The Arabic Cooking Club invited the members of the Moroccan and Indonesian Think Tanks to dinner. They were on campus for the Ghana ThinkTank – WCMA collaboration, and the three Moroccans, Nadia, Mariam and Mehdi, immediately jumped in to prepare couscous, almond biscuits, and Moroccan mint tea with students.
In January 2017, the Japanese program offered a travel course to Japan, Kyoto Artisans: Exploring 1200 years of Cultural History of Kyoto through Modern Craftsmanship. Prof. Yamamoto led eight students to Kyoto to explore the cultural history of Kyoto. The group visited artisan studios and interviewed a Buddhist statue sculptor, a sacred mirror maker, a Nishijin weaver, a dyer, a traditional textile patternner, a tea master and a Noh performer. They learned how traditional craftsmanship and art forms have been perpetuated and transformed in a modern era as the city of Kyoto developed. At the end of the trip, students held a public presentation and shared their research on craftsmanship and reflections with Kyoto audience.
On Feb. 5, a Japanese Calligraphy –*SHODO demonstration and workshop by Ms. Masako Inkyo was held. Thirteen students from the Japanese program participated in the workshop.
*Shodo is an art form using a brush and charcoal ink on paper, wood plaques and fabric. It includes Chinese characters (kanji) and Japanese hiragana. Although it originated in the techniques used for letter writing, with its unique form of expression it has developed into an art genre.
In a workshop on Sunday, January 15, 2017, Elinor Aishah Holland introduced the participants to the basics of Arabic script calligraphy, its rich cultural context, as well as the techniques involved in this classical art form.
The Williams Japan Club was founded in 2016 by two alumnae, Sara Kang ’14 and Jessy LeClair ’10 with support from Larry Greenberg ’85.
It is a community for graduates living and working in Japan, and for others interested in Japanese language, culture, and related careers. The goal is to create opportunities for fun, friendships, networking, and sharing of wisdom and resources. On August 6, 2016, twenty-three members gathered in Tokyo and enjoyed lively discussion over delicious okonomiyaki.
Patrick Johnson ’16 and Piroune Balanchandran ’16 with the four different types of mead they created for their final project in Professor Goldstein’s class, RUSS 206: Feasting and Fasting in Russian Culture.
Current Williams students prepared short language lessons in Hindi, Korean, Spanish, Russian, Japanese, French, Chinese, Russian and German for accepted students visiting campus. There was animated participation and exchange about language learning at Williams.
This conference, held on April 16, 2016, invited students to share their research that highlights the ways in which Spanish-speaking communities and the US collaborate, mingle and become intertwined. The program included “Presence and Absence in Argentina’s ‘Dirty War’” by Natalie Wilkinson ’19, “Third Wave of US Colonialism” by Luís Beltrán and “The Future of Terrorism” by Professor Micahel Martínez-Raguso. The Spanish TAs – Laura Álvarez Trigo, Luis Beltrán Álvarez and Dominique Roberts, organized the conference with the goal of promoting the Spanish language and enabling cultural exchange.
Nicaraguan poet Esthela Calderón and Steven White ’77 gave a bilingual reading of environmental poetry in conjunction with Professor Jennifer French’s course, Ecologismo: Environment and Culture in Latin America.
During the Winter Study Program, the beginner students of Spanish worked on a project based on the influence of Spanish in the US. The students went on a field trip to New York, did research on various topics and with the guide of the Teaching Associates Laura Alvarez, Luis Beltrán and Dominique Roberts recorded a radio program as the final project. Here you can listen to the first part, the music section: Ritmos y Raíces.