About Our Seventh Issue

The 2023 issue of CANAL features projects written in six languages: Spanish, French, Italian, English, German, and Khmer. Drawing from the diversity of the traditions represented in the Department of World Languages & Cultures, it also shows important connections with other departments and specialized disciplines. 

Sadhika Hiremath’s "El autismo y la intervención temprana," for example, is a paper written in Max Ubelaker Andrade’s Advanced Composition course that presents psychological research on early interventions in autism—a topic that stems from Hiremath’s experiences interning as an applied behavior analyst. London Verdejo Torres’ creative nonfiction essay “Nunca aprendí a andar en bicicleta” is a text in Spanish that draws from his experiences in the English department’s creative writing program. Julian Viviescas Mejia’s “Il lavoro domestico e il rapporto tra genere e migrazioni” engages with anthropology, describing shifting gender roles in communities of Eastern European migrant women in Italy. In his essay “Des Profondeurs,” Dave Gardner draws inspiration from Dany Laferrière’s Pays sans chapeau (taught in Kristen Stern’s French course on autobiography) to write about his own experiences as a paramedic during the pandemic. In "Die Techno Scene in Berlin," Eleonore Boekhorst explores her interest in music by interviewing a friend deeply connected with the culture of underground techno in Berlin.

The Department of World Languages & Cultures often serves as a bridge to the international traditions that are key aspects of every path of study available at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. The projects in this year’s issue show how students are expanding their opportunities through their writing, research, and creativity while using the linguistic and cultural traditions taught in the department.

Another important dimension of the Department of World Languages & Cultures is its dedication to language instruction. In this issue, we have a section devoted to student projects that show how creativity, language acquisition, and cultural inquiry can support one another at all levels. Julian Viviescas Mejia, Anthony Amatucci, Na’imah White, and Tómas James Medeiros Casey share how they used grammatical structures from Giulia Po DeLisle’s Advanced Italian Grammar course to describe and analyze different characters from the movie La meglio gioventù. Na’imah White and Jane Jasmin offer their experiments with creative writing in their courses with Fabiana Viglione. Under the guidance of Giulia Po DeLisle, Tómas James Medeiros Casey researched pedagogical strategies and applied them to the creation of grammatical exercises, vocabulary tools, and cultural reading built around songs that could be used, without the cost of textbooks, for teaching the third and fourth levels of Italian. This work represented his final capstone project as a dual Spanish and Italian major.

This year our department voted to include one English-language submission in every issue of CANAL. In this seventh issue, that text belongs to Kristy Louie, who in “Our Home” writes about the sense of belonging and community that was possible at UML thanks to the Cambodian American Student Association and the Student Association of Chinese Americans.

The final text of our 2023 issue is from Lay Lon, a recent graduate of UML, who, on a trip home to Cambodia, used his poetry practice to express his thoughts about the complex and often painful social, political, and religious issues that he encountered. His 54-stanza poem appears in both Khmer and English.

We would like to thank all of the professors who worked closely with students to develop their writing, research and creativity in these diverse projects. Your dedication and guidance make the Department of World Languages & Cultures a dynamic place of learning connected to every discipline in the university.

Index of Contributors



Language Learning


UMass Lowell (UML) Community