Young Joon Kwak | April 9 – May 21, 2021
Guarded on game day and integral to graduation photographs, the bronze cast of Leonard Jungwirth’s 1945 Spartan statue is the central symbol of Michigan State University. The Spartan is an exemplary body, an icon of race, gender, and physical fitness that reflects the university’s ideal virtues of tenacity and will. Arriving at MSU in the wake of a national reckoning with white supremacy that often used debate about historical monuments as a proxy for broader questions of justice, 2020-21 Artist-in-Residence in Critical Race Studies Young Joon Kwak models a different approach to public art. The artist takes a recuperative attitude toward the Spartan statue, while opening the symbol to careful consideration. What does it mean, Kwak’s work asks, to identify a university campus that reflects our diverse society with any one icon?
Having made molds of portions of the statue’s exterior, Kwak created sculptures in cold-cast metals that remake the Spartan’s skin. The artist lavishes attention on the statue’s surface, preserving details that show evidence of Jungwirth’s hand and draw attention to subtle fan interactions. Kwak’s sculptures include impressions left by the pennies glued to the statue by athletes seeking good luck. Surrounding the casts are a series of monumental prints made from the molds, in which the Spartan’s body deviates further from his original form. Presented in fragments, and in works that demand contemplation, Kwak provides a site for careful reconsideration of the meaning of the Spartan. Spartan Skin opens to the public on Friday, April 9 beginning at 12 pm at the MSU Union Art Gallery.
Young Joon Kwak (b. 1984 in Queens, NY) is the 2020 – 2021 Artist-in-Residence in Critical Race Studies at Michigan State University. Kwak is a multi-disciplinary artist based in Los Angeles, CA, and Lansing, MI, who primarily uses sculpture, performance, video, and community-based collaborations to reimagine bodies and the power structures that govern our everyday lives as mutable and permeable sites of agency. Kwak is the lead performer in the electronic-dance-noise band Xina Xurner, and the founder of Mutant Salon, a roving platform for collaborative installations and performances with their queer/trans/POC/mutant community.
Sponsored by the English Language Center Testing Office and the SLA Knowledge & Production Lab, Michigan State University Dr. Olena Rossi has an MA and a PhD from Lancaster University, UK, and specializes in language test design, item-writing, item writer training, and assessment literacy for test stakeholders. Dr. Rossi has extensive experience working as an examiner, item writer, and item reviewer for several examination boards. Join the Zoom and learn with us! Questions? Email Dan Reed, Paula Winke, or Koen Van Gorp
firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org
Come and support Xiaowan Zhang, who will defend her dissertation “Time to Minimal Proficiency in English Language Learner Children and Factors that Affect the Time” on May 14 at 1 PM. Please email Paula Winke or Xiaowan Zhang for the Zoom password.
The Second Language Studies Program invites you to attend the 2021 SLS Graduation Ceremony either in person, virtually, or you may watch a recording on the SLS website after the event. Attendance is optional and will involve the following:
• Gather outside at the MSU 4-H
Children’s Garden at the pink
amphitheater seating area in front of the
• Dr. Winke and others will be invited to
speak about the four 2021 graduates.
• Then, the gathered group will take a walk
through the MSU 4-H Children’s Garden,
and the Lewis Landscape Arboretum,
and for those who want more, the
beautiful MSU Radiology Gardens!
DIRECTIONS: Walk to the 4-H Children’s Garden from anywhere on campus, or drive and park in Lot 54, Bogue Street (Lot 54 is just north of the railroad tracks and across the street from the MSU Equestrian Center). Please feel free to bring your own drinks or snacks if you wish.
Come to hear Magdalyne Akiding defend her dissertation, “An investigation of motivational strategy use by instructors of African languages in the United States.” The event is open to the public. Please email Dr. Paula Winke or Magdalyne Akiding for the Zoom password.
Come and support Myeongeun Son, who will defend her dissertation “L2 language development in oral and written modality” on August 4 at 10:00 AM Eastern. Please email Myeongeun or Patti Spinner for the Zoom password.