Monday, June 20, 2011

Our congratulations to Professor Kathleen Parthé

Our congratulations to Professor Kathleen Parthé whose translation of Alexander Herzen's politically influential essays has been accepted for publication by Northwestern University Press. We look forward to seeing it in print! 

A HERZEN READER is the first translation into English of some of the most politically influential essays in Russian history by a writer known and admired far beyond his homeland. The one hundred documents were selected by the book’s editor from the thirty-three volume collected works of Alexander Herzen (1812-1870), translated from French (Doc. 1) and Russian, and fully annotated. An Introduction draws the reader into the historical, social, and literary world of these articles and discusses the impact they had in the mid-19th century and since that time. Finally, an essay by Oxford University academic Robert Harris presents in greater depth approaches taken to Herzen by biographers and other scholars in Russia and abroad.
Translations of Herzen to date include: From the Other Shore and The Russian People and Socialism, Who is to Blame?, Letters from France and Italy, 1847-1851, and My Past and Thoughts. The latter was issued in four volumes (1924-7, later revised), and in an abridged version, both editions including a selection of longer essays (e. g. “The Superfluous and the Jaundiced,” “Bazarov Once More”). Selected Philosophical Works, a Soviet publication later reprinted in the US, contains writings on science and materialism, From the Other Shore, and open letters “To an Opponent” and “To an Old Comrade.” This is a fraction of what Herzen wrote, and even these volumes are not all in print. This came to light most recently in long and enthusiastic review articles about Tom Stoppard’s three-part play The Coast of Utopia, which attracted a new generation to Herzen’s compelling voice without adding to the accessibility of his work.
Most of the essays, editorials, and investigative journalism in A Herzen Reader first appeared in his newspaper The Bell, whose 245 issues (1857-67) were edited and printed in London and Switzerland, then smuggled back into Russia where they became required reading for everyone who took an interest in public affairs, from high school students experiencing their first whiff of rebellion to the highest officials in the land, even the imperial family. Herzen’s broad concerns and his fluid style, along with the practical requirement of saying a great deal in a limited space, make this provocative and intense reading. Going against the grain of Russian thought, Herzen does not see his homeland as an enigma giving rise to cursed questions. He does not believe that sending a political message between the lines is anything more than a limitation on serious discussion. In an age in which the telegraph had become a factor in the spread of information, Herzen fulfilled the function of a ‘blogger’ who felt deeply his moral responsibility to convey accurate information in the cause of nonviolent change, and his ideas have served as a polestar for a century and a half.
There is an audience for A Herzen Reader in courses devoted to Russian and European history, politics, philosophy, and literature. Outside the classroom, a broader readership will know his name from My Past and Thoughts, and The Coast of Utopia, and the many references to Herzen in books and articles on the turbulence that engulfed Europe from 1848 until 1989. The issues raised in these translations (official corruption, the failure of liberalism, the endurance of the authoritarian model and the secret police, and the dangers of investigative reporting) have lost none of their relevance in contemporary Russia and other formerly Communist states. Two centuries after Herzen’s birth in the tumultuous Moscow of 1812, his voice still rings true.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

M Tamate: News from Japan

Dear my concerned friends:

As I have already told some of you, my immediate family, my parents and brother, are all safe. I have been extremely worried about my numerous relatives in Miyagi prefecture, where my father is originally from, that was hardest hit by the earthquake and tsunami.

Today I finally have a news to share about my relatives there. One of my father's seven siblings in Miyagi Prefecture and his wife have survived the quake and are not affected by the Tsunami. According to him (my uncle), my other relatives "should be" all right, because they are mostly in the mountains. This news was brought to  us by my cousin (this uncle's son) who works in Tokyo.  This uncle is one of a few relatives that actually live in the city, so we were most worried about him, and the news was a great relief to my family.

We still hope that our other relatives and everyone else in the affected areas can recover from the damages and the shock as soon as possible.

I thank all of you for your continuing support.  I can't express with my words how much I appreciate your supports, concerns, and just being there for me at this difficult time!


Mariko Tamate
Senior Lecturer in Japanese
Dept. of Modern Languages & Cultures
University of Rochester
Rochester, NY 14627

Monday, March 14, 2011

Foreign Film Lecture Series - MLC Undergrad Council

Gleason Theater - 8:00 PM

Tues., March 15:  The Secret in Their Eyes (Spanish), prsntd by Instructor Maria Manni;
Tues., March 22:  Welcome to the Sticks (French), prsntd by Visiting Scholar Anne-Charlotte Cloarec;
Tues., March 29:  White Ribbon (German), prsntd by Professor Jennifer Creech;
Tues., April 5    :  My Name is Tanino (Italian), prsntd by Visiting Scholar Laura Verdelli

Friday, March 11, 2011

Greetings from the new Modern Languages and Cultures Librarian!

Hello MLC!

My name is Kristen Totleben and I am your new Modern Languages and Cultures Librarian! My specialty areas include: Spanish, German, Italian, Japanese, Chinese, and Translation Studies. I am very happy to assist you with any research questions, the research process, and any other library-related questions. As your library liaision, I want to help you get the most of the library's resources.

I hope all of you have had a fabulous spring break and I look forward to working with you.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions or comments:

Kristen Totleben
Modern Languages and Cultures Librarian
106 Rush Rhees (large area of subject librarian cubicles)

Again, please do not hestitate to call, email, or stop by to visit if you need help with your research, or other questions. I enjoy getting your questions and they help me get to know you and what you all need from the library.


Congrats Victoria Yam!!!

Victoria Yam Hi everyone! My name is Victoria Yam UR Class of 2010 (French/German), and I am currently participating in the UR-Cologne Fellowship Exchange for 2010-2011. I am having an amazing time and you can visit my blog at: I've also done a semester abroad in Berlin, Germany in Spring 2009.After this fellowship, I will be moving on to complete an M.A. in German at Tufts University and will be spending its first academic year (2011-12) in Tübingen, Germany. Please let me know if any of you have any questions, want tips, or just want a UR Alum-German contact!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Undergraduate Council Conversation Hours

Undergraduate Council Conversation Hours


SPANISH: Thursdays, Upper ITS Lounge,
5:00 PM

GERMAN: Thursdays, Upper ITS Lounge,
7:00 PM

RUSSIAN: Mondays, Upper ITS Lounge,
5:00 PM

ITALIAN: Tuesdays & Wednesdays,
Upper ITS Lounge,
7:00 PM

FRENCH: Tuesdays, Upper ITS Lounge,
9:00 PM

JAPANESE: Fridays, Upstairs area of Douglass,
2:00 PM



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MLC Alumni News

 Hi everyone,
We would like to start an MLC Alumni newsletter on facebook to share with you, faculty, and students in MLC. Please send us info about your studies & careers after MLC. Those of you who participated in Cologne, Rennes or Arezzo exchange programs might send us comments about those experiences too.
all the best,
Susan Gustafson
Chair, MLC

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

MLC and Dryden Theater! Check it out!

MLC and Dryden Theater! Check it out!

Professor Joanne Bernardi will be introducing at the Dryden Theater, listing the titles below with dates. You may also find additional information on the Dryden calendar:
All screenings are on Wednesday nights at 8:00 p.m. All films are directed by Masahiro Shinoda.
3/9 PALE FLOWER (1964)
3/15 SILENCE (1971)
3/30 DOUBLE SUICIDE (1969)
4/6 SAMURAI SPY (1965)
The nitrate screening is Tues. 4/5 WHAT PRICE HOLLYWOOD? (1932), 8:00 pm. There are only 4 legal venues in the United States equipped to screen nitrate film stock, and George Eastman House is one of them, so this is a really rare opportunity.