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July 15, 2019

Garvin and Wacks awarded 2019 Presidential Fellowships

Congratulations to Assistant Professor of Italian Diana Garvin and Professor of Spanish David Wacks, who have been named 2019 Presidential Fellows in Humanistic Studies.

Earlier this year, the UO announced that President Schill would fund a new set of fellowships to support faculty arts and humanities research and creative projects. These awards are supported by discretionary donor funds and are intended to support productive scholars in their professional development and scholarship. Learn more about the Presidential Fellows in Humanistic Studies awards.

Diana Garvin

Diana Garvin

Garvin’s research project, “The Bean in the Machine: Transnational Coffee and Caffè Culture under Italain Fascism” tells the story coffee culture across three continents during the Fascist ventennio (1922-1945). The narrative carries the reader from Roman and Eritrean caffès to Brazilian and Ethiopian coffee plantations to underscore how coffee growing and and drinking changed under Fascism, against a background of caffeinated imperial aggression and resistance.

David Wacks

David Wacks

In his project, “People of the Book: Retellings of the Hebrew Bible in Medieval Iberia,” Wacks studies how Iberia’s Muslims, Jews, and Christians participated in a common culture of retellings of Biblical tales during the Middle Ages.  Wacks studies Biblical exegesis, translations, legends, drama, and artistic representations from the Peninsula’s three religious traditions, in order to demonstrate how each is influenced and shaped by its relationship with the others.

July 9, 2019

Jesús Sepúlveda wins first place in Oregon’s Spanish poetry competition

The Instituto de Cultura Oregoniana (ICO)—a non-profit organization that promotes the Spanish-speaking culture in Oregon and multilingualism as a source of common prosperity—awarded Chilean poet and RL instructor Jesús Sepúlveda the First Prize of Poetry in the “II Concurso de Poesía Oregoniana 2019” for his poem “Retablo de las maravillas.”

The award ceremony will take place in the Louks Auditorium at the Salem Public Library on July 13th, 2019 at 4:00 pm.

With this award, Sepúlveda finishes an academic year full of literary activities and invitations.

In 2018 Dr. Sepúlveda was invited to participate in the festival “Poetry on the Road” in Bremen, Germany; the 5th “Poésie Sauvage” Poetry Festival in La Salvetat-sur-Agoût, France; and the “Carruaje de pájaros” International Poetry Festival in Chiapas, Mexico.  Dr. Sepúlveda also spent a month in Germany as a writer-in-residence invited by the Sylt Foundation and toured Portugal presenting the Portuguese edition of his book The Garden of Peculiarities.

On March 2019 he was invited to the 11th International Poetry Festival in Puerto Rico, where the Proyecto Editorial La Chifurnia published Wirikuta—a selection of his poems.

Wirikuta by Jesús Sepúlveda

Sepúlveda’s poetry has been anthologized and featured in several publications. In 2018 two main Chilean anthologies included his work—Antología de poesía chilena. La generación post 87 and Antología de poesía chilena. His poetry also appeared in the two-volume anthology of American poetry The End of the World Project, published by Moria Press in Indiana.

Between spring 2018 and 2019, the Portuguese review Flauta de Luz, the German magazine Ostragehege, the Indian journal Six Seasons Review, and the American publication Fifth Estate published translations of Sepúlveda’s poems.

Dr. Sepúlveda with French poet Aurélia Lassaque

Dr. Sepúlveda with French poet Aurélia Lassaque

A plaquette with his poem “Platon”, translated by Dmitri Fragata and illustrated by French artist Marc Granier, was released in France while his poem “El fascismo se sienta a la mesa” (translated by UO alumna Elmira Louie) appeared in the newly online journal Periphērica edited by UO Professor Pedro García-Caro.

Sepúlveda with artist Marc Granier

Sepúlveda with artist Marc Granier

Jesús Sepúlveda was featured in Chellis Glendinning’s In the Company of Rebels (2019), a collection of portraits of artists and thinkers that gives an account of Sepúlveda’s biography and work, illustrating his commitment to poetry and world issues.



June 10, 2019

UO Language Students earn Global Seal of Biliteracy

[see the corresponding article in the Register-Guard]

The University of Oregon has awarded 210 language students with the Global Seal of Biliteracy in French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese and Spanish in an inaugural program. Recipients tested to qualify for the new Global Seal of Biliteracy and can use the language credential to document their skills for jobs and study abroad opportunities.

The Yamada Language Center event was attended by awardees, university language professors, Sheila Bong of Avant Assessment, and Global Seal of Biliteracy representative, Hunter Sudek.

Students earned either the Functional Fluency or Working Fluency Global Seal of Biliteracy award by taking the STAMP 4S test, whichwas created at the University of Oregon’s Center for Applied Second Language Studies (CASLS).

Awardees will be well prepared, according to a recently released survey of 1,200 upper-level managers and human resources professionals conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs.  “Making Languages Our Business: Addressing Foreign Language Demand Among U.S. Employers,”found that 9 out of 10 US employers rely on U.S. based employees with language skills other than English and that a majority of employers report that their need for foreign languages has increased over the past five years and project that it will continue to grow.

May 28, 2019

FR 399 Takes Networking Road Trip to Portland

On April 25, Melanie Williams, Senior Instructor II of French, and  students from FR 399 “French for Professional Use” took a road trip to Portland to meet with WorldOregon, Mercy Corps and a Nike employee (and UO alumna). Jeff Magoto, Director of the Yamada Language Center, joined the group.

Williams reports, “We received a warm welcome from all. We had a fantastic trip and the students found their conversations enlightening, informative, inspiring, and thought-provoking. From general advice on applying for jobs and making connections and the importance of language study, to information on specific opportunities and resources, students were enthusiastic in their appreciation of this trip. Our visit had an immediate impact on several students who intend to apply for internships or volunteer at Mercy Corp this summer.”

All students wrote a reflection paper on the trip to Portland. A sampling of their comments:

Of WorldOregon: “… this organization has a true connection to the world….”

“After seeing the presentations and talking with the professionals from Nike, WorldOregon and Mercy Corps, I feel extremely interested in and inspired by the occupational opportunities that speaking a second language can support. I was very happy to see that language can be a good complement to almost any professional field and can open doors within well-known companies across the globe.”

“I learned a lot from the conversations we had with each person… It was a good way to think ahead and prepare myself for the future as I look for internships and jobs to develop my professional resume. I also learned to focus on networking and making connections at the university and in life.”

“In general, I found it useful to know that learning another language can be useful in such a wide variety of professions. Even if the profession does not require speaking another language, employers emphasize cultural literacy.”

“It was useful to hear about the paths that the presenters took between graduating from college and the jobs that they have now. It showed that there are many different options that are available to any major, and that it is possible to make what you know work in different positions.”

“The field trip to Portland turned out to be an eye opener for me regarding the opportunities that I had to utilize my French after graduation…. The number one aspect that intrigued me the most was how the various speakers still utilized their language skills in some shape or form…. even if I don’t end up living in another country constantly speaking French, I want to be in a position where I can still use what I have learned through my language studies… To see a Public Relations graduate who had also studied a language was important to me. It showed me that there are opportunities which had been unclear to me before.”

“I found the trip extremely insightful and I would love to have another field trip like this to acquire more information about international jobs and internships.”


Group members met with:

Annie Schwab, Translations Manager for

Derrick Olson, President, WorldOregon

Tim DuRoche, Director of Programs, WorldOregon

Alli McGee, Program Officer, International Visitor Program, WorldOregon

Kristine Wilson, Talent Acquisition + Intern Program Officer, Mercy Corps

Leslie O’Connor, Action Center Operations Officer, Mercy Corps


April 29, 2019

Marian Paiva Mediavilla publishes article in France

Marian Paiva Mediavilla, doctoral student in Romance Languages, has published an article titled “Spectral Visions of the Império: Labor Photography and Spectrality within carte de visite during the 2nd Brazilian Empire.”

While in Lyon last year, Marian joined the aptly named “Têtes chercheuses” doctoral research group, which publishes a peer-reviewed journal, Missile.

Read the article here.

Congratulations, Marian!


April 8, 2019

Crystal Chemris publishes article

Crystal Chemris, Courtesy Assistant Professor of Spanish, has published an essay, “Moriscos, Amerindians and Góngora’s Soledades in Context,” in the journal eHumanista/Conversos.  This essay responds to the French anthropologist Carmen Bernand’s association of the Baroque poet, Luis de Góngora, the historian and critic Pedro de Valencia, and the mestizo writer Inca Garcilaso with humanist circles that grappled with the status of national minorities and the indigenous. Chemris argues that Inca Garcilaso actually anticipated Pedro de Valencia’s social writings, while Góngora incorporated features of Inca Garcilaso’s heraldic shield in his major poem. She also addresses their political and aesthetic engagement with hermeticism in the context of the debates over the Sacromonte forgeries, a series of false relics which historians have viewed as part of a clandestine campaign to promote the status of confessional minorities in Spain. Writes Chemris, “I draw inspiration from the work of my University of Oregon colleagues in transatlantic, medieval, early modern and colonial Hispanic Studies and look forward to continuing my research.”

The essay can be found in eHumanista/Conversos Vol. 6, No. 1-2, 2018, pp. 284-305.

March 7, 2019

Williams launches new course in French for Professional Use

The Francophone World

Melanie Williams, Senior Instructor II of French and Head Undergraduate Advisor, has developed an innovative course that she will pilot in Spring 2019. The course, “Français pour le monde professionnel/French for Professional Use” (FR 399) will explore concepts of cultural expectations and intercultural communication in France and other francophone countries and regions. The course is designed for students from all disciplines, with built-in projects and research particular to individual student goals. Students will tailor their research around their areas of study, professional aspirations, and targeted locales. The course will offer preparation for professional experiences in a francophone culture through the development of job search materials, the clear articulation of academic, social and professional skills in French, and the connection to alumni and other professionals. The course will cover the basics of writing culturally appropriate CVs and letters of application in French and preparing for interviews in French. Students will also practice giving professional presentations and writing professional documents. This course counts as elective for the French major or minor (pre-requisite: FR 301 or 302). Williams developed the course with support from the Department of Romance Languages and Senior Divisional Dean for Humanities Karen Ford.

January 16, 2019

French faculty, graduate students, and alumni gather

On Friday January 11, 2019 faculty and graduate students in French celebrated the new year at Civic Winery, a new wine bar in downtown Eugene, which will officially open in February. There was a great potluck buffet with homemade dishes and for dessert, homemade galettes filled with frangipane, a tradition for the Epiphany. Owner Craig Weicker explained the history and renovation of the building and sustainable practices in wine making. We tasted organic wines and ciders, chatted, shared best holidays memories, and toasted the new academic year. Special guests included the French and Francophone students in the Amity program who are teaching in the French immersion school Charlemagne. Our guests of honor were MA alumna Natalie Rush, who is now teaching French at South Eugene High School, and Associate Professor of Art History Joyce Cheng, who launched last year a lively “vendredi francophone de convivialité” at Noisette downtown, which meets the first Friday of each month. Merci à tout monde pour votre participation et bonne année à tous et à routes! 

November 20, 2018

2018 Autorretrato Poetry Awards announced


Warm congratulations to the winners of the 2018 Autorretrato Poetry Awards!

After reading Pablo Neruda’s poem “Autorretrato” during the third week of classes—and following plenty of creative conversations about poetic descriptions—all 462 second-year Spanish students created their own poetry, writing “self-portrait” poems in emulation of Neruda’s style. Instructors selected the best poem from each of their classes, and a combined student and faculty committee chose the winners from among twenty-one finalists. Senior Instructor II Rosario Murcia coordinated the awards, with the collaboration of the entire second-year teaching team. Winners received gift-certificates to the Duck Store.

And the winners are. . .

First Place: Seth J. Arbogast for his poem “Memorias atrapadas en las cenizas” (Yosa Vidal’s student).

Second Place: Noa Cohen for her poem “Estoy orgullosa” (Marina Peñalosa Montero’s student).

Third Place: Emma R. Snyder for her poem “Yuxtaposición” (Gloria Zabala’s student).

November 19, 2018

Prof. Gladhart publishes story in Nowhere Magazine

Professor Amalia Gladhart has published a story, titled “Of a Feather,” in the online journal of travel writing, Nowhere Magazine.

Of a Feather

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