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.
Dr. Ari Ariel's research focuses on Jewish communities in the Arab world and Mizrahi communities in Israel. His interests include ethnic, national, and religious identities, migration, and foodways. He regularly teaches World Events Today and Designing an International Studies Project, as well as courses on the Middle East, Jewish History and Food Studies.
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.
Amber Brian is Associate Professor in the Department of Spanish & Portuguese. Her research and teaching focus on colonial Spanish America. Her publications address the movement of cultural knowledge and historical memory among native individuals and communities as well as between those communities and the dominant political sphere in colonial Mexico. She has published widely on don Fernando de Alva Ixtlilxochitl (ca. 1578-1650), a mestizo historian connected with the Indian city of Tetzcoco who is a seminal figure in the development of Mexican history.
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.
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).
Meredith Mahy Gall is the academic advisor for the Division of World Literatures, Languages, and Cultures (including all world languages, International Studies, linguistics, and translation) In addition, Meredith advises social work interest students and global health studies students.
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.
Andy has an M.A. in Linguistics with a focus on teaching English as a second language from the University of Iowa. His professional interests include language instruction, the promotion of inclusive learning environments, and instructional technology and design. He has studied Russian, French, Italian, and German in the classroom and enjoys working with faculty and students in the division to aid, promote, and enhance the learning of languages.
Jenna Miller is the Academic Coordinator for the Division of World Languages, Literatures and Cultures, where she oversees course scheduling and enrollment/registration support for DWLLC programs and students. She also serves as the Graduate Program Coordinator and manages the BTAA CourseShare opportunities at Iowa.
Professor Nishi's primary research areas have been verb semantics and the second language acquisition of aspect. She is particularly interested in discovering how learners’ semantic representations of verbs in L1 affect the learning of verb semantics in L2, and how this interacts with the acquisition of aspectual morphology in L2. In most of her projects, she pursues a cross-linguistic approach in order to explore how underlying universal patterns are manifested in the process of language acquisition/development, or in the representation of languages, as well as to identify cross-linguistic variations and their significance. She also investigates how these findings can be applied to language pedagogy, in particular, the teaching of Japanese as a second/foreign 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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