Assistant Professor of French Studies Maya Angela Smith recently published her first book, Senegal Abroad: Linguistic Borders, Racial Formations, and Diasporic Imaginaries. Through a critical examination of language and multilingual practices in qualitative, ethnographic data, this study shows how language is key in understanding the formation of national, transnational, postcolonial, racial, and migrant identities among Senegalese in Paris, Rome, and New York. This is a book about language attitudes, how they influence people’s local and global interactions with the world, how they change through the experience of migration, and how in turn they affect migrants’ language use. This sociolinguistic perspective is an outlier in African diaspora studies but offers an important tool in understanding racial formation. French & Italian Studies held a book launch event where five scholars from different fields in the Humanities and the Social Sciences critiqued Senegal Abroad and held a dialogue with Maya.
Maya Smith also recently visited St. Olaf College in Minnesota to give a guest lecture "What's Language Got To Do With It" and a workshop on inclusive pedagogies for constructing language identities in and out of the classroom on April 25th and April 26th. Watch the lecture here!
Associate Professor of Italian Studies Beatrice Arduini took part in a roundtable discussion the Performing Lyric Cultures: Visible and Invisible Symposium on May 10th from 1:30-4:00pm in the Walker-Ames Room in Kane Hall. The symposium will bring together scholars and musicians to explore a variety of poetic and dramatic texts, discovering the music underneath the words on a page. Guest speakers from a number of universities will present papers and hold discussions on topics of invisible music from the middle ages to the 18thcentury, reaching from France to England to colonial America, focusing on poems and dramas that were meant to be sung, but for which the music was not written in notation.
Associate Professor of Italian Studies Beatrice Arduini also participated in a conference on Dante being held in Padua, Italy "Scrivere e riscrivere Dante lirico: prospettive sul ‘Dante minore’ dal XIII al XIX secolo" on May 21.
French & Italian Studies co-sponsored a guest lecture on May 6 with the UW Libraries, the UW Press, and the Walter Chapin Simpson Center for the Humanities as part of Brown University's Digital Publications Initiative: Allison Levy on "Developing Complex Digital Monographs." Allison Levy is a digital scholarship editor and visiting scholar in Italian Studies at Brown University. She also visited Associate Professor of Italian Studies Susan Gaylard's class ITAL 357: Race in Italy.