of this trilogy, explores the history of that transformation and the growing pains the school endured as it became a part of the American Association of Universities.

RQ same size as BVP.JPGCongratulations to Rocío Quispe-Agnoli who, last June, was promoted to Full Professor of Hispanic Studies by the Michigan State University Board of Trustees. Her latest publications include Mirrors and Mirages: Women's Gaze in Hispanic Literature and Visual Arts (monographic issue of CIEHL, fall 2015) and Nobles de papel: identidades oscilantes y genealogías borrosas de María Joaquina Inca y su familia (Madrid: Iberoamericana Vervuert, 2015). She will be recognized by Provost Youatt and President Simon in a formal dinner and ceremony on November 17, 2015.


Joseba.jpgCongratulations to Joseba Gabilondo who has been selected as 2015-2016 Research Fellow at the European Studies Center, Oxford University, with a project entitled 'Basque Intellectuals and the Articulation of Spanish Neoliberal Nationalism." He has also been awarded, in a collaborative project with professor K. Hooper (Warwick University, UK), a grant from the Arts and Humanities Research Council for their collaborative project "Imperial Entanglements: Transoceanic Basque Networks in British and Spanish Colonialism and their Legacies."

bill_vanpatten_(homepage_pho.jpgCongratulations to Bill VanPatten, Professor of Spanish and Second Language Studies and Language Program Director,for receiving the 2015 Robert G. Mead Distinguished Leadership Award, from The American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese. This award distinguished Professor VanPatten as an outstanding leader in effective language instruction and scholar in the field of second language acquisition.

More information:



Congratulations to Dr. Joseph Francese, Distinguished Professor of Italian, received the William J. Beal Outstanding Faculty Award 2015 "For his superior scholarship, outstanding teaching, and extensive service to MSU and the Michigan community, Dr. Francese is highly deserving of the Michigan State University William J. Beal Outstanding Faculty Award."



msu-logo.pngCongratulations to our 2015 Master's and Doctoral Graduates!
Emmanuel Akono, MA in French
Ioana Brad, MA in Applied Spanish Linguistics
Brandon Cannon, MA in Applied Spanish Linguistics
Mark Davis, PhD in Hispanic Cultural Studies
Donald Finley, Ma in Applied Spanish Linguistics
Tyler Fitzgerald, MA in Hispanic Literatures
Niklous Koehler, MA in French
Andrew Wrobel, PhD in Hispanic Cultural Studies


Congratulations to our 2015 Student Award Winners!

On May 1, 2015, we held our annual student awards ceremony followed by a reception. We are happy to celebrate the undergraduate and graduate students as the best in their respective categories.


 2015 grads.JPGWelcome to our new 2015 graduate students! Left to Right: Brian Dunbar, Andisheh Ghaderi, Wendy Hedstrom, Irene Momanyi, Ross Smith, Giovanni Salazar, Charles Moudling.



Safoi Past news (2).jpg

Prof. Safoi Babana-Hampton (c.) accompanied by French journalist Cyril Payen (l.) meets with French Minister of Veterans’ Affairs and National Memory, Mr. Jean-Marc Todeschini (r.) and the Deputy Minister Serge Barcellini as part of her documentary film “Hmong Memory at the Crossroads." 


Mendez.jpgCongratulations to Danny Méndez who, last June, was promoted by the Michigan State University Board of Trustees to Associate Professor of Spanish with tenure. Professor Méndez is a specialist in Latin American Caribbean literatures. He is the author of Narratives of Migration and Displacement in Dominican Literature (Routledge 2012).
He is the recipient of the 2013 Innovation and Leadership Award from the College of Arts and Letters and the 2009 Dominican Educators of Excellence in Higher Education by the Universidad UNAPEC, Dominican Republic/Dominican Studies Association in recognition of his dedication to the study, teaching and dissemination of Dominican Studies.


Congratulations to our 2014 Master's and Doctoral Graduates!
Congratulations to our Master's and Doctoral students who graduated in French, French Studies, Applied Spanish Linguistics, Hispanic Literatures, and Hispanic Cultural Studies.
Congratulations to our 2014 Student Award Winners!
On April 25, 2014, we held our annual student awards ceremony followed by a reception. We are happy to celebrate the undergraduate and graduate students as the best in their respective categories.




Congratulations to Saulo Gouveia who, last June, was promoted by the Michigan State University Board of Trustees to Associate Professor of Portuguese with tenure. Professor Gouveia  is a specialist in Brazilian literatures and cultures.

He is the author of The Triumph of Brazilian Modernism:  The Metanarrative of Emancipation and Counter-Narratives (University of North Carolina-Chapell Hill Press 2013).


Rocio 2013.jpgCongratulations to Rocío Quispe-Agnoli who received the 2013 Successful Peruvian Woman in America award in a ceremony held at the Embassy of Peru in Washington, DC, on March 14. Perú’s ambassador Harold Forsyth hosted the event. The Peruvian Embassy’s distinction acknowledges Dr. Quispe-Agnoli’s longtime and ongoing contributions to the study and teaching of Andean writers and artists, Peruvian and Latin American women’s studies, indigenous visual and literacy studies, and Peruvian literature and history at large. The award ceremony was the embassy’s kick-off event to this year’s International Women’s Day.




Congratulations to our 2013 Student Award Winners!

On April 12, 2013, we held our annual student awards ceremony followed by a reception. We are happy to celebrate the undergraduate and graduate students as the best in their respective categories.


689e42cc12f3e29ada29f5dbf029ecda_f102.jpgCongratulations to Nancy Marino who received the 2012 Distinguished Faculty Award. Professor Marino is a specialist in Spanish Medieval and Early Modern literatures. 

She is the author of El Cancionero de Valencia. Mss. 5593 de la Biblioteca Nacional. (Institució Alfons el Magnànim, 2014), and Jorge Manrique’s Coplas por la muerte de su padre: A History of the Poem and its Reception (Tamesis, 2011).