top left: Colosseum, Italy; top right: Neuschwanstein castle, bottom left: ceiling of the Church of All Saints, Russia; bottom right: Paris at night

News & Events

New Publication

Congratulations to Danielle Cervantes Stephens, whose article “How Community and Literary Engagement Derailed Colonial Exploitation” was published in Sartre Studies International.  Danielle is a recent M.A. student in our French program and graduated in December 2021.

The Other Side of the Digital: The Sacrificial Economy of New MediaVirtual Book Talk 

Monday, 12/6 | 12 - 1 PM PST
Register for the Zoom link

Virtual DH book talk featuring Andrea Righi (Associate Professor of Italian Studies at Miami University of Ohio). 

Join us to discuss his latest book, The Other Side of the Digital: The Sacrificial Economy of New Media (University of Minnesota, 2021), a necessary, rich new examination of how the wired world affects our humanity. Andrea Righi deconstructs contradictions inherent in our digital world, examining how ideas of knowledge, desire, writing, temporality, and the woman are being reconfigured by our sacrificial economy. The Other Side of the Digital provides a necessary, in-depth cultural analysis of how the political theology of the new media functions under neoliberalism.

The talk will be of interest to anyone curious about how our self-image and perception of reality are skewed by technologies like fitness brands, matchmaking apps, and search engines, among others.

This event is sponsored by the Digital Humanities Initiative, the Italian Program, and the Department of European Studies with CAL's IRA funds.

Art Across the Lines: A Panel on Voyage of the St. Louis

Join us for a discussion of San Diego-based Red Car Press’s new graphic novel, Voyage of the St. Louis, exploring the medium of comics, and the intersection of graphic novel and storytelling across borders.

Tuesday, November 16 | 11 a.m. | Digital Humanities Center, SDSU Love Library (LA 61)


  • Antony Shugaar (Translator and Red Car Press)
  • Alonso Nunez (Little Fish Comic Book Studio)
  • Antonio Iannotta (Artistic Director, SDIFF)

Moderator: Elizabeth Pollard (Professor of History and [email protected])

About Voyage of the St. Louis – Courage on the High Seas, by Sara Dellabella and Alessio Lo Manto

On May 13, 1939, the German transatlantic liner St. Louis set sail from Hamburg. Its destination is Cuba. There are 937 Jews on board, fleeing the growing Nazi threat. The German captain, Gustav Schröder, is forced to steam back to Europe, after both Cuba and the United States governments refuse to help the passengers. Hopes are raised for placement with the host nations of Belgium, Great Britain, Holland, and France. As Nazi Germany prepares to invade Europe, the epilogue is a devastating one for many aboard the St. Louis. (The graphic novel was originally published in Italy by Round Robin).

Co-sponsored with CAL's IRA funds by the Italian Studies Program, the Department of European Studies, the Center for European Studies, [email protected], the San Diego Italian Film Festival, Red Car Press, and Little Fish Comic Book Studio)


"Translating Afro-Italian Blackness, Considering Gender"

A conversation with Barbara Ofosu-Somuah and Candice Whitney co-translators of Future. Il domani narrato dalle voci di oggi (Futures. Tomorrow Narrated by the Voices of Today), the first literary anthology by black Italian womxn, edited by Igiaba Scego.

Thursday October 21, 2021 at 11 on Zoom. Please register here:

Co-sponsored by the Italian Program, the Department of European Studies, the Center for European Studies, the Department of Africana Studies and the Department of Women's Studies with CAL's IRA funds.

Candice Whitney is a researcher, writer, and international education professional, based in New Jersey. In 2016–17, as a Fulbright Scholar, she conducted research that explored how the diversity of African women’s entrepreneurial projects interrogates and challenges stereotypes about the African diaspora in Italy. She’s also the co-curator and cohost of the Virtual Salons: Discourses on Black Italia webinar series at NYU’s Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimò. Whitney received her bachelor of arts in anthropology and Italian from Mount Holyoke College.

Barbara Ofosu-Somuah is a researcher, writer, and emerging Italian-to-English translator, from Accra, Ghana, and the Bronx, New York. As a translator, she attempts to bring the works of contemporary Afro-Italian writers to English-speaking audiences. She has received both Thomas J. Watson and Fulbright research fellowships to investigate the racialized lived experiences of Black people, primarily women, across the African diaspora. During her Fulbright year, Barbara collaborated with various Black Italian organizations/collectives as they unpacked the reality of concurrently embodying Blackness and Italianness in a culture that perceives both identities as incompatible. Ofosu-Somuah has a bachelor of arts in sociology, psychology, and Italian, from Middlebury College.

Film Screening: Baci rubati (Stolen Kisses, 2020)

On LGBT identities, struggles and survival in Fascist Italy.

In Italian with English subtitles.

October 14-16

Streamed online starting at 6 p.m.
(FREE when you select "buy ticket" and enter Code: SDSUBACI21)

October 17

Live Q&A discussion at 11 a.m. with directors Fabrizio Laurenti and Gabriella Romano

Sponsored by the San Diego Italian Film Festival, SDSU Italian Program, the Department of European Studies, the Center for European Studies and SDSULGBTQ+ Studies Program with CAL's IRA funds.


Welcome New Faculty

Kylie SagoThe department is thrilled to welcome a new colleague in French, Assistant Professor Kylie Sago, in Fall 2021. Dr. Sago received her Ph.D. in Romance Languages and Literatures from Harvard University in May 2021. Her research focuses on race and colonialism in 18th and 19th century French Atlantic narratives. Her most recent publication is a book chapter, “Colonial Encounters of ‘La Belle et la Bête,’” which was published this spring in the edited volume Encounters in the Arts, Literature, and Philosophy: Chance and Choice (Bloomsbury Academic, 2021).

Announcing Our 2021 Outstanding Graduating Senior

Congratulations to the Outstanding Graduating Senior in the European Studies department, Diana Jiménez.

Diana Jiménez is a graduating senior (summa cum laude) majoring in French and minoring in Women’s Studies. She decided to nominate Professor Ransom as her Most Influential Faculty Member to recognize her dedication and support towards other students like her [Diana] that are in the process of learning French. As for now, Diana is preparing herself to start her graduate studies in French and Francophone studies this upcoming Fall semester at SDSU. She is excited to continue with her studies at SDSU and is proud to be a first-generation migrant student. 

Diana Jiménez
Diana Jiménez

Holly Ranson
Holly Ransom

Departmental News, 2020-2021

Professor Anne Donadey (French and Women’s Studies) is the 2021-22 College of Arts and Letters recipient of one of the major awards given at SDSU, the Alumni Association Award for Outstanding Faculty Contributions to the University. This award is bestowed annually to an outstanding faculty member from each of SDSU’s colleges and the library. It is presented at the all-university convocation at the beginning of the fall semester. This award comes at the perfect time to help Anne celebrate her 20 years at SDSU—time sure flies!

In spite of difficulties relating to the pandemic, in December 2020, the department celebrated its 20th anniversary through a wonderful and inspiring virtual celebration that featured a keynote speech by Professor Emerita Edith J. Benkov and drew a large number of attendees. Kudos go to department chair Clarissa Clò, departmental administrative coordinator Veronica Gonzalez, and French lecturer Susanne Forrayi for organizing this terrific event! Watch the 20th anniversary montage video on our website.

The same dynamic team was responsible for creating and implementing a new departmental initiative, the Imagine Europe Podcast. The inaugural podcast features Professor Emerita Edith Benkov being interviewed about the history of the department by Professor Clarissa Clò, with original music by Holly Ransom Thomson. The second podcast features lecturer Rosamaria Ruggeri being interviewed about the role of women in the 1940s Manifesto of Ventotene and her experiences growing up in Italy in the formative decades of the 1960s and 1970s. The podcasts are available on our website.

This year, four of our faculty members received awards in support of their projects to develop inclusive curriculum:

Associate Professor Emily Schuckman-Matthews (European Studies) was awarded 3 units of assigned time from the College of Arts and Letters to develop inclusive curriculum for the European Studies program.

Lecturers Sonia Brighenti and Silvia Kading (Italian) received a 2021-22 team Equity Mini-Grant from SDSU’s Center for Inclusive Excellence to make materials for first-year Italian courses entirely accessible (including captioning their many Italian video lectures for asynchronous classes) following the principles of Universal Design for Learning.

Lecturer Felicitas Jaima (German) received a 2021-22 individual Equity Mini-Grant from SDSU’s Center for Inclusive Excellence to implement the use of new textbooks and develop new syllabi for lower-division German classes that will present a more racially and culturally inclusive picture of Germany.

Assistant Professor Cecilia Benaglia (French and Italian) was awarded 3 units of assigned time from SDSU’s Division of Research and Innovation to enhance her Research/Scholarship/Creative Activity (RSCA).

Associate Professor Emily Schuckman-Matthews (European Studies) has been very active. She was fully funded to participate in a week-long Brussels study tour (sponsored by the EU, the University of Pittsburgh’s European Studies Center, the Center for European Study at UNC, and the Eurasian Studies Program at Florida International University, to be held in Summer 2022). She was also accepted to the 2021 Virtual Summer Research Laboratory on Russia, Eastern Europe and Eurasia at the University of Illinois. Finally, she joined the Campus Editorial Committee at EuropeNow, an online magazine/journal published by the Council for European Studies.

As Director of the Language Acquisition Resource Center, Professor Mathias Schulze (German and European Studies) received major grant funding for three LARC projects: the National Language Training Center, STARTALK Teacher Camps, and the Southern Area International Languages Network (SAILN).

Lecturer Florence Miquel (French) received a range elevation in 2021. Lecturers who have been at rank for eight years are eligible for range elevation. Range elevations are awarded based on the high quality of instruction provided to students.

Administrative Coordinator Veronica Gonzalez celebrated her first year in our department and is now a permanent staff person, to the delight of each and every one of us!

Last but not least, Diana Jimenez (French) was selected as the department’s Outstanding Graduating Senior. Diana is joining our MA in French in Fall 2021. She selected lecturer Holly Ransom Thomson as her Most Influential Faculty member. This marks the 8th time in our department’s 20-year history that Holly has been selected for this honor: 2002, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2014, 2020, and 2021 – quite a track record!

Assistant Professor Cecilia Benaglia (French and Italian) published a single-authored book, Engagements de la forme. Une sociolecture des oeuvres de Carlo Emilio Gadda et de Claude Simon (Classiques Garnier, 2020).

Professor Clarissa Clò (Italian) published a book chapter, “Mondo Exotica: Ethnography, Eros, and Exploitation in Italian Cinema of the 1960s and 1970s” in the edited volume Cinema of Exploration: Essays on an Adventurous Film Practice (AFI/Routledge, 2021).

In 2020, Professor Anne Donadey (French and Women’s Studies) published a single-authored book, The Algerian War in Film Fifty Years Later, 2004-2012 (Lexington). She also published a chapter on “Postcolonial Feminism, Gender, and Genre in Rachid Bouchareb’s Just like a Woman” in the edited volume ReFocus: The Films of Rachid Bouchareb (Edinburgh University Press).

Professor Mathias Schulze (German and European Studies) co-edited a special issue of the journal Language and Sociocultural Theory (2021) on Conceptualization and Orientation in Concept-based Language Instruction with B. White and G.A. Gánem-Gutiérrez. The special issue includes an introductory article on the topic by the three co-editors.

Professor Veronica Shapovalov (Russian and European Studies) published “Vilna Ghetto in Women’s Memoirs” in the Proceedings of the 13th International Academic Conference of Russian Association of Researchers in Women’s History dedicated to Men and Women in Traditional and Contemporary Culture: Preservation, Fixation, Understanding (Moscow: IZA-RAN, 2020).

Congratulations to all on your achievements, which are even more impressive during this difficult Covid-19 period!

Our Spring 2021 Imagine Europe Series

Friday, April 30th & Saturday, May 1st at 7pm

Join us for Le Théâtre français de SDSU's Zoom production of "Feu la mère de Madame." There will be an introduction in English before the play begins and a live Q&A session with the virtual set design team at the end.

French Play Synopsis:

Lucien, who has finally made it home at 4am after a wild Parisian masquerade party, rings the doorbell repeatedly and finally wakes up his wife Yvonne, who, understandably irritated, starts to read him the riot act. (This is absolutely not the night to have forgotten the house keys!) But at the moment the two are about to get to bed, a servant rings with bad news: "Madame's" mother has died. Yvonne collapses, while Lucien's post-party state is barely up to it: with all the rich food and alcohol he's feeling a bit nauseous -- even Annette, their Alsatian maid cannot fix this one. 

When a play starts out on that note, we know Feydeau is going to throw more surprises our way in this vaudeville comedy with a hilarious twist.

A Lecture by Stephanie Jed, Professor of Italian and Comparative Literature, University of California, San Diego

Thursday, April 22 at 11am

In honor of the 700th anniversary of Dante’s death, we will explore Dante’s Inferno as a roadmap for understanding how we might, in today’s world, strengthen our communities and relations of justice through responsible reading and thinking.

Co-sponsored by the Italian Studies Program, the Department of European Studies, the Center for European Studies, the College of Arts and Letters and the Italian Institute of Culture in Los Angeles.

April 4-24, 2021

Presented in collaboration with the Department of European Studies, the Center for European Studies, the LGBTQ Research Consortium and FACE Council. 

All films streamed for free and with English subtitles. Click on film title below for more information.

film clip- man with arms in air

Dir. David Lapid 2019 / 123 min.


With Synonyms, Israeli director/writer David Lapid turned to his own experience as a young exile in France twenty years ago to tell the story of Yoav, a young Israeli who arrives in Paris knowing no one and barely speaking French but committed to forgetting his homeland and becoming a Frenchman. 

film clip- man and woman in a bar

Dir. Christophe Honoré 2019 / 86 min.


With this fanciful notion of a mature woman taking stock of her life through encounters with her ghosts, leading French auteur Christophe Honoré sends a love letter to cinema, and a singular tribute to a wonderful actress, Chiara Mastroianni.

film clip- three tribal women from Sengal

Dir. Djbril Diop Mamberty  1992/ 110 min.


Djibril Diop Mambéty adapted Swiss dramatist Durrenmatt’s The Visit, setting this universal tale of revenge and moral corruption in an African context, balancing references to folklore, parallels between humans and animals, and an astute sense of Senegal and the African continent’s place in the global economic order. This restoration underscores masterpiece’s enduring relevance.

film clip- young girl looking up

Dir. Bruno Dumont 2019 / 138 min.


Dumont, predictable only in his unpredictability, keeps us on our toes by casting ten-year-old Lise Leplat-Prudhomme, who played young Joan in the first film, in the role of mature Joan. Her steely performance conveys an otherworldly resilience that gives Joan’s spirituality a concrete presence, suggesting a bold new approach to this oft-told tale.

film clip- woman outside with film camera

Dir. Agnès Varda 2019 / 120 min.


As anyone who has ever seen an Agnès Varda movie knows, Varda would not simply be satisfied with retreading her accomplishments: this is a film as open to the future as it is to the past, full of insight and inspiration for young filmmakers, artists, and thinkers, and imbued with Varda’s incomparable swiftness of thought and warmth of feeling.

film clip- two women stand close together

Dir. Céline Sciamma 2019 / 122 min.


Sciamma’s art has rarely been more delightful to behold than in the way she teases out the shift from the artist’s dispassionate gaze to the yearning admirer’s look of desire. As the two young women experience a brief burst of love and freedom, that will remain with them for the rest of their lives, Sciamma challenges the viewer to guess who is looking at who, raising complicated questions not only about desire but the history of artists and their models.

Santanu Das is Professor of Modern Literature and Culture and Senior Research Fellow at All Souls College, University of Oxford. He is the author of Touch and Intimacy in First World War Literature (2006) and the editor of Race, Empire and First World War Writing (2012). His latest book India, Empire and First World War Culture: Writings, Images, and Songs (Cambridge, 2018) was awarded the Hindu Literary Prize for Non-Fiction in India and the European Society for the Study of English Book Prize in 2020.

Cosponsored by: The Center for European Studies, The European Studies Program, the Department of European Studies and the Department of History

20th Anniversary Celebration

The Department of European Studies celebrates 20 years at SDSU!

Learn more.

News Archives

Assistant Professor of French and Italian Cecilia Benaglia joined the department in August 2018. She holds a PhD in French and Comparative Literature from the Johns Hopkins University and was the recipient of a prestigious Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship at McGill University, Canada in 2017-18.

Assistant Professor Cecilia Benaglia (French and Italian) and Professor Edith Benkov (French and European Studies) each received a major award from the College of Arts and Letters in 2020: Benaglia received the Excellence in Research award and Benkov the Excellence in Service award.

Assistant Professor Cecilia Benaglia (French and Italian) and Professor Anne Donadey (French and Women’s Studies), were both awarded competitive Critical Thinking Grants (one course release each) for Fall 2020 to further their research and publication projects. Associate Professor Kristin Rebien (German and European Studies) was awarded a Critical Thinking Grant for Fall 2018 and a Mid-Career Grant for Faculty Professional Development for Fall 2019.

Three of our tenured faculty members received whole year at half pay sabbatical leaves to work on their scholarly books: Associate Professor Kristin Rebien (German and European Studies) for 2020-2021; Professor Clarissa Clò (Italian and European Studies) for 2019-2020; and Associate Professor Emily Schuckman Matthews (European Studies) for 2018-2019.

Associate Professor Kristin Rebien (German and European Studies) and full-time lecturer Holly Ransom Thomson (French and European Studies) each received an Assigned Time for Exceptional Service to Students Award (one course release each) in Fall 2019.

Lecturer Silvia Kading (Italian) received the SDSU Cap & Gown Chapter of Mortar Board Award in 2017 in recognition of her contribution to the academic achievement of SDSU Mortar Board student members.

Lecturers Christine Guzman (German) and Holly Ransom Thomson (French and Francophone Studies) received a range elevation in 2018; Amy Harker Rosskopf (French and Francophone Studies) received one in 2019; Rosamaria Ruggeri (Italian) and Daria Shembel (Russian) also received one in 2020. Lecturers who have been at rank for about fifteen years have been eligible for range elevation. Range elevations are awarded based on the high quality of instruction provided to students.

Alumnus Maxime Mianzokouna (French MA graduate, 2009) earned a PhD in Africology at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee in December 2018. His dissertation is titled “Developmental State Economic Model versus Neo-classical Principles: The Case of Rwanda and Burundi.”

Alumna Kathryn Schlosser (French MA graduate, 2005) earned a PhD in French and Francophone Studies at UCLA in 2018. Her dissertation is titled “Voices of Silence in Francophone Women’s Literature: Comparisons of Algerian and Mauritian Novels.”

Michaela Setiawan (French and Francophone Studies and Criminal Justice) was the department’s 2020 Outstanding Graduating Senior. She selected Holly Ransom Thomson as her Most Influential Faculty Member.

Samantha Bower (Russian and Linguistics) was the department’s 2019 Outstanding Graduating Senior. She selected Dr. Daria Shembel as her Most Influential Faculty Member.

Christopher Deutschman (Mechanical Engineering and German) was the department’s 2018 Outstanding Graduating Senior. He selected Associate Professor Kristin Rebien as his Most Influential Faculty. Lisette Kelly, 2018 Outstanding Graduating Senior in Comparative International Studies, selected Professor James Schorr as her Most Influential Faculty.

Professors Edith Benkov and James Schorr (French and European Studies) fully retired in May 2020 after five years in the FERP program.

Elham (Ellie) Sadegholvad (Lecturer, German) retired in December 2019 after teaching German at SDSU for over twenty years. She will continue to direct the Persian language program at UCSD.

Professor Veronica Shapovalov (Russian and European Studies) retired in December 2018. She has come back to teach part time for us beginning in Fall 2019.

Associate Professor Mary Wauchope (German and European Studies) fully retired in August 2018 after two years in the FERP program.

Assistant Professor Cecilia Benaglia (French and Italian) published a single-authored book, Engagements de la forme. Une sociolecture des oeuvres de Carlo Emilio Gadda et de Claude Simon (Classiques Garnier) in 2020. She also published three journal articles: “L’apprentissage de la culture à travers les techniques du corps: savoir anthropologique chez Claude Simon” in Cahiers Claude Simon (2019); “L’héritage français et européen du roman italien des années 1960: un rendez-vous manqué” in Tangence (2018); and “Doxa/Paradoxa: Roland Barthes et l’engagement hors-scène” in Modern Language Notes (2017).

Professor Edith Benkov (French and European Studies) published “Courtship and Ritual” in the edited volume A Cultural History of Marriage in the Medieval Age (500-1450) (Bloomsbury, 2019).

Professor Clarissa Clò (Italian and European Studies) published two articles, “Passioni pulp e famiglie impossibili: diaspora, razza e sessualità in The Invisible Glass di Loren Wahl e Confetti for Gino di Lorenzo Madalena” in Ácoma: Rivista internazionale di Studi Nordamericani (2019) and “Disco Fever: Italian and American Diasporic Journeys” in Italian American Review (2018).

Professor Anne Donadey (French and Women’s Studies) published “Multilingual Strategies in Rachid Bouchareb’s Hors la loi” in the journal Contemporary French and Francophone Studies (2018). The article was co-authored by Wissem Brinis, an MA Candidate in French at SDSU who has since graduated. Donadey also participated in editing the volume Représentations de la guerre d’indépendance algérienne (Classiques Garnier, 2019), whose main editor is Maya Boutaghou. Donadey wrote the volume’s Afterword.

Dr. Felicitas Jaima (German) published “When Things Get Hairy: Afros, Cornrows, and the Desegregation of U.S. Military Hair Salons in West Germany” in the journal African and Black Diaspora (2017).

François Vanleene (formerly of the Language Acquisition Resource Center) and Professor Mary Ann Lyman-Hager (French and European Studies) published two journal articles, “Humanités numériques et pédagogie participative: Cas d’une classe expérimentale pluridisciplinaire inversée” (with Lise Mercurol) in Etudes de linguistique appliquée (2019) and “Flipping the Classroom to Teach an Exploratory French Civilization Course: An Interdisciplinary Approach” in the ADFL Bulletin of the Modern Language Association (2018).

Associate Professor Kristin Rebien (German and European Studies) published chapters in two edited volumes, “Sarmatien als politsche Utopie im Zeitalter der Berliner Mauer” in Sarmatien – Germanica Slavica – Mitteleuropa. Vom Grenzland im Osten über Bobrowskis Utopie zur Ästhetik des Grenzraums (Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2020) and “Jenseits der Grenzen: Europa in der zeitgenössischen deutschen Literatur” in Das Politische in der Literatur der Gegenwart (de Gruyter, 2018).

Professor James L. Schorr (French and European Studies) published “The Economic Plight of ‘Spectators’ in the Early Eighteenth Century” in the edited volume Discourses on Economy in the Spectators / Discours sur l’économie dans les spectateurs (Verlag, 2018). His critical edition of Le Nouveau Spectateur français (1723-25) by Justus van Effen is about to be published by The Edwin Mellen Press in 2020.

Associate Professor Emily Schuckman Matthews (European Studies) published chapters in two edited volumes from Routledge, “The Prostitute as Everywoman: Examining the role and evolution of the sex worker in Russian Cinema” in Ruptures and Continuities in Soviet/Russian Cinema: Styles, characters, and genres before and after the collapse of the USSR (2018) and “Marginal or Central: Prostitution in Moscow” in World Film Locations: Moscow (2017).

Professor Mathias Schulze (German and European Studies) had three publications. His co-authored article “Learning trajectories and the role of online courses in a language program” appeared in the journal Computer Assisted Language Learning in 2018. He published another co-authored article, “Digital-gaming trajectories and second-language development” in the journal Language Learning & Technology (2017). His chapter “Computer-assisted language learning as complex adaptive systems” appeared in the Encyclopedia of Language and Education (Springer, 2017).

Professor Veronica Shapovalov (Russian and European Studies) published two articles, “Motherhood: Voices from the Gulag” in Focus on Gender: Studies in Anthropology, Family Ethnography and Social History of Everyday Life (2019) and “Analyzing A. I. Solzhenitsyn’s novel The First Circle through the prism of gender” in The Bulletin of Ryazan State University (2018). She also published two conference proceedings, “Strangers among their own: deported women form the Baltics in Russia (1941-1956)” [Chuzhie sredi svoikh; deportitovannye v Rossiiu zhenshchiny Pribaltiki 1941-1956)] in Women and Men in Migration Processes in Past and Present (2019) and “Women City-dwellers in the Gulag” [Gorozhanki v Gulage] in City Dwellers: Men and Women in Political, Economic, and Cultural Processes of Russian Urbanization XIV-XXI centuries (2018).

Dr. Daria Shembel (Russian and European Studies) published “When Women Call the Cuts: The Marina Razbezhkina School of Documentary Film” in the journal Apparatus: Film, Media, and Digital Cultures in Central and Eastern Europe in 2018.

Events Archives

Announcing Our 2020 Outstanding Graduating Senior

Congratulations to the Outstanding Graduating Senior in the European Studies department, Michaela Setiawan

Michaela is a double major in French and Criminal Justice as well as minoring in Interdisciplinary Studies through the Webers Honor College. After graduation, she is planning to pursue a Master’s degree in Homeland Security at SDSU.  Eventually, she would like to work in federal law enforcement and work abroad in France.

Michaela chose Professor Holly Ransom as her Most Influential Faculty member. This marks the seventh time that Holly has received this honor.

Michaela Setiawan
Michaela Setiawan

Holly Ranson
Holly Ransom

Spring 2020 Imagine Europe Series

Skins, Lines, Borders: Geographic Expertise and the Mapping of Eastern Europe in 1919.
Wednesday, February 5

Featuring: Steven Seegel, University of Northern Colorado

Sponsored by the Center for European Studies, the European Studies Department, European Studies Program and the Geography Dept. Made possible by IRA funds from CAL.

Remembering Reconciliation: Polish-German Relations in the Media after 1945.

Thursday, February 27

Featuring: Dr. Annika Frieberg, SDSU

Sponsored by the Center for European Studies, the European Studies Department, and the European Studies Program. Made possible by IRA funds from CAL.

Asylum After Empire: Colonial Legacies in the Politics of Asylum Seeking

Thursday, March 5

Featuring: Lucy Mayblin: Senior Lecturer in Sociology, University of Sheffield

Asylum seekers are not welcome in Europe. But why is that the case? For many scholars, the policies have become more restrictive over recent decades because the asylum seekers have changed. This talk, based on Mayblin's book Asylum After Empire, draws on theoretical insights from Third World Approaches to International Law, post- and decolonial studies, and presents archival research on the colonial context to the Geneva Convention negotiations. Policies which address asylum seekers must, the book argues, be understood not only as part of a global hypermobile present, but within the context of colonial histories. 

Sponsored by the European Studies Dept, European Studies Program, Italian Program, ISCOR, Dept of Philosophy, Dept of Sociology, Dept of Political Science and made possible by an IRA award from the College of Arts and Letters.

2019 French Language Conference & Job Fair

Parlez-vous français?

Tuesday, November 19

Make French one of your professional assets!

French language is a highly valued and competitive advantage at any stage of your career or studies. Discover companies and network with professionals who will share their expertise in how French opens new doors and possibilities.

  • One-on-one Meetings: Meet directly with companies seeking to hire French speakers
  • Workshops: Tailor your CV and cover letter, learn how to prepare for interviews
  • Debates and Roundtables: Learn about the importance of French for domestic and international job markets

Imagine Europe

Join us for the event series, Imagine Europe, which represents the variety and uniqueness of European Studies.

These events are sponsored by the Center for European Studies.

Roots and Legacy of Italian Feminism (English)
Il canto V di Dante e l'eccessiva forza dell'amore (Italian)

Tuesday, February 26

Two lectures by Andrea Righi (Associate Professor, Miami University of Ohio), co-author with Cesare Casarino of Another Mother: Diotima and the Symbolic Order (University of Minnesota Press, 2018).

Co-sponsored with the Italian Program and Department of Women's Studies, and made possible by an IRA award from the College of Arts and Letters.

Cinderella Today: Rewriting, Adapting, and Translating a Classic Fairy Tale

Monday, March 4

Presented by the European Studies Department, in partnership with the College of Arts and Letters, the National Center for the Study of Children’s Literature, English and Comparative Literature Department and the student org - Le Cercle Français/French Club

Joseph Thomas , “Cinderellas, Cinder Sluts, and Ashen Heaps, or Translation as Adaptation and Adaptation as Translation”

Audrey Coussy, “Translating All the Ever Afters in French – Recreating Cinderella and Early Modern England in the 21st Century”

Danielle Teller, author of All the Ever Afters. The Untold Story of Cinderella’s Stepmother, in conversation with her translator.

Songs of Memory and Resistance: Gabriella Ghermandi's Italian-Ethiopian Storytelling

Tuesday, March 5

Italian-Ethiopian author and performer Gabriella Ghermandi will discuss her multifaceted work as writer, singer and storyteller. She is the author of the acclaimed novel Queen of Flowers and Pearls, a marvelous voyage in time and space intertwining multiple stories of resistance from the age of Italian colonialism to contemporary migrations. Originally published in Italian in 2007, it was translated in English in 2015 and in Amharic in 2017.

Gabriella Ghermandi was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, her mother's land, and lived there until the late 1970s when she was forced to relocate to Bologna, her father's hometown in Italy, where she still lives. She uses storytelling and live performance to reach diverse audiences and foster mutual empathy. She is also the creator and lead singer of The Atse Tewodros Project, an artistic collaboration between Ethiopian and Italian musicians.

Co-sponsored with Circolo italiano, the European Studies Program, Dept. of European Studies, Dept. of Africana Studies, Dept. of Women's Studies, Interdisciplinary Human Rights Initiative, The Center for European Studies, and Common Experience: Time.

French and Francophone Film Festival 2019

March 7, 8, 9 & 14, 15, 16 
San Diego State University 

Free admission - all films screened with English subtitles. 

Presented in collaboration with the Department of European Studies, the Center for European Studies, and the LGBTQ Research Consortium and FACE Council.

Support for the Tournees Festival is provided by The French Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs/ The Centre National de la Cinematographie The Florence Gould Foundation/ The Grand Marnier Foundation/ highbrow entertainment.

A Talk by Elif Shafak

Tuesday, April 9

Award-winning Turkish contemporary literary voice Elif Shafak will discuss Three Daughters of Eve, her new novel about an unexpected friendship between three Muslim women from very different cultural backgrounds who meet while studying at Oxford University.

Co-sponsored with the European Studies Program, Department of Women’s Studies, CAL (Dean’s support fund) and Instructionally Related Activities.

Salaam-Shalom: Building Alliances Against Antisemitism and Islamophobia in Europe

Tuesday, April 30

Activist and founder of Salaam-Shalom, Ármin Langer, will speak about the efforts of the initiative to promote a peaceful coexistence of Jews, Muslims and their allies in Europe.

Co-sponsored with German Studies, Department of European Studies, Department of Political Science, ISCOR, Center for Islamic and Arabic Studies, and CAL's IRA funds.

6th Annual World Languages Symposium

Dr. Clo and StudentsDr. Clarissa Clò (Italian Studies, Chair of European Studies) delivered the keynote speech at the 6th Annual World Languages Symposium sponsored by the North County Higher Education Alliance, hosted by MiraCosta College (San Elijo Campus) on October 26, 2018. Her presentation was entitled "High-Impact Pedagogies in Foreign Language Education." Accompanying her were two student presenters: Mariana Barrios and Jorge Hernandez.

Commencement 2018

The College of Arts and Letter 2018 Commencement will be on Friday, May 11th at 10 a.m. in Viejas Arena at the Aztec Bowl. The departmental ceremony will take place on the same day at at 1:30 p.m. in West Commons 220.

For the second time in 3 years our department has 2 Most Influential Faculty, chosen by the Outstanding graduating seniors in German and in Comparative International Studies.

Christopher Deutschman, Outstanding Graduating Senior in European Studies - German

Christopher Deutschman Christopher Deutschman is a graduating senior with a double major in Mechanical Engineering and German, and an Honors Minor in Interdisciplinary Studies. He spent his sophomore year in Germany, studying German through the CSU International Program in Tübingen and taking mechanical engineering classes in German at Ulm University of Applied Sciences in his second semester. He earned straight As in all his German classes, writing papers and giving presentations, in German, on topics ranging from Goethe’s Werther to the European Union. He has worked as a teaching assistant in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, a research assistant in the SDSU’s microelectromechanical systems lab, and as a preschool teacher during his time in Germany. Additionally, he has been involved in many student organizations on campus, including Mortar Board, the Global Aztec Alliance, the College of Sciences Student Council, and oSTEM at SDSU. Following graduation, Christopher will pursue a Masters in Chemical Engineering at the University of Waterloo, in Ontario, Canada.

Kristin Rebien Most Influential Faculty Member

Dr. Kristin Rebien has been my professor for every German course I have taken since my return from my study abroad in Germany, and she has been instrumental in shaping my relationship with the language I’ve learned and the cultural I’ve come to know. Through her classes, I have been able to explore the history and future of Germany, and in parallel to that, the growth of the European Union and supranational bodies all over the world. Not only do I feel monumentally more confident in my German language abilities, I also feel more informed and engaged with Germany and the European Union as they are now. Under her guidance, I have become more active in trying to understand the political and cultural landscapes around me, and I know that I am a better global citizen because of it. 

Faculty Bio

Kristin Rebien is an Associate Professor of German and European Studies and the Director of the German Program at SDSU. She holds M.A. degrees in German and Political Science from the University of Leipzig, Germany, and a Ph.D. in German Studies from Stanford. Her research focuses on the interface between literature and politics, philosophy, and the visual arts in the twentieth and twenty-first century German culture. She joined the SDSU faculty in 2006. 

Lisette KellyLisette Kelly, Outstanding Graduating Senior in Comparative International Studies

I grew up in a small mountain town in Southern California. I come from a big, French Basque family. My culture is very important to me and there is nothing I value more than my family. Being second generation, my appreciation for my culture has sparked an empathy in me for the rest of the world. I love history, political science, and any discipline that enlightens why humanity is the way it is. I am a transfer student from SDCCD and chose SDSU because it had been my dream since I first visited the campus at 16 years old. I hope to be able to use the knowledge I have accrued at SDSU to make the world a better place.

professor SchorrMost Influential Faculty Member

I chose professor Schorr as my most influential faculty member because he made me realize that perfecting and continuing to use my French is one of my main priorities. He is extremely lively in the classroom and makes the material easy to relate to and remember. Above all, he has inspired me to continue my French and worked actively to show me ways to make that happen.

Faculty Bio

James L. Schorr is an Emeritus Professor of French. His research interests include the Enlightenment and a number of 18th century writers, especially the works of Justus van Effen.

This has been a year of exciting upcoming changes for the department. First, we are thrilled to welcome Professor Mathias Schulze, who will be joining the department as the new Director of the Language Acquisition Resource Center (LARC) this summer. Professor Schulze is currently Professor of German and Director of the Waterloo Centre for German Studies at the University of Waterloo, Canada. He is the recipient of a 2001 PhD in Language Engineering from The University of Manchester (UMIST, Manchester, UK) and a 1990 MA in German and Russian from Leipzig, Germany. He is co-author of the scholarly book Errors and Intelligence in Computer-Assisted Language Learning: Parsers and Pedagogues (Routledge, 2007), has edited eight books and special issues of scholarly journals, and published about sixty articles and chapters in edited collections. He has been co-editor of the prestigious CALICO Journal (Computer-Assisted Language Instruction Consortium) since 2011. This is our first hire since 2011. Many thanks go to Associate Professor Kristin Rebien (German and European Studies) for chairing the search committee.

Second, Professor Mary Ann Lyman-Hager (French; Director of the Language Acquisition Resource Center) received the 2017 California Language Teachers’ Association Hal Wingard Lifetime Achievement Award. This prestigious award recognizes an individual’s dedication and commitment to the language teaching profession over an extended period of time. She will be passing the LARC Director baton to Mat Schulze and retiring in August after 20 years at SDSU. She will be back teaching part time in the department starting in Fall 2017.

Third, Associate Professor Clarissa Clò (Italian and European Studies) was promoted to the rank of Professor, effective in August 2017.

Fourth, after seven years of service, Professor Anne Donadey is stepping down as Chair of the Department of European Studies and returning to the faculty full time in August 2017. Professor Clarissa Clò has been selected as the new department Chair. She will provide new vision, creative energy, and innovative ideas for the future of the department.

Other Honors, Awards, and News:

Three faculty members—Professors Clarissa Clò, Anne Donadey, and Emily Schuckman-Matthews—were granted Critical Thinking Grants (one course release each) to focus on their current research and writing projects. The Critical Thinking Grants are funded through the generosity of philanthropic donors to the College of Arts and Letters. They contribute to supporting faculty research and teaching excellence. 

Two faculty members—Professors Anne Donadey and Kristin Rebien—were awarded Assigned Time for Exceptional Service to Students (one course release each). These are competitive awards and our department received half of the four awards granted in the College of Arts and Letters this year. These awards were instituted three years ago as part of the faculty union contract to acknowledge service work done by faculty above and beyond the call of duty. The hard work and commitment of our faculty is evidenced by the fact that our department has yielded four of the fourteen awards (29%) granted over the past three years.

Professor Anne Donadey (French and Women’s Studies) will be on sabbatical leave in Fall 2017 to work on her book manuscript, tentatively titled Hiccups of Memory: The Algerian War in Film Fifty Years Later, 2004-2012. Sabbaticals are granted through a competitive process at SDSU.

Alumnus Erik Homenick (French M.A. graduate, December 2015) was accepted into the PhD program in Literature at UCSD and will start his studies in the fall. 

Last but not least, Outstanding Graduating Senior Anna Shipulina (Russian major, European Studies minor) selected Professor Veronica Shapovalov (Russian and European Studies) as her Most Influential Faculty member.


Professor Edith Benkov (French and European Studies) published a chapter, “Gender and the Prosecution of Heresy in the French Courts” in the edited book collection Representing Heresy in Renaissance France in 2017.

Associate Professor Clarissa Clò (Italian and European Studies) published three essays. In 2016, her co-authored article, “Regarding the Pain of Others: Migrant Self-Narration, Participatory Filmmaking, and Academic Collaborations” appeared in the California Italian Studies journal and her chapter, “Presente tra-passato, futuro e continenti: transmedia storytelling e gli archivi postcoloniali possibili” was published in the edited book Presente Imperfetto: Eredità coloniali e immaginari razziali contemporanei. Another chapter, “Transmedia Collective Storytelling from below: Timira and the New Italian Epic” appeared in the edited book collection Encounters with the Real in Contemporary Italian Literature and Cinema in 2017. 

Professor Anne Donadey (French and Women’s Studies) edited the volume Approaches to Teaching the Works of Assia Djebar, published by the Modern Language Association in their Approaches to Teaching World Literature Series in 2017. She also co-edited an anthology with three SDSU colleagues, Professors Bonnie Kime Scott, Susan Cayleff, and Irene Lara. Women in Culture: An Intersectional Anthology for Gender and Women’s Studies, Second Edition was published by Wiley Blackwell in 2017.

In 2017, Dr. François Vanleene (LARC) and Professor Mary Ann Lyman-Hager (French and European Studies and LARC Director) and published version 2.0 of an interactive textbook produced and distributed by the Language Acquisition Resource Center, La Civilisation française: Cours en ligne en 20 chapitres.

Associate Professor Kristin Rebien (German and European Studies) published an article, “Whose Nation? Political Johannes Bobrowski’s Case for Inclusive Communities and Basic Liberal Rights” in the German Studies Review in 2017. 

Professor Veronica Shapovalov (Russian and European Studies) published a conference presentation, “Motherhood in the GULAG: Mother, Mom, Mommy” in Motherhood and Fatherhood through the Prism of Time and Cultures. Proceedings of the IX International Conference of the Russian Association for Research in Women’s History (RARWH) in Russia in 2016.

Dr. Daria Shembel (Russian) published an article, “Born in the USSR: Children vs. Ideology and the Impact of Database Cinema” in Slovo: An Inter-Disciplinary Journal of Russian, East-Central European and Eurasian Affairs in 2016.

Thanks to all of you for your hard work and congratulations on your awards and achievements!