News and Events

New Faculty for Fall 2014

Julie-Françoise Tolliver, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of French and Francophone Studies


Julie-Françoise Tolliver earned her PhD in Comparative Literature from the University of Pennsylvania. She has worked as a visiting professor in French and Comparative Literature at Hamilton College and as an instructional assistant professor of French right here at the University of Houston. She spent last year as visiting scholar at McGill University (Montreal), and she re-joins the faculty in MCL as assistant professor of francophone studies. Her current research project reads independence-era francophone literature as constructing a transnational French-language literary solidarity. Related to this work is her co-editing of a special issue of the Journal of Postcolonial Writing (forthcoming fall 2014) entitled Alternative Solidarities: Black Cultural Alliances during the Cold War. Her teaching interests include twentieth- and twenty-first-century francophone literature, culture, and film.

Nelly Noury-Ossia, Ph.D., Instructional Assistant Professor of French


A French native from Paris, Nelly Noury-Ossia earned her Ph.D. in French Studies at Rice University. Prior to her journey to Houston, she also completed a B.S (‘’Maîtrise’’) in British civilization at Paris-Sorbonne University. Her research focus is on twenty-first century Francophone postcolonial studies with a special interest in the Maghreb. She is particularly interested in examining the various ways in which Francophone-Arab women writers and visual artists have expressed their opposition to the manufacturing of an orientalized ‘’Other.’’

Dr. Noury will be editing a special issue on the Algerian woman writer: Assia Djebar, for the CELAAN (Center for the Studies of the Literatures and Arts of North Africa) review in January 2015. At the University of Houston, she is joining the French and Francophone Studies programs in the Department of Modern and Classical Languages.

Duy Lap Nguyen, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of World Cultures and Literatures

Duy Lap Nguyen

After completing a one-year Carol G. Lederer Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Pembroke Center at Brown University, Duy Lap Nguyen is starting his appointment as Assistant Professor of World Cultures and Literatures in Fall 2014. Dr. Nguyen earned his Ph.D. in comparative literature at the University of California, Irvine. His current book project explores works by the Vietnamese philosopher, Tran Duc Thao, and develops a reading of Thao's materialist critique of Edmund Husserl's phenomenology. His second project, entitled, The Postcolonial Present: Redemption and Revolution in Twentieth Century Vietnamese Culture and History, examines Vietnamese cinema, literature and mass culture from period of the Vietnam War. Nguyen's publications include, "The Universal Province: A Critique of Provincializing Europe" (Interventions, 2013), "The Commodity Fetish and the Angel of History: Walter Benjamin's Philosophy of History and the Marxian Critique of Political Economy" (Telos, forthcoming), and "Le Capital Amoureux : Imaginary Wealth and Revolution in Jean Genet's Prisoner of Love" (Historical Materialism, 2010).

book cover

Dr. Marie-Theresa Hernández’s new book

Dr. Marie-Theresa Hernández’s new book on The Virgin of Guadalupe and the Conversos. Uncovering Hidden Influences from Spain to Mexico has been recently published with Rutgers UP in the “Latrinidat: Transnational Cultures in the United States” series.

Fall 2014 Exhibit:

Postcards from the Trenches

An exhibit commemorating the 100th anniversary of the First World War through the art created by ordinary soldiers in the trenches.

20th Annual Award Ceremony

MCL 20th Annual Award Ceremony - group photos

At the 20th Annual Award Ceremony of the Department of Modern and Classical Languages on April 25, 2014, awards and scholarships were presented to outstanding students in Arab Studies, Chinese Studies, Classical Studies, Latin, Greek, French, German, Italian Studies, Japanese, Jewish Studies, Russian, and Vietnamese.

(Click image to the left to view photo gallery)

Chinese Studies faculty received "Advisor of the Year" Award

Award photo

Jing Zhang, Instructional Assistant Professor of Chinese, received the "Advisor of the Year" award from the Division of Students Affairs and Enrollment Services (April 2014).  She has been serving as a faculty advisor for a number of student organizations on the UH campus for several years, actively advising them on organizational matters, schedules, cultural events, and festival activities.  The organizations she advises have enthusiastically promoted Chinese culture and language on campus.

Inaugural Induction Ceremony for New Chapter of Pi Delta Phi

French Honor Society - group photo

The University of Houston's brand new chapter of Pi Delta Phi, the national French honor society, will be holding its first ever induction ceremony for new members on April 19th at 10:00 AM in Room 212 of the University Center. Please join us to celebrate this important moment in the history of our university. The ceremony will consist of the induction ritual, followed by a short program and refreshments.

UH's new chapter is named Beta Beta. The president of the chapter, Patricia Savala, will perform the induction rights after being inducted herself by current MCL faculty and lifetime Pi Delta Phi member Dr. Jean-Michel Lanskin. Pi Delta Phi is the oldest honor society for a modern foreign language in the United States. More information about Pi Delta Phi may be found at


Congratulations to German students Thalia Gonzales and Margarita Campos! Both have been selected for the Congress-Bundestag Fellowship for the 2014-15 academic year. This is a highly selective program. Only about 75 students nationwide are selected to participate each year. We are proud that two students from UH are given the opportunity to live, study, and work in Germany for a year.

More information about the Fellowhip:

Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange for Young Professionals

The Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange for Young Professionals (CBYX) is a fellowship funded by the German Bundestag and U.S. Congress, that annually provides 75 American and 75 German young professionals the opportunity to spend one year in each others' countries, studying, interning, and living with hosts on a cultural immersion program. The program is open to candidates in all career fields who are interested in a year of cultural exchange. Prior German language knowledge is not required, but is strongly preferred. The program consists of three phases: two months of German language school; four months of classes in the participant’s career field at a university, technical school, or professional school; and a five-month internship in the participant’s career field. Tuition, basic living costs, and program related travel within Germany are fully funded by the fellowship.

Jewish Studies Get-Together


You don't have to be a Jewish Studies Minor to come; Faculty and students are welcome!

Brown Bag Lunch!
Meet Faculty and Students
Talk - Visit - Eat




“Behind the Mask: World War I, Plastic Surgery, and the Modern Beauty Revolution”

Dr. David M. Lubin
Charlotte C. Weber Professor of Art
Wake Forest University

April 10, 2014, 4-5:30 PM in room 105 SEC

“Behind the Mask” explores the development of reconstructive plastic surgery for disfigured soldiers during the First World War and considers the impact of this surgery on changing norms of female beauty and modern aesthetics.

David Lubin is a noted scholar of American art and popular culture.  His book Shooting Kennedy: JFK and the Culture of Images (2003) won the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Eldredge Prize for distinguished scholarship in American art.  His book Flags and Faces: The Visual Culture of America’s First World War, will be published this year by the University of California Press.

Sponsored by:
QEP Curriculum Development Grant, The El Paso Corporation Lectures Series, Department of History, Department of Modern and Classical Languages (German Program)

Spring 2014 Film Series

Global Cinema -

April 10: Springtime in a Small Town

Director: Zhuangzhuang Tian (China, 2002)
Liyan’s and Yuwen’s stagnant marriage is shaken up when Liyan’s boyhood friend visits, and turns out to be Yuwen’s high school sweetheart in this award-winning romantic drama.

Introduction: Professor MacArthur

TIME: 6:00-8:30 PM | LOCATION: AH AUD 2

Free admission - open to the public