As a Loyola student, you have the opportunity to work alongside our talented professors to partner in collaborative research. Learn more about some recent research and projects currently underway.
Senior Capstone Projects
All majors in French, Latin American Studies, and Spanish prepare a senior Capstone project which is normally presented during their last semester at Loyola. Projects vary greatly, from literary analysis, to concerts, to social research, or whatever makes sense with the student's background and interests. For some examples, click here.
First-Year Seminar on Cultural Blending
Islam, Spain, New Orleans
(This course is ONLY open to students who are enrolled into the Honors program)
Professor Eileen J. Doll, Department of Languages and Cultures
Disciplines: Literature, Medieval History
How does one culture influence another? Starting with the medieval history of Spain, when Islamic culture was at its peak in Europe, this course examines how Islamic culture affected the existing Christian and Jewish cultures of the Iberian Peninsula. We explore the cross-cultural history of 18th-century New Orleans, when it was part of the Spanish empire. Connecting to the present, we also investigate current immigration --legal and illegal-- from Africa to Spain, and compare the problems and benefits of cross-cultural assimilation to those in the United States, and particularly to Louisiana. The class includes a required Service Learning project for the Isleños Museum and community of St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana.
Dr. Doll teaches all areas of Peninsular Spanish Literature and Culture, as well as introductory, intermediate, and advanced Spanish language classes. Dr. Doll is the Director of the Loyola Summer Program in Spain.
Florence Clement (Philosophy/Spanish major 2015), Loyola Undergraduate Collaborative Scholarship Scholar with the University Honors Program, assisted Dr. Doll in the creation of this class. Florence did bibliographic research, helped plan the Service Learning Project, and developed questions for some of the readings.
For more information, see this video: https://vimeo.com/120815705
Spanish Theatre of Social Protest
Dr. Eileen J. Doll does research on contemporary Spanish play texts, in particular those that deal with immigration issues in Spain, and other current social problems.
Spanish Theatre of Social Protest is Dr. Eileen Doll’s (Languages and Cultures Chair) latest publication, which brings to life her research on contemporary Spanish play texts, in particular those that deal with immigration issues in Spain, and other current social problems. Dr. Doll studied over 30 plays from 1989 to 2013, analyzing how immigrant characters were portrayed for the Spanish audience. Many of the works raised important social questions regarding a rather new aspect of Spanish society, which until the 1980s had little immigration. Looking at the characters from four main perspectives—language(s) used on stage, scenic space, dramatic techniques such as lighting or sound, and the positioning of the audience—the analysis concludes that integration of the new immigrants is slow, but dramatists are working to raise awareness of the problems.
Guatemalan author and activist Luis de Lión
In Luis' Footsteps: A museum memorializing a "disappeared" Guatemalan author and activist receives translation assistance from Loyola students
Nathan Henne, Ph.D., associate professor of languages and cultures, has been studying the life and work of Guatemalan author and activist Luis de Lión for eight years. In 2012, the University of Arizona Press published for the first time in English de Lión's most important work, Time Commences in Xibalbá, which Henne translated and introduced.
Henne's research uses de Lión as a prism to examine broader themes of ethnicity, identity, imperialism, and violence. For the past two years, Henne's students have joined the professor in this exploration, which has taken them to the sites of mass graves and museums, and to an understanding of the values for which Luis de Lión lived and died.
Henne's students Taylor Adams and Molly Wagner took lengthy trips through Guatemala during their summer breaks to lay the groundwork for their research projects.
"A lot of de Lión's fiction is concerned with how difficult it is to build a nation state around a nation's - supposedly singular - identity, but still leave room for real difference among the many indigenous groups," Henne said, "especially when that country went through an extended colonial period where racial difference was the most significant ordering principle. That's why it was so important for Molly and Taylor to travel throughout Guatemala and better understand the legacy of the colonial period."
Wagner, who plans to further her studies in international human rights, accompanied a team of forensic scientists who exhumed mass graves from the period of state-sponsored violence in Guatemala that spanned 1954-1996. Scientists and human rights workers were trying to identify bodies of those "disappeared" by the government during that time - de Lión among them. Adams worked with the Proyecto Luis de Lión, founded and operated by de Lión's daughter Mayari, to create a website for the organization, which includes a museum, library, and arts education center. The website builds awareness about the organization and provides an important avenue through which its administrators can raise money and solicit donated musical instruments.
But perhaps the most important work Adams and Wagner did was translate elements from the Casa Museo Luis de Lión into English. The 15-year-old museum uses the life of de Lión as a starting point to introduce the historical context in which the indigenous author "disappeared," a period of deep racism toward the indigenous and a general intolerance toward creativity, intelligence, and union activism, such that de Lión took part in. Now, thanks to Loyola students' translations, visitors from other countries who speak English but not Spanish can fully realize the complicity of the United States in the atrocities in Guatemala's recent history that claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands of its indigenous inhabitants, such as the author at the core of its existence.