Jr. Faculty Focus: Annette Levine

Annette Levine, assistant professor of modern languages and literatures, has been at Ithaca College for two years. In addition to teaching Spanish and serving as the faculty adviser to the Spanish club, she founded IC’s on-campus Hispanic language and heritage community, Vecinos, which is also IC’s second largest living and learning community.

Tell us about your areas of interest.
In my work, I deal a lot with dictatorships in Latin America and how, through literature, authors communicate the historical trauma that’s taken place in these nations. I’m especially interested in the nuances of memory and how survivors deal with having lost family members. I’ve also spent a significant amount of time researching Latin American Jewish authors. This summer, on a grant from the provost’s office through the Center for Faculty Research and Development, I [went] to Buenos Aires to research spaces of memory in the aftermath of the [Argentine] “dirty war,” [including] murals, public monuments, and torture cells converted into museums.

What is your approach in the classroom?
I’ve had a real variety of experience in terms of teaching here, and I hope it continues. Teaching language is always a part of it, and it’s much different from teaching literature or culture. Regardless of the course, I use an interactive approach and put ownership on the students. I see myself as a guide, not as someone pushing material from above. I like to use authentic material from Latin America-music, art, relevant newspaper articles, poetry-to get my students hooked. I work to inspire them and to empower them.

Originally published in KnowLedges, Volume 8, Number 1, Fall 2007: Jr. Faculty Focus: Annette Levine.

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