In February, Leah Middlebrook spoke at a panel on Why Read Don Quijote Now? as part of the U.C. Berkeley Designated Emphasis on Renaissance and Early Modern Studies’ series “Why Read…?” Her short talk, titled “Knight + Duenna as a Way of Life,” took a twenty-first century look at the theme of friendship in the novel.
The Center for Open Educational Resources for Language Learning has given the RL a Badge as “OER Master Creators”
The Empowering Learners of Spanish project is published by the Center for Open Educational Resources for Language Learning (COERLL) at the University of Texas at Austin and funded by the U.S. Department of Education. Using a critical pedagogical approach, these activities teach sociolinguistics and critical inquiry into language ideologies. This collection reach over 250 students per year at institutions like the UO and Western Illinois University in addition to K-12 teaching workshops in Oregon, Texas, and Illinois.
The ELS project developers are,
Claudia Holguín Mendoza (Romance Languages, University of Oregon)
Robert L. Davis (Romance Languages, University of Oregon)
Julie Weise (History, University of Oregon)
Kelley León Howarth (Romance Languages, University of Oregon)
Munia Cabal Jiménez (Western Illinois University)
UO Spanish professor Amalia Gladhart has several book recommendations she wants to share to help deepen people’s understanding of world literature — if only they weren’t written in Spanish.
But some of Gladhart’s favorite texts are written in that romance language. So about a decade ago she started translating published writing from Spanish to English because she wants to make those books and other written work more accessible to a broader audience.
Her newest project is to translate Argentine writer Angélica Gorodischer’s “Jaguar’s Tomb,” a 218-page novel that explores the difficulty of representing loss and grief in literature. Gladhart was awarded a prestigious 2018 National Endowment for the Arts literature translation fellowship to complete the work.
“I think it’s important to translate books like ‘Jaguar’s Tomb’ because I want to broaden and complicate people’s ideas about Latin American literature,” Gladhart said. “In some ways, this novel will meet reader’s expectations of Argentine literature. But in other ways, it will interrupt and challenge their expectations.”
The National Endowment for the Arts funds translation projects like Gladhart’s because the organization shares her desire to make more fiction, creative nonfiction and poetry available to an English-speaking audience.
“Jaguar’s Tomb” will be the second novel of Gorodischer’s that Gladhart has translated. She first met the author while she was teaching at a study abroad program in Argentina and searching for a new translation project. The site director facilitated an introduction with Gorodischer and Gladhart was immediately captivated by the author and her writing, which she lauds as being thought-provoking, funny and engaging.
“Angélica Gorodischer is such an interesting author to translate because she pushes the edge of many genres,” Gladhart said.
She describes Gorodischer as a prolific writer who has published a diverse body of work, including short stories, science fiction, novels, feminist commentary and a regular newspaper column that covers the gamut from politics to culture. The author is pushing 90 years of age and is still actively writing and offering support to emerging female authors.
Gladhart was drawn to “Jaguar’s Tomb” because she’s interested in probing the central problem of the book: the expression of absence. Gorodischer uses a trio of different narrators to explore the difficulty of representing absence, including absences related to the abductions and disappearances that occurred during the military dictatorship in Argentina’s “dirty war” of 1976-83.
To read the novel as a citizen of Argentina in 2005 would be a very different experience from reading the translation in the United States in 2018, Gladhart points out. This contextual difference is one of many considerations that she will take into account as she translates the book and aims to uphold the intricacies of the story and the questions it raises.
The English words that she selects for the translation are obviously another factor Gladhart will need to consider — one that is not as simple as just exchanging Spanish words for their English counterparts.
“Every single word is different in translation,” Gladhart said. “Each Spanish word has a constellation of words it might connect to. And while an English word might share its definition in the dictionary, it has an entirely different constellation of words attached to it.”
Gladhart finds that dichotomy adds an enjoyable complexity to translation work. She sees an appealing challenge in trying to remake the story using different tools and word connotations. She’s discovered that she’s drawn to work that involves a generous amount of word play and puzzles to solve.
Historical details and literary devices and contextual clues also must be taken into account. She explains that she spends hours researching references that might contain a deeper meaning: Is there a reason the author incorporated a specific type of food or plant or location? If so, Gladhart tries to honor that symbolism in her translation.
“I aim to present my fullest expression of my understanding of the text through my translation,” she said. “There are so many different ways that one can read and understand something. Translating stories is really a mix of the scholarly and creative.”
The fellowship will give Gladhart more time to fully immerse herself in the work and word play of translating “Jaguar’s Tomb.” Once the project is complete in 2019, it probably won’t be long before she finds another text to tackle so she can share even more writing with a larger audience.
“There are so many exciting and odd and interesting stories in the world that we wouldn’t get to read without translations,” she said.
—By Emily Halnon, University Communications
Homage to Nicanor Parra: Poetry Readings by Jesús Sepúlveda, from Cartagena to Santiago and Wallmapu
RL Spanish Creative Writing Instructor Jesús Sepúlveda did not have a chance to say goodbye to his mentor Nicanor Parra who just passed away on January 23, but his legacy was very much present when Sepúlveda gave a poetry reading at the Sociedad de Escritores de Chile (SECH) in Santiago, Chile on December 21, 2017. Organized and led by SECH president Carmen Berenguer, the reading began with five contemporary Chilean poets, then featured Sepúlveda’s forthcoming poetry collection, Espejo de los detalles, coming out in fall 2018 with Cuarto Propio. In her introduction, Carmen Berenguer drew the arc of Sepúlveda’s poetic evolution from his first collection, Lugar de origen (1987), which began the lifelong friendship with Parra, to the current volume. The reading was particularly moving and a great honor for Sepúlveda, whose last reading at the SECH dated from 1988, the year of the Chilean national plebiscite that marked the end of the dictatorship.
Sepúlveda also visited a coastal Mapuche community or lafkenche, in Wallmapu on the shore of Lago Budi, some 500 miles south of Santiago. As the largest saltwater lake in South America, the site boasts a rich ecosystem and deep cultural and agricultural practices. He shared his poems during a trawün (assembly) that took place inside a ruka, the traditional thatched dwelling. The community listened without applauding, sometimes commenting between poems. At the very end, an enthusiastic afafán resonated—the traditional vocal crescendo of approval. The head of the community (el werkén del lof) shared two sung poems or ül in Mapudungun. The trip also included visits to the community-run school; a greenhouse propagating native plants; an organic farm; and a women-run handicraft workshop. The visit took place under the auspices of Maple, a micro-development organization based in Eugene, whose Chilean delegates (Viviana Calfuqueo Canuinir, Fernando Quilaqueo, UO alumnus Ignacio A Krell, and Alison Guzman) came to the UO in fall 2017.
Prior to his visit to his native Santiago, Sepúlveda was invited to the 21st International Poetry Festival of Cartagena, Colombia, on December 1-4, 2017. Festival organizer Martín Salas brought the participants to a wonderful array of venues and in front of receptive audiences across the city: Sepúlveda and fellow poets from Spain and Uruguay read to the faculty and students/performers of a philharmonic orchestra in a suburban high school, the Escuela de Música de Comfenalco; they, in turn, gave a spirited and memorable performance of Duke Ellington’s greatest hits. The following morning, readings took place in the library of the Universidad de Cartagena. Next came “transpoesía:” during rush hour the travelling poets read in a crowded commuter bus to the surprise and amusement of passengers. The closing grand gala took place in the historic Teatro Adolfo Mejía.
Back in the classroom, Sepúlveda shares with his UO students a practice of writing (academic and creative Spanish) rooted in these poetic experiences and encounters, often tapping his network of international fellow poets for skype sessions or to recount personal memories. This quarter, Nicanor Para passed away the very day that his poems had been assigned reading in SPAN 410 and SPAN 311.
On November 27, Professors Alexandre Albert-Galtier and Fabienne Moore welcomed back alumnae Zoe Anton and Lauriene Madrigal for an information session on TAPIF, the Teaching Assistantship Program in France.
This was also an opportunity to hear about how French has played an important role in their professional journeys since graduating from UO. As Zoe put it “Your French will help in ways you do not know yet! You might not go into teaching or translating, you might end up in a different field, but your language skills will serve you no matter what you consider.” Both Zoe and Lauriene confirmed how a TAPIF experience, is “a great asset on a CV, makes employers look twice at a job application, and is a great conversation starter.” Classroom management, public speaking, adaptability, and autonomy are some of the skills that transfer well on the job market.
Zoe Anton graduated from UO in 2006 with a BA in International Studies and a BA in French with a minor in Communications. She participated in TAPIF in 2006/07 where she lived in Nantes and was a teaching assistant at Lycée Camille Claudel in Blain, France. Zoe then completed a MSc in Environmental Policy and Regulation from the prestigious London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). Throughout her career she has worked in sustainable development master planning for firms in England, Gabon (where she lived for two years), and Luxembourg with clients across the globe. Zoe has recently returned to the United States where she works for The Urban Collaborative, a master planning and design firm, helping governments plan for long-term sustainable growth.
Lauriene Madrigal was in the French immersion program in Eugene as a child and graduated with a B.A. in Art History & Visual Culture Studies, and a French Language & Literature minor from Whitman College in 2014. She had not studied abroad during her college years, so she participated in TAPIF this past year, (2016-17) where she was an assistant at a collège and lycée in Sablé sur Sarthe, but chose to live in Angers in the Loire Valley. She is currently a commercial sales manager with Bridgestone Americas, managing dealerships’ sales representatives and their fleet relationships for commercial truck tires.
For the perspective of a UO alumna in the TAPIF program now, check Amanda’s current blog from Cognac: https://aaswan.wordpress.com/
For information on TAPIF, see
CLLAS invites you to a Teach-In with professors Cecilia Enjuto-Rangel (Romance Languages), Rocío Zambrana (Philosophy), and Alaí Reyes-Santos (Ethnic Studies) to engage in conversation about Puerto Rico and its place in the contemporary colonial history of the United States.
|November 21, 2017|
|12:00 pm||to||1:30 pm|
Condon Hall Rm 260
1321 Kincaid St.
MA student writes about his experience attending the Middlebury College’s Portuguese language school
For seven weeks this summer I had the privilege of attending Middlebury College’s Portuguese language school as they celebrated their 15th anniversary. This rigorous program prides itself in assuring language acquisition through complete immersion and intense exposure to the target language.
Along with five hours daily of specialized classes on grammar, pronunciation, and Lusophone culture, Middlebury’s Portuguese language school offers numerous extra-curricular activities to teach language in a relaxed environment. I decided to take advantage of this informal setting to further develop my Portuguese skills and maximize my time in the language. I read poetry, played volleyball, watched movies, and presented on the school’s weekly radio show exclusively in Portuguese, which greatly boosted my confidence in oral and written communication while building a community with other students. In our culture modules, I dove into the economic and political issues most pertinent to Brazil today, researched the rich afro-brazilian culture that continues to shape all aspects of Brazil, and found out how the myth of Orpheus and other stories live on in the symbolism of today’s Carnival celebrations.
At Middlebury, I had the opportunity to write a poem with the Portuguese writer Rui Zink and learn about the indigenous heritage of Brazil from the author Daniel Munduruku. I found that the other instructors were also extremely capable and welcoming; accepting my linguistic blunders as a necessary part of the learning process. Before long, our group saw considerable advances in our language abilities as we carried out our daily lives entirely in Portuguese.
At the heart of Middlebury’s intensive summer programs is their secret ingredient: the language pledge. While this pledge may deter fair-weather language learners, it was exactly what convinced me to apply to the program. Yes, I signed away the right to communicate in any language besides Portuguese for seven weeks, but this discipline was necessary to overcome my excessive use of “Portuñol,” or Portuguese mixed with Spanish, which had become a habit before attending Middlebury. With time and practice, I found myself resisting and eventually erasing these false cognates from my mind when speaking Portuguese. Although I still have more to learn about the language, I experienced immense linguistic growth in only seven weeks. For those interested, I highly recommend investigating Middlebury College’s language schools to see if this complete linguistic immersion interests you. Muito obrigado e boa sorte!
Click here to learn more about the Portuguese program at the UO. For more information, contact Bene Santos, supervisor of the Portuguese program, at email@example.com, or call (541) 346-4046. Visit the Portuguese Courses page to see what PORT classes are currently being offered.
By Shayla T Hayes
For the terms of Winter and Spring of 2017, I decided to start a journey to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to study abroad through a program called CIEE. For these six and a half months I was able to immerse myself in the Brazilian culture and gain an experience I will never forget. I left in the beginning of January and flew in alongside a group of students that were both American and of other nationalities. I was placed into a host family who lives along the beach of Botafogo in Rio. This family consisted of a host mom, dad, and sister who was 9 years old. They also had a cat, Calvin, who became attached to me at the hip by the time I left. They all welcomed me with open arms, and I got to know them very well. None of them spoke English, so it forced me to practice my Portuguese right off the bat.
For the first month that I was in Brazil, I attended PUC-Rio. During this month, I took an intensive Portuguese. It was a lot to take in at once. On the bright side, I was able to meet a bunch of new students during this time, and I got to know my fellow international peers well. I then started school at ESPM in the central part of Rio. It was downtown and a business and design school. Here I studied photography and 3D animation for the next five months. I made some amazing Brazilian friends at ESPM. They guided me when I was lost, taught me things about Brazilian culture, and laughed with me just like any of my friends in the US would continue my Portuguese course studies, I had a private teacher through CIEE named Marco.
Outside of class, I experienced so many unforgettable things throughout the country. In February I was privileged enough to experience Carnival. It was indescribable, and the passion and liveliness were amazing. When I go back to Brazil, I hope to go during Carnival. I also traveled a lot. São Paulo, Vítoria, Salvador, Iguaçu, Ilha Grande and Argentina are just a few places to name. I had endless pictures from all of these journeys.
In Vítoria I was able to see my Brazilian brother, Vitor. I visited him at least four times during the six months. My mother also visited in May, and I was able to show her everything I was accomplishing and doing while exploring the wonderful country I lived in. Other things I did in my spare time was a hike, do internships with design, teach an English class to second graders, relax on the beach with a caipirinha in hand, and spend time with friends. I spent so much time on the beach and hiking it was insane. Other activities like soccer games, samba classes, and concerts were also on the list! Overall, I loved my time abroad. It was life-changing. Brazil has truly become a second home in my heart.
By Adrien Detchmendy
During Summer 2017, I traveled to Rio de Janeiro to participate in an intensive Portuguese language program. I had taken Portuguese classes at the U of O since my freshman year. Ever since I was young, Brazilian culture and the Portuguese language fascinated me, but I never was given the chance to take a Portuguese language class. When I entered into freshman year I signed up for Portuguese 101 taught by Bene Santos. Immediately I began to pick up the language with ease. I think a major factor into that was the professors teaching style. We drilled concepts but stuck to one a week, which gave me a strong base and understanding of the language. After I had finished the first year of Portuguese, my Portuguese professor suggested I look into studying abroad somewhere in Brazil. In fact, the professor strongly suggested it to all of the students in the class and implored people to travel to Brazil and experience the culture.
Going into my second year of Portuguese, I noticed the style of the class changed from the first year. Instead of focusing on vocabulary the focus was more on being capable to hold a conversation with a native speaker or someone who is learning as well. It was around this time I identified a summer program in Rio that looked good. As I began the process of applying, my professor couldn’t have been more helpful with it. She was more than happy to write me a recommendation to go and implored me to ask any questions or concerns I may have. Through the end of my second year in Portuguese, the class became increasingly focused on reading comprehension and conversation practice. One of our final projects was a 5-minute dialogue with another student about our summer plans. By doing all of the conversation practice and comprehension I felt I brought a strong understanding of the language with me to Brazil.
The program I was chose was an intensive Portuguese language course at PUC, a private Catholic university in Rio de Janeiro. From start to finish, the program lasted a little under 5 weeks. I was going to be staying with a host family in Copacabana. Going there, I really wasn’t sure what to expect. However, shortly I arrived I realized I had chosen the right place to come. The people in Brazil were warm, nice and very patient with me. They encouraged me to speak Portuguese anywhere I went and often they liked helping me practice so I could better learn and speak their language. Within the first week of being there I could feel my confidence increasing and by the end of my program, I was navigating the city and surrounding areas with ease. I think this transition, which can be so hard for others, was so easy for me because of all the conversation practice I had done in my Portuguese classes at the U of O.