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Romance Languages

Calendar of Events

Language Tables

French Table
Wednesdays, 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
Thorne Hall, Pinette Dining Room

Italian Coffee Hour
Wednesdays 4:00-5:30 p.m.
106 Riley House

Spanish Table
Thursdays, 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m
Thorne Hall, Pinette Dining Room

Making Independent Films in Cuba with Miguel Coyula, Director

Making Independent Films in Cuba with Miguel Coyula, Director

February 18, 2014 4:00 PM  – 5:30 PM
Sills Hall, Smith Auditorium

Miguel Coyula (Havana, 1977) is one of the most accomplished and internationally acclaimed Independent Filmmakers from Cuba. He is the director of several experimental short films and two feature films, Cucarachas rojas (2003) and Memorias del Desarrollo (2010), which have granted him dozens of awards. Coyula's work is aesthetically focused on exploring new ways of storytelling through digital technology, yet his films are lucid and sophisticated portrayals of a variety of historical events and political matters. Memorias, based on a novel by Edmundo Desnoes, tells the story of a Cuban intellectual who leaves "underdevelopment" behind to find himself at odds with the ambiguities of his new life as a professor in the "developed" world. The protagonist is a witness to the Cuban Revolution and the several waves of migration leaving the island from the 60's to the 80's, as well as to the attacks of September 11th in New York. Selected by the International Film Guide as the Best Cuban Film of 2011, the movie is not available in DVD or for commercial purposes. Therefore, it would be truly an exceptional opportunity for the Bowdoin community to watch this film in the context of the "World Cinema Film Screenings."

Coyula's visit will also include a workshop titled "Making Independent Films in Cuba," open to students, faculty and community members with interest in filmmaking (February 18, Smith Auditorium, 4 pm).

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World Cinema Film Festival: "The Great Beauty"

World Cinema Film Festival: "The Great Beauty"

February 19, 2014 7:00 PM  – 9:00 PM
Visual Arts Center, Kresge Auditorium

Bowdoin's World Cinema Film Festival offers a varied program of important contemporary narrative and documentary films from around the world with post-screening discussions moderated by faculty and students.

The Great Beauty (Paolo Sorrentino, Italy 2013) is presented by Allison Cooper (Italian)and Gretchen Williams '14 (Art History/Italian).  A love letter to Roman decadence, this tragicomedy of Italy's leisured classes is a sensual overload and a scathing commentary on Italian politics and society.

“A deliriously alive movie … a wildly inventive and sometimes thrilling ode to sensibility and to some of its linguistic cousins, like sensation, sensitivity and sentiment.” 
-Manohla Dargis, The New York Times

“A radiant work on the meaning of life … The Great Beauty is drop-dead gorgeous, a film that is luxuriously, seductively, stunningly cinematic. But more than intoxicating imagery is on director Paolo Sorrentino’s mind, a lot more.” 
-Kenneth Turan, The Los Angeles Times

Official trailer

For more information, contact the Film Studies Program at (207) 725-3552.

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World Cinema Film Festival: "Please Vote For Me"

World Cinema Film Festival: "Please Vote For Me"

February 22, 2014 7:00 PM  – 9:00 PM
Visual Arts Center, Kresge Auditorium

Bowdoin's World Cinema Film Festival offers a varied program of important contemporary narrative and documentary films from around the world with post-screening discussions moderated by faculty and students.

Please Vote for Me (Weijun Chen, China, 2007) is presented by Shu-chin Tsui (Asian Studies).

A democratic experiment is happening in central China's most populous city: third-grade students are electing a class monitor. Their experience reveals the sacrifices and benefits required by democracy's implementation.

Trailer

For more information, contact the Film Studies Program at (207) 725-3552.

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World Cinema Film Festival: "Blancanieves"

World Cinema Film Festival: "Blancanieves"

February 23, 2014 7:00 PM  – 9:00 PM
Visual Arts Center, Kresge Auditorium

Bowdoin's World Cinema Film Festival offers a varied program of important contemporary narrative and documentary films from around the world with post-screening discussions moderated by faculty and students.

Blancanieves (Pablo Berger, Spain, 2012) is presented by Elena Cueto-Asin (Romance Languages), Tricia Welsch (Film Studies), Birgit Tautz (German), and MacMillan House. This wonderfully eerie silent film treat and Oscar nominee  recasts Snow White as a talented bullfighter in 1920s southern Spain.

A post-screening reception will be provided by the students of MacMillan House.

Official Trailer

For more information, contact the Film Studies Program at (207) 725-3552.

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Mayra Santos-Febres: Postcolonial Delusions - The Caribbean and Global Dissolution

Mayra Santos-Febres: Postcolonial Delusions - The Caribbean and Global Dissolution

March 26, 2014 7:00 PM  – 9:00 PM
Visual Arts Center, Kresge Auditorium

Mayra Santos-Febres is one of the most versatile authors in the contemporary Caribbean literary scene and the first Latin American Afra-Hispanic literary celebrity. A PhD graduate from Cornell, and a professor at the University of Puerto Rico, Santos-Febres is a poet, novelist, blogger and critic, as well an active public voice promoting literature as a means for decolonization. She has published the novels Sirena Selena vestida de pena (2000), Cualquier miercoles soy tuya (2002), Nuestra senora de la noche (2006), and Fe en disfraz (2009) (all translated in English), several collections of poetry, volumes of essays and short stories. Her writing and public engagement make her emblematic of her generation of Latin American writers, shuttling between the traditionally intellectual arena and the popular culture scene. Santos-Febres is the recipient of several international awards, and has been a visiting professor at Harvard and Cornell University.

Santos-Febres' unique poetic universe is populated by marginalized and itinerant characters, such as transvestites and sex-workers, whose fictional voices both embody and challenge the global fantasies around the Caribbean and its people. Both in her fiction and scholarly work the author addresses the colonial legacy on the Caribbean, and the region's ongoing relation to the Global North, main themes of her public presentation at Bowdoin. She will also lead a Creative Writing Workshop with students (Wednesday, March 26, 4 pm at Sills 117). For more information please contact Nadia Celis (ncelis@bowdoin.edu).

The event is hosted by the Department of Romance Languages and co-sponsored by the Programs of Latin American Studies, Africana Studies, the English Department, the McKeen Center for Common Good and Lectures and Concerts.

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Discussion and Screening of "The Garden" with Director Scott Kennedy Hamilton

Discussion and Screening of  "The Garden" with Director Scott Kennedy Hamilton

March 31, 2014 7:30 PM  – 9:30 PM
Sills Hall, Smith Auditorium

Scott Hamilton Kennedy comes to Bowdoin for a discussion and screening of his 2008 Oscar-nominated documentary The Garden. Kennedy's film tells the story of South Central Farm, a community garden and urban farm in Los Angeles. When the landowner decides he no longer wants the farm on his property, the working class families who created and work on South Central Farm protest - confronting a web of backroom land development deals, green politics, and corruption.

Indiewire says of The Garden: "(the film) exposes the fault lines in American society and raises crucial and challenging questions about liberty, equality, and justice for the poorest and most vulnerable among us."

Includes appearances by Danny Glover, Daryl Hannah, Willie Nelson, and Joan Baez.

The Garden website

Sponsored by Lectures and Concerts, the Film Studies Program, the Environmental Studies Program, the Latin American Studies Program, the Center for the Common Good, the Africana Studies Program, and the English Department.

Contact the Film Studies Program at 725-3552 for more information.

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Working in France - Info Session

Working in France - Info Session

April 3, 2014 6:30 PM  – 7:30 PM
Sills Hall, Room 109 (Woodruff Room)

Thursday, April 3rd
6:30 P.M.
Sills 109

The Bowdoin French Club will be welcoming Jerome Henry, vice-consul from the French Consulate to the United States in Boston, MA. He will be leading a discussion and Q&A session about working, living and studying in France for people holding a non-EU/EEA citizenship. As vice-consul, he will be able to offer his expertise and tips about applying for visas, work permits and other important practical considerations for living in France. The session will begin at 6:30pm in Sills 109.

This info session was organized by the Bowdoin French Club, with financial support from Bowdoin Student Activities. It marks the first direct collaboration with the Cultural Services department of the French Consulate in Boston. The Bowdoin French Club hopes to organize many more events in the upcoming academic year.

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Must Mediterranean Men be Masculine? Reflections on a Stereotype

Must Mediterranean Men be Masculine? Reflections on a Stereotype

April 24, 2014 7:00 PM  – 9:00 PM
Searles Science Building, Room 315

Michael Herzfeld is Ernest E. Monrad Professor of the Social Sciences in the Department of Anthropology at Harvard University, where he has taught since 1991. The author of ten books -- including A Place in History (1991), Cultural Intimacy (1997), The Body Impolitic (2004), and Evicted from Eternity (2009) -- and numerous articles and reviews, he has also produced two ethnographic films (Monti Moments[2007] and Roman Restaurant Rhythms [2011]). His honors include the J.I. Staley Prize and the Rivers Memorial Medal (both in 1994) and honorary doctorates from the Université Libre de Bruxelles (2005), the University of Macedonia, Thessaloniki (2011), and the University of Crete (2013). He has served as editor of American Ethnologist (1995-98) and is currently editor-at-large (responsible for "Polyglot Perspectives") at Anthropological Quarterly. He is also a member of the editorial boards of several journals, including International Journal of Heritage Studies, Anthropology Today, and South East Asia Research. His research in Greece, Italy, and Thailand has addressed the social and political impact of historic conservation and gentrification, the dynamics of nationalism and bureaucracy, and the ethnography of knowledge among artisans and intellectuals. He is currently working on a book and a film about the politics of heritage and spatiality in Bangkok.

Sponsored by the Mellon Initiative in Mediterranean Studies.

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Francesco Verso on Writing and Publishing Science Fiction

Francesco Verso on Writing and Publishing Science Fiction

April 28, 2014 7:00 PM  – 9:00 PM
Massachusetts Hall, Faculty Room

Francesco Verso, born in Italy in 1973, has won numerous awards for his science fiction novels and short stories, many of which are now available in English. The conversation will be in English.


Sponsored by the Departments of Romance Languages and English.

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Russian Table

Russian Table

May 1, 2014 5:30 PM  – 7:30 PM
Thorne Hall, Hutchinson Room

Come and enjoy conversation while strengthening your language skills.

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Spanish Table

Spanish Table

May 1, 2014 5:30 PM  – 7:30 PM
Thorne Hall, Pinette Dining Room

Come and enjoy conversation while strengthening your language skills.

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Dana Renga: Mafia, Masculinity, Melodrama

Dana Renga: Mafia, Masculinity, Melodrama

May 2, 2014 4:30 PM  – 6:00 PM
Massachusetts Hall, Faculty Room

Dana Renga, Assistant Professor of Italian at The Ohio State University, will discuss the ways in which the conventions of melodrama shape the mafia movie, focusing in particular on the Italian box-office hit Romanzo criminale (Michele Placido, 2005). Melodramatic narratives, argues Prof. Renga, create sympathy for the mafia film's brooding anti-hero - a sympathy that is increased when these characters are played by the likes of Italian film idols Kim Rossi Stuart and Riccardo Scamarcio. In "Mafia, Masculinity, Melodrama" Prof. Renga examines how such films cause their viewers to forgive the transgressions of their criminal protagonists, and even mourn their deaths.

Prof. Renga works on modern and contemporary Italian cinema and culture, including representations of the Mafia, gender, the holocaust, fascism and terrorism. She has published articles and book chapters on Italian cinema, popular culture, poetry, and literature. She is the author of Unfinished Business: Screening the Italian Mafia in the New Millennium (University of Toronto Press, 2013), the editor of Mafia Movies: A Reader (University of Toronto Press, 2011) and co-edits The Italianist: Film Issue. She is currently at work on a book entitled Italian Women's Cinema and the Wounded Filmic Body (1915-2015).

This lecture is sponsored by the Bowdoin College Department of Romance Languages, Film Studies Program, Department of English, and Gender and Women's Studies Program, with additional funding from the Lectures and Concerts Committee and Blythe Bickel Edwards Fund.

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