Third annual AMLC comes to Ferguson

Ashanka Kumari

Graduate students from the department of modern languages and classics will host the Third Annual Alabama Modern Language Conference in the Ferguson Center March 1-2.

This year, the AMLC theme is “Redefining Borders: Bridging the Gap between Languages, Literatures and Cultures,” Sandrine Hope, co-organizer of the conference, said.

“Any student who is interested in language will find something of interest,” Hope said. “The panels will address subjects from various literatures such as Spanish, French and German, to linguistics and teaching languages.”

Hope said most of the presenters will be graduate students from the University, but there will also be 25 presenters coming from other universities around the country.

“We will have a few foreign presenters at 4 p.m. on Friday in the Heritage Room at the Ferguson Center,” Hope said. “We will have the keynote address by Dr. Thomas Deveny, professor at McDaniel College in Westminister, Maryland. His address will examine the nature of borders, the reasons for migration and give examples of migration narratives in contemporary Hispanic cinema.”

Betsy Brooks, a doctoral candidate and Spanish graduate teaching assistant, said the AMLC began three years ago after graduate students in the department of modern languages wanted to host a conference in which they could present and share their research with fellow graduate students around the country.

“[The AMLC] seeks to give graduate students the opportunity to present their current research, receive feedback and network with professors and graduate students that share similar research interests,” Brooks said.

While the social events and banquets are restricted to paid conference attendees and presenters, individual panel presentations and the keynote address are open to all undergraduate and graduate students interested in language and literature, Brooks said.

“AMLC hopes to reach as many graduate students as possible,” Larissa Clachar, a UA doctoral candidate and organizer of the First Annual AMLC, said.

Clachar said being involved with the AMLC since its inception has been one of most valuable experiences in her professional career.

“Starting an initiative like this from scratch is an experience I will never forget,” Clachar said. “It was hard at first because it was new, and we were inexperienced, so some people were reluctant to do it, but we had a lot of support from some of the faculty members in our department, and that, and the hard work from the members of committee made it possible.”

After the success of the First Annual AMLC, graduate students were able to continue to host the event each year, Clachar said.

“I hope everyone realizes the importance of such initiative,” Clachar said. “[I hope] that everyone stays involved and enthusiastic about it so that the AMLC can become bigger each year.”

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