Indiana University Bloomington Indiana University Bloomington IU Bloomington

La Gaceta Internacional
Department of Spanish and Portuguese Alumni Newsletter
College of Arts and Sciences
Department Website | Newsletter Archive Volume 18 | Winter 2013


Department of Spanish & Portuguese

Steve Wagschal

Alejandro Mejías-López

Managing Editor
Jane Drake

Editorial Assistants
Jaimie Adkins, Alina Sokol

Robert P. Baxter

College of Arts & Sciences

Larry Singell, Jr.

Assistant Dean for Advancement
Thomas Recker

Director of Alumni Relations
Vanessa Cloe

Web Developer
Patrick John Eddy

Department News

Letter from the Chair

Steve Wagschal

Steve Wagschal

Greetings from the heights of Ballantine Hall! It has been an exhilarating academic year so far. As many of you know, in September 2012 we combined a special 60th Anniversary Celebration of the Department with our annual MESDA lecture and the event brought many alumni and friends to Bloomington, including some—like Hadassah Weiner (PhD 1973)—who were on campus for the first time since graduation. It was wonderful to see so many familiar and new faces come together to celebrate the accomplishments and bright future of Spanish and Portuguese.

In September, we also learned the fabulous news that the Department had won a major federal grant, worth over half a million dollars, to enhance the graduate program. Two of our colleagues were promoted to Associate Professor with tenure in 2012: Professors Luciana Namorato and Erik Willis. Congratulations to both of them on their many accomplishments and ongoing contributions to the department. Also, we were most fortunate this fall to welcome a new tenured professor to our ranks, Ryan Giles; he is an expert in Medieval and Renaissance Studies, who received his PhD at the University of North Carolina and came to Bloomington from a position at the University of Chicago. In what is a sign of clear support from the Dean in these tough economic times, we are in the midst of conducting two additional searches for tenure-track colleagues this year, one for an expert in US Latino Literature and Culture, and another in Hispanic Film.

This is an exciting time to be Department Chair: As you will see in the pages of this electronic newsletter, faculty research productivity is high and increasing. Several colleagues have published important books and articles as of late, and through their many publications and talks around the globe, we are increasing the world's knowledge of Iberian, Latin American and Lusophone literature, culture and Hispanic linguistics. The Department was well represented in an important international venue by Prof. Darlene Sadlier when she traveled as part of IU President Michael McRobbie's delegation to South America in Fall 2012. Indeed, IU is now the first US university to sign an agreement of cooperation with the Academia Brasileira de Letras, which will provide our department's scholars broader access to research materials in Brazil, as well as establish greater connections and promote visits to IU by distinguished academy members. Our graduate program is strong: Doctoral graduates continue to receive tenure-track positions and we were pleased to welcome an impressive entering class of masters and doctoral students to the Department in August.

Our undergraduate program is healthy and growing, with over four hundred majors. Two creative and ambitious colleagues have been carefully designing a brand-new summer study-abroad opportunity in the Dominican Republic, adding to our already incredible array of programs and possible immersion experiences for undergraduates; the first students selected to participate will accompany Professor Anke Birkenmaier (Caribbean Literature and Culture) and Professor Erik Willis (Hispanic Linguistics) on this program in May, 2013.

The year 2012 was a year of other changes. In Spring, we celebrated the careers of two beloved professors who retired, Professor Luis Dávila and Professor Olga Impey, each of whom had served the University for more than 30 years. I'd like to take this opportunity—my first missive in this forum as Department Chair—to thank Luis and Olga for their years of service to the profession and the University. I'd also like to thank those who are helping run the department: our tireless, experienced staff and my excellent administrative team, as well as our most recent chairperson, Cathy Larson, who left the Department a better place than when she started. And in closing, I'd like to express my appreciation to all of the alumni and friends of the department who have contributed in countless ways—intellectual, personal, financial—to the excellence of this remarkable department. If you plan on making a visit to Bloomington, please make sure to drop me a line so that we can meet.

With best wishes,

Steve Wagschal

Steve Wagschal
Chair, Department of Spanish and Portuguese

Back to top

MESDA Lecture and 60th Department Anniversary: Celebrating our Alumni

On September 21st, the Department hosted a day-long event to celebrate the 60th anniversary as the Department of Spanish & Portuguese. According to the Indiana University Archivist, in 1934, the "Department of Romance Languages" split into two departments: "Department of French and Italian" and "Department of Spanish". J.M. Hill was the first Chair of the Department of Spanish. Portuguese had been taught in the department since 1945 and in 1952 the name of the department was changed to reflect the teaching of Portuguese, and it became the "Department of Spanish and Portuguese," now in its 61st year with the current designation.

60th Anniversary panelist and alumnus Hernán Feldman with mentor and dissertation director Kate Myers

60th Anniversary panelist and alumnus Hernán Feldman (PhD '05) with mentor and dissertation director Kate Myers

The day's events began with a panel comprised of three outstanding doctoral students and a recently tenured alumnus. The current graduate students who spoke, Cara Kinnally, Stephen Fafulas, and Jared Patten, were each recipients of a College of Arts & Sciences Academic Year Dissertation Fellowship for 2012-13. This highly-competitive award supports students during the final year of their dissertation research and is the hallmark of achievement at that level. Their research areas ranged from transnational discourses in the American borderlands to the acquisition of linguistic variation in second languages to gender and nation in Franco's Spain. This panel also included remarks by Dr. Hernán Feldman (PhD'05), who is now a tenured faculty member at Emory University. Dr. Feldman noted the strong formation he received as a student in our department, where he took challenging courses in both his area of specialization and other areas, and its impact on his current research and teaching philosophies. The panel was an excellent opportunity for our current students to interact with those who represent our recent success stories in the world of academics.

Our second panel of the day brought together outstanding alumni from the professional world, each of whom shared common experiences and unique achievements with our audience. Mr. Gene Culler (BA '61) told audience members of his career at Goodyear Tires which brought him to several Spanish-speaking countries, including Argentina and Colombia, and from which he retired in 1999 as Executive Vice President. He noted that his year-long stay in Peru was a defining experience, not only professionally but also personally, since it was there that he met his wife Anne Baker Culler (BA '61) [not surprisingly, the candor with which he revealed this information solicited a spontaneous "awww" from the audience]. Dr. Kathy Sideli (PhD '83) recounted her trajectory from graduate school up through the ranks of academic administration to her current position of Associate Vice President at IU.

60th Anniversary panelists and alumni Kathy Sideli, Hadassah Weiner and Gene Culler

60th Anniversary panelists and alumni Kathy Sideli (PhD '83), Hadassah Weiner (PhD '73) and Gene Culler (BA '61)

Working off Ortega y Gasset's philosophical phrase, "yo soy yo y mi circunstancia" (I am me and my own circumstance), she identified the unifying characteristic of her career path as the constant advocacy for study abroad. Finally, Dr. Hadassah Weiner (PhD '73) spoke of her careers first as a professor at Douglass College, then as an attorney at the professional auditing firm KPMG and most recently as a freelance translator. She spoke of the value of learning throughout one's lifetime and the importance of knowing many languages. One of the central themes of this panel was the life-transforming value of studying and living in another country and, as judged by the lively question and answer period, this resonated with our audience, which included current undergraduate and graduate students, current and emeritus faculty, and alumni from near and far.

The events culminated with the 2012 Merle E. Simmons Distinguished Alumni lecture, created in 1996 as a tribute to Professor Merle Simmons, who arrived at IU in 1942 and taught until he retired in 1983.

We were honored to have Dr. August Aquila (PhD '73) as our 2012 MESDA lecturer. Dr. Aquila is President and CEO of Aquila Global Advisors, LLC, and author of numerous books on the area of professional services, including most recently Performance is Everything: The Why, What, and How of Designing Compensation Plans (AICPA, 2012), Compensation as a Strategic Asset: The New Paradigm (AICPA, 2007), and Client at the Core: Marketing and Managing Today's Professional Services Firm (Wiley & Sons, 2004). Dr. Aquila spoke of his multifaceted career, first as a Fulbright Scholar in Mexico, a graduate student in Spanish literature, and an assistant professor of Spanish at Williams College; and later as an Accounting Firm Executive at American Express and as the Chief Executive Officer of Aquila Global Advisors in Minnetonka, MN, a firm he founded that advises professional services firms on succession planning, mergers and acquisitions, partnerships, and compensation plan designs. Dr. Aquila spoke of the many connections between the two seemingly disparate worlds. He commented on the ways in which what he learned about Spanish literature as an academic —especially about Alonso de Ercilla's famous epic poem La Araucana, on which he published a book and articles early in his career— kept informing his thinking throughout his professional life, and on how some of the core humanistic values found in Ercilla's work continue to be as relevant today as they were back in the 16th century. The department was delighted to have Professor Merle E. Simmons' widow, daughter, and granddaughter in attendance, especially in light of the remarks made by Dr. Aquila regarding the profound impact that Professor Simmons had on his professional and personal life.

MESDA speaker Dr. August Aquila and Department Chair Steve Wagschal

MESDA speaker Dr. August Aquila (PhD '73) and Department Chair Steve Wagschal

The lecture was followed by a reception at the Tudor Room in which we celebrated the achievements of both our alumni and current students. It was a wonderful opportunity for current faculty and students to learn about the experiences of those who in many cases had left IU long before, and for alumni to learn about our department today, providing a space for several generations to make connections, strengthen past and current ties, and look forward to a future of continued successes.

Back to top

Department Receives $533,000 Grant for Graduate Program

This fall the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at Indiana University, Bloomington was awarded a $533,064 grant from the US Department of Education, which will be used to enhance its graduate program. The grant, which covers a three-year period, comes from the federal agency's Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need (GAANN) program.

The graduate assistance grant will help to underwrite highly competitive graduate fellowships for at least a dozen students over the three-year cycle. In addition to health insurance, tuition waivers, and time off from teaching, GAANN fellows will receive generous stipends that will enable them to pursue travel and research activities during the summer. Because it is a Department of Education grant, only U.S. citizens and permanent residents are eligible to apply.

The grant will enhance the department's efforts to recruit outstanding graduate students and to train them as scholars and teachers. GAANN grants are specifically designated to bolster graduate education in areas deemed vital to national interest. The award thus recognizes the continued growth of Spanish speaking populations in the United States—no longer just in places like Florida, the Southwest, New York and California but increasingly in the Midwest and elsewhere—together with the need to develop and promote cultural literacy skills through both research and teaching. The increased support for graduate studies provided by the grant goes hand in hand with the tremendous interest in Spain and Latin America among IU students, with Spain being the number one destination for all study abroad programs.

The US Department of Education is contributing $533,064 over the three-year grant cycle, or 71 percent of the total cost of the GAANN fellowships. Indiana University and the College of Arts and Sciences will be contributing $219,904 or 29 percent of the total fellowship amount. Patrick Dove, Associate Professor of Spanish and Director of Graduate Studies, led the department's effort to secure the grant and will serve as principal investigator.

Back to top

Department Alumna and Faculty Among Distinguished Award Recipients

Our alumna Kathleen Plinske (B.A. '01), president of the Osceola and Lake Nona campuses of Valencia Community College in Orlando, FL, received the 2012 Outstanding Young Alumni Award, while Professor Darlene Sadlier, long-time director of our Portuguese program, received the 2012 Distinguished Faculty Award. Congratulations to both!

You can read more about their accomplishments at

Back to top

Brazilian Author, Writer-in-Residence

Brazilian novelist João Ubaldo Ribeiro, Writer-in-Residence in Spring 2012

Brazilian novelist João Ubaldo Ribeiro, Writer-in-Residence in Spring 2012

The Portuguese program was fortunate to have internationally acclaimed Brazilian novelist João Ubaldo Ribeiro as writer-in-residence this past spring. Considered one of Latin America's preeminent novelists, Ubaldo Ribeiro has won numerous international awards, including the 2008 Camões Prize, the highest literary award for a writer of the Portuguese language. A best-selling author in his native Brazil and a member of the Brazilian Academy of Letters, he is also the translator of his own works into English. These include his bestselling Sergeant Getulio (Knopf, Avon) and An Invincible Memory (Faber and Faber). Several of his award-winning works have been made into films and television series. Ribeiro has been praised for his satirical eye in examining the underpinnings of contemporary Brazilian society.

While in Bloomington, João Ubaldo Ribeiro was able to interact with faculty, students, and members of the community. He gave a Horizons of Knowledge public lecture entitled "Four or Five Myths about Brazil and Latin America," focused on what he sees as misconceptions about Latin America and Brazil. His animated and at times controversial lecture was followed by a lively question and answer period. Ribeiro also joined his US-based translator Clifford Landers for a joint discussion on the challenges of literary translation. The presentation was titled "A Conversation with João Ubaldo Ribeiro: The Writer as Translator, the Translator as Writer." Ribeiro spoke about the difficulties of translating one's own work into a second language; Landers talked about different approaches to translation and the challenges of translating Brazilian, and particularly northeastern Brazilian culture for a wider American audience.

Professor Emeritus Heitor Martins and his wife Marlene hosted a reception in their home for the writer, faculty, students, and other guests. There was also a special dinner with the writer and his wife attended by the graduate students in the Portuguese program. This successful event was made possible by the generous support from the College Arts and Humanities Institute, the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, the Lilly Library, the Office of the Vice President for International Affairs, the Brazilian Academy of Letters, the Department of Spanish and Portuguese, La Casa, and the English Department Creative Writing Program.

Back to top

Unique Opportunity for High School Students


The Indiana University Honors Program in Foreign Languages (IUHPFL) for High School Students has been providing Indiana high school residents with a unique study abroad experience since 1962. The program provides the opportunity for high school students to study abroad in one of five Spanish-speaking cities while taking classes, living with a host family, and pledging the Language Commitment. In addition to offering five Spanish-speaking sites (four in Spain and one in Mérida, Mexico), the Program has three sites in France, and one in Germany.

The program's immersive nature, in particular the Language Commitment, sets the IUHPFL apart from other study abroad programs at the high school level. As a result, alumni test into, on average, fifth semester language classes at IU Bloomington. Students pledge the Language Commitment in earnest, meaning that they vow to speak only Spanish during the six and a half weeks abroad. They also limit their communication with family and friends in the US. Such focus on the language makes all the difference, a statement to which Assistant Professor Laura Gurzynski-Weiss can attest. When Gurzynski-Weiss returned from Madrid to Chicago this past summer, she happened to be sitting behind several IUHPFL students and their instructors, three graduate students in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese, on the flight. "I cannot express how professional, courteous and dedicated the graduate students were, as were the Honors students," said Gurzynski-Weiss. "Although it was the end of a six-week trip, not one person broke into English (even when the students were in small individual groups!). The students were eager to speak with me in Spanish and tell me about their experience, and one of the girls in front of me even started up a conversation with a native speaker, asking him about what it was like growing up in Barcelona. Their enthusiasm was contagious and many on the plane were talking about the IU Honors Program, one family even saying they would be looking into IU as an option because of these programs."

While the IUHPFL is, according to its alumni, without a doubt one of the experiences that has most impacted their lives, it is also an excellent professional development opportunity for its instructors. IUHPFL instructors are IUB graduate students and lecturers, or experienced Indiana high school teachers. Not only do they teach courses and take on a mentoring role for their students, but they are also the administrators for the program onsite. The benefits of teaching for the program are immense, according to Giselle Martins, an instructor for the IUHPFL in Oviedo, Spain, since 2009. "You work with students on a one-on-one basis and you become part of their support system, they trust you, and they see you as a role model. And every time you help them realize a new concept, understand a new idea, or even the essence of a new word is very rewarding. Sharing these moments with your students on a daily basis, no matter how simple they might be, and to see the gratitude (and relief!) in their eyes is like helping them to conquer a whole new world," said Martins.

The relationship between the IUHPFL and the Department of Spanish and Portuguese dates back to 1962, when Mr. Munford of the Ford Foundation approached Professor Merle Simmons about using Ford Foundation funds to create immersion programs abroad for high school students. Professor Simmons was instrumental in establishing the first Spanish-speaking Program site in Oaxaca, Mexico. Since then, the IUHPFL has recruited its instructors primarily from the Department of Spanish and Portuguese.

The IUHPFL will enter its 51st year of sending students abroad in 2013. For more information about the Program, visit

Back to top

Conference Brings Scholars to Campus

On April 20th and 21st, 2012 a group of a dozen invited scholars from the US, Canada, Latin America, and the UK met with IU faculty and graduate students at the Indiana Memorial Union for the "Desencuentros: Sovereignty, Revolution and Neo-anarchism in Latin America" conference. The conference was organized by Patrick Dove (Spanish and Portuguese), Lessie Jo Frazier (Gender Studies), Jeff Gould (History), and Danny James (History). The general topic of the meeting concerned antagonisms, disagreements, and misunderstandings that have accompanied many sociopolitical struggles in Latin America during the 20th century and which, in one way or another, divide the Latin American political left from within. The idea of "desencuentros" within the left is consistent with a growing body of scholarship and criticism that documents and reflects on how insurgencies and revolutions, rather than resolving ingrained problems of inequality and domination, have often reproduced old structures of exclusion and subalternity.

The conference thus aimed to provide a critical reassessment of social movements and their local histories as well as of the general political vocabulary and conceptual framework, in which programs for social change in Latin America have been anchored—such as "sovereignty," "revolution," and "hegemony." Although the meeting invited historical analyses dealing with earlier periods and contexts, the hope was that the discussion would not only provide new knowledge about the past but also an occasion for critical reflection and debate about social and political processes of the present moment at a time when left populism and "Bolivarian" regionalism are making comebacks in much of Latin America. What is past may or may not be prologue, but both the past and its missed opportunities constitute part of the archive of historical possibility.

Invited participants included Jon Beasley-Murray (University of British Columbia), Ben Cowen (Dalhousie University), Raymond Craib (Cornell University), Alexandre Fortes (Duke University), Laura Gotkowitz (University of Pittsburgh), Charles R. Hale (University of Texas), John Kraniauskas (Birkbeck College, London), Brett Levinson (State University of New York at Binghamton), Alberto Moreiras (Texas A&M), Carlos de la Torre (University of Kentucky), Erna von der Walde (Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, Colombia), Gareth Williams (University of Michigan). From IU, Shane Greene (CLACS) and Micol Seigel (American Studies) also participated as respondents.

The conference was made possible through generous support from The College Arts and Humanities Institute (CAHI), the Institute for Advanced Study, the Multidisciplinary Ventures and Seminars Fund of the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs, the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, and the Department of Spanish and Portuguese. The organizers would also like to thank Jon Warner and Richard Valdez for their invaluable assistance in logistical planning.

Back to top

Latino Film Festival & Conference at the IU Cinema

The first Latino Film Festival & Conference found an enthusiastic audience this spring at the recently opened state of the art Indiana University Cinema. It was co-organized by John Nieto-Phillips, the director of the Latino Studies Program at IU, Anke Birkenmaier and Deborah Cohn, from the Departments of Spanish and Portuguese and American Studies, with the participation of IU scholars, graduate students, and invited guests from across the country and abroad. Nine movies were screened and there were three panel discussions, a keynote address by Charles Ramírez-Berg (University of Texas, Austin) on Latino stereotypes, and several Q&A sessions with visiting film directors.

Three topics ran throughout the festival and conference. First, Alex Rivera's opening night movie Sleep Dealer and documentary Sixth Section focused on issues of labor and migration. Rivera was present for the discussion afterwards and also at the panel on the following day. Another topic was gender identities, which are featured prominently in the movies Gun Hill Road and Blacktino. The director of Gun Hill Road, Rashaad Ernesto Green, answered questions about his movie, which tells the story of a transgendered Puerto Rican in New York and scholars Larry La Fountain-Stokes and Angharad Valdivia presented stimulating talks and film clips about contemporary Latino/a gender roles. A third topic was Cuban cinema in the US, which was showcased in two movies, Tomás Gutiérrez Alea's iconic Memories of Underdevelopment, and a more recent movie about a Cuban living in New York by Miguel Coyula, Memories of Overdevelopment. Edmundo Desnoes, the author of the books that inspired the two movies, spoke in a rare appearance, and film scholar Jerry Carlson placed Desnoes's work in the larger context of Cuban filmmaking and its reception in the US. Finally, Cuban film director Miguel Coyula came from Cuba to present his movie and talk about independent filmmaking in Cuba today.

The festival successfully combined Latino and Latin American film classics with recently premiered, award-winning movies. It received much interest from the IU community, from the Latino community in Bloomington, as well as from outside visitors.

Back to top

IU Hosts Pragmatics Festival

The Pragmatics Festival (April 19-21, 2012) was co-sponsored by the Department of Spanish and Portuguese and the Department of Second Language Studies. The conference featured a combination of individual presentations, workshops, invited colloquia, and two plenary addresses in interlanguage and cross-cultural pragmatics.

The festival covered a variety of topics in pedagogy, second language acquisition, interlanguage pragmatics, medical discourse, study abroad research, pragmatics for the less-commonly taught languages, and cross-cultural and intercultural pragmatics (

Conference participants came from many different departments at IU and IUPUI, from 11 US states, and from 12 countries. Presentations from faculty and graduate students from various IU departments, including several of our linguistics graduate students- Robert Baxter, Maria Hasler-Barker, Matt Kanwit, Erin Lavin, Marda Rose, and Megan Solon were well-received by the audience. Topics addressed at the conference enhanced our understanding of the field of pragmatics and how it is related to other fields of linguistics. Through conferences such as the Pragmatics Festival, Indiana University has developed a reputation as a leader in the field of pragmatics in first and second languages.

The Pragmatics Festival would not have been possible without the support and participation of many members of the Departments of Spanish and Portuguese and Second Language Studies among other IU departments/centers. The Pragmatics Festival committee would like to thank the many graduate students, staff, and faculty members who kindly assisted in the organization of this event.

Back to top

National and International Guests

In addition to hosting a number of conferences and ongoing internal lecture series', the department welcomed several invited scholars this year, offering exciting new research to students and colleagues in the university community. Guest speakers and their lectures included:

Clara Rowland (University of Lisbon), "Cartografia instável: Guimarães Rosa e a questão do livro."

Joseph Collentine (Northern Arizona University), "On the Compatibility Between Second Language Acquisition Corpus and Variationist Research."

Paulo de Medeiros (Utrecht University), "Fernando Pessoa, Photography, and Cinema."

Jennifer Smith (Southern Illinois University), "The Interplay of Race, Class, and Gender in Emilia Pardo Bazán's Insolación."

Alexis Levitin (SUNY-Plattsburgh), "Translating Clarice Lispector: The Stylistics of Love."

Brett Levinson (SUNY Binghamtom) and Alberto Moreiras (Texas A&M) offered the workshop "Postcoloniality and Denarrativization in Latin America."

Back to top

Song Festival a Big Hit

Students playing musicStudents playing bongos

The 2nd Annual Song Festival was held March 21, 2012 at the Neal Marshall Black Culture Center. Six students taking classes in our department participated in the event.

The festival also had special guest performers from the Jacobs School of Music, the Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology, and the Latin American Music Center.

The winner was Daniel Avon ("Sozinho" by Caetano Veloso). Daniel, a senior studying both Portuguese and Spanish, is currently applying for jobs with travel opportunities and an international scope. Benjamin Shelby ("Oração" by A Banda Mais Bonita da Cidade) was the runner up and Emily Paulsen ("Sale el sol" by Shakira) was awarded third place.

Organizer Israel Fernando Herrera is pleased to announce that the 3rd Annual Spanish and Portuguese Song Festival will take place April 1, 2013 at the Neal Marshall Black Culture Center.

Back to top

Teatro Vida Brings Hispanic Theater to Community

On Nov 1-3, 2012 Grupo de Teatro VIDA performed its 7th annual fall production, Maniobras Traviesas (Mischevious Maneuvers), which was comprised of four plays linked by a common theme of manipulation. Eric Carbajal adapted to a theatrical script Peruvian José María Arguedas' short story "El sueño del pongo" (The servant's dream) about the unexpected revenge of an indigenous house servant against his unscrupulous and cruel master. Carbajal also directed Roman Chalbaud's Las pinzas (The forceps), in which characters with ambiguous motives assume fluctuating identities as a man seeks revenge for his brother's unfortunate death.

VIDA presidents Teresa Hancock-Parmer and Hannah Agauas directed "Ternura" (Tenderness), a short romantic piece in which playwright Álvaro Menén Desleal plays with the arbitrariness of language. They also directed Federico García Lorca's experimental and meta-theatrical puppet play, "Los títeres de Cachiporra," in which Pep Sobrer starred as the gluttonous, mean, club-brandishing Don Cristóbal. Faculty advisor Israel Herrera played the role of Fígaro, the barber who realizes that Don Cristóbal is actually a puppet because his head is made of wood. In addition to Sobrer and Herrera, the four plays had a wonderful cast of both undergraduate and graduate students as well as members of the community: Laura Alamillo, Dawnetta Cooper, Dakota Henninger, Zachary Hicks, Halle Hill, Gabriel Jalles, Priyanka Jayanthi, Andy Johns, Guillermo López, Ricardo Martínez, Tegan McQuaid, Elizabeth Molleston, Angela Receveur, Michelle Schuval, Andrew Shively, and José Toledo.

Grupo de Teatro VIDA is grateful to all those who were able to attend. Maniobras traviesas will be also performed at the IndyFringe Theatre in Indianapolis in February.

Back to top

New Opportunity in Dominican Republic

Willis and Birkenmaier

The Department of Spanish and Portuguese and the Office of Overseas Studies announce a new study abroad program organized by faculty members Erik Willis (Hispanic Linguistics) and Anke Birkenmaier (Caribbean Literature and Culture) that begins May 2013 in the Dominican Republic.

The program stands out from the already impressive list of study abroad programs that the Office of Overseas Studies maintains in Spain and Latin America because it offers in only four weeks a complete immersion into the culture of the Dominican Republic with family homestays, a service learning component, nature excursions, and several workshops at the Centro León, the country's prime venue of modern art.

The two classes are taught by IU faculty and tailored to the requirements of IU Bloomington students, offering introductions to Hispanic Caribbean linguistics and culture. The organizers receive support from local staff of CIEE, a private study abroad company with years of experience in the Dominican Republic. An additional highlight of the program will be the visit to a pirate shipwreck in Bayahibe, discovered and preserved by IU's own Underwater Science program. For more information, go to

Back to top