Start Dancing With Devils, Says Michelle Wibbelsman

Michelle Wibbelsman, Associate Professor of Latin American Indigenous Cultures, ethnographic studies and ethnomusicology in the department of Spanish and Portuguese, studies ritual and politics, aesthetics and power, festival and ritual practices of meaning-making memory in indigenous communities in northern Ecuador. She also discusses the “Dancing with Devils” exhibit now on display in the Barnett Center.

Making Sense of African-Brazilian History, With Isis Barra Costa

Isis Barra Costa is an Assistant Professor in Contemporary Brazilian Cultural and Literary Studies in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese with research interests in Brazilian literature and culture, cyber literature and art activism in the Americas performance studies, and Latin American cinema, among others. Her research started with the question of how religious men and women from different parts of the African continent would explain what happened historically in the new world and how it changed expressions like sacred oratory. On this week’s Voices of Excellence, she discusses with host David Staley how to gain recognition for the best parts of the culture that are not recognized by historiography or in literature.

What Can Minions Reveal About Child Language Acquisition? John Grinstead Explains

John Grinstead, Professor and Interim Chair in Spanish and Portuguese, researches developmental linguistics, developmental semantics and pragmatics, and children’s comprehension of syntax. Ten years ago, he began using stop-motion movies in his experiments on language development, and the Despicable Me “minions” were a well-known and experimentally useful choice. For more about how minions reveal the workings of language acquisition, listen to his discussion with David Staley on this week’s Voices of Excellence.

Pioneering in the Language Program Director Field: Holly Nibert

Holly Nibert, Associate Professor of Hispanic Linguistics and Language Program Director in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese, researches phonology and phonetics, the acquisition of a second language sound system, and the principles and practices of second language classroom instruction. Recently, she’s been writing a book about how to be a language program director, in an effort to help professionalize the position.