News

Learn more about recent news in the Department of World Languages and Literatures at Western Michigan University.

notable Alumni Recognized

Mr. Jason Albaugh has received the department's 2017 Alumni Achievement Award. He graduated from the department in 2003 with a bachelor's degree in Latin Secondary Education. Albaugh has been a Latin teacher at East Grand Rapids High School since 2010. He serves as Principal Examiner for Paper 2 of the International Baccalaureate Standard Level Assessment in Latin.

In his teaching he modifies materials and curricula for a wide range of student abilities, including students with severe visual/auditory impairments, mental and emotional difficulties, and extreme reading deficiencies. Albaugh has been active in the Michigan Junior Classical League since his high school days. As Latin Club Advisor, he now leads students to the MJCL conventions and assemblies. He received the Glenn M. Knudsvig Award for Outstanding Latin Teaching in Michigan Secondary Schools in 2016.

New minors now being offered

The department is now offering two new minors to WMU students: Classical Studies and German Study Abroad.

Medieval institute starts new book series

WMU's Medieval Institute Publications has launched Past Imperfect, a new series of short-form books that focus on the Middle Ages, are written in scholarly yet edgy and accessible language, and are garnering broad acclaim.

Faculty recognized in New Yorker Article

Dr. Mustafa Mughazy, head of the Arabic section at WMU, was recently recognized in an article in The New Yorker. Dr. Mughazy, and his book "Dardasha", were both mentioned in the April 17 article "Talk Like an Egyptian".

Instructor and Husband found music program for refugees

Ms. Hend Hegab and her husband, Ahmed Tofiq, have founded a new education initiative serving children of refugee families recently resettled in Kalamazoo. Orchestra Rouh "offers regular, ongoing music instruction to children of Syria and other refugee families. Rouh means both 'hope' and 'spirit' in Arabic, and the program is designed to nurture the emotional wellbeing of children through music instruction, led by teachers who are bilingual in English and Arabic, and including musics from Arabic traditions." News Spotlight.

Top staffer recognized for her work

Colleen Sante of the Spanish department, a close connection to the World Languages and Literatures department, has received the spring 2017 Make a Difference Award. The Make a Difference Award Program is a campuswide peer-to-peer initiative that recognizes University staff members for their outstanding accomplishments and daily investment of energy and creativity. Ten Western Michigan University members have been honored as outstanding employees this semester. Colleen was recognized during a reception in April.

"You are Welcome here" t-shirts available

The Haenicke Institute for Global Education has "You Are Welcome Here" t-shirts available for $10 in 2425 Ellsworth Hall. Email korey.force@wmich.edu to place an order for your office or unit. Read more about welcoming efforts at WMU.

WMU to offer Chinese Minor at Grand Rapids High School

WMU's Extended University Programs and the Department of World Languages and Literatures is proud to announce that they will be offering Chinese courses onsite to students attending Forest Hills Schools. Upon entering the 9th grade, students will be able to earn a Chinese minor by the time they graduate high school.

Faculty wins important Japanese Literary prize

The department is very pleased to announce that Dr. Jeffrey Angles has received the Yomiuri Prize for Literature, in the poetry category. This award is one of the most important literary prizes in Japan -- much like the Pulitzer Prize in the United States -- and it is the first time that an American has won the award. Angles is an accomplished translator of Japanese poetry and recently published his first book of Japanese poetry written directly in Japanese, titled "Watashi no hizukehenksen" (My International Date Line). It is for this book that he is being recognized. Congratulations, Jeffrey!

NPR interview with Dr. Jeffrey Angles and Stateside's Cynthia Canty

Speech by the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, Dr. Carla Koretsky
Speech by the Director of the WMU Soga Japan Center, Dr. Takashi Yoshida
Photos and more information

Watch our Odyssey Reading Marathon

On November 11, 2016, the department and its Classics language section hosted a community marathon reading of Homer's Odyssey. Watch and listen to the reading in its entirety and find more information about the event on their website.

Faculty's Poetry translations featured

Poetry International Web is featuring the poet Takako Arai along with Dr. Jeffrey Angles' translations of her work. On the site are videos showing Arai and Angles reading her work in Japanese and English translation.

Faculty shortlisted for Translation Award

Dr. Jeffrey Angles' most recent book, "These Things Here and Now," was nominated for the Lucien Stryk Translation Award. The award is given out at the annual ALTA (American Literary Translators Association) conference each year to a book of translations done from an Asian language.