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French & Italian

Selena Thor
Fall 2018 Content Creator
Selena Thor

Digital Newsletters

CLAgency Content Creators write stories each semester that are published on departments' websites, shared via social media, and emailed out to department alumni and friends as a digital newsletter.

Recent Stories

Portrait of Lily Mahan.

French Immersion Taught Me to be Mindful

Recent graduate Lily Mahan talks about starting French immersion preschool at the age of three, what it was like to transition out of a full immersion program at the end of elementary school, and how knowing French affects her worldview. “I am who I am today because of my immersion experience,” she says. Lastly, graduating with a French major, Mahan talks about her future and how she hopes to live and work in France one day.
Portrait of Bella Dally-Steele.

Immersion Through Learning Abroad

Bella Dally-Steele strives to learn as many languages as she can to fuel a career in international journalism. Her first immersion experience was as an exchange student in France as a high school student, which she has followed up by learning abroad in Seoul, South Korea and Fez, Morocco, in college. She is pursuing a bachelor of individualized studies in French, Spanish, and mass communication.
Portrait of Sophia Wright.

Weaving Music with French

Sophia Wright discusses how her majors in French and music work together in harmony. Wright applies her language skills and understanding of French culture and history to her studies of music and art. She draws connections between different art forms and time periods to create a clearer picture of Western history with the help of her French immersion background. By overcoming challenges in her immersion experience, Wright was able to excel in her other classes because of her French background.
Portrait of Jane Leach.

Intertwining French and Public Health in Senegal

Committed to public health development in an international context, French major Jane Leach jumped at the opportunity to learn abroad in Senegal, where she gained cross-cultural healthcare experience by working with mothers and babies at a rural clinic. She returned to Minneapolis with a more nuanced understanding of French studies and a renewed passion for public health. "It felt like [I had found] something I could dedicate my life to."
Vlad posing for a picture

In Cinema, Sound is the Key

Alumnus Vlad Dima (PhD 2010) discusses life as an associate professor at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, where he researches French and francophone cinema and crafts unique courses, such as one that explores the representations of the undead in literature and film. His new book offers the first comprehensive study in English of films by Djibril Diop Mambety, and argues that the Senegalese auteur uses soundscapes to generate alternate narrative planes.
Alexander Rash’s standing outside of Folwell Hall at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities

Traveler, Artist & Urban Explorer

2017 graduate Alexander Rash returned to Minnesota to finish his degree after spending several years living in France. While there, he helped open a collective publishing house, became an art curator, and had countless other adventures. He likes that travel gives him a new perspective on the world and that his French studies have given him “the ability to think in multiple dimensions as relates to society.”
Three-panelist roundtable discussion during the Les Actualités de Patrick Modiano symposium

Examining Modiano

In collaboration with Minneapolis’ Alliance Française, department chair Bruno Chaouat moderated a riveting symposium regarding the work of French Nobel Prize winner Patrick Modiano. Speakers with expertise in his work were brought in from across the globe to discuss Modiano’s literary importance.
Ice, Lee-Ferrand, and Schaffauser and others pose together in Senegal

Graduate Students Collaborate with International and African Scholars

Last May, three graduate students represented the French and Italian Department at Le Conseil International d’Études Francophones, a week-long international conference of Francophone scholars. There they presented work on postcolonial Francophone literature and cuisine, and were asked to publish their papers—an honor uncommon for graduate students.
Ghreichi and a friend on a cliff overlooking a valley in Lebanon

Embracing Opportunities Abroad

After finishing her undergraduate degree last spring, French minor Marie-Christine Ghreichi was awarded a scholarship allowing her to study abroad in Lebanon, a multilingual and multicultural country with strong ties to France, the French language, and French literature. While there, she has been able to connect with her Lebanese heritage, love of languages, and her passion for advancing human rights.
Photograph of presenter at Worlds Between Words

Worlds of Success

This past February, the Department of French and Italian held a new event bringing University students, staff, alumni, and community members together at the Weisman Art Museum. “Worlds Between Words” featured poetry in fifteen languages, music, and art—illustrating the all-encompassing appreciation of language.