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(E) List of Diaspora or Croatian Studies Programs needed
By Nenad N. Bach | Published  03/25/2005 | Culture And Arts | Unrated
(E) List of Diaspora or Croatian Studies Programs needed

 

List of Diaspora or Croatian Studies Programs around the US needed for Croatian literature in a Writing and Literature course

 

I am hoping that you will be able to provide me with a list of Diaspora or Croatian Studies Programs around the US so that I can contact as many people as possible. You can reach me by writing to gladys@acmt.hr  Thank you for your interest in this project.

AMERICAN COLLEGE OF
MANAGEMENT AND TECHNOLOGY
Ćira Carića 4
20000 Dubrovnik, Hrvatska
Tel: (020) 435-555
Fax: (020) 435-577
E-mail: american.college@acmt.hr

January 24, 2005
Ante Cuvalo – Editor
Association for Croatian Studies
cuv@netzero.com

Dear Mr. Cuvalo

I am a professor at the American College of Management and Technology in Dubrovnik, Croatia. ACMT is a subsidiary of Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester NY. Your name was given to me by our Dean, Don Hudspeth. I am working on a project to bring Croatian Literature in translation to North American College Students. In my 40 years of teaching, I have read Indian, Asian, Hispanic,
French, German, and Russian authors in translation, but I have never been aware of seeing a Croatian author in an American classroom. I would like to change that, and I need your help.

I am currently teaching Croatian literature in a Writing and Literature course to first year students at RIT, and writing teaching modules for other professors to teach this literature. It is my hope that by contacting Diaspora and Universities that teach Slavic Studies, that I will find a few professors who are interested in trying out some of the modules in their classrooms and who are willing to provide some feedback so
that I can revise the modules and make them more widely available.

I must, at this point make a disclaimer. I am not a Croatian, and despite 3 years of research and help from many people, I cannot for a single instant claim that I can bring an in-depth understanding to this enormously rich literature full of historical and philosophical references and innuendos and carrying centuries of complex cultural heritage. But, this is a start, and because of my classes, some young Americans who had never heard of Croatia are now anxious to visit, and to meet the Croatian people. When the project is complete and the copyright issues have been resolved, hopefully, the literature itself will be available electronically to anyone who wants to read it.

The American students who attend ACMT go there because they and their parents want them to experience the culture of their ancestors. Many of them speak very little Croatian. Wouldn’t it be wonderful for young Croatian-Americans to be able to read Brlic- Mazuranic and Marulic and Drzic and Krleza and Gundulic and Kamov as well as the rich literature of the war for independence, literature like “Lament
Over Europe,� (which my students find uncomfortably applicable to the US today) and new contemporary writers?

Through this project, over 200 poems, short stories, essays and plays have been scanned into the library reserve system at RIT for my students because the literature is out of print or not available for students to buy as classroom texts. A data base has been developed with over 300 entries which will enable Professors and others who are interested to search by author, title, genre, or the time period when the author was living. The entries contain publication information and the names of the translators where available.

The 50 minute Lesson Plans for professors are complete with PowerPoint presentations where applicable, assignments, and internet sources for historical and other references made in the text of the stories . The Lesson Plans which are available in the prototype are: Introduction to Croatia, Introduction to Literature; Introduction to the Novel and Short Story; Introduction to Political and Historical Short Stories and
Essays. The lesson plans for the readings I choose for this demonstration are: “The Dead Wood,� “Reminiscences of the Lord,� “The Library,� “Lament Over Europe� and “The Chronicler’s Sin.� Everything the teacher and students will need will be available electronically through the Croatian Literature website.

A few of my colleagues in the US and a few of my students have questioned why they should read Croatian Literature. For me, Literature is a vehicle for stepping into a mind, a place, or a culture with which I am unfamiliar. Through my American literature course, my Croatian students have gained enormous insight into the American culture, awareness which helps override the TV and movie images they receive. Reading one or two pieces of literature is like the one day in Paris travel tour. Focusing on the literature of one previously unknown culture is like the 10 day tour of Paris. For American students, this deeper look at Croatia destroys the perceptions that Croatia is somewhere in Siberia with no heat or electricity; it also chips away at American ethnocentricity, and because one cannot approach Croatian literature
without some awareness of history (included in the lesson plans), students are exposed to European history up close and personal. While I don’t test them on history, I hold out the hope that some of it sticks. Most of my American students are engineering and Information Technology majors, and insofar as the Liberal Arts are intended to broaden their interest and awareness, this course hits its mark. I have
numerous anecdotes to show how those students who are open to the experience broaden their awareness.

All of my colleagues at ACMT and my contacts in various government ministries and at the National Library in Zagreb are very excited about this project and are being very helpful to me. The people who recently attended a conference presentation I gave at NYCEA are also enthusiastic and interested in trying out some of the modules. I hope that you will examine the demo and also become excited about the
prospect of putting Croatian Literature into North American classrooms. I hope that you will take the next step of sending this information to someone who might use one or more of these modules or that you yourself will contact me to let me know that you have an interest in this project. I will be asking people who participate in the project to evaluate the modules so that modifications can be made before they are
finalized.

I am hoping that you will be able to provide me with a list of Diaspora or Croatian Studies Programs around the US so that I can contact as many people as possible. You can reach me by writing to gladys@acmt.hr  Thank you for your interest in this project.

You can access the prototype with the following protocol:
Go to www.acmt.hr
Click on faculty resources
Click on Croatian Literature in Trnsl.

This prototype is intended for the purposes of demonstration. There about 30 more modules that need to be completed. In a couple of weeks, password protection will be added. You will told on the website how to get the password if you wish to participate in the project.


If you wish to learn more about the American College of Management and Technology, go to www.acmt.hr or contact:
Drazenka Franic
Marketing & College Relations
Tel: +385 20 435-555
Fax: +385 20 435-577

For more information about Rochester Institute of Technology, go towww.rit.edu

Best Regards

Professor Gladys Winkworth


AMERICAN COLLEGE OF
MANAGEMENT AND TECHNOLOGY
Ćira Carića 4
20000 Dubrovnik, Hrvatska
Tel: (020) 435-555
Fax: (020) 435-577
E-mail: american.college@acmt.hr

 

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