by Prof. Deborah Jenson
We had a meaningful Romance Studies diploma ceremony, playing to a packed crowd, at Vonder Hayden Pavillion today. Huge thanks to Richard Rosa (incoming Chair), Luciana Fellin (incoming Director of Undergraduate Studies), and Michèle Longino (generous faculty member!) for their remarks on the ceremony as a whole and about individual undergraduates; their humor, warmth, and obvious dedication to the students was exactly what was needed. Thanks also to the faculty who contributed student anecdotes and praise in absentia: Stephanie Sieburth, Catherine Walsh, Jose-Maria Rodriguez-Garcia, Meg Greer, Claudia Milian, Joan Clifford and Deb Reisinger. You can see how much these comments mean from the fact that some parents asked me to send on a copy of the remarks about their graduating senior for familial posterity!
Several families commented afterward that it had been a wonderful event, and different from diploma ceremonies they had attended for other children or in other departments. What, I wondered, was behind this enthusiasm? Initially I chalked it up to the brilliance of the faculty mentioned above, but then later in the day, it came to me: Dell! and Anita! and Patricia! They had set out not the box lunches of yore, but a splendid buffet over which they presided, with abundant beverages, and nice music, and lovely brochures, and families sat in considerable comfort eating and drinking and listening to syntheses of what a Romance Studies education can mean. We greatly appreciate this ingenious tweaking of the formula, and service to the community.
Finally, thanks to the DUS-es who came before me, and to all departmental teachers for their devotion to these undergraduates who are generally so good, and often excellent, and even predictably manage to knock our socks off. It has been a privilege (--even if not uniformly a pleasure) to join the departmental ranks in undergraduate service, and I have appreciated your collaborations with Undergraduate Studies. The term is not quite over yet, but I thought I would take the moment, with the wonderful outgoing Assistant DUS Christelle Gonthier, to say a ceremonial farewell as DUS on this graduation day.
"The (mis)use of the Internet by students to buy term papers or plagiarize others’ writing is a major concern in Higher Education today. In the foreign language classroom, when it comes to the use of the Internet, the “elephant in the room” is the students’ use of websites like Google Translate or apps such as iTranslate to complete their work. This semester, four lecturers in Romance Studies released their findings on the use of these kinds of translation tools by Duke students."
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This semester, Duke students examined how language and culture impact health beliefs and behaviors in French and Spanish-speaking countries around the world. As part of the half-credit course, Voices in Global Health, students explored the links between culture, language and health through case studies, personal narratives, documentaries and interviews recorded in the foreign language.
An experimental forum, brief, and – in keeping with our colleague’s mode of thinking—combative. It will introduce several topics generated by her abiding engagement with debates over world literature. With the Department’s work in French/Francophone, Italian, Spanish/Latin American, as well as other traditions, Romance Studies offers the initial framework. And discussion is open to all those interested in thinking collectively about the functions of fiction, once upon a time, as now.
A four week immersion course in Portuguese language and Brazilian culture, offered only in Duke in Brazil. Elementary language pre-requisite required. Covers the intermediate language curriculum, developing aural comprehension, speaking, reading and writing skills. Provides grammar practice and development of effective strategies for oral communication done in conjunction with intensive cultural program activities and excursions.
The Duke in Brazil Summer Program offers strong and intensive civics, social, cultural, and environmental components. All afternoon activities and excursions