Aron Aji, Director of MFA in Literary Translation, has joined the faculty in 2014. A native of Turkey, he has translated works by Bilge Karasu, Murathan Mungan, Elif Shafak, LatifeTekin, and other Turkish writers, including Karasu’s The Garden of Departed Cats, and A Long Day’s Evening. His forthcoming translations include Ferid Edgü’s Wounded Age and Eastern Tales, and Mungan’s Tales of Valor (co-translated with David Gramling). Aji was president of The American Literary Translators Association between 2016-2019. He leads the Translation Workshop, and teaches courses on retranslation, poetry and translation; theory, and contemporary Turkish literature.
Jennifer Bjornstad is the Translation Program Assistant for the Division of World Languages, Literatures, and Cultures. She coordinates and performs overall administrative support for the Translation Program.
Rebecca is currently the Director of Undergraduate Studies for the ASL Program at the University of Iowa. She earned her MA in Deaf Cultural Studies from Gallaudet University in 2011. This experience included courses in Aal, Norway and an internship with the World Federation of the Deaf (WFD). Prior to that she studied business at the University of Iowa, graduating with a BBA in Marketing and a minor in American Sign Language. Her interests in advertising and Deaf Studies inspired her to research the varied representations of deaf individuals and signed languages in the media.
Denise K. Filios is the Interim DEO of the Department of German, the DEO of the Department of Spanish and Portuguese, and an Associate Professor in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at the University of Iowa. Her teaching and research interests include medieval Spanish literature, women in literature, performance, and North African-Spanish cultural contacts from 711 to the present.
Claire holds a Master's degree in French Literature. She taught writing and French for many years before becoming the Director of the CLCL in 2019. Her interests include learning space design, instructional technologies, and peer education. She is working on developing opportunities for teaching and learning language and culture through cooking as well as incorporating the Global Seal of Biliteracy to help students earn a credential for their language learning. She oversees the Directed Independent Language Study (DiLS) program, the Spanish Speaking and Writing Center, and the Foreign Language Teaching Assistant program. She's the President-elect of the Midwest Association of Language Learning and Technology (MWALLT).
Chuanren Ke (柯传仁) is Professor in the Department of Asian and Slavic Languages and Literatures and Director of the Second Language Acquisition PhD Program (aka FLARE, Foreign Language Acquisition Research and Education) in the Division of World Languages, Literatures, and Cultures at the University of Iowa. His main area of research is in Chinese second language acquisition, instruction, and assessment.
Helen Shen is the DEO of Asian and Slavic Languages and Literatures at the University of Iowa. Her main research areas are Chinese L2 literacy development focusing on orthographic knowledge development and cognitive process of Chinese characters, reading education in Chinese, and instructional theories in teaching Chinese as a second language.
Newell Ann Van Auken teaches Classical Chinese literature, a world literary tradition spanning over thirty centuries. Her research focuses on early China, and she is also a translator. She is fascinated by the gap between original meanings of texts and later interpretations, including those of current students, and she believes that all interpretations (even “misunderstandings”) still give us valuable insight into those who generated them and the lens through which they view the world.
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