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By Ryan Girves 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 22, 2024) – Is Gratz Park really haunted? Where did the lore of Moth Man come from? Does Lexington have a tarot card reader? These topics will be explored at this year’s Lafayette Seminar in Public Issues presented by the University of Kentucky Gaines Center for the Humanities.  

Presented annually, the Lafayette Seminar in Public Issues provides an opportunity for Lexington community members, faculty and students to come together and discuss our city’s past, present and future. Jeanmarie Rouhier-Willoughby, Ph.D. a UK professor and modern classical languages

By Daily Bates

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 15, 2024) — While St. Patrick’s Day is associated with wearing green, community parades and shamrock hunting, the holiday is also grounded in history that dates back more than 1,500 years.

Did you know, the earliest known celebrations were held in the 17th century on March 17 — marking the anniversary of the death of St. Patrick in the 5th century?

Jeanmarie Rouhier-Willoughby, Ph.D., a professor in the Department of Modern and Classical Languages, Literatures and Cultures in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Kentucky, has expertise in how St. Patrick’s Day came to be.

As a folklorist,

The College of Arts and  Sciences' Center for English as a Second Language brings in a new Japanese university cohort:  Yamanashi University students, who connect with our very own UK students in the Japanese program, enjoy the opportunity to practice mutual language learning and deepen cultural education.

After online ESL classes, Yamanashi University students travelled across the world to deepen their connection with UK students.  For five weeks, they’re attending English classes and experiencing cultural events on campus, creating memories and friendships that enrich the international exposure of our UK students.

“I gained the confidence to express my opinions in front of others,” Hazuki Hosaka, a Yamanashi student said. “Originally, I was not good at expressing my thoughts, because I was afraid of making mistakes… I would like to [continue] improving myself. I was

'A Night of Music and Poetry' will be  at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 15, in the Niles Gallery of the Lucille C. Little Fine Arts Library. This event is free and open to the public.

Irina Voro, professor in the School of Music in the College of Fine Arts, and senior lecturer Anna Voskresensky of the Department of Modern & Classical Languages, Literatures & Cultures in the College of Arts and Sciences have organized the event. 

Sixteen students from the Department of Modern & Classical Languages, Literature & Cultures will recite poetry in Russian and English, followed by 16 students from the College of Fine Arts performing piano ensemble compositions. This event features a diverse range of authors and composers and combines music and language to engage the audience in the experience of beauty through works of literature and music.

Voro encourages

By Tatum Armstrong and Lindsey Piercy 

Mark Cornelison | UK Photo

If you’re a big fan of spooky season, you’ve probably planned plenty of Halloween activities — like visiting the pumpkin patch and putting together a costume.

But even if you’re a Halloween enthusiast, there’s still a lot you may not know about the holiday.

Jeanmarie Rouhier-Willoughby, a professor in the Department of Modern and Classical Languages, Literatures and Cultures in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Kentucky, knows the spellbinding history of Oct. 31.

As a folklorist, Rouhier-Willoughby studies traditional culture, such as songs and

Leon Sachs, associate professor of French and Francophone Studies in The University of Kentucky's College of Arts & Sciences, has written an opinion piece in Inside Higher Ed titled "What If the Campus Speech Crisis Is a Hoax …and we create a better university for nothing? Leon Sachs argues there’s no harm — and much benefit — in taking concerns about the campus speech climate seriously."

"We should think about campus speech debates the way my hometown political cartoonist, Joel Pett, suggested we think about climate change. Some years ago, Pett published a political cartoon satirizing climate change denial: A speaker onstage at a climate summit is explaining the many benefits of greener environmental policies. In the crowd, a defiant

By Richard LeComte 

LEXINGTON, Ky.— Faculty members of the University of Kentucky Modern & Classical Languages, Literatures & Cultures in the College of Arts & Sciences recently have edited, written and published several books in their areas of expertise. Among them are: 

“Football Nation – The Playing Fields of German Culture, History and Society,” edited by  Rebeccah Dawson, UK associate professor, along with Bastian Heinsohn, Oliver Knabe and Alan McDougall. Over the past century, the impact of football on Germany has been manifold, influencing the arts, political debates, and even contributing to the construction of cultural memories and national narratives. “Football Nation” analyses the game’s role in shaping and reflecting German society. 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 17, 2023) — The University of Kentucky Women’s Executive Leadership Development (WELD) program has announced its 2023 cohort of faculty and staff participants. The eight-month WELD program seeks to develop a new generation of leaders of higher education who can adeptly navigate our complex environment and successfully chart the future of the university through retreats, monthly meetings, conversations with upper-level administrators, and other group interactions. 

WELD is supported and organized through the Office of Faculty Advancement and is currently in its ninth year. Current Faculty Trustee Hollie Swanson was the initial director of the program, followed by Professor Chana Akins, who currently serves as the chair

By Richard LeComte 

LEXINGTON, Ky. – A chance meeting in Poland brought two University of Kentucky alumni together to assist refugees from the war in Ukraine. 

Lauren Metelski

Lauren Metelski ‘06, a nurse living in Washington, D.C., and Joe Bradley  ‘01, who was working remotely for a company in Ukraine, have partnered to form Go Help Now, a nonprofit that provides cash assistance, housing and basic needs to displaced Ukrainians and maintains a volunteer directory. They both graduated from UK with degrees in Russian studies in the Department of Modern & Classical Languages, Literatures & Cultures.  

“In February 2022, I began helping friends out and then friends of friends,” Bradley said. “I had lived in Kyiv for two and a half years. I was actually back in Kentucky for the holidays and stuck around, so

By A Fish 

LEXINGTON; Ky. — Leni Ribeiro Leite is bringing to light South American works written in Latin, which brings together an ancient language modern nation-building. In the past, Latin had the power that English has today despite being a “dead language,” and many of these texts have not been translated due to their location and content. Ribeiro Leite, associate professor in the University of Kentucky College of Arts & Sciences' Department of  Modern & Classical Languages, Literatures & Cultures.

“I'm a classicist by formation I did my whole formation in Brazil,” she said. “I wasn't exactly the normal classicist in the sense that I double majored in classics, but also, in modern languages. I majored in Portuguese, and while I was doing my M.A. and my doctorate, I taught modern languages, and I think that gave me a

By Jesi Jones-Bowman 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Jan. 12, 2023) — The University of Kentucky Office of Undergraduate Research recently announced the 21 undergraduate winners of the 58th annual Oswald Research and Creativity awards. Chad Risko, faculty director of the Office of Undergraduate Research, and Research Ambassadors were on hand to congratulate the winners and distribute the awards.

Established in 1964 by then-President John Oswald, the Oswald Research and Creativity Competition encourages undergraduate research and creative activities across all fields of study.

Categories are:

Biological Sciences. Design (architecture, landscape architecture and interior design). Fine Arts (film, music, photography, painting, and sculpture), Humanities (from

By Nizhoni McDarment  

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Christian Branham, a University of Kentucky senior from Lexington, and Nicolas Volosky, a University of Kentucky Alum from Walton, Kentucky, won Best Documentary and Best Feature at the Spring 2022 UKY Film Festival for their film “Rumble.”  

“Rumble” follows professional wrestler Noah Gabriel on his journey in Cincinnati. Braham and Volosky collaborated on the film with both filming and editing in February 2022.  

“The film process was really fast paced with only three days to film with two of those days being practice runs,” Branham said.  

The film was shown to judges and spectators at the 2022 festival in the Gatton Student Center’s Worsham Cinema on April 29. The UKY Film Festival showcases and celebrates the films created by UK students. The films were scored by a variety of local media professionals and

Koji Tanno

By Nizhoni McDarment  

LEXINGTON, Ky, -- Koji Tanno, assistant professor of Japanese in the University of Kentucky’s College of Arts & Sciences, has been recognized as the Kentucky Association of Japanese Language Teachers’ representative for the 2022 Outstanding Japanese Teacher during the Kentucky World Language Association fall conference.  

Tanno, the Japanese Language Program coordinator in the Department of Modern & Classical Languages, Literatures and Cultures, also was a candidate for the Kentucky World Language Association’s Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award.  

In addition, UK alumna Collin Smith received the association’s Outstanding Rising Star Teacher Award. The award recognizes teachers with fewer than five years of experience who have helped their students and exhibited best practices.  

By Lindsey Piercy 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 31, 2022) — Dressing up in a creative costume, gathering candy from neighbors until dusk and watching spooky movies late into the night.

These are time-honored Halloween traditions that might have you believing the mostly light-hearted holiday is uniquely American.

If so, you’ve been tricked.

Jeanmarie Rouhier-Willoughby

Jeanmarie Rouhier-Willoughby, a professor in the Department of Modern and Classical Languages, Literatures and Cultures in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Kentucky, says Halloween didn’t start in the United States. As a folklorist, she knows the spine-chilling holiday dates back thousands of

Victoria Ballengee (Japanese)

Victoria Ballengee will be going to teach English in Awaji City, Hyogo Prefecture, Japan at Ichinomiya Elementary and Taga Elementary as a part of the Japanese Exchange and Teaching Program (JET).

Regarding the JET Program and her time at UK, Victoria said: "The JET (Japan Exchange and Teaching) Program is an opportunity for individuals to live and work in Japan, promoting international exchange and teaching English. The program receives about 5,000 applications each year, with about 1,000 selected participants

Hebrew and Jewish Studies: Sheila Jelen has a book forthcoming in October 2023, Israeli Salvage Politics in October 2023.​​​​​ "Through thoughtful analysis of twentieth- and twenty-first-century Israeli literature, Israeli Salvage Poetics interrogates the concept of the "negation of the diaspora" as addressed in Hebrew-language literature authored by well-known and lesser-known Israeli authors from the eve of the Holocaust to the present day. Author Sheila E. Jelen considers the way that Israeli writers from eastern Europe or of eastern European descent incorporate pre-Holocaust eastern European culture into their own sense of Israeliness or Jewishness. Many Israelis interested in their eastern European legacy live with an awareness of their own nation’s role in the repression of

By Whitney Hale

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 23, 2022) — University of Kentucky College of Arts & Sciences students have received Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarships to support their education abroad goals.

The Gilman Scholarship supports students who have been traditionally under-represented in study abroad, including but not limited to  students with high financial need, community college students, students in under-represented fields such as the sciences and engineering, students with diverse ethnic backgrounds and students with disabilities. Award recipients are chosen by a competitive selection process and must use the award, ranging from $100 to $5,000, to defray the cost of tuition, room and board, books, local

CHSS Workshop Series Grants

The Cooperative for the Humanities and Social Sciences’ Workshop Series Grants are supported by generous donors and the College of Arts and Sciences.  These grants offer funding for faculty and graduate students to create a series of workshops for reading, writing, and discussion of a particular theme across disciplines in the humanities and social sciences.


During the Spring Semester of 2022, CHSS supported four Workshop Series Grants. These workshop events presented new pedagogical and research ideas within A&S and across other UK Colleges as well. Below, we spotlight each series of workshops. We would like to thank our donors and everyone who participated in these workshops, and to congratulate those who planned and executed these innovative events.


By Danielle Donham

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 20, 2022) — The University of Kentucky Office of Nationally Competitive Awards has announced that UK student Victor Montgomery has received a 2022 David L. Boren Fellowship to study Russian language. Montgomery is pursuing a master’s degree from the Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce

The Boren Awards fund up to $25,000 for undergraduate and graduate students to support language study, research and study abroad in world regions critical to U.S. interests. Montgomery’s award will fund Russian language study with local tutors and research in Tallinn, Estonia, alongside information security classes at the Tallinn Institute of Technology.

By Olaoluwapo Onitiri 

LEXINGTON, Ky. – In October 2021, The University of Kentucky announced the top 10 finalists for the fourth annual 5-minute Fast Track competition. Run by the Office of Undergraduate Research, the 5-Minute Fast cultivates students’ presentation and research communication skills and challenges them to describe their research within five minutes.  

UK College of Arts & Sciences students Lauren Hudson and Lexi Nolletti were among the finalists. They shared their experiences with the event and their research topics at UK.