Research Colloquium (2016-2017)

Every academic year the CFLLC holds a Research Colloquium, at which a colleague presents current research in an informal setting, with ample opportunity for discussion, feedback, and questions. This year’s colloquia will include the following discussions:


Storytelling in Adaptation: Franz Kafka and David Lynch

Wednesday, October 26, 4:15 pm Hollander 241
Christina Mandt, Visiting Assistant Professor of German

Christina MandtThe “Kafkaesque” in David Lynch’s cinema is commonplace in editorial articles; however, there is still a lack of scholarly argument. The paper presents a reading of Lynch’s latest feature film Inland Empire (2006) as an unofficial adaptation of Franz Kafka’s The Trial (1921) with a female protagonist in the digital age. In comparison with each other, Kafka’s text and Lynch’s film turn out to be critically reflecting on the impact that narrative traditions in literature and cinema have on gender performances. Lynch’s project, with its female protagonist’s meandering, transposes the nexus of gender and space developed in The Trial into a network that foreshadows interactive interfaces, transcending gender binaries in storytelling while still pointing to the abandoned media and subjectivities.

Fractal Histories: Constructing Psychoanalytic Truth in Gerhard Roth’s The Lake

Wednesday, December 7, 4:15 pm Hollander 241
Gail Newman, Harold J. Henry Professor of German

Gail NewmanThe works of the Austrian author Gerhard Roth (*1942) nearly always lead their readers into a hidden realm where silence—often guilty silence—reigns. In a sketch of the seven-text cycle Orkus, Roth likens this realm to the underworld, an “invisible ‘other world’ that is probed, and not really understood or ‘explained’ in a very complex way, in psychoanalysis.” I propose that a multi-theoretical psychoanalysis is indeed able to help readers craft a nuanced understanding of the counter-world into which Roth’s characters stray. Specifically, my paper examines the cycle’s inaugural novel The Lake (1995), which in turn illuminates several dimensions of the processes involved in psychoanalytic thinking. Its fractal structure engages with chaos not by trying to master it, but by allowing its order to emerge; its temporal unfolding is only comprehensible after the fact; and the subjectivity that emerges from its traumatic core is in touch, however precariously, with a truth that defies simple explanation.

The Role of Foreign Language Anxiety in the Noticing and Production of L2 Forms: A Study of Beginning Learners of Arabic

Wednesday, March 15, 4:15 pm Hollander 241
Lama Nassif, Assistant Professor of Comparative Literature

Lama NassifWhat influences learner noticing of target second language (L2) features in the context of L2 speech production? In this colloquium, I will present findings from my dissertation study in which I investigate learner noticing in relation to foreign language anxiety, the frequency of the target forms in the input, task type, and the nature of the forms. I will end with a discussion of pedagogical implications.

“Sympathy for the Troll”: Reception as Knowledge Production in the Kitāb al-Aghānī

Wednesday, May 3, 4:15 pm Hollander 241
Kirsten Beck, Visiting Assistant Professor of Arabic Studies

Kirsten Beck