Dr. Julia Frengs, Assistant Professor of French

Narratives of Nature in the Indian and Pacific Oceans

Dr. Frengs has been working on a second monograph entitled Island Environments: Narratives of Nature in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. In this monograph, she takes a comparative approach to Oceanian and Indian Ocean literary works situated at the nexus of postcolonialism and environmental engagement. She has five chapters planned, designated thematically: a chapter on ecofeminism, a second on the environmental detective novel, a third on urban spaces, the fourth on the complications of accessibility and environmentally-friendly infrastructure in contemporary island fiction, and a fifth on Indigenous articulations of environmental engagement.

  This summer’s research funds were intended for research specifically on Indian Ocean literature of the environment. As the Indian Ocean World Center located at McGill University in Montréal indicates on their website, the Indian Ocean World (IOW) was home to the first “global” economy, and now comprises 50% of the planet’s population. The Indian Ocean consists of a diverse array of terraqueous environments and cultures, making it an ideal region of focus for her comparative work on Island ecologies.

Dr. Isabel Velázquez, Associate Professor of Spanish

Cartas a la Familia: De la Migración de Jesusita a Jane | Graduate Researcher: Josefa Samper Suarez

Professor Isabel Velázquez and doctoral student Josefa Samper Suarez worked over the summer months on the linguistic analysis of the personal correspondence of Jesusita Baros Torres and her daughter, Santos Baros Schubert, two Mexican American women who immigrated from Zacatecas, Mexico, to eastern Colorado at the beginning of the 20th Century. The main goal of this research project is to understand the influence of English on their Spanish writing. A secondary goal is the description of dialectal, grammatical and orthographic features in these texts. The documents analyzed are part of the digital archive Cartas a la Familia: De la Migración de Jesusita a Jane (https://familyletters.unl.edu), a joint project of the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures, and the UNL Center for Digital Research in the Humanities.

In July, Josefa was invited as a guest speaker by the Universidad Libre de Barranquilla, in Barranquilla, Colombia, to participate in the virtual event Primera Jornada de Socialización de Resultados de Investigación. In her talk, Josefa spoke about her experience doing research as an undergraduate student in her native Colombia. This event was held on July 30th via Zoom.

Linguistic Experiences of Central American Varieties of Spanish in Nebraska | Graduate Researcher: Marcelo Gomes Perez

Professor Isabel Velázquez and doctoral student Marcelo Gomes Perez worked over the summer on a study about the linguistic experience of speakers of Central American varieties of Spanish in Nebraska. The main goal of this research is to investigate the use of the second person singular pronoun vos during intra communal interactions. 

The corpus for this analysis comes from sociolinguistic interviews with speakers of Guatemalan, Honduran and Salvadoran Spanish from Grand Island, Crete, Lincoln, Columbus, and Omaha. The findings of this project, to be submitted for publication in late fall, will contribute to our current understandings about intradialectal contact in communities with low enolinguistic vitality for Spanish.