Student Symposium at SLLC

La Escuela de Idiomas, Literaturas y Culturas de la Universidad de Missouri-Columbia está organizando el Primer Simposio de Estudiantes de Idiomas, Literaturas y Culturas Modernas. El evento se llevará a cabo virtualmente el viernes 19 de marzo de 2021. Invitamos a estudiantes de pregrado y posgrado a enviar presentaciones de investigación tradicionales, así como creaciones artísticas. Consulte el PDF adjunto para obtener más detalles. La fecha límite para enviar es el 15 de febrero 2021 a medianoche. Envíenos un correo electrónico si tiene alguna pregunta a

First Undergraduate/Graduate Student Symposium at SLLC: The graduate students of the School of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures (SLLC) are organizing the First Student Symposium. This online event will take place on Friday, March 19, 2021 and will showcase artistic and scholarly presentations by Modern Languages undergraduate and graduate students. The Symposium will bring together researchers from the UM System and the Midwest. For more details, contact



Symposium Program

Symposium Program

Sessions information:

10:00 - 11:00 a.m.                                                                                                         


Session 1a, Indigenous Perspectives: Ethnographic Travels Around Ethnic Groups in Africa and South America


Bilingualism conditions in an indigenous bilingual school in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Colombia: education policies and use of languages at an iku school community, Nicolás David Barbosa Varón, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Bogotá

The ik​u or arhuaco is an indigenous ethnic group located at Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, northern Colombia. They have historically been characterized by their resistance and resilience to phenomena of cultural threat derived from colonization and the constitution of a country that has been politically and socially adverse towards indigenous cultures and languages. Within the framework of linguistic conservation, it is established that school education is an important element for the maintenance of ethnic languages, in consequence the ik​u people began, at the end of 20th century, a process of establishing their own education program. Sim​u​n​u​rwa is an ik​u community close to the town center of Pueblo Bello (Cesar Department), so the contact between indigenous and mestizo people is remarkable; nevertheless, the traditional culture and language remain widespread despite economic, political and cultural external influences.

This sociolinguistic research, from an ethnographic approach, proposes the analysis of the state of bilingualism at Sim​u​n​u​rwa Indigenous Educational Center, considering the linguistic planning and the use of ik​u​n (indigenous language) and Spanish in different speech situations of the school context. It is identified that in Sim​u​n​u​rwa exists a linguistic policy favorable to the indigenous tongue so it maintains its place in the multiple speech contexts; however, in the educational field, the ik​u​n language is at disadvantage compared to Spanish, mainly in terms of literacy. Also, it highlighted the need of planning the use of the languages in the classroom, so that the indigenous tongue acquires greater relevance at the educational level.

Linguist of the National University of Colombia and student of the Master's Degree in Environment and Development from the same university. Interest in native languages, their vitality and sociolinguistic issues and, on the other hand, in environmental conflicts and sociology. Mainly, I've worked with the iku indigenous community of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta on issues such as education, bilingualism and literacy as integrant of the 'Group of Pedagogical Accompaniment to the reading and writing of Spanish as a second language in indigenous peoples' on the Linguistics Department of the National University of Colombia. And recently I am researching the relationships between the vitality of indigenous languages and their environmental effects, to find out the possible correlations between linguistic and environmental policies in Colombia.

Guane legacy “Canyon Golden Skin”, Óscar Iván Vega Aza, Universidad Los Andes

“Canyon Golden Skin” is an artistic project created by Oscar Ivan Vega Aza who is a Languages and Culture student at Los Andes University. The project consists of three watercolor paintings related to the Guane community, which is one of the Native American groups from Colombia that used to live in the area that today is known as Santander. This community was known to have developed complex methods to create clothes, jewelry and tools that helped them to consolidate an agricultural society. Besides, these paintings include a parallel between the indigenous legacy and the changes in the territory and culture since the arrival of Spanish colonialism. This work also includes a sample of surrealism representing the natural diversity of the region. The purpose of showing Guane relevance in culture is to create a sense of belonging and pride among the people who currently inhabit their territories and invited people from all around the world to know more about this community.

Oscar Ivan Vega Aza is currently a student of Languages and Culture at Los Andes University where he is studying English, French and German. He lives in Aratoca, Santander, a small town located in the Northeast of Colombia. Since childhood, he was interested in art and its role in cultural representation throughout history. In 2020, he participated in the Colombian Foreign Policy Research Program (PIPEC) where he researched and wrote about the problem of Covid-19 pandemic and its effects on education.

Political and Linguistic Impacts of the Hirak Movement on the Kabyle Way of Protesting in Algeria, by an Analysis of Written Slogans, Julián Santiago Gómez Rodríguez, Pontificia Universidad Javeriana

The kabyle people, indigenous to the northern region of Africa, have put up a constant fight to defend their linguistic heritage against the oppressive and homogenous social and linguistic policies imposed by the Islamic and Arab elites, since the beginning of the Independent Algerian Republic in 1962. In recent months, the popular uprising known as Hirak has taken the streets of Algeria as no other movement has done before, and the Kabyle people are no exception. This ethnic group has also protested peacefully on the streets of Tizi Ouzou, the cultural capital of the Kabyle region, by means of a series of slogans portraying their general discontent with the current leaders in power, but also expressing the frustration coming from precedent battles fought to gain recognition from their state to their customs and ancient language. The Hirak and its apparent support to the Kabyle spirits and demands make us believe that this massive and unique social movement can impact positively the way the Kabyle community has protested for years. This undergraduate thesis aims at determining how the Hirak has impacted the Kabyle way of protesting by analyzing written slogans collected from Hirak marches in the city of Tizi Ouzou from February 22nd 2019 to March 14th 2020 and comparing them to a detailed description of how the Kabyle protests occurred back in 2001, during what was known as the Black Spring. The main research technique used for this study is content analysis, combining both qualitative and quantitative elements.

I am Julian Santiago Gomez Rodriguez, student of International Relations and Modern Languages at Javerian University, in Bogotá, Colombia. I am 24 years old and I lived in Oregon, USA, for about 5 months in 2014. I love languages and learning about diverse cultures, customs and points of view. In my spare time I dance, and I am a firm believer that art and research can go hand in hand, because, in life, everything is connected as long as you know how to link the dots. Finally, this thesis is yet a nother example that if we do things following our heart, they are bound to turn out right.

10:00 - 11:00 a.m.                                                                                                           


Session 1b, English as a Foreign Language: Learning Strategies and Challenges


Graphic Organizers as a Metacognitive Strategy to Foment EFL Writing Production of a Group of 10th Graders, Laura Fontecha, Jeisson Mendoza Zapata, and Daniel Merchan Sepúlveda, El Bosque University


The present study investigated the benefit of Graphic Organizers as a metacognitive strategy to develop EFL students’ writing production through the implementation of Project-Based Learning. The population was a group of 10 graders from a public school in Bogotá, where we developed the project in five classes. The project consisted in having the students choose the countries they liked the most, five of them were selected and each country was the topic of the classes. During this period there were three research methods developed in different moments of the study; at the beginning the students filled a Diagnostic Questionnaire, then the classes were recorded to analyze the students´ attitude and reaction towards the activities, including the written reports that they were assigned each class about what they understood and enjoyed the most from the information discussed about the countries, which were collected as our artifacts. Students who applied the Graphic Organizers when writing their reports demonstrated a better structure of their ideas, and more complex texts than the ones who didn’t use the GOs. Additionally, this was related to the fact that the students with more organized reports were the ones who participated more and were more involved in the different tasks. ​The study revealed that GOs foment writing in students creating structures and strong arguments for meaningful learning with pedagogical implications that allow teachers to be involved in the metacognitive strategy to understand different perspectives of teaching English in these educational contexts.


Understanding Decision-Making in Autonomous Language Education, John Jairo Romero Mora, Universidad de La Sabana


Autonomy has been an important concept associated with language learning. Previous research has highlighted the importance of fostering autonomy outside the classroom and the influence of technology for autonomous language learning environments. However, little attention has been given to the development of autonomy as a decision-making ability and its impact on the language learning process. Therefore, the target study explored different decision-making strategies with a target group of students to determine which learning practices emerged when they work on their writing English assignments. By using mixed-method, action research, and data analysis, this research project concluded the degree in which a learner can make decisions regarding his/her language learning.  The data collected demonstrated that the interaction of decision-making strategies and writing tasks produced successful autonomous learning practices. Through the classroom implementation, students recognized that factors such as time, feedback, and metacognitive strategies helped them work autonomously. For example, they became less dependent on the educator and more confident in performing activities. To facilitate their learning, they were asked to apply skills they had acquired in different life experiences.  This activity helped students become aware of their process and factors that were out of their control. These outcomes indicate that training students in decision-making improves students’ learning and introduces new methods for teaching language learners in Colombia.

John Romero is an EFL teacher at Colegio Fontan Capital (Bogota, Colombia). He holds a bachelor's degree in Modern Languages from Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Bogota, Colombia, and a Master’s degree in English Language Teaching at Universidad de La Sabana (Chía, Colombia). His research interests include autonomy in language learning, bilingualism, and autonomy and self-regulation in the mainstream educational curriculum.

Students’ Context in English Curriculum Agenda, Geraldine Salazar Narváez, Universidad Distrital Francisco José de Caldás

This presentation reports an ongoing action research proposal that inquires how the introduction of local knowledge topics and critical thinking tasks can serve the needs and interests of a class of 26 high school students. This exploratory study addresses the problem of a low span of attention and disengagement in the English as a foreign language class at a large urban school in the center of Bogota city. The current syllabus, materials, and practices seem to alienate these false beginners.  The questions and questioning techniques used tend to be at a low cognitive level. They demand routine or mechanical application of previously memorized and acquired knowledge and information, and this does not challenge students to interpret, analyze, or manipulate their responses and information. The learners then showed little motivation, low participation, and saw little purpose in doing assignments. This inquiry emphasizes the promotion of analysis through short readings, acquisition of information by comprehension activities, and commitment which characterize critical thinking. We have used focus groups, classroom observations, field diaries to prepare the ground to propose lessons on local knowledge and critical thinking to pilot-test the materials. The inquiry revolves around these questions: How may didactic material focused on local knowledge facilitate language development?  How may the tasks proposed engage learners? and How did participants evaluate the contents and tasks of the new materials? The expected results for this investigation are related to the improvement of eleventh-grade students’ performance in the English as a Foreign Language class at the same time that they reinforce their speaking, reading, and critical skills.

11:10 a.m. - 12:10 p.m.                                                                                                   


Session 2a, Spanish Language Curiosities: Linguistic Aspects in the Ibero American World


Han habibdo varias versiones de haber: Un análisis de la pluralización del verbo haber, Nicole Orf, Truman State University

Across the world, Spanish speakers disagree about the conjugation of the verb of existence,​haber. ​ For example, when a sentence contains an impersonal form of ​haber ​ before a plural noun, some speakers pluralize the verb to create a perceived correspondence between the noun and verb phrase. Although this pluralization in this context exists in all Spanish-speaking regions, various linguistic and social factors determine the degree of its occurrence. This paper analyzes the effect of verb tense on the pluralization process. The characteristic of liveliness of the noun increases the speaker’s desire for correspondence and results in a further pluralization of the verb. Due to language contact, bilinguals whose first language makes ​haber ​ plural tend to utilize the plural form of ​haber ​ in Spanish. Apart from these linguistic factors, the amount of variation between the social factors of sex, age, and socioeconomic class depend on the region. In some places, women use the plural form more than men and even favor it. If there is distribution by age in a region, young speakers typically utilize the plural form more than their parents or grandparents. Where variation exists along the lines of social class, pluralization occurs more frequently in the lower and middle classes. This paper concludes that linguistic factors such as verb tense, animation of nouns, and language contact impact the use of the plural form of ​haber ​ more than social factors such as sex, age and socioeconomic class.

Nicole Orf is a graduate student at Truman State University. She graduated in May 2020 with a BA in Spanish and a BA in Math. In August 2021, she will graduate with a Master of Arts in Education degree for Secondary Spanish from Truman and plans to start teaching high school Spanish in Missouri in the fall of 2021. During her time at Truman, Nicole studied abroad in Salamanca, Spain, and fell in love with the Spanish language and culture. In her coursework, she took a particular interest in studying Spanish linguistics, a field that allows her to apply her knowledge of logic to her passion for Spanish. Since Nicole loves teaching others, she is thrilled to share with you her research on the verb haber and the factors that show which speakers use the plural form of it, despite pluralization being a non-standard feature of the language.

The Roles of Trust and Respect in the Use of Vos & Usted in Costa Rica, Julianne Mason, Saint Louis University

In Spanish, there are various forms of the singular pronoun “you” – tú, vos, and usted. In Costa Rica, it is most common to use the two latter forms . Although one is generally known as the “informal” (vos) and the other “formal” (usted), there is more that goes into the decision-making process when determining whether to use the vos or usted form in a situation. The purpose of this work, “Los papeles de confianza y respeto en el voseo y ustedeo en Costa Rica” [The Roles of Trust and Respect in the Use of Vos and Usted in Costa Rica] , is to explore the reasons behind the use of vos and usted  among Spanish speakers raised in Costa Rica. To conduct this research, an online questionnaire was distributed to 28 native Costa Ricans  prompting them to select a pronoun for each situation . At the end of the questionnaire, participants were given an opportunity to explain their reasoning for selecting these pronouns. Common terms that appeared in the explanation portion of the questionnaire were confianza [trust] and respeto [respect]. The results showed a strong positive correlation between trust and the use of vos, as well as a strong positive correlation between respect and the use of usted. In order to better understand the use of these singular second-person pronouns in Costa Rica, these correlations will be discussed more in-depth during this presentation. 

Julianne Mason is a student in the Master of Arts in Spanish program at Saint Louis University. She holds a B.A. in Spanish and an M.A. in Higher Education Administration. She has studied abroad in Liberia, Costa Rica, and Madrid, Spain. Motivated by her experience in Costa Rica, Julianne’s current research interests include the use of “vos” versus “usted” among native Costa Ricans. She has also completed projects related to Puerto Rican linguistics and feminist elements in Hispanic literature. In the future, she hopes to expand her research in Puerto Rican and Costa Rican linguistics.

The Materialization of Power in Language Normativity: An Arbitrary Comprehension of Reality, Santiago Ospina Gómez, Pontificia Universidad Javeriana

This paper analyzes the part that language has played in the interpretation of reality in regard to the gender spectrum. The central discussion revolves around the generic use of the masculine grammatical gender as the product of epistemological privileges that led to masculine interpretation of reality. This is analyzed in the light of different concepts and authors such as Nietzsche’s will to power, Foucault’s epistemic assumptions concerning language and Butler’s performativity of language. Finally, their main elements are taken in order to observe how they cohere with Segato’s notion of systemic violence. Bridging the gaps between the aforementioned conceptualizations prompted us to comprehend that language, and the institutions that pretend to regulate its use, are the resultant of an array of historical factors intervened by power. A power that has a favored place of enunciation, since it was established by European males and their exclusionary frameworks of understanding. Lastly, these arguments are centered around the utilization of inclusive language as a political resource that recognizes binary and non-bianary identities, leading to alternative approximations to dissident realities. 

11:10 a.m. - 12:10 p.m.                                                                                                 


Session 2b, Digital Media, Cultures and Literatures


Space Horror: A Semiotic Study of Teratology, Ricardo Andrés Riaño León, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Bogotá

This paper explores the figure of the monster, using the structuralist perspective together with the semiotic nonagon as an investigative tool, with the objective of characterising the elements that make up the figure of the monster from the perspective of fear, dividing it between the Uncanny, the Terror and Horror. The exploration of the sign, stars from 4 thematic axes: the territorial axis, the aesthetic axis, the historical sociocultural axis and the (de)formation of the subjectivity axis; that reveal the monster as an entity that moves between disclosure and concealment, being a more moral than aesthetic entity.

Linguist from the Universidad Nacional de Colombia focused on semiotic studies applied to culture, and graphic designer from the Escuela de Artes y Letras focused on illustration.

Folk Music Revival and La Nueva Canción: A Capsule in Interculturality for an EFL Class, Diana Estefanía Caicedo Ospina, Universidad Distrital Francisco José de Caldás

This paper examines how intercultural awareness can be promoted by including in syllabus the artistic movements Folk Music Revival and La Nueva Canción Latinoamericana in an EFL class. In the tenth grade of a school in Bogotá, I noticed an absence of culture topics in the English language class. There was an emphasis on language forms at the expense of communication. The preliminary data collected from 26 students and my experience as a learner and English language teacher at this school led me to conclude that interculturality infrequently constitutes a curricular strand. This pedagogical intervention consists of including the study of artistic movements from Spanish and English-speaking countries. I propose a debate on the revival of folk traditions popular in North America in the 1960’s and 1970’s, and Latin America in the 1970’s including their ancestral rhythms and calls for hope, equality, and justice. The revision of previous studies suggests that the discussion of multicultural topics sparks interest in language acquisition. From this action research project in progress, I expect that the participants grow in the reflection on their country’s culture, several countries from Latin America’s and the United States’.

Diana Estefanía was born in Bogotá in 1996. Along her high school studies, she conducted several courses in English as a Foreign Language and learned how to play some musical instruments. Holds experience teaching English to adults, teenagers, and kids. Currently, she is enrolled in a virtual course about learning to learn and taking lessons on how to design virtual courses. Also, she is finishing her degree on Bachelor in English and her dissertation in intercultural studies.

A digital comic book to teach idioms for culture awareness in an EFL Classroom, Jhois R. Madrigal and Juliana Aponte, Universidad Distrital Francisco José de Caldás

This study investigates the path to designing a digital comic book for the development of cultural awareness at a high school in Bogotá with young learners of secondary as the target population. The book is being designed in a comic format on an interactive platform integrating idiomatic expression and lexicon to pictures. It is meant to attract the 30 participants' interests in language through interactivity including students from the urban school and counting on their two head teachers of the courses for complementing the analysis. The application of technological resources has a great potential to support educational and pedagogical practices, lesson planning, and keep students engaged. The E-book shall promote playfulness, immersion, presence, connectedness, and proximity that users experience. Also, it shall support the acquisition of a contextualized metaphorical language according to their English level and grade. Those factors shall attract students’ attention and engage them to develop the book’s activities. We plan to collect data in interviews, questionnaires, and a field diary. The interviews will collect students’ opinions and perceptions, the questionnaires, the head teachers’ appreciations about the students’ progress, and the field diary keep the researchers’ notes. The study revolves around these questions: What are the benefits of using comics to teach English as a foreign language? What is the impact of using an E-book on the students' learning of idioms? How can the E-book contribute to awake cultural awareness?

12:20 - 1:20 p.m.                                                                                                           


Thinking About Earning an MA? Information Session About MU School of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures Graduate Program


Faculty from the School of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures will share information about the graduate program and answer any questions. Led by Mar Soria, Mary Jo Muratore, Dawn Heston, and Seth Howes

1:30 - 2:30 p.m.                                                                                                               


Session 3a, Different Perspectives to Learn Languages in the Real Classroom


Aula Internacional 1 (3rd Edition): Towards a Vindication of our Dwelling’s Narrative in ELE Textbooks, Paula Natalia Anteliz Mesa, Pontificia Universidad Javeriana

This investigation was originated from the concern for what ELE learners might understand by the Spanish-speaking community realities through the textbook Aula Internacional 1. The main issue is tackled through three questions: How is the author defined in relation to his work? In what way(s) is this community reflected on it? And, in what way could we, Latin American Spanish-speakers, become the authors of our own narrative? It begins by polemicizing the link author-work, based on Agamben, Barthes, Chartier, Foucault, and Kant’s theories. Subsequently, the discursive varieties (ways in which this community has been portrayed) are then, identified and analyzed in the textbook’s four teaching units (3,5,7 and 8) through the CDA with a historical approach, proposed by Ruth Wodak. Thanks to this process, the existence of a fragmentation in the Spanish-speaking realities is found, based on a multicultural and colonial vision promoted by Aula Internacional 1. As a final thought, the proposal consists on re-signifying the place of enunciation of Latin America in relation to the ELE textbooks production from a critical pedagogy perspective.

Monograph on the Role of Language Awareness in the in the development of linguistic skills in First Language and Second Language, Jesly Damaris Camargo Castiblanco, Pontificia Universidad Javeriana

This monograph reports the development of a documentary study on the role of Language Awareness (LA) in the development of linguistic skills in L1 and L2. In the hermeneutic phase, the data found in 24 sources obtained in a previous heuristic phase were read, analyzed and interpreted. Based on this, it was possible to provide evidence in favor of the hypothesis that LA positively affects the development and enhancement of oral and written comprehension and production skills of L1 and L2 in a particular mode. The need for further research in the undergraduate degree projects the Bachelor of Modern Languages at the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana was concluded. Likewise, the convenience of implementing pedagogical intervention strategies that are based on the use of LA in formal language teaching contexts is proposed.

Critical thinking: representation in the Bachelor of Modern Languages, Valeria Páez Ujueta, Pontificia Universidad Javeriana

My research seeks to lead to an understanding of what critical thinking is; since it has an importance in the academic context, and even more in the different areas of teaching. Thus, this path is structured through three basic stages. The first is towards a mapping of critical thinking, through the work —or theories— of some of the characters who are considered critical thinkers, to find the signs of what this concept means. The second is to shape an approach to what critical thinking can be —based on the postulates of chapter one— and thus, demonstrate its importance and relationship in the pedagogical and educational field. This investigation leads to the following question: what is the conception of critical thinking that is evidenced in the bachelor thesis of the bachelor’s in modern Languages? Which is answered in the third part of the work, an analysis of 152 bachelor thesis based on the theory of representation, meaning and culture proposed by Stuart Hall, to finally present the results of the concepts of critical thinking in the bachelor thesis, and examine them having in mind the definition proposed in chapter two, and the repercussions of such meanings of critical thinking.

1:30 - 2:30 p.m.                                                                                                              


Session 3b, Communication and Displacement in Migrant Narratives


Family Co-actualization and Communal Sacrifice among Latino Migrant Youth in U.S. Farm Work: Challenging Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, Bethany Moore, University of Missouri-Columbia

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs (1943) has served as the prevailing theory of human motivation for nearly a century; however, challenges persist as to whether Maslow’s postulations could be applied beyond Western, individualistic, democratic societies. We investigate and evaluate the application of the theory to Latino Migrant Farmworker Youth in the United States before presenting a more culturally-appropriate hierarchy that includes other ethnic groups from Eastern collectivistic backgrounds. To accomplish this, we analyzed N = 20 semi-structured, transcribed interviews with migrant farmworker youth from Guatemala and Mexico (aged 15 to 20 years old) to determine the applicability of Maslow’s original theory and delineate salient distinctions not formerly addressed. While the motivating factors of physiological and safety needs maintain relevance for this population, their collectivistic upbringings provide an alternative hierarchy emphasizing (in order of higher motivation) familial love, communal sacrifice, co-actualization, and meaning of life through family and work. Maslow’s theory contains elements that are universally applicable: every human being has basic needs that must be met in order to pursue higher order thinking. However, progression through the hierarchy offers a less suitable explanation for motivation in Latino Migrant Farmworker Youth, which is likely due to their more family-oriented (i.e., familism or familismo), collectivistic childhoods that inform their beliefs and pursuits of family interdependence. Future research should investigate the applicability of this new hierarchy among Latino migrant farm workers to other groups of adolescents in the United States and highlight whether there is variability across ethnic groups, age, socio-economic status, and regions.

Bethany is a Freshman undergraduate student at the University of Missouri - Columbia. She is working as a bilingual research assistant under Dr. Fiorella Carlos-Chavez through the Honors College Discovery Fellowship Program. She is currently pursuing a major in International Studies with an emphasis in Peace Studies and minors in Public Health and Spanish. Bethany aspires to advocate for the underrepresented and marginalized in The United States to promote justice and preserve equality for all.

Interpretation of Narratives of Displacement: Texts for a Situated EFL Class, Lizeth Castillo Mise, Universidad Distrital Francisco José de Caldás

This paper reports a qualitative action research proposal that explores how the combination of history teaching and English language teaching may help understand Colombia's sustainable peace process.  The researcher taught at a middle school and noticed that the community rarely reflected on their country's historical memory, either because they felt they did not have an informed opinion on the subject, did not lend an ear or had a voice on the topic. In preparation for this project, I studied the archives of the Centro Nacional de Memoria Histórica and literature and research on narratives. Since schools constitute a link between memory and history in forging a country's collective memory, I included personal narratives for an English class of 32 secondary students in Bogotá. Narratives dealt with displacement and firsthand testimonies of the Colombian armed conflict, which the 7th graders read, analyzed, and discussed. Representations in drawings and maps followed the readings to interact with texts and analyze the stories of conflict story. This on-going inquiry expands on: What do the students' reflections on three narratives of forced displacement reveal about the understanding of violence's delegitimization? Possible outcomes are that the learners can integrate the language focus, as well as emphasize the construction of sympathetic thoughts and feelings within a humanistic representation of conflict' memories.


Questions of Access and Equity in Today’s Study Abroad, Mark Melby, Minnesota State University, Mankato

Study abroad is regarded as a transformative learning experience that allows students to travel to new and different parts of the world, improve their second language proficiency, and interact with people of different cultures and backgrounds. Bearing that in mind, is studying abroad feasible for the majority of college students? While not all students choose to partake in the experience, many do not have a choice. This is especially true for students of color, first generation college students, students with physical disabilities, and students with mental health disorders. This presentation will highlight current issues surrounding equity and access in study abroad programs for undergraduate students in the United States. After reviewing student demographic data in study abroad, I will explain what those data indicate in the larger picture. Following that, I will speak to what can be done to make study abroad a more accessible learning opportunity, how students can be part of initiatives that share the goals of international education at their home institutions, as well as what technology, online learning, and the COVID-19 pandemic mean for the future of study abroad.

Mark Melby is a graduate student in the Spanish for the Professions program at Minnesota State University, Makato. He also works in the Department of World Languages & Cultures at Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota. Melby is interested in International Education and language and cultural exchange. In his free time, he enjoys traveling to different Spanish-speaking countries to experience the rich, diverse cultures. Melby is an advocate for place-based education and the transformative learning experiences that come along with it.

2:40 - 3:40 p.m.                                                                                                                


Session 4a, The Power of Performance and Creativity: Artistic Sample


Un-writing poetry, Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo, Washington University

Following the notions of “uncreative writing” or “unoriginal genius,” as developed by Kenneth Goldsmith and Marjorie Perloff, among others artists and academics, in a 15min digital performance I will read a short series of my autobiographic poems in English, which were exclusively generated from preexistent texts. Literary exile or experimentation, imagined identities or ideologies, desemantization or reterritorialization. In any case, a recombinant displacement of meanings traveling from the original authorial content into the occupying autotroph container.

Writer and photographer from Havana. He graduated in Biochemistry at Havana University. Editor of the digital magazines Cacharro(s), The Revolution Evening Post, and Voces. In Cuba he published the books of narrative Collage Karaoke (2001), Empezar de cero (2001), Ipatrías (2005) and Mi nombre es William Saroyan (2006). In 2014, O/R Books published his Cuban new narrative anthology Cuba in Splinters and Restless Books his digital photobook Abandoned Havana. Since 2016 he studies in a PhD program in Comparative Literature at Washington University in Saint Louis. (

Communal Creativity – Interactive Poetry in Digital Spaces, Tylyn Johnson, University of Indianapolis

This project seeks to understand how to engage different peoples in the practice of “communal   creativity” in the digital sphere through the development of a digital humanities project. The   specific questions being explored are: how can the digital sphere be used to engage diverse and disparate communities in shared forms of creativity?, and what effects, modalities, practices, or objects are produced thanks to the engagement of these communities? In this presentation, I will showcase the preliminary findings of a research-creation project whose main aim is the creation of a digital game of poetry through which diverse communities can interact and co-create. Because this project is using a digital humanities lens in exploring the questions of interest, the use of such a project-based methodology is feasible. Similarly, the research for this project draws insight from a variety of related disciplines, from traditional poetry education and studies on the formation of online communities to examples of the development and impacts of online games. In the literature related to e-literature, e-poetry, and communal creativity, a consistent finding across all of the research was the importance of creating opportunities for social interaction and empowering users to experiment and design their own experience on the platform created. Through this project, it is hoped that users will be empowered to understand how art and language can have a great impact in uplifting communities, and inspire further collaboration in social justice action involving the digital humanities.

Tylyn K. Johnson is a third-year social work student at the University of Indianapolis. He is also pursuing a minor in Applied Spanish as well as an Honors concentration. A part-time writer with a mind for community, Tylyn nurtures his passion for writing through the occasional spoken word. In his artistry, he seeks to focus on building a sense of communion and empowerment with other folx from marginalized backgrounds. He has had work appear in Etchings literary magazine, Parody Poetry Journal, Indiana Voice Journal, and Rigorous, among other spaces. When he is not writing or engaging in intersectional dialogue, he is learning how he can become a resource for the betterment of his community and support all the positive change that takes place around him. His handle on Instagram, Twitter, and Medium is @TyKyWrites.

Send Nudes, David Jarrin Tello, Universidad San Francisco de Quito

Send Nudes is a project that explores queer/cuir corporeality and representations of the male body in sexual encounter applications. The project works with many investigation resources such as: media study, virtual ethnographies, interviews and casual conversations with Grindr users in the city of Quito, Ecuador. This application works through geolocation and the main objective of the users is to have sexual encounters.  Grindr, as a study platform, has provided information on the behavior of users, especially when exchanging nude photos, which is essential to access or not to the encounter. Through a graphic, theoretical, communitarian and plastic analysis, the hegemony of the male body is found, which speaks of coloniality, racialization and heterocentrism. Subsequently, the work attempts to demystify through desires, fictions and gay sexuality these violent hegemonies of the  body. 

Therefore, the project creates graphics, toys and a virtual exhibition in grindr that try to demystify the male body and genitals, where satire, imagination and fiction about sexuality construct the imaginaries of the body and desire. It starts with a playful aesthetic to introduce Queer/cuir theory in the artistic objects. The project is born from a personal discomfort as a user of this network for years, in which I have felt that diverse bodies and identities have no place in Quito society.

David Jarrin (1997). I am currently studying for a degree in Visual Arts and Communication Design at the Universidad San Francisco de Quito. I have studied architecture in Buenos Aires, thus influencing my production from canons and concepts related to this discipline. I am interested in topics such as the search for virtual identity, sexual dissidence, gender performance, and space. I have received the Jose Luis Hernandez Scholarship from the USFQ and a partial scholarship from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC). I am interested in cultural management and the creation of new exhibition spaces. I am currently working at Q Gallery at the USFQ. I live and work in Quito, Ecuador. 

2:40 - 3:40 p.m.                                                                                                              


Session 4b, Latin American Novels. New Perspectives: Questioning the Right to the Land


La corrupción en Aves sin nido de Matto de Turner, Leonardo Montes Álvarez, University of Missouri-Columbia

Clorinda Matto, en su obra Aves sin nido (1889), recrea cómo el poder eclesiástico, político, judicial y militar se unen para actuar corruptamente en una zona rural ficticia de la región de la Sierra del Perú, con el fin de hacer una denuncia política, social, racial y moral de la corrupción del contexto local. Esta obra ejemplifica cómo el indígena peruano puede luchar contra la opresión de la élite rural. En la introducción se analiza el contexto político, económico y social de Latinoamérica y Perú en el marco histórico de la fecha de publicación de Aves sin nido. Se hace un énfasis en el contexto de las zonas rurales. Luego, se desarrolla el análisis de la corrupción en Aves sin nido en cuanto al ámbito político, judicial, religioso y militar. Consecutivamente, se evalúa la unión estratégica de los corruptos para explotar a la población. Finalmente, se estudia el impacto de esta explotación en los indígenas. La corrupción de la élite rural peruana en Aves sin nido radica principalmente en la opresión del indígena. La acción en conjunto de esta élite hace muy difícil que esta población pueda escapar de este sistema opresivo. Aves sin nido refleja una actitud solidaria frente al oprimido y visibiliza al indígena. A pesar de que no se brinda una solución definitiva, se logra establecer un precedente con una denuncia y un legado que busca justicia e igualdad para esta población.

Leonardo Montes is a Ph.D. student and language instructor at the University of Missouri. He earned his Master’s degree in Language Teaching at the University of Missouri-Columbia and his Bachelor’s degree in humanities at Universidad de Córdoba (Colombia). His secondary field is technology, global communications, and business (Certified by the University of Missouri). His interests focus on the impact of technology in Hispanic literature. His Master’s thesis focused on the impact of digital platforms on language teaching and learning. His previous research focused on contextualized and cultural materials for language learners. He currently teaches introductory Spanish courses in the School of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures . He has been teaching languages for more than eleven years.

Translation of the jungle: analysis of the linguistic variation and the narrative structure in two versions written in English of La vorágine (1928), Paula Andrea Hernández and María Enciso, Pontificia Universidad Javeriana

There has been a problem in translation when transferring into other languages the characteristic features of each literary text. This happens due to the dynamic nature of languages and texts, which are framed in specific contexts. Our objective in this research is to analyze the constructions of the linguistic variation and the narrative characteristics of La vorágine (1928) presented in two English translations —Earle K. James, 1935, and John Charles Chasteen, 2018—. In order to make the analysis, we have integrated tools from sociolinguistics —linguistic variation— and literary studies —narratology— since the plurality of voices and the narrative structure are fundamental features of this novel. After the reading, comparison and analysis process, we identified elements that vary in the translations. Although these do not alter the course of the story, they do modify the way it is presented, reflecting the position that each translator assumes in relation to literature and translation.

Velez de Piedrahita's Terrateniente: Conservative literary-aesthetic reaction and its fierce opposition to the liberal agrarian reformist spirit of the 20th century, Juan Manuel Zuluaga, University of Missouri-Columbia

Terrateniente (1980) by the Colombian author Rocío Vélez de Piedrahita, is the clearest contemporary, reactionary and conservative Colombian aesthetic-literary expression, in the face of the attempts of agrarian reforms advanced by the liberal governments in the decade of the 60s. The narrative is to endorse the claims of the Medellin landowners in the face of alleged liberal agrarian reformist abuses, harmful to their landlord interests on the Colombian Atlantic coast. Therefore, it describes the last stage of the Antioquia colonization, which occurred between 1920 and 1970. In this way, it is the Colombian novel that most openly supports the violent reaction of the landowners, materialized in the Chicoral Agreement -signed in 1972 during the presidency of the conservative Misael Pastrana Borrero (1970-1974) -, with whom the agrarian reformist ideology of rural areas was buried during the times of the National Front (1958-1974). In effect, with this work, this Colombian author legitimizes the consolidation of the traditional model of large-scale agricultural exploitation prevailing on the Colombian Atlantic coast, in which vast territories remain unproductive under the command of traditional Antioquian family. Thus, for this narrator, the operation of these male cattle ranchers is an admirable feat that does not enjoy publicity: their actions take place in the midst of the invisibility promoted by the official silence.

Juan Manuel Zuluaga Robledo is a Colombian journalist from the Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana, and a master's degree in political science from the same university. He earned a master's degree in art and literature from Illinois State University and a doctorate in Latin American literature from the University of Missouri. He worked as a journalist at Vivir en El Poblado in the city of Medellín and directs the literary publication

3:50 - 4:50 p.m.                                                                                                               


Session 5a, Historical Memory-Personal Recollections of Violence


Historical Memory and National Identity in Julio Llamazares’ Luna de lobos, Alex Graham, Truman State University

Luna de lobos, the debut novel of Julia Llamazares, provides an explanation on and a reflection of the human experience during the turbulent times of the Spanish Civil War. The experience of Ángel and his three companions illustrates a life of desperation and solitude. During the 20th century the dictator Francisco Franco sought to suppress the negative feelings surrounding his violent regime. The citizens of Spain tried to relinquish every connection they had with the movement of the rebellion in order to avoid punishment for being involved in the rebellion that opposed Franco’s leadership. This attempt to disconnect from the past has since been recognized as selectively forgetting the past. However, this tendency to forget the past has more recently become a political topic that receives high public attention and is opposed by the historical memory movement that is centered on incorporating Spain’s past in the construction of its national identity. Written in 1985, Luna de lobos is one of the first attempts to bring to light a comprehensive perspective of the Spanish Civil War to support and influence the movement of historical memory in Spain. To support this claim I show how Luna de lobos serves as a connection between historical memory and the public discourse in Spain today. The Personal Identity Theory of John Locke further supports this connection by explaining the relationship between memory and identity. The reoccurring themes of distance, violence, and death throughout Luna de lobos argue the importance of historical memory in shaping Spain’s national identity.

I am a student at Truman State University studying political science and Spanish. My research has been most I glue fed by the time I spent living in Ecuador for nearly two years. Next year I will be pursuing a Master’s in Public Diplomacy and Global Communication at Syracuse University with the goal of becoming a Foreign Service Officer.

History Revealed through Translation, Lisa Johnson, Webster University

Building on my current and ongoing internship at the St. Louis Holocaust Museum and Learning Center (HMLC), I seek to offer a presentation highlighting my findings in German language translation.  The story of Walter Berger, a German Jewish refugee, has emerged through his carefully preserved letters and papers.  My internship is to translate these documents from German into English, thereby making them available to both Walter's family and to historians everywhere.

After exploring dwindling options in 1939, Walter Berger fled the Nazis with his family from his native East Prussia region of Germany. Like many other German Jews in the late 1930s, they found refuge in Shanghai, China, which was full of dangers from Japanese, Chinese, and American sides.  After his wife died in an American air strike near the end of the war (1945), Walter emigrated to America with his young daughter, who survives.

I will demonstrate, in a 15-minute Zoom presentation, with examples of my work in translated personal letters and documents, supported by photographs and contextual information, the care with which Walter Berger recorded the evidence of his dramatic explorations and journeys, bearing witness to the man revealed as a result.  The contents of the written material preserved under duress expose in their very preservation how a life presents itself through time.


Lisa Johnson is an undergraduate student at Webster University, majoring in German. In conjunction with her studies, Lisa has an internship at the St. Louis Holocaust Museum and Learning Center, where she contributes to the translation of German letters and documents in the museum’s collection. Her academic area of interest is the extraordinary cultural and intellectual epoch in German Judaism in the 18th and 19th centuries. A professional musician, Lisa is on the staff of Musik Theater Heidelberg (Germany), where she creates instrumental arrangements and plays clarinet and flute in annual productions. Lisa is originally from New York City, and, following a long musical career there, continues to work part-time as a music educator and administrator.

Historiography: El Cid, Erin Mortimer, Northern Michigan University

During the past century, El Cid has been manipulated as both a literary concept and a historical figure. Throughout several different literary periods and historical influences, the trend of upholding the glory of El Cid persevered. However, the re-introduction of the pro-Catalán movement sparked a strong wave of anti-Cid sentiment towards the end of Francisco Franco’s dictatorship. With evidence pulled from Modernist, Postmodernist, and Edwardian sources, along with the Spanish Literary Experimentation era of the mid to late 20th century and the broad Global History topic, the militaristic history of El Cid is hidden while the idea of his heroism is expanded upon. The idea that the Spanish national hero was once a Muslim military leader was never once mentioned, and this trend continued until the resurgence of pro-Catalán ideals and a resentment towards nationalism that fueled publications to critique the country’s hero and reveal his mercenary past. Due to Francisco Franco’s strict rule as dictator, the pro-Catalán movement pushed a strong anti-nationalistic agenda, which caused literature in Spain to break from the common trend. This essay uses historiographical research methods to discuss the trends of glorifying El Cid and praising his heroism, in combination with not mentioning or glossing over his military history, which has been manipulated in relation to the surrounding historical context from 1903 to the present day.

My name is Erin Mortimer, and I am a double major in International Studies and Spanish and a double minor in History and French. I am a third-year student, and I plan on graduating in Fall 2021. Besides studying historiography, I am very interested in pre-Columbian history and indigenous studies in the Andean region of South America, and Iberian studies as well - specifically the Pyrenees region and the influence of both Spanish and French cultures and languages. In the summer of 2019, I was lucky to study abroad in Cusco, Peru, but my hopes of studying abroad in Spain in the summer of 2020 were canceled by Covid-19. After graduation, I hope to attend graduate school to further my studies in languages or international studies.

Spaces for childhood (especially girlhood) in Primera memoria by Ana María Matute, José Miguel Fonseca Fuentes, Universidad de los Andes

Primera memoria (1959), by Ana María Matute (Barcelona, 1925-2014), is the narration by a girl focused on the spaces authorized and non-authorized for boyhood and girlhood in the context of the Spanish Civil War. Those spaces play a determinant role in the process of social relationships and education she and other children have in a divided society’s silent tension. Thus, the female narrator’s particular perspective shows the interaction of different social classes and political positions, but especially the spaces that boys and girls can occupy in a town observed by a powerful older woman, in this case, the girl’s grandmother.  This presentation is associated with a research project into childhood, gender, and violence in Hispanic Literature from the 20th century.

(Bogotá, Colombia, 1997) He is a Colombian student, teacher, proofreader, and tutor passionate about reading between the lines inside and outside the texts. He has recently graduated from the Master of Arts in Literature at Universidad de Los Andes, Colombia, and was accepted into the Graduate Spanish Program (M.A. and Ph.D.) at The Pennsylvania State University starting next fall term. He is interested in Hispanic Literatures since the 19th century, especially in the intersections between gender, race, childhood, and violence. He has recently participated in conferences with presentations about Rosario Castellanos, Teresa de la Parra, Soledad Acosta de Samper, and Ana María Matute.

3:50 - 4:50 p.m.                                                                                                              


Session 5b, Gender and Communicative Environments in Pedagogy


Intercultural Communicative Competence: An Essential Goal in Language Teaching Classrooms, Daniel Bernal and María de los Ángeles Páez, Universidad de La Sabana

Administrators, international educators, and professors are searching for innovative ways to internationalize their students' learning experiences without leaving their own localities. Using a university-level, 3-credit, English as a Foreign Language classroom in Chía, Colombia as a case study, this paper shares best practices for teaching intercultural communicative competence in the foreign language classroom. Developing intercultural competence is a necessary skill for students to develop in order to understand, acquiesce, and appreciate myriad cultural perspectives in the target language. This paper explores the intersection of language and culture by focusing on the instruction of 'knowing;' i.e., moving from a place of cultural absolutism to cultural relativism. This shift in 'knowing' will be explored through content analysis of weekly discussion board posts and responses and well as the presentation of intercultural communicative competence teaching practices. This project will harness Byram’s (1997) well-respected conceptualization of intercultural communicative competence which centers on a) knowledge, b) attitudes, and c) skills. Over the course of 4 weeks, the shift in students’ attitudes, in particular from cultural absolutism to cultural relativism will be explored through content analysis of weekly discussion board posts and responses.  


Daniel BERNAL QUINTANILLA is a final semester student at the Master’s program in English Language Teaching – Autonomous Learning Environments at Universidad de La Sabana in Chía, Colombia. He is currently teaching English to secondary students at a private school in Bogota. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Modern Language from Universidad de La Salle (Bogotá). His research interests include Intercultural Communicative Competence, Citizenship Education, Learning Autonomy and Motivation, and Differentiated Instruction. Finally, he has been an English Language teacher for about 13 years.

María de los Ángeles Páez-M.A in English Language Teaching: Autonomous Learning Environments from Universidad de La Sabana, and B.A. in Spanish and Foreign Languages Teaching from Universidad Pedagógica Nacional. Currently a primary teacher, interested in the dynamics of Intercultural Communicative Competences in foreign language education.

Approximation to the Term Immersion as Used in Educational Settings in Colombia, Sary Alexandra Hernández Guaqueta and Karen Sofía Melendez Cordero, Universidad Distrital Francisco José de Caldás

This project aims to study linguistic immersion as a methodology for teaching English as a foreign language in Colombia. We aimed to answer: How are the Colombian linguistic immersion programs developed in regards to its theoretical concept? And how are the communicative competences developed in some Colombian linguistic immersion programs? For answering these questions, we took informants from linguistic immersion programs as well as documents about this subject to carry out an exploratory qualitative study. To achieve this, we conducted interviews and surveys; we analyzed documents and reports to review the international literature that described the authors' experience in implementing this methodology around the world. Besides, we gathered the Colombian reports about local programs for comparing what has been carried out nationally and internationally, and finally, we contrast the theory with the participants' and informants' experience. After analyzing the data through grounded theory, we organized the data collected into three categories giving us as a result: Linguistic Immersion has pre-established principles since all the programs follow a scheme despite the contextual diversity. The participants' profile affects these programs' development due to their willingness to participate, and the Basic Interpersonal Communicative Skills are mostly developed in the linguistic immersion programs since they have a short-term duration. Cognitive or Academic Language Proficiency requires higher proficiency and more extended time.

My name is Sary Alexandra Hernández Guaqueta, I am in process to get a Bachelor's Degree in Basic Education with an Emphasis in English at the Francisco José de Caldas District University. I am 23 years old. I have experience as a teacher in primary and secondary school, in private classes and academic advising. I am interested in researching the practice and foundation of new methodologies for learning English in Colombia, especially language immersion. I believe that this would contribute to the understanding and responsible assumption of such methodologies in the second language educational processes in the country.

Virtual learning environments (VLE) to encourage English as a Foreign language (EFL) engagement and learning, Daniel Hernando Rojas Rodríguez, Universidad del Bosque

Globalization has changed our society in the sense of making it more connected. Nowadays, many of the intercultural and economical exchanges are especially mediated through the global language of English. Consistently, countries worldwide attempt to access the global community by educating their citizens under the concept of global citizenship. In Latin America, especially in Colombia, the priority is to educate English proficient students, but this end seems challenging as it requires big efforts to provide proper opportunities with meaningful learning. In addition, the pandemic caused by covid-19 has worsened the conditions of learning by limiting social interactions and effective teaching and guidance to lower levels. However, there have been alternative spaces mediated by technology to encourage learning in virtual environments. In light of that, this study seeks to observe the form in which the type interactions in virtual classes influence the engagement and agency of the students. To accomplish this end, the multimodal interaction analysis is established to analyze the way in which interactions are displayed and executed. Some of the instruments considered for this study included interviews to gather perceptions on virtual learning, and class observations to analyze how the virtual class was carried out.

Daniel Rojas has a Bachelor of Education in bilingualism from Universidad El Bosque, he has participated in several research projects at his school affiliation, being ‘‘A Collaborative Vlog to Foster Students' Speaking Skills’’ one of the most relevant investigations in 2019. Currently he is a Student in the Master Program of Higher Education at Universidad el Bosque, making part of research initiatives related to bilingualism, interculturalism, and inclusion .

“She is the queen!”: Positioning of Masculinities and Femeninities regarding the Foreign Language Learning Process in Colegio Nacionalizado Femenino de Villavicencio, María Marcela Mora Rincón, Pontificia Universidad Javeriana

This is a qualitative research that aims to find the relationship between the positioning of masculinities and femininities that emerges in an English class of a tenth-grade female population group and the English teacher, and the foreign language learning process in the institution above mentioned. The English classes of such group were observed and recorded every week. Students also took semi-structured interviews at the end of each class. In order to analyze the data, epistemological bases of Grounded Theory and Feminist Post-structuralist Discourse Analysis were applied. The results suggested that the positioning of femininities and masculinities were classified in two categories: the oneself positioning and the other positioning, where the former was usually displayed in male-gendered discourses with characteristics such as the appropriation of an authority figure executed by the teacher and some students, capable of determining the direction of the class; or the cancellation of the less-empowered students in terms of their participation and disposition. On the other hand, the second is similar to the female-gendered discourses, where the more-empowered people position the others in lower ranks of power. However, the same positions are stressed when they are not executed by the very same people, as the power relations alternate according to the context. Regarding L2 learning, the gendered discourses have strong consequences on students' performance, since girls are called to maintain their "own" gender attitude. Interestingly, only those who broke that limited rule obtained a constant access use of L2.


This is a research that aims to find the relationship between the positioning of masculinities and femininities that emerges in an English class of a tenth- grade female population group and the English teacher, and the foreign language learning process in a public secondary institution.