Middlebury

After the Apocalypse: Lecture Series in International Culture Studies examines the aftermath of World War II, 60 years later

June 17, 2005

MIDDLEBURY, Vt.-The 60th anniversary of the end of World War II will be the theme for the inaugural season of a lecture series presented by the Middlebury College Language Schools from Monday, June 27-Monday, Aug. 1.  All lectures will be held at 8:30 p.m. in the Warner Hemicycle on College Street (Route 125).

The Middlebury College Language Schools Lecture Series in International Cultural Studies is designed to spark intercultural dialogue by bringing together the collective professional expertise of summer language schools faculty from more than 20 different countries, as well as lecturers, artists and filmmakers invited especially for the series. Together, the lectures in each summer's series will focus on a common theme, exploring it from the cultural vantage points of different nations and intellectual and linguistic communities. The theme for this year is "Life After the Apocalypse: Rebuilding Nations After World War II."

"The series takes its cue from this year's 60th anniversary of the Hiroshima bomb and the end of World War II," said Michael Geisler, dean of language schools and schools abroad at Middlebury. "Seven experts on cultural developments in different countries will speak on issues relating to memory, national identity and reconstruction in the wake of 1945."

The seven lectures, all in English, will be followed by discussions, also in English. All events are open to the public. Among the lecturers are Kay Otake, a survivor of the bombing of Hiroshima, who will give a talk titled, "To America from Hiroshima"; and Geisler, whose talk is titled, "Who Do We Think We Are? Reinventing German Traditions and National Symbols After 1945."

Every summer for more than 90 years, Middlebury's summer language schools have offered students the opportunity to speak their target language with language teachers, and with each other. There are now nine schools, offering instruction in Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish. Students use their target language exclusively, in classes, dining halls, dormitories and throughout a range of co-curricular activities. Middlebury's summer programs set the international standard for excellence in language instruction, enabling students to undergo the equivalent of a year of college-level language study in intensive seven- or nine-week summer sessions.

For more information about the lecture series, call Middlebury's language schools office at (802) 443-5510.

An events listing follows.

Middlebury College Language Schools
Lecture Series in International Cultural Studies, 2005

"Life After the Apocalypse: Rebuilding Nations After World War II"

Monday, June 27
8:30 p.m., Warner Hemicycle
Professor Steven Merritt Miner, History Department, Ohio University
"The U.S.S.R. after World War II: Recovering from War and Civil War"
Presented by the Russian School

Tuesday, July 5
8:30 p.m., Warner Hemicycle
Kay Otake, Hiroshima survivor
"To America from Hiroshima"
Presented by the Japanese School

Thursday, July 14
8:30 p.m., Warner Hemicycle
Professor Emeritus Giose Rimanelli, Italian Department, SUNY-Albany; Rimanelli, a writer, critic, and musicologist, is also a faculty member of the 2005 Middlebury College Italian School
"Notes on Fascist-Anitfascist Politics and Culture from the Point of View of a 'Misfit' "
Presented by the Italian School

Tuesday, July 19
8:30 p.m., Warner Hemicycle
Professor John Treat, East Asian Language and Literature, Yale University
"Japanese Writers and the Second World War"
Presented by the Japanese School

Monday, July 25
8:30 p.m., Warner Hemicycle
Professor Susan Larson, Spanish Department, University of Kentucky
"Transnationalist Tendencies in the Film Industries of Fascist Spain, Italy, and Germany"
Presented by the Spanish School

Tuesday, July 26
8:30 p.m., Warner Hemicycle
Michael Geisler, Dean of the Middlebury College Language Schools and Study Abroad, Middlebury College
"Who Do We Think We Are? Reinventing German Traditions and National Symbols After 1945"
Presented by the German School

Monday, Aug. 1
8:30 p.m., Warner Hemicycle
Galina Aksenova, a member of the faculty at the 2005 Middlebury College Russian School
Lecture: "Russian Film and Post-War Reconstruction"
Film screening:  "The Cranes Are Flying";  This Russian film will be screened with subtitles in English.
Presented by the Russian School

Note to language schools students: While graduate students in the language schools may attend the Lecture Series in International Cultural Studies with the permission of their directors, undergraduate students enrolled in the intensive language program may not attend so as to avoid a violation of the Language Pledge, which requires all students to speak only their target language. In most cases, presenters have agreed to give informal versions of their talks, in language, to students in the intensive language program at different times.