MemberCarla Suhr

Dr. Carla Suhr joined the Spanish and Portuguese Department at UCLA in 2016 after finishing her PhD at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid. Professor Suhr focuses her academic work on the integration of culture, language, and cognition as a way to improve cross-cultural communication and inclusive teaching. She has worked in the field of Spanish linguistics and service-learning for the past 13 years at organizations such as Universidad Complutense de Madrid and University of New Haven, and her experience as a Spanish teacher trainer provides her the ability to implement diverse teaching strategies towards a specific project, program, and course. She cofounded IDESLI International Institute of Linguistics in San Francisco in 2009, where she directed the Language Courses and developed programs geared to industries conducting businesses with Spanish-speaking countries and professionals as well as non-profit organizations working with the Latino community. She currently teaches Spanish and Service-learning courses in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at UCLA, from which she emphasizes the positive learning outcomes attained from connecting students with the community. Learn more about these courses here Her current area of research is within the cognitive sciences, specifically on conceptualization processes and how this understanding enables us to acquire strategies as a valuable tool for Second Language Acquisition.

MemberWhitney Chappell

At UTSA, I teach classes on language and gender, bilingualism, sociolinguistics, Spanish phonetics and phonology, introduction to Spanish linguistics, and language and identity, among many others. My teaching philosophy is grounded in engaged, active student learning where the classroom is a fun, dynamic, and student-centered environment. In addition to sparking my students’ interest in linguistics, my goal is to help students become more inquisitive individuals who are capable of thinking critically inside and outside of the classroom. I also conduct research, and my work has been published in Language Variation and Change, The Journal of Voice, Studies in Hispanic and Lusophone Linguistics, Spanish in Context, Heritage Language Journal, Hispanic Studies Review, Hispania, and many other peer-reviewed journals and edited volumes. In my research I am particularly fascinated by the nexus of sound and social meaning, and my research attempts to answer the following questions: How do we index our social affiliations through our use of phonetic variables? How do we use them to create closeness to or distance from certain groups? How much social information do we pick up on when we hear someone produce a particular variant? My publications delve into these questions in Central American Spanish and, more recently, in native and heritage Mexican Spanish in the United States. In pursuing these questions, my work sheds light on how phonetic variables help us construct and negotiate social identities and social memberships in Spanish. Finally, I contribute to my university through service work at the department, college, and university levels. My philosophy of service is simple: through leadership, organization, and teamwork my colleagues and I can work together to continually improve our university.

DepositShikoku Bilingual Guidebook 『ようこそ四国へ 英和ガイドブック』

This published Japanese-English guidebook to the island of Shikoku, emphasizing its culture and history, has been available by permission on the Web in French, Spanish, and Dutch at European Websites, as well as this English-Japanese version since 1997. Most of the chapters are bilingual, with English and Japanese alternating for those studying either language. In this way, non-Japanese people can learn Japanese language and culture at the same time, while local Japanese people studying English can also learn how to express their cultural heritage in English.

DepositSpanish and non-Spanish Perspectives on El Cid in Heavy Metal: Cultural Vindication, Cultural Appreciation and anti-Muslim Attitudes

Medievalising themes and narratives are a prominent feature of heavy metal. Two of its most successful subgenres, power metal and pagan metal, even rely heavily on them. Warriors, knights, sorcerers, minstrels and the whole cast of contemporary popular medievalising literature, cinema and illustration alternate with Germanic mythology, traditional ballads, epic poetry, Crusaders, Vikings, and many other supposedly more historical topics. With about twenty songs by Spanish and non-Spanish bands remembering his feats, the Castilian lord Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar, El Cid, counts among them. This paper explores how diversely the topic of El Cid is addressed in these songs, in particular on account of the Spanish or non-Spanish cultural background of the band, the language in which the lyrics are written, and the heavy metal subgenre to which the song can be ascribed. In it, I will examine how, for Spanish (and Spanish-American) bands, El Cid serves the purpose of naturalising the stereotypical heavy metal medieval knight and, thereby, functions as a vindication of their cultural heritage, be it with nationalistic, anti-nationalistic or cultural exchange aims. Moreover, I will detail how non-Spanish bands resort to El Cid primarily to refresh an overused subject, that is, that of the medieval knight, but sometimes in a more suspicious manner as well, in which his symbolism as a Moor-slayer and defender of the Western Christian values is highlighted. Finally, I will discuss, respectively, the appropriation and the re-appropriation of El Cid by non-Spanish and Spanish heavy metal bands from the perspectives of both cultural vindication/appreciation and anti-Muslim attitudes.

DepositSepharadim/conversos and premodern Global Hispanism

Sepharadim participated in the Hispanic vernacular culture of the Iberian Peninsula. Even in the time of al-Andalus many spoke Hispano-Romance, and even their Hebrew literature belies a deep familiarity with and love of their native Hispano-Romance languages. However, since the early sixteenth century the vast majority of Sepharadim have never lived in the Hispanic world. Sepharadim lived not in Spanish colonies defined by Spanish conquest, but in a network of Mediterranean Jewish communities defined by diasporic values and institutions. By contrast, the conversos, those Sepharadim who converted to Catholicism, whether in Spain or later in Portugal, Italy, or the New World, lived mostly in Spanish Imperial lands, were officially Catholic, and spoke normative Castilian. Their connections, both real and imagined, with Sephardic cultural practice put them at risk of social marginalization, incarceration, even death. Some were devout Catholics whose heritage and family history doomed them to these outcomes. Not surprisingly, many Spanish and Portugese conversos sought refuge in lands outside of Spanish control where they might live openly as Jews. This exodus (1600s) from the lands formerly known as Sefarad led to a parallel Sephardic community of what conversos who re-embraced Judaism in Amsterdam and Italy by a generation of conversos trained in Spanish universities. The Sephardic/Converso cultural complex exceeds the boundaries of Spanish imperial geography, confuses Spanish, Portuguese, Catholic, and Jewish subjectivities, and defies traditional categories practiced in Hispanic studies, and are a unique example of the Global Hispanophone.

DepositThe Middle Ages as Identity Marker in Heavy Metal: The Spanish Case

Medievalism is not alien to heavy metal music. It is actually a prominent feature of two of its most successful subgenres, power metal and pagan metal, and it recurs in the aesthetics and the lyrics of most classical heavy metal bands. Warriors, knights, sorcerers, minstrels, and the whole cast of contemporary popular medievalising literature and cinema alternate with Germanic mythology, traditional ballads, epic poetry, Crusaders, Vikings, and many other supposedly more historical topics. The reasons behind this fascination of heavy metal for the Middle Ages are not understudied, celebratory masculinity and a longing for a simpler, nobler, and more fulfilling lifestyle being the most cited causes. However, these two motives do not explain the apparent urge to naturalise the Middle Ages that can be felt nowadays. Bands move away from the generic medievalism of the old days and colour it with their own regional medieval cultural heritage. This paper explores the naturalisation process of heavy metal medievalism and its consequences through the case study of Spanish bands. First, it will determine which aspects of the Hispanic medieval cultural heritage are vindicated and why. Second, it will analyse how they are received within Spanish society and outside. Last, it will read the conclusions of both previous sections against the background of the current problematic of the appropriation of the Middle Ages by nationalistic and racist far-right groups, that is, the creation of a “Western male white identity”.

TopicCFP: Transformation & Continuity in Cuba Int'l Conference March 20-21, 2020

The main theme for Kennesaw State University’s Year of Cuba International Conference invites interdisciplinary approaches to the multiple, enriching, and conflicting intersections taking place in this country. This forum serves as a platform to engage in scholarly conversations that will contribute to understanding the complexities of Cuba, generating new forms of engagement and learning, and appreciating […]