World Languages & Cultures, 2011
  • World Languages & Cultures, 2011



    Female Presidents in Latin America: Reasons for Their Rise in Costa Rica, Chile and Argentina
    Robin Burnette
    Faculty Mentor: María José Delgado

    Why have women presidents become more prevalent in Latin America in the last decade? There exist many speculations and theories for their recent victories; many have naively concluded that their legitimacy is artificial and were simply propped up by a male incumbent president within their respective country. This new wave of female heads of state provides scholars new opportunities for research and has been surprisingly understudied. In an attempt to illuminate this new facet of political power I conducted a qualitative case study of three female presidents, Costa Rica’s Laura Chinchilla, Chile’s Michelle Bachelet, and Argentina’s Cristina Kirchner. I researched their political achievements, rise to power, and their diverse political stances. I used local and international media, the women’s respective biographies and studied modern women’s movements in Latin America. As a Latin American scholar looking to continue my education into graduate school, this subject covers many bases of the Latin American Studies field. I gained a further appreciation for Latin American politics, culture, and the Spanish language. This presentation will be presented twice, once in Spanish and once in English.



    The Island of Ustupu and the Kuna Culture
    Suzy Gantz, Candace Goers, Sarah Rowe
    Faculty Mentor: Stephanie Saunders

    “The Kuna culture insisted on running their own lives and on being left alone, but the world outside would not let them be.” For this reason, the Kuna culture migrated from Panama to the Sandblast Islands in the Caribbean Sea. The Kuna live by the statement that “God made you the way you are and so there you will stay.” Through interviews and observations, the researchers discovered that the Kuna culture has many aspects including traditional dress and food, Kuna Catholicism, a relaxed lifestyle, and a unique view on health and cleanliness. Education is becoming more prominent and as a result more people are leaving the island to explore other opportunities. It is feared that eventually the Kuna culture on Ustupu will be lost. This project celebrates the rich traditions and culture of the Kuna community, which has suffered from foreign invasions. We highlight the evolving nature of this culture and the often ignored influences from outside that are compromising the culture. We also consider possible solutions to perpetuate the unique customs of the Kuna culture.



    Teaching Grammar: A Comparison of Methodologies in the High School Foreign Language Classroom
    Caitlin Ladie
    Faculty Mentor: María José Delgado

    This research examines and compares the efficiency of two popular educational methodologies, the Grammar Translation Method and the Communicative Method, with regard to the acquisition of grammatical proficiency. The two methodologies were often implemented by my high school Spanish teachers. As a future high school Spanish teacher, this research will assist me in understanding which of the methods better increases the comprehension and implementation of grammatical concepts for language learners in the high school setting. In order to carry out this research, two distinct Spanish activities, one taken from the Grammar Translation Method and the other from the Communicative Method, were given to high school students and then the results were analyzed. This presentation is given in Spanish.



    The Wealthy and Rebellious Woman: A Study of Gender and Class Representations in El Conde Lucanor and The Canterbury Tales
    Elizabeth Melick
    Faculty Mentor: María José Delgado

    Don Juan Manuel’s El Conde Lucanor and Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales are well-known examples of a literary trend that was popular during the 1300s: unifying collections of short stories or tales, often didactic in nature, with a framing narrative. Although these texts are in different languages and originate from different cultures, both examine many common moral and social dilemmas of the 14th century. One such issue, and the focus of this study, is how relations between men and women were affected by the fairly rigid medieval socioeconomic class structure. Through The Wife of Bath’s Prologue and Tale and What Happened with the Bachelor who Married the Rebellious Woman, both Manuel and Chaucer demonstrate that women who achieved independence through wealth were troublesome to the social order, especially when they married men of lower classes. These findings are important because while gender and class structure are popular topics for criticism of medieval literature, they are rarely examined as having an effect on each other. This study used a blend of Structuralism, Gender, and New Historicist criticisms. It is a bilingual study and is presented in Spanish.