For the 8th time since 2011, the College of Charleston’s Nu Zeta Chapter of Sigma Delta Pi, the National Collegiate Hispanic Honor Society, has been selected as an Honor Chapter for its noteworthy activities during the academic year. Of the 625 chapters nationwide, the Executive Committee selects 12-15 Honor Chapters yearly for this prestigious distinction. In July 2019, the College of Charleston was one of only 16 institutions to receive this honor for activities realized during the 2018-19 academic year, during which time Drs. Susan Divine and Carmen Grace served as chapter advisers, and Adriana Velasquez (’19) as student chapter president.
Professor Christina García presented her research in three different venues during the spring of 2019:
In March she participated in the American Comparative Literature Association Conference at Georgetown University with a presentation “Eat Me: Inhuman Writings and Failed Incorporations.”
In April she was the featured speaker in Sigma Delta Pi’s Faculty Lecture Series with her study “Of Souls, Skins and Leopard Prints: Queer and Animal Creations of Cubanbeings.”
In May she presented her paper “‘Trágame. Pero no me leas’: Inhuman Writings in Ahmel Echevarría’s Búfalos camino al matadero” in the panel “Aesthetics Beyond Nature in Latin America” she co-organized at the Latin American Studies Association conference in Boston, MA.
A Foreign Language Education major in Spanish (’20), Jessica Lassiter also earned a BS in Exercise Science with a Spanish minor at the College of Charleston in 2017. Currently she is Assistant Director, Media Manager and Senior Spanish Instructor at WL4K World Languages for Kids; has served as a medical interpreter for three different mission trips to South America; and she is a private Spanish tutor for students at Wando and Philip Simmons High Schools, among other activities.
Jessica believes that a love for languages and culture is vital in education because it provides a lens to see how people besides ourselves live. To be bilingual and multicultural is to have another set of skills in communication with others, and to Jessica that is a beautiful thing. She is excited to employ the skills and insight that she has gained from her experiences at CofC with her future high school students.
In her own words:
My time in Hispanic Studies has been so empowering and the relationships that I have formed with the faculty in this department have been truly impactful. After finishing my degree in Exercise Science and Spanish minor in 2017, and then taking a gap year to teach preschool Spanish classes, my professors from this department invested in me and supported my decision to return and finish my Spanish degree after a two-year hiatus while adding on the Foreign Language Education component in 2018.
The professors from this department in my experience are the most willing to help, support, and provide advice to their students out of all of the 3 departments I will be graduating with a degree from. I am proud to call the Hispanic Studies Department my “home” here at The College and am so thankful for the opportunities that I have been provided during my 6 years with them. I couldn’t have made it this far without their guidance, support, and love! Upon graduating, I plan to teach high school Spanish, where I hope to impart the same love and knowledge that my professors have afforded me during my time as a Hispanic Studies student at CofC.
Professor Carmen Grace’s article “Encuentros retóricos en las artes: la pintura y la predicación áureas” will be published in volume 42 of eHumanista.
Professor Christina García’s article “Baroque Revolutionaries, Communist Fags, and Risky Friendships: Reading the Politics of Friendship in Fresa y chocolate” has been published in Volume 47, 2019 issue of Cuban Studies.
Professor Mary Ann Blitt, Instructor of Hispanic Studies, has co-authored the 3rd and 2nd editions of the college textbooks Exploraciones and Exploraciones Curso Intermedio respectively with Cengage.
On April 12, 2019 during the National Collegiate Hispanic Honor Society’s reception at the 72nd Annual Kentucky Foreign Language Conference in Lexington, Kentucky, Professor Raúl Carrillo Arciniega was inducted in the Order of José Martí, one of the Society’s highest honors. Dr. Carrillo Arciniega’s exceptional contributions to Hispanism earned him this international distinction.
Click the link below to hear the 5th episode of HispaCasts created in collaboration with Dr. Mike Overholt from the Teaching and Learning Team.
Dr. Mark P. Del Mastro, Chair of Hispanic Studies, interviews CofC alumna (2010) Melanie Keller to discuss her undergraduate experience at the College of Charleston as a major in Spanish and double minor in Linguistics and Women’s and Gender Studies, her time studying abroad, and the various professional opportunities she has enjoyed over the past 9 years.
After obtaining her B.A. in Portuguese from the Universidade Estadual de Maringá in Brazil, Dr. Luci Moreira went on to earn her M.A. in Linguistics from the Universidade Fedederal de Pernambuco, completed doctoral coursework in Portuguese at the Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, and then she earned her Ph.D. in Applied Linguistics at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign here in the U.S.
Since joining the College of Charleston in 2000, Professor Moreira has taught a myriad of courses for the Portuguese, Spanish, International Studies, Latin American and Caribbean Studies and Linguistics programs. She also pioneered the online offering of Portuguese language in the spring of 2019, and she is co-author of the Portuguese language textbook Ponto de Encontro, which has enjoyed widespread adoption across the U.S.
In addition to her constant work with the Portuguese program, Dr. Moreira has also collaborated in various projects both locally and nationally, to include co-founding the Department of Hispanic Studies’ newsletter HispaNews in 2001, and her ongoing role as Editor of the Portuguese Newsletter of the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese. Also in 2001, she initiated the department’s Portuguese Club, Bate-Papo Conversation Table, and the Portuguese Peer-Teacher program, which she still oversees today. In the fall of 2017, she was also instrumental with the launch of her department’s newest program: the Portuguese and Brazilian Studies Minor.
With her colleague and loyal companion Jose, she has directed 11 study abroad programs in Brazil. During these memorable trips to the Amazon, students remember sleeping on a boat in hammocks, swimming with dolphins, visiting and dancing with indigenous groups, and snorkeling with baby sharks and green turtles in coral reefs of paradisiac Fernando de Noronha.
In Professor Moreira’s own words:
I chose to study Portuguese when I was 17 years old and it has always been my passion. I have always taught Portuguese, and I don’t see myself in a different profession or field. I am a firm believer that both language and culture can be taught at any level, and that they complement each other. I could not be happier than when the minor in Portuguese was established. This was not a work done alone, and started from writing petitions, committee proposals; a great deal of merit is due to the support of the Department Chair. This minor is the legacy that will be passed to the future.
Each year students from diverse backgrounds and expectations come to study Portuguese. We never repeat things because we don’t duplicate human souls and hearts. Whoever chooses the teaching career never does exactly the same thing and is always invigorated with the energy and the dreams of the most important ones—the students—those who inspire us. It is a good feeling to see the fruits of our labor in what we do.
Stay tuned for May 2019’s feature…