Author: Roger Travis

LCL Ph.D. Student Wins International Fellowship

Doctoral student Joscha Valentin Jelitzki was awarded the Franz Werfel Fellowship by the Austrian Agency for Education and Internationalisation (OeAD) in the spring of 2024.  He is currently in Vienna conducting the research that the Fellowship was awarded to support.
Joscha joined the department in 2019 as a PhD student in German and Judaic Studies. In his dissertation he describes the aesthetics of desire in modernist literature from Jewish writers in fin-de-siècle Vienna. In contrast to our contemporary notion of desire as forming an identity, his project rediscovers desire as something that constitutively splits the subject. The project further demonstrates how Jewish-Christian differences were conceived as sexual differences in Central Europe around 1900.
Before coming to UConn Joscha studied in Berlin, Frankfurt/Oder, and Jerusalem, and worked as a research assistant for the critical edition of the works of Hannah Arendt. At UConn he teaches courses on German language, literature, and cinema. He has published an article on the poetics of Martin Buber’s life writing (Martin-Buber-Studien 2022, co-authored with Sarah Ambrosi). His article on the biblical figure of Job and its modern reception, co-authored with Dr. Sebastian Wogenstein, is accepted for publication. Currently, Joscha is writing an article on the recent emergence of German Jewish gangster rap.
The Franz Werfel Fellowship is allowing Joscha to further a specific dimension of his doctoral research. In 2022, he presented a chapter draft at the Viennese Jewish Studies Colloquium, which offered a comparative reading of the notion of ‘drive’ in Freud and in the Talmud. As a visiting researcher he will have access to the numerous literary archives of the city of Arthur Schnitzler and Bertha Pappenheimer, and connect the literary material to the authentic urban streets and neighborhoods of today. Dr. Wilhelm Hemecker (Vienna) and Dr. Brigitte Spreitzer (Graz) will offer their expertise from decades of scholarship in the field to support Joscha in his research and act as his local advisors.

German Studies Student Wins Prestigious Fellowship

Guerlina Philogene, a senior in German Studies’ dual-degree EUROBIZ program, has been named a graduate fellow in the Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Graduate Program, funded by the United States Department of State and administered by Howard University. The program, which welcomes applications from members of underserved minority communities, prepares students for foreign service careers in the State Department.

Guerlina says she became aware of her strong interest in a diplomatic career thanks to her experiences in LCL, in particular with her advisers in the German Section, professors Anke Finger and Sebastian Wogenstein. “Before enrolling into UConn or EUROBIZ,” Guerlina says, “I met with Anke Finger and spoke to her about my deep interest in German and international relations.” Later, Sebastian “hinted to me, during my exchange year, that it appeared that I am more interested in foreign relations.” Guerlina concludes, “They both seemed to have known where my mind was headed before I discovered my passion while in Brussels.”

According to the announcement in UConn’s campus publication Today, 

Following her graduation from UConn, Philogene will attend graduate school and take part in Pickering activities during her summer break between years in Washington, D.C. She will also take part in a two-week program in Washington this summer as an orientation to the program. Upon completion of graduate school, Philogene will have a 10-week overseas internship at a United States embassy or consulate. Philogene will then have a five-year commitment to State Department employment in foreign service.

Guerlina generously credits her time in LCL with helping her form the broad perspective necessary for a diplomatic career. She says, “The topics we talk about during my German courses also resonate deeply with my goals representing the United States. We discussed topics that are not often talked about when you think about Germany such as for example, Turkish, Black, and Vietnamese minority groups and their experiences.”

LCL, Guerlina relates, “became a place of refuge for me to study.” Moreover, her time in the department represented an important part of her development as a future global leader. “Whenever I go abroad,” she continues, “I always try my best to represent groups that are often looked over when speaking about the US. The German department although small, exemplifies diversity and pushing boundaries.”

Congratulations, Guerlina!

Katerina Gonzalez Seligmann receives UCHI fellowship

Congratulations to Katerina Gonzalez Seligmann on her 2023-24 academic year Humanities Institute fellowship!

Katerina, an Associate Professor of Spanish Studies, will bring a project entitled “Aimé Césaire and His Cuban Comrades in Art.” Katerina writes that the project “examines the relationships of solidarity and translation between Martinican poet, dramatist, essayist, and politician Aimé Césaire and a set of Black and white translators and artists in Cuba who shaped Césaire’s Spanish-language legacy. Césaire’s collaborative legacy notably includes the contemporary Spanish-language adoption of his 1935 neologism, “negritude,” so that this radical intervention in French to name blackness in defiance of anti-Black racism has become part of Spanish-language Black consciousness discourse. This book examines the practices of solidarity and translation that gave rise to Césaire’s impact on the circulation of the Spanish-language race-proud discourse of “negritud” and contributes to understanding how practices of solidarity and translation create social and aesthetic meaning and impact beyond the framework of fidelity.”

In general Katerina works with Caribbean literature and intellectual history more broadly, with a special focus on the routes of circulation and translation of anticolonial, Black consciousness, and anti-racist poetics and discourse in addition to the dynamics of gender and sexuality in these routes of circulation and translation. She initiated the project she’ll bring to UCHI with her 2012 Comparative Literature MA thesis, “Cabrera’s Césaire: Notes on an Afro-Caribbean Crossing,” which went on to become my 2019 article for MLN, “Cabrera’s Césaire: The Making of a Trans-Caribbean Zone.” As she studied archives for my first book, Writing the Caribbean in Magazine Time (Rutgers UP, 2021), she found most of the primary source materials that I work with for this project. Katerina has also recently published another essay from this project, available open access at Continents manuscrits, “Colombes et Menfenil in Text and Image: Taking Flight from Conquest in Aimé Césaire and Wifredo Lam’s Collaborative Aesthetics.”

Ana María Díaz-Marcos will be an UCHI fellow

LCL is thrilled to announce that Ana María Díaz-Marcos has been awarded a fellowship for the 2023-24 academic year at the UConn Humanities Institute!

Ana María, a Professor of Spanish Studies, will continue work in the vein of her exciting digital humanities exhibitions and collections, which she completed as part of the international program Recovering the US Hispanic Literary Heritage. Those open-access digital works published in the last two years include an exhibition about the history of the antifascist newspaper La voz published in Spanish in New York between 1937-1939, coincident with the Spanish Civil War, a collection of articles from the newspaper focused on the topic of antifascism and feminism, and a collection of political cartoons published in La voz by Puerto Rican artist José Valdés Cadilla. The project that she will complete during my fellowship at the UCHI will focus on Spanish antifascist activist Ernestina González Fleischman, whom I discovered while reading La voz. Ana María writes that “this book will provide the first in-depth study of her leadership in New York´s arena of civil rights and protest, and the first edition of her collaborations in the leftist press.”

“Ernestina González Fleischman,” Ana María continues, “led an awe-inspiring life marked by political activism, international visibility, and intellectual relevance. She tirelessly engaged in public activities, published in several New York-based Spanish newspapers, run a radio program in Spanish (also based in New York city), and delivered speeches on topics of human rights, antifascism, feminism, and anti-imperialism. She accomplished all that during her two decades living in New York and, later on, in Mexico. It is hard to believe that such a prominent figure in the arena of the anti-fascist Hispanic hubs in the United States, Mexico, and Spain could have vanished from historical accounts. My monograph will recover the life and intellectual work of one of the most significant Hispanic women to oppose fascism in the thirties and forties. Her life and writings will expand our knowledge of US Hispanic antifascism in that period, addressing materials from archives and leftist periodicals that have not been studied before.”

Xu Peng receives Richard Brown Fellowship

Congratulations to Xu Peng, a graduate student in Chinese Studies, who has been named the Richard Brown Dissertation Fellow at the UConn Humanities Institute! Xu will continue work on his Ph.D. thesis “From History to the Future: Chineseness in Contemporary Cuban, Puerto Rican and Dominican Literatures and Cultures.” The dissertation studies the literary and cultural representation of Sino-Caribbean experiences. By analyzing contemporary articulations of Chineseness in Cuban, Puerto Rican, and Dominican literatures and cultures, Xu hopes to demonstrate how these articulations recode Chineseness within the mestizo nation and how such recodings provoke reconsiderations of national identity and cultural politics in the Spanish Caribbean.

Departing from the prevailing tendency to (re)discover the Chinese presence in Caribbean histories, Xu takes a future-oriented approach to Sino-Caribbean experiences that, instead of pivoting on a marginalized positionality, is more attuned to each nation’s political, economic, racialized, gendered, and sexualized realties in the late twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Xu hopes that this project will serve as a critical point of entry into the globalized processes of (re)creating Asian subjects and into the continuing interrogation of Chinese futurity in the Caribbean and beyond.

LCL’s Glorimarie Peña Alicea wins Aetna Translation Award

Glorimarie Peña Alicea has won the Aetna Translation Award from UConn’s English department for her translation of Claudia Hernandez’s short story “El hijo muerto” as “Dead Child’s Manual.” Glorimarie’s translation will appear in the 2023 edition of the Long River Review. Congratulations, Glorimarie, on this signal achievement.

Glorimarie writes that Hernandez’s story, “published in the book titled De fronteras changed my perspective on undocumented migration. After reading Hernandez’s work, I decided to include the cultural production of the Salvadoran undocumented migration in my research, jumping into an unknown world for me.” Glorimarie worked on her award-winning piece during the first course she took to complete the Literary Translation Certificate under the guidance of professor Peter Constantine and with the help of colleagues Sandra Ruiz Lopez (a former LCL Graduate Student) and Angela Pitassi. Receiving this award, she writes, “reiterates the importance of collaboration in the literary translation practice.”

Professor Peter Constantine, head of LCL’s Translation Studies Program, writes of Glorimarie’s work, “In her brilliant and sensitive translation… Glorimarie shows a particular awareness of Hernández idiosyncratic use of the page, where image and word complement one another in very significant ways. It is a tour de force of translation.”

Glorimarie is currently working on her doctoral dissertation, focused on the literary and cultural production of the undocumented Dominican and Salvadorian migrations in the late 20th and 21st century. She is also currently translating the poetry volume Lo arrugado del eco by Yomarilly Meléndez Meléndez, a young Puerto Rican writer. Last year Glorimarie also won the National Dominican Day Parade Scholarship, and she has recently collaborated with the podcast La Brega in an episode about the tension between salsa and merengue music, undocumented migration, and racism in Puerto Rico.