The year 2015 has been a year of transition for Multilingual Discourses. Shortly after the publication of the last issue “Connections,” the long-term manager of the journal, Viktoriya Yakovleva, left the Department of Modern Languages and Cultural Studies after successfully completing her PhD. We would like to thank Viktoriya again for starting this journal and for all the work she has done for it.
Faced with the vacant position of managing editor, a group of graduate students from the department volunteered to continue the journal with a rotating team of section editors – and we are very happy to be able to publish the results of their efforts today. In order to represent the diversity of research and activities within the department and the Humanities in general, the new editorial team decided to expand the scope of Multilingual Discourses and added sections dedicated to translations and book and film reviews in addition to the already existing academic articles section.
In the section “Articles,” co-edited by Shahnaaz Shahtoosi and Axel Perez-Trujillo, Jasmin Hirschberg in “Instances of Repair in Oral Exam Settings” expands the research on linguistic repair by focussing on assessment situations in beginner German classes. In addition to confirming previously established categories of repair, Hirschberg also elaborates on the influence of repair on the learner’s self-perception and the role the latter plays for the learner’s performance. “Metaphoric Recurrences of Dreamlike Imagery” by Daria Polianska addresses the representation of madness and hallucination in texts by Nikolai Gogol and M. Khvylovy. By readings the novels as crisis narrative, Polianska explores how the symbolic imagery of the texts are connected to questions of the nation, social pressure, and political ideology. Ethnic identity discourses are the focus of Susanna M. Lynn’s article “Differences and Similarities in Attitudes towards Intellectual and Visual Culture within the Ukrainian-Canadian Community in Edmonton, Alberta.” Drawing from interviews Lynn made with members of the community, she analyzes how what she calls ‘the linguistic factor’ plays a pivotal role in determining the attitudes towards different aspects of culture within these communities. Last but not the least, Axel Perez-Trujillo’s “Truth, Violence, and Domestic Space” examines the staging of domestic space and gender roles in José Triana’s La noche de los asesinos and Ariel Dorfman’s La muerte y la doncella” to understand how each play explores the relation between gender roles and spatial values under authoritarian regimes and how such repression leads to the emergence of gender reversals and liminal spaces.
In “Translations,” edited by Olga Ivanova, Houssem Ben Lazreg provides an English translation of the poem “Five Villains” by the Iraqi poet Ahmed Matta, as well as a commentary that introduces the poet and explains the cultural and political references in the poem. Another piece in this section is Kara Abdolmaleki’s English translation of the short Story “My Father’s Dream” by the well-known Iranian writer Gholamhosein Saedi and a biographical introduction. Lastly, in our “Book Review”-section, edited by Houssem Ben Lazreg, Axel Perez-Trujillo provides an insightful and detailed review of Franco Moretti’s famous collection of essays Distant Reading.
Putting together a journal issue is by definition a collaborative effort. First of all, we would like to thank the authors who have decided to support Multilingual Discourses with their submissions. Secondly, our sincere thanks go out to the editorial team of this issue: Houssem Ben Lazreg, Elli Dehnavi, Olga Ivanova, Axel Perez-Trujillo, Shahnaaz Shahtoosi, and Lars Richter – working with you has been a pleasure and we are truly grateful for everything you have done to get this issue published. Last but certainly not the least, we would like to extend our thanks to the reviewers who made time in their busy schedules to guarantee the quality of the articles, translations, and reviews: Bashair Alibrahim, Hiromi Aoki, Jaimie Baron, Laura Beard, William Beard, Russell Cobb, Elli Dehnavi, Richard Feddersen, Natalia Kononenko, Iman Mersal, Mansoureh Modarres, Andriy Nahachewsky, Onookome Okome, Lahoucine Ouzgane, Lars Richter, Peter Rolland, Shahnaz Shahtoosi, Andreas Stuhlmann, Irene Sywenky, Axel Perez-Trujillo, and Jerry Varsava.
We hope that you enjoy reading this issue of Multilingual Discourses.
Elli Dehnavi and Lars Richter (Managing Editors)