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MUDEC Méinden Fall 2020 #3
MUDEC Méinden Fall 2020 #3
Miami UniversityJohn E. Dolibois European Center logo
MUDEC Méinden-Weekly news from the MUDEC community for the MUDEC community-#lifelongMUDEC

Fall 2020 #3

 September 7, 2020

  • Meet the Profs-Elena Albarrán
  • Field Trip Friday Preview
  • Ciné Club Preview: l'Auberge Espagnole
  • SFC Event: Lëtz Go Bowling
  • Discovery Tour Pictures-Valley of the 7 Châteaux
Meet the Profs-Elena Albarrán
Woman in a white jacket in front of bookshelfs
Elena Albarrán in her element
1. Tell us a bit about yourself. Where did you go to college and what did you study? Did you study abroad and if so where?
I grew up in New Hampshire, and went to college at nearby Bowdoin College, where I dragged my feet as long as possible before selecting a major in my senior year—the illustrious Self-Designed Major. In fact, my coursework centered around Latin American Studies, but at the time, that was not a major that Bowdoin offered. As an undergraduate, I really loved the truly liberal arts curriculum, which allowed me to take classes from Art History to Anthropology to Religion to Film Studies to Chemistry to Calculus (ok, Calculus was a mistake). I studied abroad with School for International Training (SIT) for a semester in Oaxaca, Mexico. Mexico remains my favorite place on earth. In particular, I love browsing through the antique book market in downtown Mexico City in the alleyway between the Museo Nacional de Arte Nacional and the Casa de Azulejos.  

2. How did you end up working for Miami and how did you decide to come to MUDEC?
I’ve been at Miami since 2008, when I was hired as a joint faculty the departments of History and Global and Intercultural Studies (in the Latin American, Latino/a and Caribbean Studies Program). In Oxford, I teach classes on Latin American Revolutions, Consumerism and Pop Culture, Development and Equality, Mexican History, and Modern Latin American history. I also teach a few courses in the history of childhood. Check out last semester’s LAS student capstone projects  for the course Child and Nation in Latin America.  I was incredibly honored to be named the 2020 College of Arts and Sciences Distinguished Educator last year, during the strangest semester we’ve all experienced. I came to MUDEC to witness history and its legacies from the vantage point of another hemisphere.

3. What are you looking forward to the most while teaching at MUDEC?
I’m most looking forward to the rare, unique opportunity to teach face-to-face in a time period when many college courses will be delivered online. I’m excited to teach a group of students that, for the most part, have majors outside of HST and LAS. In particular, I can’t wait to delve into the archival and oral history projects that my students will be carrying out this semester. I’m also looking forward to lots of forested hikes on the weekend, improving my Portuguese and learning French, and spending a year without driving a car. 

4. What inspires you?
I’m inspired by nature’s resiliency. I’m also inspired by people who speak truth to power—I’m energized by the young people around the world who have spoken out against structures of injustice, at great risk to their lives and safety, and look forward to seeing their efforts transform our futures. I love seeing former Miami students making positive changes in the world, and keeping in touch with me about their work.

5. What is the funniest thing that has happened to you recently?
One of the most absurd things to happen to me was encountering a very famous Mexican artist that I was writing a paper about—in his own private museum, of course—and being so star-struck that I circled around him five or six times before changing my shoes to cute ones (complicated detail) and approaching him to introduce myself. He was charming and complimentary, let me take a photo with him and *gasp* complimented my feet! (?!). When I stumbled out of the museum, incredulous about our encounter, I fell headlong into a giant charco—essentially, a very nasty puddle of fetid street water. I had to walk home looking like I had waded through the Fire Swamp, but it was one of the greatest days of my life. 

6. What do you want to be when you grow up?
I’m all grown up, but in my next stage of life, I aspire to successfully plant, grow, and harvest my own tomatoes. I’ve not yet accomplished the entire cycle of this goal.
Field Trip Friday Preview
It seems like the semester just started (and it did!) yet Field Trip Friday is already here. This Friday students will spend the day in the "field" instead of in the classroom for their sprint classes, traveling to Clervaux, Luxembourg City, and Saarburg, depending on the class. Below you will find previews of some of the trips.
GIC 101 "Refugees: The New Face of Europe
HST 296 "World History Since 1945
Exhibition room with photos on the walls
The Family of Man exhibition in Clervaux
The Clervaux region of Luxembourg has amazing green space areas for a day trip with a lot of historical sites surrounding the area. One of the most interesting things for the two classes that will be visiting the area is the visit to the Clervaux castle with the very interesting and historically significant exhibit of “Family of Man.” This exhibit is the center of interaction that will bring these two Miami classes together in this field trip. They will look into the exhibit from two different thematic perspectives to later provide an analysis that help them expand visually on issues of migration, identity, nationalism, transnationalism all in the context of the Cold War.
ARC 344
Castle over city by a river
Luxembourg City
ART 188
UNESCO logo over skyline of Luxembourg
Luxembourg City
As Luxembourg City’s fortifications and historical quarters are since December 17, 1994 on the list of the UNESCO World Heritage sites, Luxembourg celebrates in 2020 the 25th anniversary of this event.

The Art 188 class will visit the old town and the fortifications classified UNESCO Heritage and will also have the opportunity to plunge into the 17th century while taking the urban time travel bus and stroll through 1000 years of history and art history.
Ciné Club and SFC Event: Lëtz Go Bowling
movie poster for l'auberge espagnole
MUDEC students will channel their inner Lebowski this Wednesday night for the SFC Bowling night at Fun City in Pétange, which will take place right after the Ciné Club presentation of l'Auberge Espagnole, which tells the story of European students having a MUDEC-like experience in Barcelona.
Travel Section Banner

Discovery Tour Pictures-Valley of the 7 Châteaux

Thank You MUDEC Alumni!
Students with a Miami flag
Château d'Ansembourg
Students on a castle bridge with a tower in the background
Useldange Castle
Students in chateau gardens
Château d'Ansembourg
Ferris Wheel with sky
Ferris Wheel in the park in Luxembourg City
Odds and Ends
Ciné Club and SFC Pizza Night
On a cloudy Wednesday night last week, the #mudec2020fall students all gathered for their first Ciné Club and SFC event, a group viewing of the classic spy thriller “5-Fingers”. Students watched the 1952 movie while eating snacks and pizza provided by the SFC. The turnout for the event was great, and everyone had a lot of fun hanging out in the Grand Hall. With this first SFC event getting such good feedback, we are excited for upcoming movie and bowling night this Wednesday.
students in a big hall watching a movie
Grand Hall-Cinema Version
This Week's Schedule graphic
  • Classes
  • Classes
  • Classes
  • 17:00 Ciné Club-l'Auberge Espagnole
  • 19:00ish Leave the Château for SFC Bowling event in Pétange
  • Classes
Friday (also Saturday for Architecture)
  • Sprint Class Field Trips
Château & Administrative Hours
Aerial view of the Château de Differdange, where Miami's Luxembourg campus, the John E. Dolibois European Center, often abbreviated to MUDEC, is located

Château Hours

Monday-Thursday: 8:00-22:00

Friday:                     8:00-17:00
Saturday, Sunday: Closed

Administrative Hours
Monday-Friday:  8:30-12:30

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