2019-2020 Annual Newsletter
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MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIR

As I reflect on the accomplishments of my colleagues, the perseverance of our students, and the enormity of the social and political events that mark this year, one word comes to mind: adaptation. This idea has always lived at the heart of our discipline, but this year's extraordinary circumstances amplify its presence in our daily lives.

In Modern Languages we prioritize the ability to see from alternate points of view. Our interpreters learn to speak in first person while they voice another's concerns. Our localization students inhabit various cultural contexts as they translate communications into seven languages. Our literary scholars travel back in time to grasp the relationship between historical events and artistic expression. These are not simply critical-thinking exercises. In the midst of a global health crisis, rising international tensions, racial injustice, and regressive immigration policies, the value of perspective taking is incalculable. Intercultural communication skills are a critical component of life in the 21st century.

Our department sets forth this mission: to transform lives through language and culture. In the pages of this newsletter, you will see our tactics: a celebration of political freedom, a significant investment of resources in the North Texas immigrant population, cutting-edge training in machine translation, and high standards for teaching, research, and community impact. In this way, the 2019-2020 academic year looks the same as many years before. Our students, faculty, and staff continue to build bridges over cultural divides, innovate to meet the needs of a global society, and create a future for diverse and inclusive communities across the world.

Ignacio Ruiz-Pérez, Ph.D.
Professor and Chair

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