Department of Foreign Languages Wraps Up Voice Lecture Series
October 27, 2011
During the month of October, the Department of Foreign Languages hosted four installments of the Voice Lecture Series: Issues of Immigration, Colonialism and Terrorism in Transatlantic Studies. The lecture series was sponsored with support from the Spanish Consulate of Boston. Professor of Fine Arts at Boston College John Michalczyk closed the series October 26th, with a talk on "Celluloid Borders: Immigrant Images on Film."
Michalczyk explored films from three continents reflecting the highs and lows of the immigrant experience: "El Norte" focuses on the harshness of an unwelcoming culture in southern California; Belgian film "La Promesse" delves inside the black market trade of immigrant transport from North Africa; and the Emmy-nominated documentary film, "The Lost Boys of Sudan," traces the hardships of two refugees from the civil war as they make their way to America.
Renowned scholar and Brandeis University professor Dr. James Mandrell provided insight into Spain's "Haunted Year" during the October 19th lecture titled, "2004: Spain's Haunted Year." An expert in modern and contemporary Spanish literature, film and culture, Mandrell based his discussion on the March 11, 2004 Al-Qaeda bombings in Madrid, as well as the 1936 Spanish Civil War, both in the context of culture and politics.
Mandrell's presentation primarily focused on the well-known novel, Los Girasoles Ciegos (The Blind Sunflowers), written in 2004 by Alberto Mendez, which discusses the "ghosts" Spain must confront in order to move forward socially and politically. The book is divided into four character stories, focusing on the aftereffects experienced by the Spanish people following the Spanish Civil War. Mendez breaks down each story into the "defeats" of the characters, and offers, according to Mandrell, a true account of Spanish historical legacy under the reign of dictator Francisco Franco.
Mandrell is the associate professor of Hispanic Studies, Comparative Literature, Women's and Gender Studies, and Film Studies at Brandeis University. He has received many grants and fellowships for his field of study and is a published author on Spanish and Latin American literature and culture. His current research is focusing on food and fashion in 19th-century Spain.
Additional speakers in the Voice Lecture Series included Professor of Spanish and Coordinator of the Comparative Literature Program at Clark University Marvin D'Lugo and Boston University Professor of French T. Jefferson Kline.
D'Lugo addressed "Migration and ‘Otherness': Cinematic Chronicles of Multicultural Spain," on October 17th, exploring some of the dominant historical and contemporary images and narratives that are part of Spanish cinema's promotion of a multicultural, multi-ethnic national community.
Kline opened the lecture series October 3rd with a discussion on "Michael Haneke's CACHÉ and the Dilemma of Interracial Violence in France." The lecture examined Haneke's award-winning film as an invitation to rethink the age-old conflict between Arabs and indigenous Frenchmen. Kline addressed both the series of literary and cinematic allusions to this problem as well as the series of "documented" historical incidents of this violence in our own times.