Introducing USAC’s Academic Lecture Series

In the spirit of “new year, new us,” USAC has launched an exciting and informative guest lecture series, featuring exciting cultural and academic-driven topics highlighted by our very own Specialty Program faculty. This series is free and open to the public — including YOU! Keep reading for the full schedule of events and join us for one or every lecture.

The Pragmatic Use of Gestures in Italian: How to Survive in Italy Using Your Hands

In her lecture, Professor Nuccio will address the question “why do Italians gesticulate so much?” through historical and cultural reflections. She will also expand on the personal, interpersonal, informative, and regulatory language functions in hand gestures, as well as provide practical examples of communicating beyond words. She will also provide different techniques for teaching and learning hand gestures for language instructors and language learners.

Erika Nuccio holds a Master’s degree with honors in Foreign Languages and Modern Literature from the University of Tuscia, Viterbo, as well as multiple advanced certifications for teaching Italian as a foreign language. She has collaborated with public schools and community services to teach Italian to immigrant students and political refugees, as well as with private schools and universities, so she has experience with different learner profiles. Erika has also recently acquired skills in online teaching, using different platforms like Classroom, Teams and Moodle, and she has completed trainings through ACTFL to develop proficiency while teaching remotely. She’s a very passionate and energetic teacher and she has been teaching Italian as second language for USAC since 2006.

A student talks with a Viterbo resident. (Photo taken before COVID-19)

Uruguayan & Argentinian Cultural Historical Highlights

This lecture aims to introduce the most remarkable aspects of our culture in the “Rio de la Plata” region, extending over all Argentina, Uruguay, and South of Brazil. Focusing on the ancestral tradition of “mate” drinking; the world music success “Tango”, which originated 100% in this region as the new nations were forming its identities; and the importance of a sport such as soccer in the construction of our national identity and history, being this region one of the most important ones -if not the most- of the whole world in this sense.

Conrado Bonilla is a Business Administration graduate, with a Master´s in Economics. He took active participation in the start of the USAC program in Uruguay and has been one of its regular professors since its beginning in 2017. Besides teaching different business classes, always passionate about his country and continent´s history and cultural aspects, he has helped developed and lead different courses related to this matter for USAC in Montevideo. This courses have remained, up to date, some of the most popular ones since the beginning of our program in Uruguay.

Palacio Salvo in Montevideo, Uruguay

Sustainable Development in China

This lecture aims to introduce some features and emerging trends of sustainable development practices in China. Focusing on the official narratives on “ecological civilization” and environmental security since President Xi Jinping took office in 2012, this lecture will explore China’s strategies and approaches to tackle environmental and social challenges like climate change and implement the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in the context of great power competition and cooperation, so as to help participants understand the implications of China’s evolving role in global (environmental) governance, on this basis, develop their own insights into China’s future paths on the world stage.

Dr. Cao Jiahan is a research fellow and policy analyst at the Shanghai Institutes for International Studies (SIIS). He is also managing editor of China Quarterly of International Strategic Studies (CQISS), the flagship journal of the SIIS. Since 2015, Dr. Cao has been teaching as adjunct professor at the USAC (University Study Abroad Consortium) program hosted by the Shanghai University.

Students ride bikes in Shanghai, China. (Photo taken before COVID-19)

The Power of Truth and Non-Violence; Gandhi, Past and Present

Few men in their lifetime aroused stronger emotions or touched deeper chords of humanity than Gandhi. “Generations to come, it may be,” wrote Einstein of Gandhi in July 1944, “will scarcely believe that such a one of this ever in flesh and blood walked upon this earth.” Millions venerated Gandhi as the Mahatma, The Great Soul. Gandhi was one of those who subscribed the idea that, in spite of temporary setbacks, the human race has, on the whole, been marching forward. He believed in the spirit of brotherhood and human unity. The lecture focuses on Gandhi’s life and legacy, with special reference to his technique of Satyagraha and Ahimsa, which he thought of as perhaps the mightiest instrument on earth.

Aindrila Chakraborty (PhD), has been teaching for USAC, Bangalore, since 2010. She has studied history, political science, and sociology in Jadavpur University. Her thesis focused on the East West Interface in 20th century India, with reference to the flowering of feminism in India. Aindrila’s classes emphasizes on colonial and post colonial economy, the Politics of South Asia, Indian Culture and Traditions and the Relevance of Gandhi and Ahimsa in today’s world. Aindrila is also currently pursuing her interest in Psychology.

4 Classes to Take in India
A student poses outside in Bengaluru. (Photo taken before COVID-19)
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