World Languages & Cultures, 2013
  • A Home: Baseball’s Influence on United States and Latin American Relations During the Cold War
    Emma Caputo
    Mentor: Stephanie Saunders


    During the Cold War era, political and cultural development within Latin American countries, combined with a greater interest in baseball, transformed the international relations between the United States and South America. Although baseball traditionally has been identified as “America’s national pastime,” the Latino assimilation into the sport particularly during the 1960s and 1970s, not only indicates globalization but also marks for extensive development in Hispanic citizens. Latin American exposure to America’s favorite pastime, baseball, specifically during the early years of the Cold War, initiates and advances a dramatic transformation of the international relationship between the United States and Latin America. Through the integration of the political and social happenings of these two distinct regions and the globalization of baseball in Latin American countries, specifically Mexico, the Caribbean region, and Cuba, I will establish a shift in worldwide relations during the Cold War. The often-quieted relationship between the United States and Latin America during the Cold War brings necessity for research, while particularly subjecting the influence of America’s sports market with baseball. The amelioration of the relationship of the United States and Latin America stemmed from the internationalization of baseball and the constant strain from Cold War demands.

    Adaptation of the French Language Through Colonization: A Look at How French Colonization Played a Role in the Development of French
    Olivia Compton
    Mentor: Marie-Madeleine Stey


    The French language, like all languages, has been changed and developed through history. I look at French Colonization to understand and explain how modern day French has evolved. This presentation will be given in French. I use Francophone literature to illustrate the effect that colonization had on the language by finding vocabulary, especially African, that appears in these works and their meanings. I have learned that many foreign words have found their way into the French language and appear in French literature. Knowing and understanding the effect of history on a language is beneficial to not only understanding the language, but also to understanding literature.

    Effects of Colonization on Francophone Fairy Tales
    Jennifer Davis, Lanni Deskins
    Mentor: Marie-Madeleine Stey


    Colonization has had a detrimental impact on the Francophone culture. The purpose of this research was to examine how Francophone literature, specifically fairy tales, is influenced by the colonization of different Francophone countries. We expected to find that the themes of the fairy tales would vary by the French-speaking regions they originated from due to the way specific regions were colonized. Our interest in fairy tales stemmed from our study of Les Contes du griot by Kama Kamanda, which has influenced us to analyze if colonization is reflected in the writings of various authors. This study contributes to our understanding of the impact of French colonization by examining the differences between fairy tales from different French-speaking regions. The presentation will be presented entirely in French and accompanied by visual aids in English.

    The Benefits of Robotics
    Erika Miller
    Mentor: María José Delgado


    Robots are defined as any automatically controlled machine performing complex functions. Simple robotic machines have been around since the first century to carry out everyday tasks. The progress has improved immensely and developed into robots that can execute actions even human beings cannot. There is debate whether robotics is pushing the limit, but there are many reasons why robots are beneficial. While researching this topic, I have found a great deal of robotics present in the Hispanic speaking world especially Argentina. An upcoming design of robots is being tested in the agricultural field. These machines are able to pick crops more efficiently than humans. They also prevent workers from hazards of dangerous pesticides used on crops. Another robot that benefits people directly is prosthetics. An Argentinean lab recently created a robotic prosthetic arm that has six degrees of freedom at each joint and is also two-thirds cheaper than what is available now. I find this intriguing because in the future robots may possess capabilities the world never imagined possible, and it’s exciting to watch ideas turn into reality. More examples are offered on how robotics benefits the world and what Argentina is doing to play a grand part in that.

    The Effects of French Colonization on Post-Colonial Africa Revealed through French Literature
    Dhaval Patel
    Mentor: Marie-Madeline Stey


    When one thinks of French language and culture, scenes of Parisian streets, the Eiffel Tower, or corner bakeries may come to mind; however, French language and culture has extended beyond these boundaries as a result of France’s early efforts in colonization. Through the acquisition and colonization of many African countries, French culture can equally provoke scenes of sandy dunes in the Moroccan Sahara, or the bustling street markets of Alger, Algeria. Along with growing its colonial empire, France also spread its influence and challenged pre-existing social norms. The effects of colonization can still be seen today in postcolonial Africa, and can be attributed to current political developments in Northern Africa and even racial conflict in Rwanda. This presentation will explore the effects of colonization on African Civilizations and evaluate both the benefits and downfalls of imperialism and how these changes have affected society and may continue to do so in the future. This presentation will be delivered in French.