Catalan Club

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You surely have heard about Barcelona, but did you know that Catalan is the native language there? That there is  an entire culture that is different from that of Spain? The Catalan Club is a brand-new project at University of  Maryland that aims to bring this distinctive culture to our students. It is projected as an informal gathering to  exchange ideas and learn, co-constructing the events together. Som-hi! 




Who is it for?
Why would I care about Catalan culture? 

Why is the Catalan language relevant? 

What activities does it entail? 

When will we meet? 

Where will we meet? 

Who is leading it? 

Are there any requirements? How much does it cost? 

Whom do I contact if I have questions or I want to sign up? 

Who is it for? Why would I care about Catalan culture?  

Any curious minds, from undergraduate to graduate students! It can be especially interesting to people who are  interested in the following things: 

-Study abroad in Barcelona or València, UMD has several programs there! For instance, Maryland-in-Barcelona or  Spain: Culture, Language, and Literature in Salamanca and Barcelona

-Distinctive culture, such as tió (the pooping log), Barcelona’s soccer team Barça, castells (human towers), diables (devils), and others. 

-Amazing cuisine, paella, allioli, calçots, and more! 

-Architecture and art, the area has yielded great architects like Antoni Gaudí or Salvador Dalí. 

-Literature, did you know that Orwell and Hemingway were in Catalonia during the Spanish Civil War? Or that  Gabriel Garcia Márquez admired Rodoreda, a Catalan writer? Or that the only cavalries book Don Quijote did not  burn was Tirant lo Blanc by the Valencian writer Joanot Martorell? 

-Singular history and political landscape. Did you know that Netflix made a documentary about it called Two  Catalonias? Or that the language was banned from 1713 through the 19th century and again during the Spanish  dictatorship until the seventies? 

-Astounding landscape, did you know that Catalonia has been the backdrop of critically acclaimed shows like  Game of Thrones or Westworld? 

-Intercultural competence.
 

-Broaden your knowledge of Romance languages. 

-Traveling and being able to hit it off with locals.  

-Uniquely unexpected opportunities, did you know that Catalonia was the guest country in 2018 at the  Smithsonian Folklife festival

Why is the Catalan language relevant?  

-Catalan is a Romance language that is spoken by about 8 million people.  

-The language spoken in Barcelona, as well as València, the Balearic Islands, the south of France, Andorra, and the  city of Alghero, in Sardinia.  

-It is different from Spanish and French, although it bears some resemblance with them (as Romance languages  do!). 

-It is taught at more than 150 universities worldwide

-You can get certified in it by the Ramon Llull Institute. 

What activities does it entail?  

Anything you want! Since the initiative is new, you will get to voice your interest (Barça, intercultural competence,  history, politics, literature, culture, folklore, language, sociolinguistics, cuisine, anything!). Based on the most  voted topics, we will prepare workshops and discussions. The goal is to get as hands-on as we can, through workshops, crafts, readings, games, and discussion

The idea is to address a different aspect each week, and if there is interest in learning the language, there will be  two meeting hours, one for language and the other one for discussion. 

When will we meet?  

It will be an weekly one-hour informal gathering. Given the newness of the club, the schedule for it will be set on  the 10th of February based on the members’ availability, and the club gatherings will start on the week of the  14th of February. If there is interest in the language as well, we will add a second hour that is based on the  language. 

Where will we meet?  

On Zoom, and there will be an ELMS space to share ideas and the club’s schedule and materials. Just email  todacosi@umd.edu to get the link. Were the situation to improve, meetings would switch to in-person.

 

 

Who is leading it?  

Mireia, under the supervision of Dr. Lacorte (Associate Professor of Spanish Applied Linguistics, Director of  Undergraduate Studies, and Director of the MA track in Hispanic Applied Linguistics at UMD)! Mireia is a Ph.D. student in Second Language Acquisition, and she is a native speaker of Catalan born in a masia an hour south of  Barcelona. She holds a B.A. in Catalan Language and Literature, an M.A. in Linguistics, and an M.A. in Intercultural  Communication, as well as a certificate in TESOL. Besides her diplomas, she is extremely motivated and has been teaching Catalan to Americans in the DC area for the last two years. If we have not convinced you, you can check her out here

Are there any requirements? How much does it cost?  

There are no requirements and it is for free! If you want to explore the language, knowledge of any Romance  language (e.g., Spanish, Portuguese, French, Italian…) will make things easier, but it is not mandatory. 

Whom do I contact if I have questions or I want to sign up?  

Mireia Toda Cosi at todacosi@umd.edu. There is a forthcoming website, that will be hosted at  http://sllc.umd.edu/ under “Special Program.”