Lectures by BLC Fellows (Budner, Scott, Mackenzie), April 29, 2016

Spring 2016 BLC Fellows Instructional Development Research Projects

Graphic Novels in Foreign Language Learning
Keith Budner, GSR, Comparative Literature
Over the past decades the graphic novel has witnessed both increased popularity among readers as well as cultural and intellectual prestige among critics and academics alike – but what is its place within the foreign language classroom? Through a case study of first-year Spanish instruction, this presentation will address strategies for how language instructors can capitalize on the appeal of graphic novels to undergraduates, and will explore how the interaction of image and text in a graphic novel can enrich the teaching of grammatical constructions and vocabulary, historical and cultural subject matter, and the comprehension and analysis of narratives. I will pay particular attention to both the challenges and benefits that graphic novels pose for the foreign language teacher from their authentic use of the target language to their handling of sensitive topics and material.

Learning Russian through Art and Visual Culture
Lily Scott, GSR, Slavic Languages & Literatures
It is often assumed that foreign language students must reach a certain (usually advanced) level of linguistic proficiency before they can begin to engage meaningfully with authentic cultural materials and think critically about their own cultural position vis-à-vis that of the L2 culture. This presentation will show how art and visual culture can offer beginning-intermediate language students an opportunity for deeper exploration of the L2 culture. I will demonstrate two clusters of visual cultural artifacts (including 18th century portraiture, Soviet propaganda posters, newspaper clippings, film, post-Soviet installation and performance art), and show how they can embed and enact cultural studies in the beginning-intermediate language classroom.

Italian by Design: A “Bridge” Course
Jennifer Mackenzie, GSR, Italian Studies
We have grown accustomed to perceiving the arts and language as very different kinds of engagements: the former transgressive and creative, the latter structured and acquired. This talk presents a blueprint for an advanced Italian language course (102) that approaches language and design as analogous processes. Tracing how the coordinates of space and time are reconfigured in a series of four historically positioned case studies, it introduces students to synchronic and diachronic dimensions of language and its potential to both embody conventions and generate innovation.

Friday, April 29, 2016
3 – 5 pm
B-4 Dwinelle Hall