News & Announcements for French and Italian

News & Announcements for French and Italian

  • 3/5/2015
    Mr. Gourarier’s keynote "The Mediterranean: A Cradle of Civilizations Amongst Others” inaugurates the two-day colloquium “(Un)mapping the Mediterranean” (March 13-14) Zeev Gourarier (Director of Science and Collections at the Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilizations in Marseille, France) will speak about the particular singularities of the Mediterranean world that contribute to its cultural characteristics that are unique in comparison to other areas of a similar nature and how these elements are the founding principles of the Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilizations (MuCEM) Gallery of the Mediterranean. These singularities highlight the fact that, despite the lack of a political unity in the Mediterranean since the Roman Empire, there were nonetheless commonalities across agricultural, religious, and political structures.
  • Search for Visiting Assistant Professor in post-1950 French Studies open. Deadline: 3/27
    Visiting Assistant Professor of French, post-1950 French Studies University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign The Department of French and Italian at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign invites applications for a Visiting Assistant Professor position with a focus on post-1950 and contemporary France from an interdisciplinary perspective. Additional desirable areas of interest: visual studies, media studies, intellectual history. The successful candidate will be able to teach various courses on literature and culture that are part of the departmental curriculum. Teaching load 2/2. This is a full-time, 9-month, non-tenure track position, renewable subject to enrollments, funding, and positive performance evaluations. Salary is commensurate with qualifications and experience. The target starting date is August 16, 2015. A PhD is required at the time of appointment. Native or near-native French and English fluency, evidence of an active research agenda, and a strong commitment to innovative teaching are also required. To apply, create your candidate profile through Only applications submitted through the University of Illinois job board will be considered. To ensure full consideration, applicants must submit a letter of interest, curriculum vitae, and the names and contact information (or Interfolio ID) for three professional references. The search committee may contact applicants to ask for a sample syllabus and solicit electronically letters of reference from the listed references, after a first review of the files. To ensure full consideration, all required materials must be submitted by March 27, 2015. For further information regarding application procedures, please contact Illinois is an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, sex, age, status as a protected veteran, or status as a qualified individual with a disability. Illinois welcomes individuals with diverse backgrounds, experiences, and ideas who embrace and value diversity and inclusivity. (
  • Nora Stoppino to be the new Director of the Program in Medieval Studies
    Nora Stoppino has agreed to serve as the new Director of the Program in Medieval Studies beginning August 2016.
  • 2/12/2015
    Samir Meghelli has been awarded an IPRH faculty fellowship for 2015-16 for his project: "Between New York and Paris: A Transatlantic History of Race, Democracy, and Hip Hop".
  • 2/5/2015

    Molly Melching, (AB ’71, general curriculum; MA ’79, French) has been chosen to receive the 2015 University of Illinois Humanitarian Award.

    This prestigious award is presented to graduates whose outstanding leadership and service have significantly enriched the lives of others and the welfare of humanity. Melching was chosen for the honor by her fellow alumni/ae.

    The Alumni Humanitarian Award will be presented by the Alumni Association at the Alice Campbell Center during Commencement Weekend, Friday, May 15. Awardees will also be honored as part of the platform party during the campus-wide Commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 16.

    In 1991 Melching created TOSTAN, a nonprofit organization that teaches an 18-monthlong basic education program—in the native languages—that emphasizes problem solving and is adapted to the villagers' way of life. Its name means breakthrough in Wolof—and what a breakthrough TOSTAN has been.

    TOSTAN is one of the most successful literacy programs in Africa, winning substantial funding from UNICEF. Through TOSTAN thousands of Senegalese woman and children have learned to read and perform basic math. Armed with these skills, they have started local cooperatives, built wood stoves, and inaugurated health programs.

    A startling outcome of TOSTAN was that its lessons on hygiene prompted villagers to question and later challenge the practice of female genital mutilation (FGM). This traditional right-of-passage into adulthood maims or kills millions of women across 28 African countries. It is performed without anesthesia or medical supervision, often resulting in debilitating infections, lifelong suffering, or death through hemorrhaging.

    Tostan currently partners with communities to implement its Community Empowerment Program in eight African countries (Djibouti, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Mauritania, Senegal, Somalia and The Gambia).

    Melching arrived in Senegal in 1974 as a graduate exchange student to be a participant in an exchange program with the University of Dakar. Upon her arrival in this former French colony, she immersed herself in the Senegalese culture and mastered Wolof, the native language spoken by 70 percent of the country's 7.5 million residents. Her intent was to study African culture and literature. She stayed on to promote literacy and to improve living standards of rural village communities.