Activities and Events 2014-2015

Winterfest 2015

For the 2015 UAA Winterfest celebration, students from the Elementary Spanish I class decorated the snow in the Cuddy Quad on February 19th. By displaying Spanish words in the university’s landscape, students reproduced the Alaskan multilingual reality, where more than 90 different languages are spoken. This activity was part of the 2015 Winter Design Project organized by professor Herminia Din.

You can view photos from the event here (Facebook) or here (Google).

Red Sorghum and magic realism in literature

Francisco Miranda, Associate Professor of Spanish, was guest speaker at a UAA Bookstore talk on magic realism February 12. Dr. Miranda described how this evocative and powerful literary technique is used to illustrate social environment and cultural values in the context of its use in Mo Yan's Red Sorghum as well as in what is considered to be the exemplar of the genre, Gabriel García Márquez' One Hundred Years of Solitude.

The event was co-sponsored by the UAA Confucius Institute and the UAA Department of Languages.

Double Ninth Festival

Annie Ping Zeng, Confucius Institute Director and Assistant Professor of Chinese, and Hiroko Harada, Montgomery Dickson Center Director and Professor of Japanese, jointly presented a talk and demonstration on the shared autumn festival traditions of China and Japan on October 7. Along with their presentation, the evening featured examples of traditional foods and activities, as well as a tea ceremony demonstration by Tea Master Yuki Moore.


Activities and Events 2013-2014

15 Annual German Day

On Friday, April 11, the UAA German Program hosted the 15th annual German Day for Anchorage School District German students. The purpose of German Day is to better acquaint high school students with what UAA has to offer. German students from Bartlett, Chugiak, Dimond,  Eagle River, East, Service, South, and West high schools, accompanied by their German teachers, met UAA students and professors to learn more about German culture and try out their German language skills. At this year's event, "The German Fairy Tale Tradition", the high school students worked with students from UAA's German program on fairy tale-related activities.

You can view photos from this event here (Google) or here (Facebook).

Speaking in Tongues reception, film, and panel discussion

On Saturday, April 5, the Languages Department, in conjunction with the College of Arts and Sciences and the Languages Department clubs, presented a special screening of this acclaimed film about language immersion education. The film will was preceded by a reception and followed by a panel on language education. The film was closed-captioned and the panel interpreted into ASL. The film and discussion were excellent - if you missed this event, you missed out!

Ramen Day lecture and tasting

When you hear "ramen", do you picture freeze-dried noodles in shrink-wrapped packages? Attendees of Ramen Day know better! On February 15, theUAA Department of Languages and the Montgomery Dickson Centerfor Japanese Language and Culture ( presented a lecture on this humble yet extraordinarily delicious dish by Barak Kushner, author of Slurp! A Culinary and Social History of Ramen. After the lecture, various types of ramen were available to sample. A savory time was had by all!

Languages Game Night

As a part of the International Opportunities Expo, the Languages Department and UAA Housing co-hosted an evening of multilingual boards games in the Commons on February 12. With free pizza, fun games, and door prizes, a good time was had by all!

Language for Life, Mind, and Connection: A Rapid Fire Presentation

On Friday, November the 1st, the Department of Languages held a special event at the UAA Bookstore. In 2-minute intervals, UAA graduates, current students, and individuals who believe in the importance of learning languages spoke about their personal experiences in language study. There were five presentations for each language that we currently teach in the Department (ASL, Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Russian, and Spanish); a total of 35 students presented. 

Photos and an audio recording of the event are available here:

Michel Butor, The French New Novel and Experiments in Writing as a novel within a novel, Michel Butor's "L'emploi du temps (Passing Time)" is often lauded as one of the greatest novels of the twentieth century. On September 20, Sudarsan Rangarajan, professor of French at UAA and the author of the recently published book "Critical Essays on Michel Butor's L'emploi du temps," presented a discussion and critique of this modern work, which lends itself to examination through nearly endless literary theories and genres, including detective, Gothic, journalistic, narrative, rhetoric, existential and post-colonial.

An audio recording of the event is available here:


Activities and Events 2012-2013

Kimono Lecture and Fashion Show, October 7, 2012

In 1912, 3,000 cherry blossom trees were presented to the United States from the government of Japan and planted in Washington, DC. They have become a symbol of our nation's capital and can be seen there in bloom each spring. In celebration of the centennial year of this incredible and beautiful gift, UAA hosted a special kimono lecture and fashion show in ARTS 150. This event, featuring speaker and dressers Ms. Sueko Oshimoto and Mr. Kentaro Terauchi and stylist Ms. Chika Nomura, and kimono from Kimono Suehiro, provided a wonderful insight into the history, fashion, and tradition of Japan's national clothing. 

Russian Snow-Maiden lecture and associated events, February, 2013

In February, Anchorage Reads organized a series of events in celebration of local author Eowyn Ivey's Pulitzer Prize finalist novel The Snow Child. Among these events was a lecture by visiting professor Victoria Kononova on the Russian fairy tale on which The Snow Child was based, the Snow-Maiden, in which Professor Kononova discussed the Snow-Maiden's influence on Russian folklore, literature, music and arts. 

Inaugural German Poetry Workshop, March 23, 2013

In observation of National Poetry Month, which has been celebrated every April since its inception in 1996, the German program's faculty and senior majors hosted their inaugural German Poetry Workshop for Anchorage School District students of German. Hosts and students alike were pleased with the workshop's success, and they hope to make it an annual event. 

10th Annual Statewide Japanese Speech Contest, March 30, 2013

On March 30, UAA hosted the 10th annual Alaska Japanese Speech Contest. Since its inception in 2004, the Alaska Japanese Speech Contest has brought together students of Japanese of all ages and levels of ability to celebrate the Japanese language and culture in speeches, storytelling, skits and song. This activity-filled day features entertainment, socializing, fun, and Japanese food and has become an important event for Japanese education in Alaska, and a point of pride for Japanese students.