Past Events

Past Events


Celebrating Black History Month - The Department of Modern Languages and Literatures is hosting two events to honor Black History Month. Our invited speaker for both events is Mr. Fred Kuwornu, an Italian-Ghanaian documentary film director and activist who examines issues pertinent to the African diaspora and the particular situation of children of immigrants in Italy while also promoting the importance of multiculturalism, diversity and equity in Italy and Europe at large. We are appreciative of the co-sponsorships of: the Office of Diversity, Inclusion, Community & Equity, the Faculty Senate Speakers Series, the Center for Global Engagement, the Departments of International Studies and Modern Languages and Literature, and Italian Studies.

Black Italians and Digital Culture in Contemporary Italy, with guest filmmaker and activist, Fred Kudjo Kuwornu moderated by Dr. Torunn Haaland, Wednesday, February 10th, 12pm on Zoom - student-oriented interactive talk in Italian. In recent years social media have become the main platform where new artistic talents but also black activists are imposing themselves in Italian culture. This multimedia lecture explores the role of Black girls in Italy and their contribution in a variety of fields including the world-renowned Italian fashion and beauty industries, the role of Black artists in the music and entertainment industry. Social Media Entrepreneurship has emerged as an important strategy for Afro-Italians seeking to advance new narratives about Blackness and its inclusion within the material and symbolic boundaries of Italy. At the same time, Afro-Italian entrepreneurship is transforming Italian material culture, and, by extension, the meanings of Italianness itself

Black Lives Matter in Italy and the legacy of Colonialism, with guest filmmaker and activist, Fred Kudjo Kuwornu, moderated by Dr. Torunn Haaland, Friday, February 12th, 12pm on Zoom - all-university presentation in English. This multimedia lecture aims to give a reasoned answer considering the nature of US institutional systemic racism structurally and statistically different from the Italian one, offering the audience of the event a cultural and semantic framework to interpret the current condition in Italy with the contest of the past of Italian Colonialism. When was racism born in Italy? Who are the Afro-Italian activists? Which is the composition and history of Black Italy? Is there any collective memory of the Italian past? On which battle is black activism in Italy engaged?

Lost in Translation, With Dr. Hafidha Ayat, Fulbright FLTA, February 16th, 4:10pm on Zoom. Come learn about words, phrases, concepts, and gestures from the Arabic language/culture which are so much used on a day-to-day basis, yet DO NOT TRANSLATE into U.S. English and culture.

Student Experiences in Chile Fall 2019, with Professor Kelley Bishop with Hannah Presken ('22), March 9th, 4pm on Zoom. While abroad in Fall 2019, a revolution broke out in Chile due to decades of inequality and the continued aftermath of the Pinochet dictatorship. Come listen to Hannah Presken ('22) talk about her experiences with the events leading up to the revolt, their lives during a revolution, what is happening now, and how this relates to current issues that the US is facing. Through this talk, you will learn how you can help support the revolution with your education of the topic and in turn, gain a larger world view by first person experiences.

Out of the Classroom and Into the Community: Immersion at Gonzaga in Florence, with Professor Henry Batterman with Erin Schultheis (Study Abroad Advisor), March 17th, 4pm on Zoom, Gonzaga in Florence offers a wide range of cultural and linguistic activities, ranging from visiting an Italian family once a week, “English for Pasta”, to attending an opera or a professional soccer game. Gonzaga students might play basketball with Italians, meet Italian university students, volunteer in a halfway house or intern with local businesses. The goal is to provide a variety of extracurricular activities designed to appeal to a broad cross section of Gonzaga students.

Poetry Month: How to Write an Ode like Neruda, with Dr. Alec Schumacher, April 7th, 4pm on Zoom -  Celebrate National Poetry Month with us by participating in a writing workshop on the poetry of the everyday. Nobel Prize-winning poet Pablo Neruda cultivated many styles of poetry during his storied career, including deceivingly simple odes that extol quotidian objects, revealing their sublime nature. In "Ode to the Onion", he writes: "I have praised everything that exists, but to me, onion, you are more beautiful than a bird of dazzling feathers, heavenly globe, platinum goblet, unmoving dance of the snowy anemone." Please join us to enjoy more of Neruda's poetry and try your hand at elevating the mundane in this workshop.

Major/minor, language requirement, study abroad information session, April 12th at 4:10 pm on Zoom. Meet the professors of the departments and ask about future classes, the language requirement, completing the major/minor, and how to fulfill requirements during study abroad.    

The session will be broken up into groups depending on your interest, including:  
* languages: Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Spanish, and Tagalog  
* majors: French, International Studies, Italian Studies, Spanish  
* minors: French, German, International Studies, Italian, Italian Studies, Spanish 
* the College of Arts and Sciences language requirement  
* studying abroad  

Collective Music in Italy during Lockdown, With Dr. Torunn Haaland, Tuesday, September 22nd, 4:00 p.m. Join us for a virtual conversation about how Italian communities found closeness in national music during lockdown, and the role music may have in bringing people together across barriers and borders. 

Independence Celebrations in Latin America, with Prof. Arturo García Osorio, Thursday, October 1st, 4:10 p.m. Come and join us for a virtual conversation about celebrations of independence in Latin America as well as the pandemic. Conversations in English guided by student enrolled in Spanish classes (Garrett Lim and Sydney Fluker). 

A Focus on the Philippines, with Prof. Reymund Paclibar Lara, Fulbright FLTA, Thursday, October 8th, 4:10 p.m. Have you dreamed of one day visiting the Philippines and experiencing for yourself why it's more fun in the Philippines? If you're craving the rays of the golden sun, getting to know the warm and friendly Filipinos, and desiring to visit the budget-friendly and unique natural wonders, then the Philippines is your dream paradise. Having been colonized by Spain, the US, and Japan, the Philippines is a melting pot of different cultures, food, and vibrant festivals. We invite you to attend to discover more! 

Día de la Raza: Celebration of Indigenous Cultures in Latin America, with Dr. Alec Schumacher. Monday, October 12th, 12:00 p.m. Many cities and states in the U.S. have stopped celebrating Columbus Day because of the kidnapping, slavery, and other abuses that Columbus committed, in addition to the legacy of colonialism and genocide of originary peoples. In Latin America this day has many names and is celebrated for different reasons: In Mexico, it is called Día de la Raza, in Argentina, Día del Respeto a la Diversidad Cultural, in Bolivia, Día de la Descolonialización, and in Nicaragua, Día de la Resistencia Indígena. In line with these ways of thinking, this event will raise awareness of the Latin American perspectives of October 12 by celebrating the indigenous cultures of Latin America. See our Facebook images.

Cooking Class with the Spanish Club, with Prof. Arturo García Osorio and Spanish Club President, Nate Remcho. Nate will be showing us how to make Tortilla de Patatas and Prof. García Osorio will be making Tostadas. Buy the ingredients ahead of time so you can cook at the same time! Monday, November 2nd, 4:00 p.m. See our Facebook images.

What did I learn in Cuernavaca, Mexico? Student Forum with Dr. Luis García-Torvisco, Wednesday, November 11th, 12:00 p.m.: Students who attended our long-standing Gonzaga in Cuernavaca (Mexico) program will discuss what they learned about Mexican culture and about themselves. Everybody is welcome to join us and participate in theconversation.

Language and Identity: Judge What I have to Say, Not How I Say It, Miguel Acosta Loza ('23), Campus Inclusivity Coordinator, Gonzaga Student Body Association with Dr. Isabelli and in collaboration with Gonzaga's Unity Multicultural Education Center (UMEC), November 17th, 6-7:30pm. The event is an informative panel in which 5 experts in the field share a 10-15-minute intervention about the extent to which language has become the back door to discrimination. After the intervention of the panelists, there will be a short Q and A session. The speaker list is as follows:

Carrie Gillon: Co-host of the Vocal Fries Podcast
Valerie Fridland: Professor of Linguistics and Director of Graduate Studies at the University of Nevada
Tej Krishan Bhatia: Professor of Linguistics & Forensic Sciences at Syracuse University
Megan Figueroa: Co-host of the Vocal Fries Podcast, Research Scientist at the University of Arizona
Caroline Myrick: Former faculty at North Carolina State University that currently works for state government

2019 - 2020

Colombia, Identidades y diferencias - Alternativas policardinales a los diseños del mundo ú slow Spanish: September 11, College Hall 028 - Alfredo Gutiérrez Borrero (School of Product Design, Jorge Tadeo Lozano University) talked about the dynamics in which he is immersed in today's Colombia: cities, education in social sciences, arts and design, social processes, post-conflict, indigenous and Afro-campesina communities, cultures of reparation, alternatives to tourism and ways to recover neighborhood’s life.

Ethnicity, Race, and Indigenous Peoples (ERIP) Conference: September 12-14, 2019 - The ERIP 2019 Conference, co-organized by Dr. Rebecca Stephanis, provided an opportunity for academics, graduate students, activists and practitioners in all the relevant disciplines to present panel, paper, and poster proposals on issues related to ERIP’s mission and areas of interest in the study of Latin America, the Caribbean, and the Americas. More information here.

Center for Global Engagement: September 26th - Bocce Ball Tournament with Florence Scholars

College of Arts and Sciences: October 9th, College Hall 048 - Come hear a brief presentation about the College of Arts and Sciences language requirement and about how you can fulfill that during your time at Gonzaga. For faculty advisors. 

Irish Gaelic and Culture Class: October 22nd, College Hall, Room 241 - Interested in learning some Irish language phrases and learning about the Irish culture? At this "Pop Up Gaeilge" class students learned some new words and facts. For more information, contact Deirdre Murphy, Fulbright Foreign Language Teacher. 

Hispanic, Latino, Latinx? Which one should I use?: October 23rd, Gonzaga School of Law, Room 143 - Want to know more about why the Hispanic Law Caucus changed its name? The Latina/o Law Student Association invited Arturo Garcia-Osorio, Lecturer of Modern Languages & Literature—Spanish, to present on the differences between "Hispanic" and "Latino". He also addressed the move towards the use of the word Latinx, a more inclusive and gender neutral term. They had tacos from Taqueria Guerrero.

Irish Gaelic and Culture Class: October 29th, College Hall, Room 241 - Those interested in learning some Irish language phrases and learning about the Irish culture came along to a "Pop Up Gaeilge" class and learned some new words and facts. For more information, contact Deirdre Murphy, Fulbright Foreign Language Teacher. 

First Friday Forum, TESOL Program with Modern Languages & Literature: November 2 - GU Writing Center in Foley. Language learning in context - variables that affect second language development - Dr. Christina Isabelli. Tech Time: Ali Asiri, Adjunct Faculty

Information Session: November 5th, College Hall, Room 028 - Study abroad, spring classes, language major or minor, advising, and more! Attendees met the professors of the department and asked about future classes, completing the major/minor, & how to fulfill requirements during study abroad. Light refreshments included.
Contact: Dr. Isabelli, Chair,

Book Presentation: November 12th, Humanities Building, Room 153 - Drs. Barbara Boyer ("French in a Flash: Grammar and Vocabulary Fundamentals", McFarland Press, 2018) and Alec Schumacher (Translation of "The Chilean Flag" by E. Hernández, Kenning Editions, 2019) presented their process/inspiration/content of their newly published books.

International Education Week:
 November 18th, The COG - Attendees met the Modern Languages and Literature faculty, tested their knowledge, and learned about our language programs.

Career Paths for Language Learners:  November 20th, Crosby First Floor - Dr. Leslie Cornick, EWU Associate Dean, College of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics; Dr. Jennifer Kalisvaart, Pediatrician, Providence Sacred Heart; Scott McGrew, Senior Localization Specialist at Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories; Dr. James Hupp, Vice Dean for Student and Faculty Experience, Elson S Floyd College of Medicine, Washington State University.

Gonzaga-in-Florence Scholars Social: Let's Play Briscola (Italian Card Game): December 4, 2019 - with Dr. Christina Isabelli

Study Abroad Information Session: February 19, 2020 

Gonzaga-in-Florence Scholars Social: Let's Make Spaghetti!: February 29, 2020 - with Dr. Christina Isabelli

Mardi Gras and Modern Languages and Literature Information Session: March 4th, Hemmingson Rotunda

Major/Minor Information Session: April 1st, 4 p.m., College Hall 028 - Study abroad, spring classes, language major or minor, advising, and more! Met the professors of the department and asked about future classes, completing the major/minor, & how to fulfill requirements during study abroad. Light refreshments were included. Contact: Dr. Isabelli, Chair,

2018 - 2019

Japanese Cultural Night: Nov. 8th, Hemmingson 314 - Met visiting students from Osaka Jikei College - dinner was provided!

International Education Week: Nov 12th - 15th, Hemmingson Rotunda
Met the Modern Languages and Literature faculty, tested our knowledge, and learned about our language programs.

Colombia Skype exchanges: Dr. Rebecca Stephanis coordinated an exchange with Gonzaga Spanish language students and Javeriana students in Colombia for ongoing Skype interaction.

Gonzaga-in-Florence Scholars lecture: October 31st, 2018 -"Che cosa sapete dell'Italia" with Dr. Torunn Haaland. 

Sierra Golden, informal Q&A: October 18th - Our Spanish major alum shared her experiences as a Spanish major, her study abroad experience in Granada, her fundraising/communications experiences for an immigrant and workers rights nonprofit in Seattle, and read poems from her new book that links directly to her experiences with Spanish and traveling. include attached pictures

Modern Languages and Literature at ZagFam weekend: October 6, 2018 - "Getting Global with Music" with Professors Ute Perz, Torunn Haaland, Ben Semple, Luis García-Torvisco and Christina Isabelli 

Gonzaga-in-Florence Scholars Social: Gelato!: October 6, 2018 - with Dr. Gabriella Brooke,

TESOL Program's First Friday Forum. October 5, 2018 - Dr. Barbara Boyer presented her new book "Rewriting Language Structures: French in a Flash"

Gonzaga-in-Florence Scholars extra-curricular event: Learning about and playing BOCCE! September 20, 2018 

Mardi Gras and Modern Languages and Literature Information Session: March 4th, Hemmingson Rotunda

Phi Sigma Iota Initiation Ceremony: March 31st, Hemmingson 314 - Language students were inducted into the international foreign language honor society 

Major/Minor Information Session: April 1st, 4 p.m., College Hall 028 - Study abroad, spring classes, language major or minor, advising, and more! Met the professors of the department and asked about future classes, completing the major/minor, & how to fulfill requirements during study abroad. Light refreshments were included.
Contact: Dr. Isabelli, Chair,

German Academic Exchange (DAAD) rep, Hanni Geist: April 8th, College Hall 036 - Information on scholarships, internships, or research opportunities in Germany. Both student information session and faculty information session.

The Venezuela slow Spanish,(Modern Languages tutoring center): April 5th, College Hall 028 - Informal presentation, in slow Spanish, on the Venezuelan Crisis. Our invited guest speaker was Carely Villanueva Cordova. Q&A in both Spanish and English.
Contact: Nate Remcho ('22),

Modern Languages and Literature Student Recognition Ceremony: May 6, Jundt Lounge & Hemmingson 

Association of Departments of Foreign Languages (ADFL) Summer Seminar West: May 22-25, 2019 - Davenport Grand, Spokane WA 

2017 - 2018

Spanish Study Abroad Information Session: May 3 2018, College Hall, Room 028 - Information about studying abroad in various Spanish-speaking countries from a student's perspective. Modern Languages and Literature's Spanish Program - Spanish study abroad information session.

Student Recognition Ceremony: May 7 2018, Jundt Lounge & Hemmingson          Center - Modern Languages and Literature graduating student recognition ceremony.

Honorary Society Initiation Ceremony: Modern Languages and Literature held an initiation ceremony for students being inducted into two honor societies associated with the department: Phi Sigma Iota, a national honorary society that recognizes outstanding accomplishment in the study (major/minor) of any of the academic fields related to foreign language, literature, or culture; Japanese National Honor Society recognizes and encourages achievement and excellence in the study of the Japanese language.

Career Paths for Language Learners:  April 25 2018, 4:00 p.m. Crosby Career Center  - Attendees learned about what they can do with their language skills after graduation. The Modern Languages and Literature Department's Career Paths for Language Learners led this panel! Made possible with a Faculty Career Programming Grant from the Career Center.

  • Katie Nollenberger - Center for Global Engagement Program Coordinator: post-baccalaureate research and teaching abroad.
  • Dr. Meagan Ciesla - Gonzaga Fulbright Advisor & Assistant Professor of English: Research and English Teaching Assistant opportunities abroad.
  • Scott McGrew - Localization Supervisor for Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories.
  • Dr. Jennifer Kalisvaart, MD - local pediatric doctor.

GEL weekend for prospective students: April 14 2018, - Modern Languages and Literature mini-introductory lessons in Arabic, French, and Japanese with Professors Ali Asiri, Barbara Boyer, and Seiko Katsushima.   

Japan Day: April 10 2018, Hemmingson Rotunda - The attendees of Japanese Culture Day made origami and calligraphy. Sponsored by the Center for Global Engagement and the Department of Modern Languages and Literature's Japanese Program. 

College of Arts and Sciences, Language Requirement Information Session: April 5 2018, Jundt Auditorium - Attendees got all their language requirement questions answered at this informal information session. Diane Birginal, Senior Lecturer and Language Requirement Testing Coordinator, led the language requirement information session. Light refreshments provided. 

Spanish major/minor Information Session: April 5 2018, College Hall 028 - Department of Modern Languages and Literature's Spanish Program faculty held an informal major/minor information session on the requirements for the major and minor, courses offered next academic year, and how study abroad can help fulfill the requirements. 

"Heart of Sky, Heart of Earth": April 4 2018, 6:30 p.m. Wolff Auditorium - Dr. Rebecca Stephanis introduced the film "Heart of Sky, Heart of Earth" (2011, Frauke Sandig and Eric Black, Directors). The remote homelands of the present-day Maya in Mexico and Guatemala present a perfect microcosm to show how unhindered globalization is impacting the planet and indigenous peoples. The film was hosted by Laura Marck, part of the Good Food Gonzaga club, dedicated to sustainability and food.