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On April 6-7, 2018 we hosted a language symposium showcasing original performances and student/faculty presentations on the intersections of language, culture and identity.  

The purpose of this symposium was to bring together a community of students and professors interested in the topic of language learning, communications and multilingualism. In this symposium, presenters reflected on the process of communicating in a second language in all the complexity and richness of that experience. By welcoming these different perspectives, this symposium sought to showcase the many forms that cross-lingual communication can take, while also highlighting the importance of linguistic empathy in our increasingly multicultural and interconnected community.

Here are a few highlights from the langauge symposium:

Read Mariel Middlebrook's paper 

Read Dea Deeton's paper

Read Donato Petronella's translated paper

The symposium schedule is detailed in the drop-down menus. 

  • Friday April 6th, 2018

    4:30-5:00 pm     Introduction and Welcome l Fries Center for Global Studies Commons, Fisk 201

    5:00-6:15 pm     Shaping Identity Through Language l Fisk 208

    • Jordan Agricula: “The Absence of Language and Its Effect of Identity”
    • Alberto Encinas and Michela Olson: “The Privilege of Being a Native English Speaker”
    • Langston Morrison: “The Power of Language: the Story of a Young Polyglot”
    • Zainab Alawi: “The Language Journey” 


    6:15 pm            Performances l FCGS Commons, Fisk 201

  • Saturday, April 7th, 2018

    8:45 - 9:00 am      Breakfast and Welcome l FCGS Commons, Fisk 201

    9:00-10:00 am    Moving Across Language l Fisk 210

    • Donato Petronella: “My Story: The Impact of Language and Culture on a Person’s Sense of Identity”
    • Aiti Rai: “My Experience from the Refugee Camp”
    • Fengbeiling Wang and Hongjia Zhang: “The Recognition, Mobility, and Transformation of Languages and Identities”

    10:00-11:00 am    Power Dynamics of Multilingualism l Fisk 208

    • Mariel Middlebrook: “‘Yo no hablo como tú:’ Experiences Working with Second-Generation Spanish Speakers”
    • Alison Silverstein: “Heritage Language Shame in the United States”
    • Rosy Maria Pitruzzello: “The Powerful Experience of Multilingualism”

    11:00-12:00 pm    Life in Translation l Fisk 210

    • Ernesto Ye Luo: “Language and Personality”
    • Carmen Hatchell: “Weight of My Name”
    • Krishna Winston: “Becoming a Translator: Nuts, Bolts and ‘Vitmain C’”

    12-00-1:00 pm     Lunch l FCGS Commons, Fisk 201

    1:00-2:00 pm       Ways of Teaching Language l Fisk 208

    • Thorsten Wilhelm: “How Easy Does It Have To Be: Disability, Diversity, and Easy Language”
    • Yu Miyabe: “The importance of Language Learning and Intercultural Communication: My Cultural and Educational Experiences in Japan and America”
    • Camilla Zamboni: “Open Educational Resources: The Key to Effective Second Language Acquisition”


    2:00-3:00 pm       Language and Politics l Fisk 210

    • Molly Schiff: “Writing Beyond the Nation: Expressions of Hybridity Through Spatial and Languaging Techniques in Laila Wadia’s ‘Curry di Pollo’ and ‘Karnevale’”
    • Dea Deeton: “Titoli che combattono il razzismo e il sessismo” (“Titles that Fight Racism and Sexism”)
    • Tom Fischer: “Language and Politics in Taiwan”

    3:00-4:00 pm       Building Community Ties Through Language Learning l Fisk 208

    • Phoebe Howe, Vanessa Baker, Sushraya Jay &Alexis Sher: “Wesleyan’s ELL Tutoring Program: Supporting Local Students on their Language Learning Journeys”
    • Ana Perez-Girones's class: “Learning to Teach and Teaching to Learn”

    4:15-5:30 pm      Keynote Speaker l Global Studies Classroom, Fisk 210

    • Dr. Lital Levy: “Caught between Accent and Silence: On the Outer Limits of Language and Identity”
  • Event Organizers¬†and Sponsors

    Language Symposium Leadership Committee

    • Molly Schiff '18
    • Betty Bekele '19
    • Marni Loffman '19
    • Jessica Chen '20
    • Samin Panju '20
    • Sole Anatrone, Professor of Italian
    • Kia Lor, Assistant Director of Language and Intercultural Learning



    This event was made possible by the sponsorship from the Fries Center for Global Studies, the Office of Equity and Inclusion, and the Center for Pedagogical Innovation