Adventures in Arabic, Part I

The Arabic alphabet or "abjad*" of 28 letters, read from right to left. (See glossary for asterisked items.)

The Arabic alphabet or abjad* of 28 letters, read from right to left. (See glossary for asterisked items.)

After more than a decade of study, it’s safe to say that I’m a pretty experienced language learner. To me, languages are a medium for learning more about neighbors, those near and those far.  Read the rest

A Journey to Latin America through Films

LAFF posters

Image Credit: UIUC-CLACS: Latin American Film Festival/Art Theater Co-Op

As valuable as it is to study other countries’ histories and contemporary cultures through classes, academic books, and papers, it is equally important to approach them through their people’s own voices. This is always a critical task for building fair and inclusive views of the world. Read the rest

What’s in a Flag? A Brief Introduction to Vexillology

white-flag

Photo Credit: Sami Sarkis

If you followed the news this past summer, you likely noticed that there was much talk of flags and their significance. This was especially the case for the State of South Carolina as legislation was passed to remove the Confederate battle flag from the grounds of the capitol in Columbia. Read the rest

Comic Renderings: From Argentina to Zimbabwe

A poster advertising a film adaptation of Marguerite Abouet's Aya series. Photo Credit: LaCinemateca Sevilla

A poster advertising a film adaptation of Marguerite Abouet’s Aya series. Photo Credit: LaCinemateca Sevilla

You’ve probably heard of Bruce Wayne and Gotham City. And you may know of Clark Kent’s high-flying alter ego in Metropolis. Then there’s Charles Xavier and his School for Gifted Youngsters. Three for three? Okay.

How about Aya from the Ivory Coast? Read the rest