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Language lectures draw global scholars

It was their differences that brought them together.

A community of scholars from Canada, Sweden, Hungary, Switzerland, France, Germany, Italy and the U.S. participated in the 19th biannual Southeast Conference on Foreign Languages, Literatures and Film, which was hosted by USF for the first time.

The conference, which ended Saturday, allowed scholars to present research findings on  aspects of non-English language literatures, films and cultures, with special sessions on German linguistics.

Participants in the conference attended discussions and interacted with presenters.

USF professor of Spanish and Italian Gaëtan Brulotte gave the keynote address, saying the conference was a great opportunity for scholars from all over to relate their findings to the Tampa and St. Petersburg communities.

“It’s also an opportunity for scholars to share their research and make contacts in the scholarly world,” Brulotte said.

Professors Margit Grieb and Stefan Huber of the World Languages department were the main organizers for USF, but they relied on help from the College of Arts and Sciences and the Humanities Institute, as well as professors from colleges around the country.

Huber said the conference was an “important” opportunity for USF to participate in a long-standing event and “create new ties” to fellow researchers.       

Grieb said USF was chosen to host the event because it has the facilities required to support the amount of people.  Brulotte estimated 80 people in attendance.

“(The conference) highlights USF’s focus on and support of community engagement, global research and interdisciplinary collaborations,” Grieb said.

She also believes that exposure from the conference will give USF recognization as an institution willing to support global research in humanities.

“It fulfills part of the USF College of Arts and Sciences’ ‘mission for scholars’ to share their discoveries for the betterment of society,” Grieb said, adding that the scholars did that at this year’s conference.