Profs. Martínez and Given were awarded medallions in honor of their leadership and significant contributions to ECU shared governance, on the occasion of the Faculty Senate’s 50th anniversary. There were 74 medallions awarded, including to all past chairs of the faculty as well as present and past faculty, staff and administrators who have helped shape the ECU system of shared governance. They were presented by Prof. Andrew Morehead, current Chair of the Faculty, at a reception hosted by the Chancellor on March 30,2015.
Prof. Puri Martínez has been the past Chair of the Faculty Governance Committee, and served for many years as Faculty Marshall. She has also been past president of the NC AAUP Faculty Conference, Vice-Chair of the AAUP Assembly of State Conferences, and through it a national leader in helping programs in danger of elimination. She has also been ECU delegate to the UNC Faculty Assembly, and has served on a great many UNC system initiatives and committees. Prof. John Given, current Vice-Chair of the Faculty, has been a member of the University Budget Committee and the University Committee on Fiscal Sustainability, which have advised the Chancellor on ways to respond to the university’s ongoing fiscal constraints.
Toward an Urban Cultural Studies is a call for a new interdisciplinary area of research and teaching. Blending Urban Studies and Cultural Studies, this book grounds readers in the extensive theory of the prolific French philosopher Henri Lefebvre. Appropriate for both beginners and specialists, the first half of this book builds from a general introduction to Lefebvre and his methodological contribution toward a focus on the concept of urban alienation and his underexplored theory of the work of art. The second half merges Lefebvrian urban thought with literary studies, film studies and popular music studies, successively, before turning to the videogame and the digital humanities. Benjamin Fraser’s approach consistently emphasizes the interrelationship between cities, culture, and capital.
March 23, 2015
By Michael D. Gordin
In mid-February, The Chronicle reported the results of a study by the Modern Language Association about foreign-language enrollments in the United States. Let’s just say that something would be rotten with the state of Danish, if American institutions actually offered that language (which they generally don’t).
After 20 years of growth, enrollments in foreign-language courses fell 6.7 percent between 2009 and 2013. Not all languages were hit equally hard. Spanish is still the most frequently studied foreign language in the United States — its enrollments are higher than all others combined — with French in second place. Yet even Spanish has declined. Meanwhile, American Sign Language has moved up to third, displacing German.
These trends are not unique to America, but they do seem to concentrate in Anglophone nations. The educational systems of other countries encourage the study of foreign languages — at the very least, buckling down on English training, essentially compulsory in pre-university and university education in many nations. Yet those people who by accident of birth are born speaking what has become a global language have apparently ceased to see the utility or the desirability of knowing how to speak or read any other tongue. In October 2013, The Guardian reported that the number of British universities offering degrees in modern foreign languages had declined by 40 percent over the previous 15 years, and the trend is accelerating.
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Pitt County Schools is launching a dual language immersion program at Belvoir Elementary School in the fall, where 48% of students are native Hispanic speakers. The program, with rotating instruction in Spanish and English, will be offered to all incoming kindergartners with parent approval.
Pitt County Schools World Language Coordinator, Ann Borisoff, says research shows there are scholastic benefits to bilingual instruction. “What happens is that a different part of the brain is accessed when you are working with a bilingual situation. Actually, learning in a lot of cases goes a lot faster and students obtain the same or better results on academic achievement tests as do their monolingual peers,” Borisoff.
»» WNCT Story
(Last year’s post from 3/21/14):
Pitt County Schools is doing a feasibility study on two-way immersion programs to start in 2015-16. In such programs the entire curriculum is taught partially in Spanish and partially in English. Prof. Ann Borisoff who has just completed a dissertation on this subject was featured in an article in The Daily Reflector on March 4, discussing the benefits of such an approach in Pitt County where schools like Belvoir Elementary are 48% Hispanic.
Borisoff said that not only do all the students become bilingual and biliterate, but achievement improves and students develop cross-cultural competence. Data from programs such as the dual immersion program in Greene County have shown that students in such language immersion programs not only learn the standard curriculum despite the language challenges, but actually perform equal or better on grade level tests than their mono-lingual peers. A sample classroom might be an equal mix of native-Spanish and native-English speakers on an alternate day schedule in which the same curriculum is taught exclusively in Spanish one day and in English the next.
Frédéric Fladenmuller was invited to speak at the Centre de recherches Proustiennes de la Sorbonne nouvelle (the official center in France of Proustian research housed at the Sorbonne in Paris). The occasion was the publication of Prof. Fladenmuller’s fifth monograph, Proust ou l’écriture inversive. Du temps perdu au temps retrouvé. Prof. Fladenmuller’s talk on Marcel Proust’s À la recherche du temps perdu, In Search of Lost Time, was entitled, “Proust and the revolution of style: inversive writing.”
Prof. Fladenmuller is also author of a previous study on Proust’s masterwork, Télescopie. La science du genre d’ À la recherche du temps perdu. Prof. Fladenmuller’s other studies have included two works on the modern novel, La voix neutre du chaos: étude sur la complexité de textes modernes and Caractérisation et les modes de la narration dans le roman moderne. Théorie de caractérologie narratologique. All were published by Peter Lang.
Last year, on the 100th anniversary of the publication of “Swann’s Way,” part I of À la recherche, Prof. Fladenmuller was invited to contribute a submission to a special edition of Bulletin Marcel Proust. He was also awarded the Palmes Academiques in recognition of his cumulative contributions to the promotion of French culture.