Modern Languages Senior Colloquium

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2016
Tuesday, April 19th
3:30 PM

Au Pays - An Examination of Culture, Identity, and Retirement

Bryant Powell, Murray State University

Barkley Room, Curris Center

3:30 PM - 5:30 AM

Author and public intellectual Tahar Ben Jelloun’s 2009 novel Au Pays is a stunning, introspective work that delves into the questions that are essential to the immigrant experience. As a Moroccan-French immigrant, Ben Jelloun is able to examine these ideas through the lens of his persona experience, making his characters both honest and relatable. Mohammad, another Moroccan immigrant and the protagonist of Au Pays, identifies himself as a proud worker, a loving father, and a devout Muslim, but each of these identities is thrown into question as he tries to find his place in “Lafrance.” As retirement looms ever-closer, Mohammad decides that he does not wish to be buried in the French ground, and thus returns to his native Morocco. However, going back to his homeland forces him to reexamine his memories and face uncomfortable conclusions about his culture and himself.

Loose Triggers: Tackling Uncomfortable Topics in the Language Classroom

Kathryn E. Granstaff, Murray State University

Barkley Room, Curris Center

3:30 PM - 5:30 AM

Loose Triggers: Tackling Uncomfortable Topics in the Language Classroom

Disparadores sueltos: abordando temas incómodos en el aula de idiomas

The use or omission of trigger warnings in the classroom setting is a controversial topic. Should trigger warnings be used before teaching uncomfortable topics such as religious beliefs, the impacts of violence, home-life or graphic descriptions? How does one deal with these topics in the classroom? While some research has been conducted in an attempt to find an answer to these questions, there have been no consistent answers or established policies for educators to turn to. The gap in this research has delayed the construction of potentially enlightening lesson plans as well as prohibited further real world learning for students. This project will focus specifically on the language classroom and the challenges and cultural implications that arise when dealing with uncomfortable topics. This research will fill the gap by conducting surveys with students and teachers and experimenting with different teaching styles and lessons that encourage creativity, participation, cultural awareness and critical thinking. This research project will serve as an opportunity to discover new ways in which to reestablish that the language classroom is an area of enlightenment for subject matters of all types as well as provide an outlet for educators so that they are encouraged not to fear tackling uncomfortable subjects in the classroom.

Kathryn Granstaff

Double Major:

Secondary English Education & P-12 Spanish Teaching Certification

Class of 2016

Research Advisor: Tanya Romero-González

The Death of François Vatel: A Symbol of Darkness in the Courts of Seventeenth-Century France

Kristin L. Critchfield, Murray State University

Barkley Room, Curris Center

3:30 PM - 5:30 AM

The Death of François Vatel: A Symbol of Darkness in the Courts of Seventeenth-Century France

La mort de François Vatel:Un emblème du mal dans les cours en France pendant le dix-septième siècle

The seventeenth century is known as the “Grand Siècle” of France, a time period in which many great laws, movements, political figures, and works of art emerged. The “Grand Siècle” was dominated by the aura of the Sun King, Louis XIV (ruled 1643-1714), who, at Versailles, had put France at the center of the world. He had extensive connections, especially with the Eastern world. Chinese fashion even influenced the dress within the court of Versailles. Inside the courts such as Louis XIV’s, and those modeled after his court, there were men who were responsible for maintaining the extravagance and glory of the courts. These men, called maîtres d’hôtel were essentially responsible for managing what went on behind the scenes of the court, whether it be coordinating decorations or cooking the meals for a party. François Vatel was a maître d’hôtel, employed by Nicholas Fouquet and the Prince de Condé, whose death remains, to this day, much of a mystery. In this paper, the death of François Vatel is discussed in the context of letters by Madame de Sévigné and the film Vatel directed by Roland Joffé. His death is also contrasted with the bright reputation of the courts in seventeenth-century France, and brings up the question of a hidden darkness within those very courts. Ultimately, this essay suggests that Vatel’s death was a symbol of darkness in the seemingly sound court system of Louis XIV’s France.

Kristin Critchfield

Major in French and Francophone Studies, Minor in English Literature (Class of 2016)

Research Advisor: Dr. Therese Saint Paul

The Melody of Learning

Zuleyka Valdes, Murray State University

Barkley Room, Curris Center

3:30 PM - 5:30 AM

The Melody of Learning

La melodía del aprendizaje

Music opens numerous doors of creativity and enlightenment when combined with our cognitive development skills. The question is how music can enhance the teaching of foreign languages and other subjects in the classrooms. This paper explores the importance of using music in ways that can be combined with traditional teaching methods. Music can be used as a tool to create more profound and impactful ways in students’ learning. This paper will examine the existing scientific studies about how music impacts cognitive development. We will examine how the various regions of the brain are activated when a person is working on music, mathematics, and languages. Throughout this research, I intend to prove how music can have a positive impact in learning. Furthermore, the essay will take into account how music may benefit students with different learning styles within the classroom. Not only will I be consulting existing research on this topic but I will also take into account the results of a survey that I recently conducted. Also, my personal experience will inform me further on this matter. With each of these pieces of supporting evidence, I will determine the results connected to how music can enhance the teaching of foreign languages.

Zuleyka Valdés

Double Major:

Math Education Grades 5-9 & Spanish P-12 Certification

(Class of 2017)

Research Advisor: Dr. Elena Picech

The Nail That Sticks Up: An Analysis of Japanese Identity

Cassandra M. Nutt Ms., Murray State University

Barkley Room, Curris Center

3:30 PM - 5:30 AM

出る釘:日本の同一性の解析

The Nail That Sticks Up: An Analysis of Japanese Identity

This presentation examines the conflict between the two Identities that each Japanese person possesses. These are the true identity, and the identity projected by a Japanese person in order to conform to society’s expectations. This examination is conducted in the context of the novel The Broken Commandment by Shimazaki Tōeson. This project will analyze the main character, and other character’s interactions with each other, their inner monologue, and the policies created by society. These examples will show the conflicts and resolutions in balancing the two identities, as well as connect this conflict/resolution to the larger narrative of Japanese identity dissonance, which continues even in modern Japanese society.

Cassandra Nutt, Japanese and English (class of 2016)

Research Advisor: Fusae Ekida