Romance Languages

Jerid Francom
ACIV-ES: A Novel Spanish-language Corpus for Linguistic and Cultural Comparisons between Communities of the Hispanic World
Awarded $25,000 for the period 8/1/11 to 12/31/11
Source: National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH)

ACTIV-ES will be the first electronic resource to compile the language of common, everyday life for three linguistically, culturally, and geographically distinct communities—Spain, Mexico, and Argentina. It will provide scholars, instructors, students, and other interested parties with a rich cross-linguistic and cross-cultural analysis of current patterns and themes in the Hispanic world. A series of planning sessions bringing together experts in linguistics, pedagogy, computer science, and psychology will guide the technical and theoretical steps to optimize ACTIV-ES for applications in second-language pedagogy and enable heretofore impossible contemporary humanistic understanding and other interdisciplinary connections. During the grant period and beyond, WFU IT personnel and services will optimize integration of the resulting resource into humanistic research on campus and ensure free access to national and international public and scholars. This activity is expected to generate critical feedback on areas for improvement and inform a Level 2 proposal to add size, attributes, and a web interface to enable flexible public and scholarly access to the corpus.

Candelas Gala
Spanish Poetry and Painting and Sciences
Awarded $3,000
Source: University of Minnesota, Program for Cultural Cooperation between Spain and United States Universities

Sol Miguel-Prendes
Contemplative Practices and Literary Creation
Awarded 6-month Contemplative Practice Fellowship
Source: American Council of Learned Societies

Sol Miguel-Prendes, Associate Professor of Romance Languages, has been awarded an American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) Contemplative Practice Fellowship. It is one of ten awarded nationally each year “to advance scholarship and to encourage innovative course research” that will “restore and renew the critical contribution that contemplative practices can make to the life of the mind.” Dr. Miguel-Prendes won the single award for literature this year.

The course she is designing, “Contemplative Practices and Literary Creation,” is based on research for a book and will be taught initially to advanced undergraduate Spanish students. It examines three central images-the journey, the locus amoenus, and the inner city-as they are used in religious and lay texts in Castilian, Catalan, and other European contexts. The course is primarily devoted to the Middle Ages but will incorporate texts extending into the twentieth century.

Roberta Morosini

  • Networks and Knowledge: Synthesis and Innovation in the Muslim-Christian-Jewish Medieval Mediterranean, National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Summer Institute, Barcelona, 2012.
  • Fellowship
    Bogliasco Center 

Dr. Morosini will write two chapters of her book, Whispers of the Dove, which examines representations of the prophet Muhammad in fourteenth and fifteenth-century Italy. It starts from canto XXVIII of The Inferno, where Dante features a peculiar punishment for Muhammad among the schismatic, and a Western legend, first mentioned in Vincent of Beauvais’s Speculum historiale, that describes a malicious religious figure who, to convince the masses that Muhammad has been elected the new Moses by the Holy Spirit, trains a dove to peck at his ear. Another legend, more popular in France than in Italy, involves a bull, trained to carry the book of the new religion between its horns. Whispers of the Doveexamines these stories and images to explore the prejudice that Christian intellectuals in Byzantium transmitted to Western Europe.

  • What about the ‘Franceschi romanzi’? From France to Italy and Italy to France. The Rewriting of French Models in Boccaccio’s Neapolitan vernacular works: Filocolo (1336-39), Filostrato (1338), and Teseida (1339-41) and a French rewriting of the Filocolo: Le Philocope (1555) by Adrien Seuin
    Awarded $40K for the period 2003-2004
    Source: Harvard University Villa I Tatti Fellowship

Roberta Morosini, Assistant Professor of Romance Languages, is among 15 candidates nationally to win an I Tatti Fellowship for Italian Renaissance studies from Harvard University. She will study in Florence as a Francesco De Dombrowski Fellow. Two people are chosen for each discipline, including literature, history, and art history.

In addition to a $40K stipend and residence at the villa during the 2003/2004 academic year, Dr. Morosini will receive a $1,500 grant from the Lila Wallace – Reader’s Digest Fund to lecture on her work and to submit an article to I Tatti Studies in the two years following the stay.

Dr. Morosini will investigate “What about the ‘Franceschi romanzi’? From France to Italy and Italy to France. The Rewriting of French Models in Boccaccio’s Neapolitan vernacular works: Filocolo (1336-39), Filostrato (1338), and Teseida (1339-41) and a French rewriting of the Filocolo: Le Philocope (1555) by Adrien Seuin.” Franceschi romanzi refers to the Old French romances mentioned by one of Boccaccio’s heroines, the love-struck Fiammetta in the Elegia di Madonna Fiammetta. Dr. Morosini will examine the French romances reworked by Boccaccio as well as the first French edition of the Filocolo, which Boccaccio had originally rewritten and adapted from the Old French Floire et Blancheflor.

Kendall Tarte
France on the Page: Portraying the Wars of Religion
National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Summer Stipend, 2010

The book analyzes the inventive strategies that writers and artists used to depict places in France on the pages of books and prints during the Wars of Religion (1562-1598). This study of literary and visual style offers a new interpretation of three works: a geography, Belleforest’s Cosmographie Universelle (1575); a contemporary history, La Popelinière’s La vraye et entiere histoire de ces derniers troubles (1571); and a print collection, Perrissin and Tortorel’s Quarante Tableaux (1570). Chorographic descriptions of cities and towns in geographies, local histories that narrate regional itineraries, and engravings of cities under siege and at peace signal cultural transformations and innovations in writing and print production.