You are LANGSA!
All Graduate Students in the Department of Literatures, Cultures and Languages
at the University of Connecticut are LANGSA members.
LANGSA aims to advance the critical study and research of cultural production in the languages of UCONN’s Department of Literatures, Cultures, and Languages. We want to promote a dialogue between graduate students and professionals of diverse cultural backgrounds and further interdepartmental collaborations and exchange. We want to build a community among students in the Department of Literatures, Cultures and Languages that helps each other. Therefore, we also organize social events, and are a mediator between students and faculty if problems arise.
LANGSA works like a human body and we are all part of that! Do you remember what the wise Menenius Agrippa narrated?
« Olim humani artus, cum ventrem otiosum cernerent, ab eo discordarunt, conspiraruntque ne manus ad os cibum ferrent, nec os acciperet datum, nec dentes conficerent. At dum ventrem domare volunt, ipsi quoque defecerunt, totumque corpus ad extremam tabem venit: inde apparuit ventris haud segne ministerium esse, eumque acceptos cibos per omnia membra disserere, et cum eo in gratiam redierunt. Sic senatus et populus quasi unum corpus discordia pereunt concordia valent. »
History of LANGSA
Languages Graduate Student Association (LANGSA) started out in 2011 when a few graduate students of the LCL (Literatures, Cultures, and Languages) had a brainwave— to develop and widen an existing graduate student organization for and by the Spanish section of LCL. A conference had been successfully organized with the efforts of graduate students, and graduate students of all sections had been invited to participate in it, which brought new ideas and possibilities to the surface. This sowed the seeds of LANGSA! Thus, LANGSA came into being with Eleonora Boscolo (Italian) as the first President, Martina di Florio Gula (Italian) as the Vice-President, Nicole Coleman as the Secretary, and Miranda Mueller (French) as Treasurer. The most special aspect of LANGSA is that it was and continues to be a 100% students’ organization. LANGSA has received valuable support from faculty and periodically seeks advice, but every initiative comes from the graduate student community. Graduate students have kept it going.
LANGSA was meant to be open to all the graduate students of the department, focused on organizing events for the whole graduate student community, and to host conferences, workshops, and other activities beneficial to graduate life and work. The organizers called a poll for naming the organization, and the choice was between “LANGSA” and “Grad Owl”. LANGSA was the preferred choice! The rest of the graduate student community suggested design ideas for a logo, and eventually decided on the globe to reflect all the countries and diverse cultures the LCL stood for.
The first conference was on “Hybrid Identities”. It was a great success, not the least because the amazing Keynote speaker, Veronika Fuechtner from Dartmouth College spoke about Thomas Mann's Brazilian mother. The second conference was on "Open Humanities", about interdisciplinary research and public-facing work. Another notable conference was the seventh LANGSA conference on migration and displacement in literatures, languages, and cultures in 2016. A creative reading workshop and talk was organized in the same year by Carmen Francesca Banciu. LANGSA has organized numerous conferences and film festivals ever since— at least one almost every year! Other activities included professional development workshops on article writing, grants, the job market, etc. LANGSA also petitioned for a graduate representative to be permitted to sit in on faculty meetings, a practice that continues till date. LANGSA’s success has also inspired the foundation of a departmental journal.
The LANGSA 2020/2021 team thanks all previous officers for their work and dedication to the organization, and for providing us with the information for this brief overview.