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News and Events: Hatcher Modern Languages Series

The Paul G. and Ernestine G. Hatcher Modern Language Lecture Series was founded in 2004 by Dr. Graham Hatcher in memory of his parents. Dr. Hatcher's father, Paul Hatcher, came to the WKU Modern Language Department in 1959 as professor of Spanish and head of the department. Six years later, in 1965, he became the first dean of Potter College, in which our department is housed, and he remained in that office until 1974. He then returned to the department to teach until his retirement in 1986. Paul Hatcher died in Nov. 2001 after a long illness. Mrs. Ernestine Hatcher, who shared her husband's interest in other lands and peoples, passed away a year later.

The 2022-2023 Lecturer was Dr. Han Luo of Lafayette College. Dr. Luo did two presentations, one to current Modern Languages students and another to WKU faculty. In the student presentation, she described the nature of language learning anxiety and provided suggestions for how students could reduce their own anxiety. In the faculty presentation, she discussed the research about the impact of language learning anxiety on student success and explained models of low-anxiety classrooms. 

The 2021-2022 Hatcher Lecturer was Nicole Mills from Harvard University, Department of Romance Languages and Literature. Dr. Mills provided a presentation entitled "Perceived Value of Language Learning Aligning Programmatic and Student Goals." This presentation was instrumental in assisting faculty in investigating and understanding why students are studying languages and how those goals match program goals. She also spoke about ways both sides can come togeher to share common goals.

The 2020-2021 Hatcher Lecturer was Dr. Mary K. Long from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Dr. Long’s talk focused on language for specific purposes, including the nuts and bolts of pedagogical approaches, assessments, available materials, ways to develop materials, communities of practice and general tips for expanding one's professional and intellectual visions. She also spoke to students, faculty, and staff about why learning a language is important for personal and professional success, in addition to community growth. 

In 2017-2018, Elaine Wonhee Chun, associate professor of English and Linguistics at the University of South Carolina, presented Responding to Racist Language: An Interactional Approach. In her presentation, she provided a framework for responding to racist remarks drawing on both real and hypothetical examples of racist language while showing where racism is believed to exist. 

In 2018-2019, Dr. Jennifer Rudolph presented Claiming a Pirate, Claiming Taiwan. Her presentation discussed the tension between China and Taiwan, as well as the formation of Taiwan’s identity through the famous figure of the pirate-merchant Zheng Chenggong. 

In 2015-2016, the department invited Dr. Orlando Kelm, Associate Director for Business Language Education at the Center for International Business Education and Research at the University of Texas Austin, who gave a presentation about global competency. He discussed strategies for becoming more aware of cultural differences, and share models for communicating across cultures and in global contexts. His talk was titled “Global Competency: How to Get Along Interculturally in Today’s World.”

The 2014-2015 Hatcher Lecturer was Dr. April Eisman, Associate Professor of Art History in the Department of Visual Art and Culture at Iowa State University. Dr. Eisman earned advanced degrees in the US and abroad, and uses her German language skills to conduct research on contemporary artists in Germany. She spoke on “Wild Women of the 1980s: Neoexpressionist Painting on Both Sides of the Berlin Wall.”

In the 2013-2014 academic year, as the Department of Modern Languages anticipated the inaugural semester of its new Arabic major/minor program, Dr. Jonathan Smolin, Professor of Arabic at Dartmouth, was invited to speak. He is a scholar on subjects such as illegal immigration, police procedural literature and on North African literature. He gave a talk titled “Police, Media, & State: Morocco’s “Serial Killer” & CSI: Casablanca.”

In fall 2011, Jason Old, Spanish Professor at Southeastern University in Lakeland, Florida and co-founder of CAN Fútbol Foundation gave a talk titled “Changing Lives through Soccer, Spanish and Service.” He shared his inspiration to help youth in developing countries in Latin America learn teamwork, discipline, and to gain a passion for doing well in school.

In 2009-2010, Dr. Renate Schulz, Professor Emerita of German Studies at the University of Arizona, was the Hatcher Lecturer. Dr. Schulz taught German and French at the pre-collegiate and postsecondary levels for many years. She served with the Peace Corps in Nigeria and is a past president of the American Association of Teachers of German. She spoke on “Intercultural Competence: What Is It? And How Can It Be Acquired?”
Hatcher funds contributed to a special extended event in spring 2009. It was called “Clueing her in: International Colloquium with authors Maria-Antonia Oliver (Spain), Vicky Lane (USA), and Guest Critic Nancy Vosburg (Stetson University). Preparation for this March 31, 2009, event was extensive, and included an international film series of eight movies related to female detectives that were shown on campus and introduced by faculty members.

2006-2007 saw an extensive and translation project that began in Dr. Stewart’s fall 2006 SPAN 455 Translating and Interpreting course. The Hatcher lecture was given by Spanish writer and journalist Flavia Company, on April 17, 2007. Company's lecture discussed her experience as a writer, a journalist, and a translator in Spain. This event was co-sponsored by Potter College, the Department of Modern Languages, the Provost's Initiatives for Excellence, and the Spain's Ministerio de Cultura. See some pictures of Flavia Company's visit to Western.

In 2005-2006 the Hatcher lecture was given by Dr. Sander Gilman, Distinguished Professor of the Arts and Sciences at Emory University, on February 9. Dr. Gilman's topic was: "You Don't Have to Be Jewish to Be Jewish: Multiculturalism and the 'New' Jews in Germany Today." This event was co-sponsored by Potter College, the Department of Biology, the Department of Psychology, and the Provost's Initiatives for Excellence. It was part of the series of events entitled "Living On: Portraits of Tennessee Survivors and Liberators."

During the academic year 2004-2005, we presented Dr. Michael S. Doyle from the University of North Caroline- Charlotte as the guest speaker for the Hatcher Lecture Series. He delivered a presentation entitled: 'Doing Business with Spanish-Speaking Countries and Communities: Aspects of Cross-Cultural Literacy and Communication' on March 10, 2005. In addition to a variety of visits to Modern Language and Business College classes, Dr. Doyle was also honored at the Center for Leadership Excellence. The Department of Modern Languages was grateful to the College of Business for co-sponsoring Dr. Doyle's visit to campus and to the Department of Communications and the Leadership Studies Program for sponsoring the coffee in his honor.

The inaugural address in the Hatcher Modern Language Lecture Series was given by Dr. Christina Bratt Paulston on March 30, 2004. Dr. Paulston, Professor Emerita of Linguistics at the University of Pittsburgh, spoke on "Should the USA have an official language? Language policies, language rights and English-only." While on campus, Dr. Paulston also held a forum with students concerning "Linguistics as a discipline and a career path" and addressed speech pathology majors on African-American dialects and on deaf culture.




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 Last Modified 5/12/23