News Archive


October 30, 2021

Dancing to a New Tune: Cuban Musical Transitions Through Generations. Register now for this exciting in-person presentation event via our event registration OWL site. Seats are limited, all Western, local and provincial H&S guidelines apply.

October 26, 2021

Recruiting Participants For An Exciting Language Research Study!

October 22, 2021

Día de muertos Instagram Contest Now Open.

October 16, 2021

Italian Conversation Group cancelled October 27, 2021. 

October 16, 2021

Día de muertos Celebration October 28, 2021.

October 16, 2021

Graduate Studies Applications Now Open for Hispanic Studies and Comparative Literature Programs.

October 13, 2021

Language Conversation Groups Are Back.

September 18, 2021

Western launches action plan and Task Force on Sexual Violence & Student Safety.

September 13, 2021

Linda Ahima is giving a talk on "The third language imitation of Spanish rhotic-lateral contrast by Akan-English bilingual children and adults: the effect of first versus second language transfer, orthography, and age of acquisition" on September 15th, 2021 at 1:30pm

September 8, 2021

Shana Tovah! Wishing everyone celebrating Rosh Hashanah a Good Year.

September 7, 2021

New Course Offering: Spanish 4908A Special Topics: Sociolinguistics of Spanish.

August 18, 2021

If you missed the Border Crossers event with Carolina Orloff last month you can read the transcript of the event here or view a recording of the event here.

July 27, 2021

New Course Offering: Persian 1030 Persian (Farsi) for Beginners and Persian 1035: Beginners Persian for Heritage Speakers.

July 8, 2021

Congratulations to Jerika Caduhada, winner of the Dr. R.N. Shervill Gold Medal.

July 6, 2021

Join us for a live Q&A session with Carolina Orloff!
Wednesday, July 21st — 10 - 11am EST, 3 - 4pm BST.

You can find the event details here.


June 24, 2021

Congratulations to Matthew Cave, winner of the Gold Medal for the Honours Major in Italian Language and Culture.

June 21, 2021

Dr. Ana Garcia-Allen, Undergraduate Chair, wins 2021 Teaching Excellence Award. See full article here.

June 20, 2021 

Fourth Year Priority Enrollment Period Commences July 5th, 2021

Check your Western email account for your specific enrollment appointment time or consult the Office of the Registrar for more details.

June 14, 2021 

Congratulations to Magdalena Masciantonio, winner of the Gold Medal for the Honours Specialization in Spanish Language and Hispanic Cultures.

June 10, 2021 

Thousands Mourning the Souls of the London Attack Victims

June 3, 2021

New AHSC Spanish Club! 

Feel free to contact for more info!

June 1, 2021

Photo Contest 2020/2021 Winners Announced! 



It's International Week at Western: an event held annually in November as a campus-wide celebration of all things international. Be sure to experience everything it has to offer! View schedule.  


International Week 2019 - from November 11th - 15th. Come explore your #globalwesternu! International Week is for everyone - students, faculty, staff, and the public. Click here to plan your week.

March 29th, 2019
MLL Photo Contest draws about 60 finalist photos, on display now in University College. READ MORE

March 6th, 2019
Professor Juan Luis Suárez and his CulturePlex team explore global reach of Nobel prize winner, Colombian writer Gabriel García Márquez. READ MORE


Professor Yahya Kharrat making headlines about accepting the challenge of Arabic's grammatical cases. READ MORE






David Darby, Languages and Cultures, was recently awarded the The Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany. Awarded for achievements in the political, economic, social or intellectual realm and for all kinds of outstanding services to the nation in the field of social, charitable or philanthropic work, this is the nation's highest honour.

David has contributed greatly to German-Canadian relations through various ways, most notably through his role as Academic Director of the partnership between Ontario and the State of Baden-Württemberg Learn more about  Ontario/Baden-Württemberg Student Exchange (OBW) 

May 10th, 2018
MLL's own Professor Alena Robin speaks with Western News about her research on Mexican painter Antonio  Enríquez and her upcoming book. Read full article here. (Photo credit Aniruddho Chokroborty-Hoque/Western News).

May 10th, 2018
Congratulations to Professor Perpiñan, who has put the Department of Languages and Cultures and Western in the headlines in Catalonia, Catalunya, Spain. Read more here.

April 13th, 2018
Three female introductory Spanish students pose smiling with their children's book creation.The end of year project for the Spanish 1030 students made Western News! Congratulations to the students, the TA's, and the instructors for this far reaching and impactful initiative. Read full article here (photo credit paul Mayne/Western News).

March 8th, 2018
Congratulations to the following MLL instructors who made the USC's Honor Roll for 2016-17: Mitsume Fukui, Maria Laura Mosco, Parastoo Nasrollahzadeh, Luca Pocci, Alena Robin, Rie Shirakawa, Kathryn Steinbock, Vladimir Tumanov, and William Turkel.
See full list here. 

February 16th, 2018
MLL's Dr. de Looze draws upon his extensive background in linguistics to discuss the basic components of communication and what a conversation with alien life may look like. Read full interview.

Headshot of Professor Yasaman Rafat February 8th, 2018
Professor Yasaman Rafat develops the Canadian Multilingual Speed Database, a site that collects and documents speech samples of multilingual immigrants who speak both in their native languages and English, as explored in Western News.

The University of Western Ontario and the University of Toronto present the Canadian Spanish Teaching Assistant Dailogues (CASTAD 2018) Friday, February 9th, 2018. 

February 1st, 2018
M Constanza-Burucua-photo-credit-Paul-Mayne---Western-News.jpgLL's very own Professor Constanza Burucua is making headlines:  Documentary project celebrates legacy of Expo 67 (photo credit Paul Mayne//Western News)

Rondine, an Italy based NGO, has been working for peace for 20 years. Rondine's President, Franco Vaccari, and Dr. Blerina Duli will explain why and how. 

The Department of Languages and Cultures is proud to present The Mind of Poetry: A Bilingual Conversation (English/Spanish) on Poetry , featuring Vladimir Hachinski (Professor of Neurology and Epistemology, UWO) and Teo A. Noriega (Emeritus Professor, Trent University), on Tuesday, Jan. 30th, 2018 at 2:45pm, in the Dr. David S.H. Chu International Centre (IGAB). All are welcome!

Professor Alena Robin captures the essence of an alumna's adventures from Mexico to Canada. Read article here.


Professor Yahya Kharrat's article ' Arabic has found historic home in London' published in Western News (page 4).

Dr. Laura Mosco discusses the structure, collaboration, and student reactions to Western's Study Abroad at Rondine in recent interview.

world-exhibition-1967.jpg1967: Canada Welcomes the World   -   A new documentary project focused on the national pavilions of the sixty countries that participated in  Montreal's 1967 World Exhibition by Prof. Constanza Burucúa (Modern Languages & Literatures) will soon be exhibited in multiple locations in conjunction with Canada 150. 

Italian Professors win 2016-17 CEL Award

MLL Professor named Graham and Gale Wright Distinguished Scholar

Comparative Literature professor interviewed by the National Post

MLL Alumna has students create handmade children's books in Spanish


Modern Languages Offering Two First-Year Seminars

July 6, 2016

Starting in September 2016 the Department of Modern Languages will be offering seminar courses for first-year students: CLC 1040: Ideas & Apps That Changed the World and CLC 1050E:  World Cultures, Literatures and Arts Across the Ages. Read the Western Gazette article here or check out our course page for course content and syllabi. 

MLL Professor Offers a Sentence to the Letter

June 23, 2016

In his forthcoming book, The Letters & The Cosmos, Comparative Literature and Culture professor Laurence de Looze seeks to restore meaning to letters and the alphabet. Read the full interview for Western News here.

Congratulations to Maria Laura Mosco and Pietro Pirani, awarded the 2016-17 Faculty CEL Award to develop ITA 1033

June 17, 2016

Pietro Pirani and Maria Laura Mosco, Assistant Professors of Italian in the Department of Languages and Cultures, were awarded the 2016-17 Faculty Community Engaged Learning (CEL) Award to develop Italian 1033, a new course that combines in-class/online course work with a community based project. Students will also have the opportunity to contribute to the building of a digital archive of stories collected through interviews with the local Italian-Canadian community. Congratulations Pietro and Laura!

Congratulations to Angela Borchert, named Teaching Fellow 2015

April 12, 2016

Angela BorchertAngela Borchert, Associate Professor and Undergraduate Chair in the Department of Languages and Cultures, is among the 2015 cohort of Teaching Fellows. Named by the Teaching Support Centre, Angela will develop an e-portfolio-based curriculum in intercultural communication in the context of a community of practice in Languages and Cultures. With e-portfolio templates, Arts & Humanities students will create individual learning plans, demonstrate learning outcomes and showcase creative critical thinking.

Congratulations To Alena Robin, recipient of the Graham and Gale Wright Distinguished Scholar Award!

March 31, 2016

Alena RobinAlena Robin, Associate Professor in the Department of Languages and Cultures, was among the recipients for the Graham and Gale Wright Distinguished Scholar Award for 2016! This Faculty-based award recognizes Robin's prominent contributions as an internationally-recognized researcher in her field. Appointments to the Graham and Gale Wright Distinguished Scholar Fellowship are for a one-year period and will provide faculty members with one half-course teaching relief, allowing them to focus on research. See the list of current and past recipients here

Congratulations to our faculty members who received the 2014-15 USC Teaching Honour Roll Award of Excellence!

March 10, 2016

Congratulations to C. Caracchini, M. Ebrahimi Eshratabadi, M. Fukui, A. Garcia-Allen, A. Ishai, Y. Kharrat, Y. Kim, A. Lausch, R.M. Lopez Bajonero, J. L. Miller, A. Mioc, R. Montano, I. Moreno Villamar, M.L. Mosco, P. Pirani, L. Pocci, Y. Rafat, B. Reis, A. Robin, Y. Sangalli, R. Shirakawa, A. Soto-Corominas, K. Steinbock, and V. Tumanov - who all received the Teaching Honour Roll Award of Excellence for 2014-15! See the full Honour Roll for main campus.

MLL Alumna and students create handmade children's books for preschool in Mexico

January 29, 2016

MLL alumna María Eugenia de Luna Villalón, Ph.D. Hispanic Studies, had her first year Spanish students at Wilfrid Laurier University create an illustrated children's book by the end of the year in Spanish. De Luna says the project makes students realize how they can make a big impact through their education. 

Comparative Literature Professor interviewed by National Post about El Chapo and 17th Century Spanish Literature

January 25, 2016

Don QuixoteLaurence de Looze, Professor of Comparative Literature with the Department of Languages and Cultures, was interviewed by the National Post about Don Quixote, a 17th century Spanish epic, and El Chapo. Read the National Post article by clicking below:

Read Full Article


Conectando el Ambiente Universitario con la Comunidad

December 28, 2015

WUPor primera vez en la historia del Departamento de Lenguas Modernas y Literaturas de la universidad, se ha desarrollado un curso de pregrado que congrega estudiantes de los programas de español, italiano y alemán. 


CulturePlex Lab shows Paris attacks may be remembered by One Direction tweet

December 3, 2015

A CulturePlex Lab study led by Juan Luis Suárez charted approximately 4.3 million tweets in the wake of the Paris attacks on November 13 and found that one tweeted by Tomlinson at 6:47 a.m. on November 14 was the most active and widely shared Twitter message related to the event with more than 173,000 retweets and 208,000 likes

Read Full Article

PhD candidate using video games to teach Italian Renaissance Epic poetry

November 11, 2015

Andrea Privitera, a PhD candidate in the Department of Languages and Cultures, is using role-playing video games to teach Italian Renaissance Epic poetry

Read Full Article

Cultureplex measures beauty in art using 'big data'

June 29, 2015

culureplexfaceA recent study by Western's Cultureplex lab, published in International Journal for Digital Art History, concludes that the representation of facial beauty has varied over time and that these variations can be measured and tracked throughout the history of painting.

Read Full Article

2015 Pearl Seferian Award

April 21, 2015

The Pearl Seferian Award is given to a first year Comparative Literature and Culture 1020 student for their best essay. This year on April 21st, 2015, the award was given to first year student Leah Berson-Weinberg in a small reception held in the Department of Languages and Cultures. Leah was enrolled in Professor Laurence De Looze's CLC 1020 course, From Homer to Picasso and Ramanpreet Kaur Grewal was her Teaching Assistant for this course. Congratulations to Leah on this academic achievement.

3M National Student Fellowship Award Recipient

April 1, 2015

Italian Language and Culture student, Nicola Paviglianiti, is named among 10 3M National Student Fellowship Award Recipients. Introduced in 2012, the 3M National Sudent Fellowship Award honours undergraduate students in Canada who have demonstrated qualities of outstanding leadership and who embrace a vision where the quality of their educational experience can be enhanced in academia and beyond. 

Each winner receives a $5,000 award, registration at the STLHE conference, participation in a day-long retreat held in Vancouver, B.C., as well as accommodation and funds toward travel to the conference.

Read Full Article

Snapshots of experience tapped as winners

March 19, 2015

Three Western students nabbed top honours in the 2014 Languages and Cultures Photo Contest for snapshots of their varied international experiences.

Read Full Article

Student takes Korean language prize

March 14, 2015

Modern Languages student Sana Nawab won the Grand Prize in the Korean Speech Contest recently held in Toronto. Nawab receives a trip to Korea, along with a summer language course. Another Modern Languages student, Michelle Alacron C. took second place in the beginners category. This annual competition features contestants from various other universities and colleges in the province.


Portrait pilferer returns to scene decades later

November 6, 2014

It was the perfect crime- until it became the perfect mystery.

"It was really surprising, like something out of a novel. Why would you steal this picture- of all pictures," laughed Joyce Bruhn de Garavito, professor and chair of Languages and Cultures. "Think of this picture, and then think of it 'decorating' someone's dorm room.

The mystery began May 21, when a package arrived at the University College offices of Languages and Cultures.

Read Full Article

25 years after the fall of the Berlin wall

October 30, 2014

On Aug. 13, 1961, the Berlin Wall was erected, thereby dividing overnight a city, families, and dueling ideologies for the next 28 years. On Nov. 9, 1989, the world watched as jubilant crowds gathered on both sides of that Wall to celebrate the opening of its crossings. Germany's postwar division was over. 

Next month, we mark the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. To commemorate that event, Western News asked five scholars to reflect on its meaning a quarter century out. 

Read Full Article

Class opens eyes - and minds- to Guatemala

October 23, 2104

Community Service Learning in the Hispanic World: Guatemala- History, Culture and People in Context is an interdisciplinary community service learning (CSL) course on- and in- Guatemala taught by Languages and Cultures professor Alena Robin. The course includes a three-week community-service trip to Guatemala, where students experience first-hand the lives of the people and communities studies. The class partners with Miguel Angel Asturias Academy, located in the city of Quetzaltenango. Western News asked two students from that class- Dilani Logan and Madison Price- to reflect on that trip. 

Read Full Article

Domina: Ukraine at War: When history becomes personal

September 24, 2014

Natalya Domina is a second-year PhD student in Comparative Literature at Western. Her research interests include utopian studies, Soviet experimental fiction and Ukrainian and Russian contemporary literature.

The Russian invasion into the eastern part of Ukraine was highly predictable. But the four months I spent at home in Mariupol, a densely populated city in southeastern Ukraine, was the time when this very history became personal and rather painful.

Read Full Article

Grad students take second place in provincial competition

March 2014

Congratulations goes out to two of our Hispanic Studies PhD Students, David Brown and Javier de la Rosa.  They teamed up and entered the Communitech Data.Base Challenge.  Out of a few hundred teams that applied, David and Javier's project was selected to be one of the five finalists to come to Waterloo last weekend and present their project to a panel of judges.  Their project  DATA.CARE: Data for a Healthier Ontario, won second place.


If These Walls Could Talk: The Downtown Oral Histories Project

A graduate of the Comparative Literature PhD program, Roberta Cauchi Santoro discusses the history of Downtown in the London Free Press article

Western arts and humanities getting tech infusion

 cultureplexBy Chris Montanini The Londoner, June 11, 2013 
Researchers at Western University are leading efforts to rejuvenate arts and humanities studies and they’re reaching out to students in more technical disciplines for some help. 

Italian is alive, well and growing

italianBy Stephanie Grella Panoram Italia Magazine June 4, 2013 
Students can now feed their curiosity about anything Italian at Western University in London, Ont. In addition to having a thriving Italian student association, the school has recently expanded its Italian major program thanks to demand and growing enrollment. Read More

Replanting the Forest City, one textbook at a time

The new Digital Humanities program at Western is already making an impact on the world around us. Students from the Digital Humanities 2121G course took a class project outside of the classroom and are looking to add more trees to the forest city.