News and Events 2023-2024

Cultural Events

Japanese Anime in Real Life

Anime is the most popular form of entertainment in Japan and one of the most popular forms of entertainment around the world, attracting viewers of all ages and backgrounds. Even though people from all over the world watch anime, it is primarily created and focused on Japan and displays Japanese culture. On September 27th, Japanese visiting instructor Naoko Omori introduced students, faculty, staff, and community members to the genre of anime. They watched a few clips of a popular anime called Ginatama, and Omori showed how anime is connected to Japan and Japanese culture. According to Omori, “There are a lot of people who watch anime for fun, but from anime you can learn about Japanese culture, ways of thinking, and the way of life that Japanese people take for granted. Since I am living in Scranton for a year and I’m from Japan, I wanted to share this with everyone from the University of Scranton.”

At the event, students learned about how Japanese history and politics are reflected in anime characters and storylines. Attendees also watched the cherry blossoms blooming in the anime and got to drink cherry blossom tea, try Tamagoyaki, or Japanese omelets, from the anime, eat Japanese candy, and more. This introduction to anime showed students more about anime and just how much they can learn about Japan by watching it. Omori ended the event by teaching the students to play “Jan Ken Pon,” or rock-paper-scissors, a game played almost every day in Japan, and sharing her favorite anime for them to watch.

Omori shares, “I was very happy that I was able to hold an event and not only had students who were taking Japanese language classes come, but also students who don't normally speak Japanese, and I was able to talk with teachers from local high schools.”

A group of students in a large room watching an anime movie.Japanese instructor Naoko Omori leading students in a game of "Jan-Ken-Pon" or rock paper scissors.Japanese instructor Naoko Omori standing with five of her Japanese students at the Anime event.

World Languages Open House

On October 3rd, the World Languages and Cultures department hosted their Open House where students from various language classes including Spanish, Arabic, Japanese, and German visited the Language Learning Center. The students were each given passports which encouraged them to engage in conversation with the Foreign Language Fulbright Teaching Assistants, language tutors, and instructors from the Department. Light refreshments were also offered to those who attended.

Several students and TAs talking in the Language Learning Center. A group of students and TAs talking and eating snacks in the Language Learning Center.

Fall Folktales from Argentina

Spanish FLTA Sheila Mignolet told students folktales from indigenous cultures at her Fall Folktales from Argentina event on October 19th. Sheila told students several traditional folktales from the indigenous groups of Argentina, accompanied by indigenous art. Students also made masks in the style of the Mapuche people of Argentina and Chile. Finally, students had the opportunity to try alfajores, a traditional Argentinean sweet, which Mignolet prepared for students. Mignolet used this event as an opportunity to introduce students not only to Argentinean culture but to the indigenous groups that call Argentina home. 

Argentinean FLTA Sheila Mignolet standing in front of a table with the Argentina flag holding mate at her event on "Fall Folktales from Argentina." A group of students wearing Mapuche masks that they made.

German Christmas Traditions

German FLTA Joshua Hartmann shared the joy of Christmas in Germany with students, faculty, and staff at the German Christmas Traditions event on November 13th. At this event, Joshua shared kinderspunch, a traditional hot punch, and German Christmas cookies and taught students to make straw Christmas ornaments. He also taught them about the history and traditions behind Christmas in Germany. Hartmann enjoyed the opportunity to share a little Christmas cheer from his home country with students at the University of Scranton. 

German FLTA Joshua Hartmann standing in front of a table holding a Christmas cookie. The table has a German flag on it as well as a traditional German pyramid.    Three students holding handmade straw ornaments that are traditional in Germany.

Community ESL Grant

Community ESL Grant

The Language Learning Center Community ESL program was awarded a $2,000 Critical Needs Grant from the Scranton Area Foundation to fund the purchase of new textbooks for the local English language learners who visit the center and meet with tutors to improve their English proficiency. The Language Learning Center has purchased these textbook, and tutors now use these books to serve adults in the Scranton community who come to the center to improve and practice their English. 

Yolanda Arroyo Pizarro

Yolanda Arroyo Pizarro, renowned Puerto Rican novelist, presented at two events on Writing the Ancestras: Journaling decolonization thru Afrofeminism and Afrofuturism at an event cosponsored by the Slattery Center for the Humanities and the Department of World Languages and Cultures.

Novelist Yolanda Arroyo Pizarro taking a selfie with a group of people sitting in chairs behind her. Yolanda Arroyo Pizarro standing with a group of people holding her book.

Faculty Scholarship

Dr. Yamile Silva

Dr. Yamile Silva

Dr. Silva, an expert on the work of Abigail Mejía, was invited by the Dominican Government to attend the commemorative events held on September 28, 2023, in honor of the Dominican writer and suffragist in Santo Domingo. One of the main events was the transfer of Abigail Mejía's remains to the National Pantheon (Panteón de la Patria), where national heroes are buried. In this picture is Dr. Silva along with Minister of Women Mayra Jiménez and Assistant Ambassador at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ylonka Nacidit Perdono, at the National Pantheon.


  • Her article “Políticas domésticas en arenas (trans)nacionales: Abigail Mejía sobre la Invasión de Estados Unidos a la República Dominicana” was accepted to be published in the special dossier "Mujeres latinoamericanas en el tránsito al siglo XX: redes, feminismos, activismos y dinámicas de sociabilidad e intervención política en América Latina (1880-1930)" (Spring 2024) edited by Drs. Morales-Pino (Universidad Católica del Perú) and Sofía Pachas-Maceda (Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos) and to be published in Les Cahiers ALHIM.
  • Her chapter “La conquista del espacio en la relación de Gerónimo de Ypori” will be published in the volume “Literatura colonial en transición” published by the Argentine press EDUVIM (Summer 2024) and edited by Dr. Amber Brian (Iowa University).


  • Silva presented her talk “Abigail Mejía sobre la Invasión de Estados Unidos a la República Dominicana” at the Gender and Sexualities Association’s (AEGS) annual conference in Universidad Autónoma de Querétaro, México, October 5-7, 2023.

Service to the Profession:

  • By invitation, Dr. Silva serves as program track chair (Literature and Culture) for the Latin American Studies Association (LASA) for the Annual Conference to be celebrated in Bogotá, Colombia, in June 2024.
  • She serves this year as Chair of the Executive Council of the Colonial Section, Latin American Studies Association (LASA).
  • Silva will serve as peer review panelist for the 2023 NEH. Humanities Connections Planning and Implementation competition (by invitation).

Dr. Habib Zanzana

Dr. Zanzana presented two conference papers in summer 2023.

  1. “Narratives of War, Trauma, Ruptures and Temporality in Isabel Allende’s The Wind Knows my Name” at the London Centre for Interdisciplinary Research”, July 29-30, 2023.
  2. “The Intersection of Conflict, Language and Medicine in Abraham Verghese’s The Covenant of Water,” at the South Asian Literature and Conflict Studies Conference, Woxsen University, 9-10 August, 2023.

In fall 2023, Dr. Zanzana will be presenting a third paper titled,

  1. “Black Italy in Contemporary Literature and Cinema” at the 48th Annual European Studies Conference, The University of Nebraska at Omaha, October 5-6, 2023.
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