Rhodes’ Polylinguists

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Publication Date: 3/2/2009

The Department of Modern Languages and Literatures at Rhodes is sponsoring a Poetry Declamation Contest (PDC) on Thursday, March 5, at 6 p.m. in the Orgill Room in Clough Hall.  Sasha Kostina, an Instructor of Russian Studies, and Amy Collins, an Instructor of Spanish, are organizing the event. 

A tradition of many countries, a declamation contest is an event in which individuals recite (normally from memory) poems or theatrical monologues, giving the piece their own dramatic rendering.  In fact, the PDC has become a tradition on Rhodes’ campus, with the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures having hosted it the past five years.  About 20-35 students participate in the event every year, according to Professor Kostina. 

This year, songs and monologues will be performed in Chinese, French, German, Spanish and Russian, and are authored by legends of the poetic and bard genre, such as Georges Brassens, Bertold Brech, Goethe, Pablo Neruda, Pushkin, Vladimir Vysotsky, and Jiang Cheng Zi, among others.

“One of the goals of the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures is to promote the awareness of various aspects of cultural diversity and unique character of different communities,” Professor Kostina says.  “Sponsoring an event like this contributes to widening Rhodes students’ cultural and artistic horizons by nurturing their cultural sensitivities and giving them a venue for their artistic expression,” she adds.  “It also gives student participants a sense of partaking in the culture they study.  The event is also quite entertaining!”  

For more information on the contest, contact Professor Kostina (kostina@rhodes.edu) or Professor Collins (collinsa@rhodes.edu).