Linfield College


Modern Languages

Walker Hall
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Modern Languages Faculty


Cecilia Tang - Visiting Scholar of Chinese

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Cook 101

Cecilia Tang has been teaching at Linfield since August 2010. Previously, Ms. Tang taught Mandarin at colleges in China and Montreal, Canada. She has also interned at the China Central News Agency and served as a Mandarin-English interpreter for international companies and  professional athletes, including Rafael Nadal and the Williams sisters. In summer 2011, she made a 19-day journey across Tibet and Nepal by bicycle. In her classes, Tang emphasizes authentic, student-centered learning. This will be her last semester as a visiting scholar at Linfield.


Thierry Rene Durand - Professor of French Studies

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Walker 315

Professor Thierry Durand’s academic interests pertain to the relationship between philosophy and post-World War II French literature and literary criticism. His dissertation examined the critical and philosophical works of French essayist Maurice Blanchot. Before Dr. Durand came to Linfield in 1995, he taught at Dickinson College in Pennsylvania and was a visiting assistant professor at Middlebury College in Vermont.  He also served as president of the Oregon Association of Teachers of French for two years from 1998 to 2000. In addition to studying late 19th and 20th century French literature, Dr. Durand’s current research focuses on the expression of a tragic vein in “l'extrême contemporain.

Sylvain Fremaux - Lecturer of French and Francophone African Studies

Walker 315

Marie Mofin Noussi - Assistant Professor of French

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Walker 315

Marie Noussi is the newest addition to the French faculty at Linfield College. She teaches introductory courses in French and francophone studies, courses on modern African thought and African studies, and courses on French conversation and composition. Professor Noussi is interested in studying ecocriticism, a broad topic that is sometimes known as ecopoetics and environmental literary criticism. Additionally, Dr. Noussi researches postcolonialism and African and Caribbean studies. Her work includes a book chapter on the nuances of eroticism in the novel “Lettres d’une Péruvienne by Françoise de Graffigny,” and a book chapter on the translation, multilingualism, and linguistic hybridity of “The Heart of Redness.” She has also run sessions at conventions for the Modern Languages Association and presented at conventions of the Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment (ASLE). 



Gudrun Hommel - Associate Professor of German; Coordinator of European Studies

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Walker 319

Gudrun Hommel joined the Linfield faculty in 1988. She teaches all levels of German language and culture courses. Courses she teaches in English include an Inquiry Seminar (INQS) called “Globetrotters,” German Film and Society, and January Term (JanTerm) courses that focus on the history, art, and science of brewing, which she co-teaches in Germany and Belgium. Prof. Hommel graduated from Gymnasium and received her Abitur in 1975 in Mainz, Germany. In graduate school, Hommel based her dissertation on social criticism through female figures in German crime novels. Her professional interests are the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL), film studies, and translating. She is also interested in foreign language pedagogy and the use of technology in foreign language classrooms, popular German culture, German studies, and German politics. Besides teaching, Dr. Hommel has been a proofreader, freelance photographer and freelance translator. 

Peter Nichols Richardson - Professor of German

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Walker 322

Peter Richardson has been teaching at Linfield since 1980. He specializes in language pedagogy, linguistics, Latin, folklore, German literature and American English. For one month every summer, the 2009 Oregon Professor of the Year visits a tiny village in the Swiss Alps, where he transcribes hundred-year-old documents to be bequeathed to the local museum. As of 2009, he has transcribed nearly 1,300 of these love letters, poorhouse documents, cattle certificates, gravestone inscriptions and more. He is known for his interactive, one-on-one teaching style, which includes bringing in cowbells and butter churns to class to illustrate the lives of Swiss farmers. Dr. Richardson has published several works on Germanic philology and linguistics, folklore literature, applied linguistics, the Swiss German and academic administration. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, hiking, gardening and admiring his ancient Mercedes.


Masayuki Itomitsu - Assistant Professor of Japanese

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Walker 325

Dr. Itomitsu has been at Linfield since 2009, the same year he graduated with his doctorate in Japanese from Ohio State University. His dissertation concerned the measurement of language learners’ pragmatic knowledge using a web-based standardized test. Professor Itomitsu's research interests include Japanese language pedagogy, materials development, Japanese linguistics, teacher training and testing. He serves as an ACTFL Oral Proficiency Interview tester and as a writer and reviewer for AP Japanese and the SAT II Subject Test in Japanese. Apart from that, he is also a board member of the Association of Teachers of Japanese in Oregon (ATJO) and advises Linfield’s Japanese Club.

Christopher Keaveney - Professor of Japanese, Co-chair of Department of Modern Languages; Administrative Coordinator of International Studies

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Walker 321

Chris Keaveney joined the Linfield faculty in 1997. He teaches introductory and intermediate Japanese language and culture courses and shares oversight of advising for Japanese majors and minors. In addition, he teaches courses about East Asian film and literature and oversees the Chinese Studies program while also sharing oversight of the East Asian Studies program. Professor Keaveney has co-taught several January Term courses in China and Japan and regularly offers an Inquiry Seminar course about East Asian culture.

Professor Keaveney's research interests revolve around cultural relations between China and Japan with an emphasis on relations between the Chinese and Japanese literary communities in the mid-twentieth century. He is the author of the books The Subversive Self in Modern Chinese Literature (Palgrave Macmillan, 2004) and Beyond Brushtalk: Sino-Japanese Literary Exchange in the Interwar Period (Hong Kong University Press, 2009). His newest book, entitled The Cultural Evolution of Postwar Japan: The Contributions of Kaizo's Yamamoto Sanehiko, which explores how the accomplishments in the interwar period of one dynamic figure paved the way for developments in postwar Japan, was published by Palgrave Macmillan in December 2013. His most recent research project interrogates the relationship in twentieth-century Japan of two of his personal passions - baseball and literature.

American Sign Language

Heath Goodall - Instructor of American Sign Language (ASL)

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Mac 204

Professor Goodall has been teaching American Sign Language (ASL) at Linfield since August 2011. He was born hearing, but lost his ability to hear due to a medical complication during his first few days of life. A self-taught reader, Professor Goodall was introduced to ASL in high school after having learned Signed Exact English (SEE) and Pidgin Signed English (PSE). Besides teaching, he is a master storyteller, performer, ASL poet and artist. His passion for the arts is evident in the fun classes he leads.


Juan Manuel Gómez - Associate Professor of Spanish

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Walker 317

Professor Juan Gómez has been teaching at Linfield for nearly three decades. Since 1984, Dr. Gómez has led elementary, intensive elementary and intermediate comprehension and conversation courses in Spanish. In 2005, he made a 1,000-kilometer spiritual journey from Seville to Santiago de Compostela, Spain over a span of 43 days. He learned about the pilgrimage after studying the Muslim influence on Spanish culture during his first sabbatical. In addition to teaching Spanish language, Dr. Gómez incorporates knowledge about the history, culture and literature of Spain into his lectures. He has also written several publications, including a classroom textbook titled “Como? Introductory Text for Proficiency.”

Violeta Ramsay - Associate Professor of Spanish, Spanish Language and Literature; Coordinator of Latin American Studies (on sabbatical Spring 2013)

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Walker 316

A native of Mexico, Dr. Violeta Ramsay has been a part of the Linfield faculty since 1990 and specializes in theoretical linguistics. In addition to teaching Spanish language courses, she leads advanced courses in culture, with emphasis on pre-Columbian cultures, the culture of Indian groups in Latin America, and approaches to “otherness.” Her main research interests include second language acquisition and the development of cultural competency. She also studies language program assessment, language learning and teaching, and the design of foreign language textbooks. In addition, Dr. Ramsay has published research related to the evaluation of study abroad programs and the development of language acquisition stages. She is currently the co-director of Linfield’s Language in Motion (LiM) program, which seeks to promote language and culture in McMinnville schools, and actively leads study abroad programs to Oaxaca, Mexico.

Sonia Ticas - Associate Professor of Spanish; Coordinator of Latin American Studies (Co-chair)

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Walker 324

Dr. Sonia Ticas received her Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley in 2001 in Romance Languages and Literatures. She has been at Linfield since 2001 teaching courses in Spanish language at all levels, Latin American literature and culture classes including Latin American cultures through film, Latin American women writers and historical figures. She has directed and taught in the Oaxaca, México program and has taken students abroad for January term travel courses in Spain and Morocco to study Andalusian culture.

A native of El Salvador, her published work focuses on the history of women’s suffrage in the region and the study of women’s literature from the first half of the 20th century. She has published a number of articles studying the interplay of literature and women’s changing societal roles and is working on a book on the Salvadoran women’s suffrage movement. She also collaborates on a translation project of Costa Rican poet, Eunice Odio. Tavern Books of Portland Oregon has published the first translated volume in a series of four of Tránsito de Fuego (The Fire’s Journey, 2013).