Archive for February, 2014

New Nanovic Fellow Film

Posted on February 27, 2014 in Film

germany-morel Olivier Morel, Assistant Professor of Romance Languages and Literatures and Film, Television & Theatre, will soon release a new documentary, entitled GERMANY: as told by writers Christoph Hein, Wladimir Kaminer Emine Sevgi Özdamar and Bernhard Schlink.

Marked by very different backgrounds (East Germany, Russia, Turkey, and West Germany, respectively), these influential writers are key figures whose works bear witness to a new way of depicting Germany’s trauma in modern literature and culture. Their work is also part of the move in contemporary German literature towards transnationalism, reflecting Germany’s transition toward an increasingly multicultural, multiethnic, and multilingual society. Its contemporary literature increasingly looks beyond the geographic limits of the German state.

The film’s world premiere took place on February 21, 2014 in New York City, which was attended by Professor Morel, along with featured writer Bernhard Schlink and two of the protagonist-writers of the film.

The film is set to premiere on television on the European channel ARTE next fall.

Morel’s films include the award-winning documentary On the Bridge (2011), The Twentieth Century, three survivors (1999), The Last from World War I (2000), and Farewell 14 (2006). He is also the author of Visages de la Grande Guerre (1998), Berlin Légendes (2014), as well as a graphic novel, Revenants (with drawings by Maël, 2013).

Student Spotlight: Alberto Lo Pinto

Posted on February 24, 2014 in Students

Lo Pinto, Alberto 13-14Alberto Lo Pinto is a doctoral candidate in the PhD in Literature program.  The Nanovic Institute awarded Alberto a Graduate Professional Development Grant to present at a conference at the University of Toronto Mississauga.  Alberto recently wrote about his experience:

On October 17th -19th, 2013, I attended a conference on Federico Fellini held at the University of Toronto. The event was organized by the Department of Language Studies at the University of Toronto Mississauga in order to commemorate the twentieth anniversary of the death of Federico Fellini, one of the greatest Italian directors and one of the most important writers of the history of cinema. Many first-class scholars of Federico Fellini and Italian Film Studies joined in what was a very rich and fruitful event. This conference allowed me to network with specialists in Film and Italian Studies, which I am certain will be helpful in my future career. During the three days of conference, I was also able to meet the faculty members of the Italian Department and we promised each other to work together in the near future. 

The environment at the conference was very pleasant. The heterogeneous group was made up of scholars from Canada, the U.S., and Italy, and this provided for very productive discussions in each and every panel. The Department of Italian Studies at the University of Toronto was very generous and thoughtful in providing both the participants and the speakers multiple occasions in which it was possible to interact with each other and further develop interesting topics related to our fields of study. 

The paper I presented, titled “Federico Fellini e l’Eur: il lunapark di Federico,” made a good impact on the audience and elicited a series of questions, comments, and congratulations. Vincenzo Mollica, one of the keynote speakers of the conference and a renowned journalist in Italy, approached me to congratulate me for my work and to further discuss the topic of my paper. To take advantage of this opportunity, not forgetting his close friendship with the late director, I asked him for his contact information to have the possibility of interviewing him in the near future. His comments and the ones of other participants helped me to further develop my work – with the hopes that I will be able to publish it in the near future. Furthermore, the topic of the paper is linked to what I would like the topic of my dissertation to be, namely the representation of the urban space of Rome, and the feedback I received will also help me on this project. 

The conference took place at the University of Toronto, a beautiful environment in the heart of the city, full of unforgettable Romanesque and contemporary structures very well combined together. Along with this, as one of the speakers at the conference, I was also invited by the Istituto Italiano di Cultura for a dinner in a very nice old building, in which I had the chance to introduce myself to a series of very important scholars in residence there. This was a unique and unforgettable experience both for my professional development and for my personal life. It was the first time I presented a paper, and I would like to thank the Nanovic Institute for giving me the opportunity to participate in this event. 

Student Spotlight: Sarah Martin

Posted on February 12, 2014 in Uncategorized

Martin, Sarah 13-14Sarah Martin is an MFA candidate in Art, Art History, and Design, with a concentration in visual communication design.  The Nanovic Institute awarded Sarah a Graduate Professional Development Grant to attend the 2nd Global Conference: The Graphic Novel, sponsored by Inter-Disciplinary.Net’s At the Interface hub.  Sarah recently wrote about her experience:

Thanks to support from the Nanovic Institute, I was able to present my paper, “Bad Things Happen: Navigating Graphic Narratives, Fairytales, and Morals in New Spaces” at the 2nd Global Conference: The Graphic Novel, sponsored by Inter-Disciplinary.Net’s At the Interface hub. This international conference took place at Oxford, England between September 21-25, 2013, and my research was presented during the session entitled “Graphic Novels in the 21st Century.” I received invaluable feedback on my research from Oxford and Cambridge scholars, in addition to international academics like Daniel Merlin Goodbrey, renowned creator of experimental digital hypercomics and web comics pioneer. The feedback was incredibly positive, and I am now fortunate to have made useful connections with writers and artists around the world. I networked with graphic narrative practitioners and researchers who are equally interested in European fairytale and myth-making for children. I was invited to submit my work to other international conferences that discuss the issue of contemporary graphic narratives as well. From this professional development opportunity, my paper will be published in a peer-reviewed e-book, plus it has the opportunity to be published in hardback later this year.

Because of this opportunity, I gained experience chairing a session at a conference, which was a completely new undertaking. For the session entitled “Adaptation and the Graphic Novel,” I introduced speakers, panels, and presenters, while also chairing the question session and mediating the clock.  Also, I now have a comfortable understanding of the way international conferences work in terms of academic ethos and panel discussions. For example, I had the extreme fortune of attending a conference that was very open-minded and idea-friendly. Plus, I was also able to build on my summer research in Nepal by attending and participating in sessions like, “Graphic Myths and visions of the future,” “Other cultures, other voices, other words,” and “Cultural appropriations, east to west and globalization.”

In my down time I researched the academic environment of Oxford. I visited the Ashmolean Art Museum and Exeter Hall, the home of other great myth-makers such as J.R.R. Tolkien and Lewis Carroll. The history of fairytale and story-telling is rich in Oxford, England, as every building has a deep and sometimes magical history. I was able to briefly research old English fairytale in archaic books and collections at the Ashmolean, while also viewing an installation of a camera obscura – a traditional device once used for renaissance drawing. 

Without support from the Nanovic Institute, I would not have been able to cover the costs associated with airfare, conference registration, room and board, and domestic travel. I am therefore writing to thank you for your support at a critical time in my professional development.

Nanovic Grant Recipients and the Fulbright Scholarship

Posted on February 4, 2014 in Students

Nineteen students from the University of Notre Dame have moved forward to phase two of the Fulbright award process.  Of those 19 students, 11 have applied to conduct research or to teach in European countries.  As a proponent of European Studies, the Nanovic Institute is pleased with this, of course.  Those of us here at the institute are even more pleased and proud, however, of the fact that 7 of the 19 students are past recipients of Nanovic grants:

  • Natalie Boll
  • Lindsay Dun
  • Melissa Guinan
  • Leo Hall
  • Deanna Kolberg
  • Katherine Norman
  • Sylvia Yong

Congratulations to our Nanovic scholars!