Grads and undergrads present research at conferences

Spring is the season for undergraduate and graduate research conferences and CMLLC students featured prominently in two recent events on campus.

Rushton Undergraduate Conference in Language, Literature and Culture

The Rushton Undergraduate Conference in Language, Literature and Culture, held Friday, March 31, 2017, in the Student Center, offered a day of paper and poster presentations from students across the college.

CMLLC collaborates with the English department to organize the one-day conference and students presented papers on topics ranging from Latin American poets in exile to Italian cinema's innovative representations of troubled histories, to the coping mechanisms employed by different marginalized groups across cultures. CMLLC graduate students volunteered as moderators. In the lively poster session, students presented projects to an interdisciplinary team of judges and some competed in the Global Studies Program's "Global Crossroads" competition to win funding to further develop their research.

This year, Marian Reich, Executive Director of Global Ties Detroit, spoke at the lunch about the work her organization does to welcome international visitors to the city. Cellist Paul Watkins of the Emerson String Quartet transfixed the audience with his performance of a piece by Benjamin Britten.

The experience students garner by participating in the conference is valuable. Laura Kline, director of the Global Studies program and senior lecturer in Russian, explained that: "Students who engage in research have the opportunity to learn valuable (and transferable) skills, work closely with faculty, present at conferences and even publish. They can boost their resumes and get a jump on their future career and educational goals."

Inspired by the upcoming June 17, 2017 performance of "Shostakovich and the Black Monk: A Russian Fantasy", the Global Crossroads Scholarships were designed to encourage students to design research and creative projects exploring the connections between global and local culture. The four finalists will receive $2300 each to realize their ideas and present them at a fall 2017 event.

CMLLC Graduate Forum Conference

The department's graduate student organization hosted the fifteenth annual Graduate Forum Conference on Saturday, April 8, 2017. Presenters from around the university and across the U.S. joined students in CMLLC to speak on the topic of "Transgressions and Transformations: Bodies, Languages, Place." Keynote speaker Rocí­o Quispe-Agnoli, professor of (post) colonial Latin American studies at Michigan State University, delivered a paper titled "Mimicking the Visual Experience: Indigenous Bodies Imagined." Professor Michael Giordano, who has attended each of the 15 graduate conferences, delivered opening remarks at the beginning of the day.

Graduate Forum President Sandra Russo, a Ph.D. student in Spanish, remarked that: "Organizing the 15th annual grad conference was an amazing experience that involved leadership skills, time management, prioritization and detailed orientation.

That said, the success of our event is a result of a team effort. We all learned a lot from the experience. I am confident that organizing such an event has shaped us as professionals and will be very useful in the future."

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