The George Washington University
 RGSLL Biweekly Newsletter 

Message From The Chair:

Dear colleagues,

I hope your semester is going well!   As I shared recently, RGSLL is excited to launch its social media accounts – we are now on Twitter (@GW_RGSLL) and Instagram (GW_RGSLL)! Please follow us on these platforms, and, even more importantly, please encourage your students to do so! We would like to increase our social media presence and our visibility at GW. If you haven’t already, please share with your students that we are running an RGSLL social media logo contest for a chance to win $50! Details are in the enclosed poster, and questions can be sent to Let us know too if you have ideas on how to increase our social media presence.
Next week, the French program is very excited to host Rokhaya Diallo, a prominent French journalist, filmmaker and activist.  The event will be in person and in English, and details are below in this newsletter. All members of the GW community are welcome to attend – please encourage your students not to miss this unique opportunity.
It’s getting close to midterms, and you should have received an email asking you to provide midterm feedback on student performance so far. If you have students who are struggling academically or otherwise, this is a good opportunity to flag them to advising & the dean’s office. Very often, with timely intervention and assistance, such students may be able to correct course and do well. So please take the time to respond.
As always, if you have questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to reach out by email or to stop by.
Warm wishes,
Chair, RGSLL


Faculty News:

Margaret Gonglewski's article "Curricular peer mentoring in first-semester German: Novice learners' perceptions of a 'Language Learning Assistant' program" (co-authored with Lottie Baker), was published in the winter 2021 volume of Foreign Language Annals. Next week, Prof. Gonglewski will be giving a session on teaching sustainability at the Northeast Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages in New York. 

Yvonne Captain was interviewed by The Grio digital magazine regarding the significance of the image of poet Maya Angelou on the U.S. quarter:

Chrissy Bistline-Bonilla's work on telecollaboration was published in a special issue of the peer-reviewed journal The ESPecialist (Teletandem vs. Face-to-Face in the L2 Classroom: The Effect of Type of Media on Complexity and Accuracy)


Dispatch from the Italian Program:

The Italian program has been excited to be back in person with our students this year! Students in our language courses have been studying contemporary Italy through film, watching such recent releases as L'incredibile storia dell'isola Delle Rose (Rose Island, 2020), directed by Sydney Sibilia. Literature students are taking a full-year course in Dante's Divina commedia, in recognition of the 700th anniversary of Dante's death (in 1321). Another group of students is studying Pandemics in Italian Literature and Culture, examining societal and artistic responses to past contagions and how these relate to our current experience of Covid-19.  The course was featured in CCAS news magazine. Students of Contemporary Italian Cinema will watch Paolo Sorrentino's acclaimed La mano di Dio (The Hand of God, 2021), which is currently available on Netflix: check it out!

Beyond the classroom, the program is excited to share two exciting pieces of news: one, the program has applied to CCAS for approval of an Italian Studies Major; and two, the Italian program received generous renewed funding from the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to support instruction of Italian language and culture. 

Italian Program Director Lynn Westwater is in her second year of co-directing the GW Humanities Center, this year organized around the theme of "Truth and Lies." Eight faculty and two graduate fellows are studying this topic from a variety of disciplinary angles. On February 3, the Center hosted Ruth Ben-Ghiat, Professor of Italian and History at NYU, who spoke on "Personality Cults and the Authoritarian Playbook." Follow the Center on Instagram (hum-gw) and Twitter (@hum_gw) and see their website

Coming Up:

February 15th, 2022 at 4:00 pm the French Section will be hosting French journalist and activist Rokhaya Diallo (University Student Center Amphitheater, 3rd Floor). Her talk is titled “How French Minorities are reshaping the image of the Parisienne,” and she will discuss the intersection of racial minorities and gender in representations of the quintessential French stereotype: the Parisian woman. She will show excerpts from her latest documentaries and share insights from her writing and podcasts. The event will be conducted entirely in English and is open to all members of the GW community. Please encourage your students to attend!

March 3rd, 2022
 at 11:00 am Kathryn Kleppinger will be hosting (via zoom) a round-table discussion on the upcoming French elections. The discussion will feature 3 prominent scholars discussing the role of the media, the instrumentalization of Islam, and the collapse of the Left in France. More information to follow! 

Important Deadlines:

February 14, 2022: Annual reports through Lyterati for full-time faculty are due.


Please remember that vaccinated members of our community must get a Covid test every two weeks in order to maintain access to campus.
If you have a student who needs additional academic or emotional support or a student you’re concerned about, you can submit a Care report. To learn more about the Care process, you can check this website.
If you are hosting visitors, please make sure they comply with GW Covid protocols. Visitors must present proof of vaccination or a negative Covid test within 72hr of their visit, and they must register here.
If you’re interested in following GW Covid testing results and numbers, you can check GW Covid-19 Testing Dashboard.
If you are traveling abroad on GW business, please make sure to request approval first. The CCAS Interim International Travel policy can be found here.


Do you have news to share with the department?

Please send us information about upcoming lectures and events in your field, scholarly news (recent publications, lectures, and conference presentations), and anything else you would like to share with the RGSLL community. Please send your submission to Tyana Butler ( no later than Friday at 12 pm for inclusion in the following week’s newsletter.

Masthead: Maria Helena Vieira da Silva, Paris (1951)



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Romance, German and Slavic Languages and Literatures, All rights reserved.

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