NEWS & EVENTS
World Languages & Cultures, 2010
  • World Languages & Cultures, 2010

     

     

    The Art of Vincent van Gogh
    Olivia Compton
    Mentor: Barbara Keller

    The art of Vincent Van Gogh was affected by his life and times. He lived in the post impressionist era and painted several famous paintings including Starry Night. My interest began in high school French when we covered a little of his life and art. The purpose of this presentation is to analyze the art of Vincent van Gogh and to learn how it was affected by his life and times. I obtained my information from trusted internet sources, personal interviews with my professors, and books and articles on the post-impressionist era. I expect to find that impressionism played a part in his art as well as that his life affected his art in both negative and positive ways.

     

     

    Berthe Morisot: French Impressionist Painter
    Rebecca Facer
    Mentor: Barbara Keller

    During my study abroad experience in France, I was able to take an art history class. I learned about different time periods in art, including the Impressionist movement. I was fortunate to see French paintings and sculptures firsthand in museums such as Le Louvre and Musée D’Orsay. This exposure to art inspired me to research Berthe Morisot in great detail. I chose Berthe Morisot because she was the only woman included in the circle of French Impressionist painters. The fact that Morisot was the only woman during this movement in France definitely distinguishes her and her work from her fellow male French Impressionist painters. This presentation is given in French.

     

     

    Rendez-Vous sur lîle de Gorée
    Rebecca Facer
    Mentor: Marie-Madeline Stey

    There is not enough emphasis on the Francophone countries. Whenever I think of a French-speaking country, I automatically think of France, but the other French speaking countries are just as important, such as Martinique, Guadeloupe and many countries in Africa. As a French major, it is necessary to explore literature not only from France, but also from the other Francophone countries in order to learn about the many different French cultures and styles. I read Pie Tshibanda’s book, Rendez-vous sur l’île de Gorée. I review the book and explore its themes of culture, interracial marriage, and issues that arise between an African American man and White woman. This presentation is given in French.

     

    L`Exile Selon Julia (Exile According to Julia)
    Lauren Hartfelder
    Mentor: Marie-Madeleine Stey

    I present, in French, information on the French book L’Exile Selon Julia by Gisèle Pineau. This book relates to my studies of francophone culture and teaches us about French culture outside of France. Although I have learned a lot about France through course work and study abroad, I have spent little time looking at other French-speaking countries. I present a review of L’Exile Selon Julia, discuss the Guadeloupe culture, share my opinions, and present my findings. My focus is on Francophone culture and racism issues.

     

     

    Claude Monet
    Lauren Hartfelder
    Mentor: Barbara Keller

    Claude Monet is a French impressionist artist. This presentation focuses on his works, his artistic style and events from his life. My interest in Monet stems from a trip to France, a French civilization class, and a course on the history of French art. The presentation is made entirely in French.

     

     

    The Music of Frederic Francois Chopin
    Melchy Hill
    Mentor: Barbara Keller

    The style of Frederic Chopin and the popularity it has in today’s culture is investigated in this work. My presentation compares the work of Chopin to that of other similar musicians and composers of that time, such as Ludwig Van Beethoven and Richard Wagner, who used expanded the harmonic language with previously unused chords, or innovative chord progressions. In contrast, Chopin’s style used a wide variety of broken chords, the sustaining pedal, trills and chromatic to express feeling in his compositions. I am currently playing one of his compositions, Nocturne in C sharp minor, in my piano lesions and this presentation gives me a better understanding of the style of Frederic Chopin.

     

     

    The Life and Workings of French Artist Gustave Caillebotte
    Sarah Jewell
    Mentor: Barbara Keller

    Throughout his life Gustave Caillebotte became a great well known artist. In this presentation I discuss the life and workings of Gustave Caillebotte and how they affected each other. I show examples of his works that provide a sense of how it was during his life. These aspects show how Caillebotte became such a well known artist and such a talented man.

     

     

    La Grève des bàttu
    Sarah Jewell
    Mentor: Marie-Madeleine Stey

    In La Grève des bàttu, there is a conflict between rich and the poor. It is set in Senegal which is an Islamic country. The government tries to find ways to eliminate all beggars to free the streets of the poverty they once had. When this happens, the government realizes that they are going against their religion and are not sure what to do from there. In this presentation I discuss the hardships of the book and the citizens who are struggling with their religion and poverty. I show examples from the book and give my ideas on the separation between the rich and the poor.

     

     

    Avoiding Censorship through Symbolism in Motion Pictures
    Sarah Kessler
    Mentor: Maria Jose Delgado

    During the reign of Dictator Francisco Franco in Spain between the years 1935-1975, there were innumerable laws of censorship on all means of communication. Therefore, artists such as directors, producers, and actors started using symbols to create metaphors to speak out against the laws and the regime that made them. The purpose of this presentation is to study the history of censorship as well as symbols and what they have meant in the past. I analyze examples of communications that covertly fueled uprisings and gave the disenfranchised people hope. I focus specifically on a film from 1965 called La caza (The Hunt) directed by Carlos Saura. The metaphor of hunter versus prey speaks volumes about Saura’s sentiments about those in power, without bluntly provoking their wrath.

     

     

    The Works of Seurat
    Kristina McCann
    Mentor: Barbara Keller

    Georges-Pierre Seurat was an influential painter in French history. He was one of the few to participate in the pointillist movement. Some of his most famous paintings include, A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte, La Parade, and Le Chahut. All of these paintings were made with the technique of pointillism. Pointillism is distinct dots made with color; the technique was developed by Seurat in 1886. My presentation focuses on the paintings of Seurat, the life of Seurat, and the pointillist movement.

     

     

    French Colonization and Analysis of the Film Avatar
    Kristina McCann
    Mentor: Marie-Madeline Stey

    Colonization has been described through words such as control, power, and money. These characteristics have been found in French novels such as Tayaout, Fils D’Agaguk and Le Rocher de Tanios. After reading these French novels, it is clear that Avatar displays similar, if not exact, characteristics of colonization. Avatar explores and highlights control, power, and money involved with colonization in a new and innovative way. In this presentation, there is an examination of the film, Avatar, and the colonization that takes place within it.

     

     

    The Gender-Bending Play: Comparative Complexities in the Transformation of Women in both England and Spain
    Anamarie L. Miller
    Mentor: Maria Jose Delgado

    This is a comparative presentation, which analyzes two different gender-bending plays: Pedro Calderón de la Barca’s La Vida es Sueño and William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. I examine the many complexities of the gender-bending play, such as mode/initiative, mode of transformation, and ultimate destination or goal. Most importantly, the paper will compare the verbal differences between men and women, and, by extension, the grammatical challenges of these gender-bending characters, paying particular attention to the “grammatical gender” of the Spanish language.

     

     

    A Different Kind of Predjudice
    Emily Dae Porter
    Mentor: Marie-Madeleine Stey

    Moving to a culture that is completely different from an individual’s native culture can be extremely difficult. Transitioning from a third world country such as Guinea, Africa can make this transition even that much more difficult. L’enfant Noir (African Child) is an autobiography. Camara Laye recounts his childhood as an African living in France during the fight of independence in the 1950’s. It is important to investigate the culture shock that foreigners experience upon moving to another culture. By doing so it informs those of us that are accustomed to a particular culture of our own visual lenses and prejudices that we may hold. I examine the issues presented in L’enfant Noir of racism and prejudice from the author’s perspective as well as from the perspective of current international Capital University students who are third world country natives.

     

     

    A Literary Review of Le Commandant Chaka by Baba Moustapha
    Laura Shields
    Mentor: Marie-Madeleine Stey

    The posthumously published work Le Commandant Chaka by Baba Moustapha is a criticism of military dictatorships that explores the themes of city domination and obsolete traditions used to control colonies. Studying Francophone literature is important to help understand the people, customs, and traditions of French speaking countries. I discuss the various themes outlined in Le Commandant Chaka and analyze and evaluate the play. I discuss the implications of Le Commandant Chaka and how colonization affects the people and the cultures. This presentation is given in French.

     

     

    Culture in Second Language Acquisition
    Ashley Taylor
    Mentor: Maria Jose Delgado

    As our world continues to become more globalized, an interest in language learning has increased. This revival of interests has influenced theorists to revisit the major components of language acquisition and once again attempt to find the most advanced method of acquiring a language. Culture and language are inseparable; consequently one must learn a culture and language congruently in order to achieve complete fluency. Through my own experience as a volunteer ESOL teacher for Community Refugee and Immigration Services, I have implemented and evaluated various theories that treat the importance of culture as a component in language. Through these experiences I intended to enhance my own abilities as a language learner.

     

     

    Expectations Versus Reality: Opinions of Foreign Cultures
    Alicia Tysl
    Mentor: Marie-Madeleine Stey

    Un Papillon Dans La Cité (A Butterfly in the City) by Gisèle Pineau is a book about a young girl who was raised under poor conditions in Guadeloupe by her grandmother, and then leaves to live with her mother in France. She imagines having a much better life there, but France is not everything that she expected. Why is it that we can find ourselves lost when suddenly immersed in another culture? The storyline of Un Papillon Dans La Cité inspired a study on peoples’ expectations of lifestyle and culture in foreign countries and how their thoughts changed after spending time in these places. In-depth interviews with students and faculty members regarding their “culture shock” when they studied, worked, and lived abroad demonstrate how people all over the world still have great needs for societal understanding. Experiences of both American travelers and travelers to America are interesting to compare. This presentation examines the many points of view of those interviewed, as well as Gisèle Pineau’s thoughts on the matter, and scrutinizes why our judgment of other cultures is such an issue. This project is presented en français.

     

     

    A Comparison of Kuna and Bribri, Two Indigenous Central American Languages
    Sarah Wills
    Mentors: Maria Jose Delgado, Alan Stam, Kerry Cheesman

    This research examined languages spoken in the indigenous Bribri village of Yorkin in Costa Rica and Ustúpu, an island that is home to a group of the indigenous Kuna of Panama's San Blas islands. The Bribri are a much smaller group of about 400 people, while Ustúpu is home to about 3,000 Kuna. Research has indicated that both ethnic groups came from one similar people. The purpose of this study was to compare and contrast the Kuna and Bribri languages. A Bribri language teacher, one Kuna town historian, language, history and culture professor, and several native speakers of both tribes were interviewed. Books and websites were also use. Research showed that Kuna and Bribri are both Chibchan languages, meaning they are spoken in the northwest corner of South America and the southern part of Central America. While in the villages, similarities in structure in the Bribri and the Kuna languages were noticed. Since the Bribri are smaller, there is more consistency in their language, while Kuna has several dialects. The languages have strong similarities and distinct differences. The basic grammatical structure is the same.

     

     

    Food Preparation Techniques and Gender Roles in Central America
    Courtney Winterberger
    Mentor: Stephanie Saunders

    The Bribri people have inhabited the Talamanca region of Costa Rica for over 5,000 years, which allowed a deep history and distinct culture to develop, especially their oral histories and livelihoods. The Kuna people of Ustupu, Panama, have lived in the region for a much shorter time, and their culture has been greatly altered by the 1925 revolution against the Panamanian government, which attempted to suppress traditional customs. This study examined the diets and food preparation of two Central American cultures. Both cultures were visited first hand and time was spent watching and participating in food preparation, video recording techniques, as well as talking to representative individuals. I compared and contrasted the ingredients used by each culture, as well as the influence of American products in the kitchens of these isolated cultures. I delve into the importance of gender roles in food preparation that translates into a paradigm for gender divisions within native Central American peoples. While the two cultures are a short geographic distance from one another, there are many distinct differences and similarities in their food preparation styles and ingredient choices.

     

     

    Research into the Historical and Francophone Development of Vietnam and the Influence of French Imperialism upon the Countries Modern Development
    Elizabeth Wynkoop
    Mentor: Marie-Madeline Stey

    In the mid-19th century, France developed increasing interest in trade and the propagation of Catholicism throughout the territories of Annam, Cochinchina, and Tonkin. This led to the French imposition of westernization, the reconstruction of the Asian country into a Francophone colony, and imperial reign over what has developed into modern Vietnam. Between 1859 and 1885, the French effectively performed cultural destruction of these colonial territories and forcefully developed and spread French imperialism and religion. The repercussions that imperialism has had on the country and people of Vietnam are evident, not only throughout their history, but also in their modern culture. Research has focused upon the progression of Vietnamese culture from the pre-imperialistic generations through its modern civilization, particularly as to how it has developed into a Francophone culture, and the primary causes of this drastic Francophone shift. Information for this project was obtained from Nguyen Tien Lãng’s novel, Les Chemins de la Révolte, other primary sources, and academically relevant materials about this subject. The research results identify patterns of growth and development throughout the history of Vietnam and drastic variations because of the influence of French imperialism.

     

     

    The Influence of W. A. Mozart’s Compositions on Historical French Civilization and this Austrian Composer’s Enduring Appeal in the Fifth French Republic
    Elizabeth Wynkoop
    Mentor: Barbara Keller

    The classical composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart has had a lasting impression on the country and civilization of France. Almost two hundred years after his death, the music of Austria’s Mozart has influenced the movement of French civilization and his enduring popularity is a testament to his permanence and durability even in a country that is not his own. The research for this project focused upon the movement of Mozart’s compositions across the border into France and the immediate, lasting popularity he has received in the country that is not his own. It is because of the geometric style of his compositions and the rhythmic appeal of his works that he remains a popular musician. Information for this project was obtained through scholarly journals and materials relevant to the subject of Mozart’s enduring popularity in France. Musical excerpts are used to illustrate the compositions of Mozart. Results illustrate that because of the logical and geometric fashion to Mozart’s compositions, he is able to appeal to the historical and modern culture of the French. This presentation focuses on the research findings that the logical and rhythmic patterns that are found within Mozart are appealing to the style of thinking that has been historically and modernly evident throughout France.