FLORENCE – On Sept. 11, 2001, the world changed. The occasion is a reminder that the world will always be full of suffering, but it's also full of the overcoming of it.
FMU French Professor Dr. Elizabeth Zahnd will speak on the connection between the 9/11 attacks and sexual assaults at the Humanities and Social Science Symposium on Tuesday, April 3, at 3:45 p.m. in the Thomason Auditorium of the Lee Nursing Building.
Zahnd’s presentation will consist of readings from a book called “Compter jusqu’ a cent (English translation - Count to One Hundred),” which was written by Melanie Gelinas, a French Canadian author. The novel was written in French, but Zahnd will be reading the English version that she translated.
Zahnd’s specialty is 20th Century literature. She was introduced to the novel when she was conducting research on French language novels. An evolution in her research led her to 21st Century literature and novels about the attacks on 9/11.
She chose to speak on this novel because she believes its content is relevant to college students. According to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center an estimated 22 percent of all rape victims are between the ages of 18 to 24. The novel she is reading from is the story of a sexual assault victim, written from the perspective of a 19-year-old victim.
“Each chapter is like a beautiful poem,” Zahnd said. “I will read the passages in which I preserved the integrity of the writing the most.”
Zahnd is a professor of Modern Languages and French Program coordinator at FMU. She earned the B.A. in French and Foreign Service from Baylor University (1992), the M.A. in French from the Middlebury College School in France (1993), and the Ph.D. in Francophone Studies from the University of Illinois (1999). Zahnd teaches all levels of French literature and language as well as elementary Spanish. She is a co-editor of The South Carolina Modern Language Review and has published several articles pertaining to Francophone literature and Caribbean studies, along with an intermediate ESL textbook, Let's Get Real. Zahnd is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, a PEO national scholar, the 2003 recipient of the Sampere-Ulloa Spanish scholarship and the 2005 recipient of the FMU Distinguished Faculty Award for community service. She lives in Florence with her husband Timothy Bergfeld, daughter Anastasia, and son Alexander.