Roxanna Curto

Roxanna Curto, Ph.D.

DEO, French and Italian
Associate Professor

Roxanna Curto is an Associate Professor of French and Spanish at the University of Iowa.

Asma Ben Romdhane

Asma Ben Romdhane, Ph.D.

Director, Arabic Studies, Fall 2022

Dr. Ben Romdhane is a Fulbright Almuna and an advocate of Integrated approach to Arabic language Instruction. One of her main research interest focuses on how to simultaneously teach the two varieties of the language successfully in a way that reflects the authentic practice of native Arabic speakers. In the spring 2015, she received a Stanley Grant for International Research and a university-wide Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award from the University of Iowa. In 2019, she served as a judge at the US Universities Arabic Debating Championship in Harvard University, organized by Qatar Debate Center in the United States of America. In the past few years, she has been dedicated to helping Arab refugees integrate and assimilate in the new culture through her translation and interpretation skills.

Cinzia Blum

Cinzia Blum, Ph.D.

Director of Italian Studies

Professor Blum teaches courses in Italian language, literature, and culture. She is a literary scholar and translator. Her main research interests include futurism, modernism, contemporary Italian women writers, and migration studies. She is author of Rewriting the Journey in Italian Literature: Figures of Subjectivity in Progress, and The Other Modernism: F. T. Marinetti’s Futurist Fiction of Power. Her work is also published in volumes of collected essays on futurism and Italian colonialism and in journals such as Italica, Philological Quarterly, and South Central Review. She is currently working on a research project exploring developments of the fantastic narrative mode in Italian literature.

Anny-Dominique Curtius

Anny-Dominique Curtius, Ph.D.

Director of Graduate Studies

Dr. Anny-Dominique Curtius is Associate Professor of Francophone Studies. She is also the Co-Director of the working group “Museum Futures” at the Obermann Center for Advanced Studies. Her research is interdisciplinary as it circulates across several fields of the Humanities to explore rich literary, cinematic and cultural expressions in Francophone Studies with a focus on the Caribbean, the Indian Ocean and Sub-Saharan Africa. These fields of study include cultural studies, literary criticism, postcolonial theory, film studies, performing arts, women’s studies, postcolonial museum studies, postcolonial ecocriticism, critical ocean studies, trauma and memory studies.

Russell Ganim

Russell Ganim, Ph.D.

Associate Provost

Before joining International Programs, Russell served as the director of the UI’s Division of World Languages, Literatures and Cultures from 2011-2019, where he worked to extend and deepen study abroad and other partnership opportunities in East Asia, Europe, Russia, and Latin America. He also served as chair of the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln from 2001-2011, where he oversaw numerous study abroad programs and served a term as head of the University’s International Affairs Advisory Committee.

Blandina Giblin

Blandina Giblin, Ph.D.

Blandina Kaduma Giblin was the first instructor of Kiswahili at the University of Iowa.  She taught Kiswahili in the Department of Linguistics from 1991 to 2006, and since August 2006 has taught courses at all levels as Lecturer in Kiswahili in the Department of French and Italian.  She has been co-director of several Study Abroad programs in Tanzania.  She has served as an external examiner at several colleges and universities, including the University of Alabama and Grinnell College.

David Hagan

David Hagan, Ph.D.

David Hagan teaches French language and language and literature in the first- through fourth-year levels of the curriculum. He also teaches graduate courses on the French Enlightenment.

Katja Liimatta

Katja Liimatta, Ph.D.

Katja Liimatta is a lecturer in the Department of French and Italian at the University of Iowa since 2000. She has been teaching a variety of Italian classes for 21 years at the University of Iowa, including Elementary Italian, Intensive Italian, Intermediate Italian, Conversational Italian, Contemporary Italian Poetry and Theatre, and Medieval and Renaissance Italian Literature. Besides teaching, she co-organizes and takes part in departmental activities, such as Tavola italiana and Giornata italiana. Her goal is to teach students the Italian language and increase their familiarity with many aspects of Italian culture, such as history, social life, music, and the arts.

Irene Lottini

Irene Lottini, Ph.D.

Irene Lottini teaches Italian language, literature, and culture, and serves as course supervisor for the Elementary Italian I and II sequence. Her main research interests focus on Italian silent cinema, contemporary cinema, and the relationship between film and the other arts. Her most recent publications include essays on 1910s cinema and contemporary film. She has presented papers on silent, modern, and contemporary cinema at numerous national and international conferences.

Emilie Destruel

Emilie Maurel-Destruel, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
Director of 1st- and 2nd-year French Program

Emilie Maurel-Destruel's primary research explores the semantic and pragmatic underpinnings of sentence structure variation and how the principles that govern this variation are manifested in French, but also across languages. She has worked on a range of topics in the field of pragmatics and the syntax/semantics interface, including the semantics and pragmatics of focus, the prosodic realization of focus in French and its acquisition by native french children, and existential constructions and the definiteness effect. She worked collaboratively on focus in ASL and in English.

Beatrice Mkenda

Beatrice Mkenda, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Instruction

Beatrice Mkenda is a Swahili professor of instruction in the department of French and Italian at the University of Iowa. Beatrice joined the Swahili program in fall 2014, where she teaches courses in Swahili language and culture. Her research interests span both foreign language pedagogy and cultural studies. Most of her work has been on material development in less commonly taught languages, culture, literature in foreign language classrooms, intercultural connections in foreign language learning, and foreign language teaching standards. She has published book chapters, book reviews, and serve at Swahili Journal editorial board. She is also an active member of African Languages Teachers Association as well as Global Association for the Promotion of Swahili, where she served as a secretary.

black woman standing in a field

Suzy Nkurlu, Ph.D.

Suzy Nkurlu is a Swahili Lecturer in the Department of French & Italian. Her areas of expertise include adult learning and instruction, multicultural issues in education and leadership. Suzy integrates adult learning principles and strategies in her language instruction, thereby cultivating student-centered learning practices. In her teaching, she utilizes authentic materials, and application-based activities to encourage creativity and active learning. Suzy is a certified expert in Qualitative Research Methods in Interdisciplinary Studies (IQS) and a vivid advocate for multiculturalism, and international education.

Roland Racevskis

Roland Racevskis, Ph.D.

Associate Dean for the Arts and Humanities, CLAS

Racevskis served as chair of the Department of French and Italian (2008-2013) and the Department of German (2009-2013) and as a founding Associate Director of the Division of World Languages, Literatures, and Cultures (2008-2013). He has served on numerous collegiate and university-wide committees and advisory groups, including the Undergraduate Educational Policy and Curriculum Committee, the Graduate Educational Policy Committee, the Humanities Advisory Board, and the AHI and CDA review committees. He is currently serving as the Associate Dean for the Arts and Humanities in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Yasmine Ramadan

Yasmine Ramadan, Ph.D.

Yasmine Ramadan is an Associate Professor of Arabic and the Director of the Arabic Program focusing upon Arabic language, literature, and culture. Her research and teaching centers upon cultural production from the MENA region, particularly upon the intersection between nationalism, artistic production, space, and resistance in the contemporary period.

Claudia Sartini-Rideout

Claudia Sartini-Rideout, Ph.D.

Claudia Sartini-Rideout has been teaching as a lecturer at the University of Iowa since 2012. During her time at the University, she has been teaching elementary and intermediate level Italian language courses and a course on Italian Food Culture. She has also developed online Italian language courses through DOE (University of Iowa Distance and Online Education).

Rosemarie Scullion

Rosemarie Scullion, Ph.D.

Rosemarie Scullion's research and teaching focus on twentieth-century French literary and cultural studies, French women writers and feminist/gender theory, contemporary European literary theory, French cinema, and modern French history and historiography. She offers a wide range of interdisciplinary courses that bring literary, cinematic, cultural texts into critical dialogue, exploring how contemporary theories of history and   and subjectivity help us understand how modern French identities (national, ethnic, racial, gender and political) are ideologically and discursively shaped. In her research, she has focused on French novelist Louis-Ferdinand Céline, on the history and memory of the 1930s and the Nazi Occupation of France. She has also written on Duras, Perec, Ponge, Michel Foucault and topics in French cinema. Her current scholarly work is centered on the literary and film production of the Cold War period in France.

Helene Sicard-Cowan

Helene Sicard-Cowan, Ph.D.

Helene's scholarly publications include Vivre ensemble: éthique de l’imitation dans la littérature et le cinéma de l’immigration en France (1985-2006), Rethinking Emile Zola’s Relation to Science (forthcoming special issue of Nottingham French Studies co-edited with Jessica Tanner) as well as numerous scholarly articles on French literature and cinema from the modern period. I have taught French, German, and literature courses at various institutions of higher education in North America and Europe.

Jan Steyn

Jan Steyn, Ph.D.

Lecturer, Literary Translation and French

Jan is a translator and critic of literature written in Afrikaans, Dutch, English, and French. He holds a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from Cornell University. His academic work focuses on translation theory, critical contemporaneity, and world literature. He is the editor of Translation: Crafts, Contexts, Consequences (Cambridge University Press 2022). And he is currently working on a monograph entitled World Literature for the Times: How Translations and Adaptations Create Contemporaneity. 

Downing Thomas

Downing Thomas, Ph.D.

Director of Undergraduate Studies, French

As Professor of French, the bulk of Downing Thomas' scholarship in early-modern French studies can be divided into three interdisciplinary areas, with a considerable amount of overlap between areas: music and opera, theories of language, and aesthetics. Music and opera are central to my first two books, both of which were published in (different) series devoted to issues in musicology. He also began exploring the developing field of sound studies and is currently writing on the “soundscapes” that the French described during the reciprocal embassies that were part of the diplomatic opening between France and Siam in the 1680s.