MIDDLEBURY, Vt. - The Middlebury College Language Schools will host a one-day symposium titled “Globalization and National Identity in International Cinema and Literature” on Saturday, Aug. 2, from 1-5 p.m. The event is free and open to the public and will take place in the Robert A. Jones ‘59 House, located on Hillcrest Road off College Street (Route 125). Speakers will present various perspectives on issues surrounding the symposium topic, from comparisons between historical and contemporary cultures to the art of theater, film and literature. A panel of respondents will discuss the presentations and there will be an opportunity for the audience to participate as well.

Featured speakers include faculty and visiting lectures from the summer Language Schools.

Sinan Antoon, a summer guest of the Arabic School, will deliver a lecture titled “The Effect of Globalization on Arab Cinema and Literature.” Antoon’s research interests in Arab-Islamic culture and politics earned him a Mellon grant in 2002 in the Middle East. He has published numerous poems, essays and works of fiction. He returned to his native Baghdad in 2003 as a member of InCounter Productions to co-produce and co-direct a documentary, “About Baghdad,” which explores the lives of Iraqis in a post-Saddam-occupied Iraq.

Romuald Fonkoua is Professor at the Institute of French Literature of the University Marc Bloch. He has published widely on 19th- and 20th-century French literature, comparative literature, socio-linguistics, cultural anthropology and francophone film. He has published numerous articles on Bernardin de Saint-Pierre, Senghor, Césaire and Ousmane Sembène.

Peter Lilienthal will present his lecture, titled “Lucky to be Foreigner: Reflections of a Cosmopolitan Filmmaker.” The German and Jewish director has been making films for more than four decades. In 1938, when he was nine years old, his family fled the Nazi regime to Uruguay. He returned to Germany in 1956. The topics of his films are international, frequently dealing with political struggles in Latin America and other parts of the world.

Mario Domenichelli will discuss “European Identity, European Identities and Cultural Memory at the Beginning of the Third Millennium.” An Italian School faculty member, Domenichelli is a professor of English Literature and Comparative Literature at the University of Florence. He has published books on various subjects such as English Petrarchism, numerous 19th-century writers, and 16th- and 17th-century drama. He has been the national coordinator of research on the anti-theatrical prejudice in Europe from 1500-1800, financed by the Italian Ministry, and has translated and edited many biographies.

“As globalization appears to reduce the autonomy of nation-states, national identities are challenged. In many cases, literature, media and popular culture have become battlegrounds for the debates raging over what those identities are,” said Vice President for Language Schools, Schools Abroad, and Graduate Programs Michael Geisler. “The Middlebury College summer Language Schools offer students the opportunity to learn about those identities in the original language used to communicate national ideals. This year’s symposium gathers experts on how national identities have been expressed, challenged and negotiated through film.”

For more information, contact the Middlebury College Language Schools at 802-443-5510.