Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Journal celebrates 30th year

May 21, 2001

When Tropos was published for the first time 30 years ago, it was hand-stapled and delivered to MSU’s Main Library.

When the newest edition of the graduate romance language journal comes back from the publisher Tuesday, it will be mailed to the Library of Congress.

“We’ve had 30 years to polish what we do,” said editor Daniel Nappo, a Spanish language and literature graduate student. “I think romance languages can only get more popular. Language is only one facet of cultures. When you get into it you start experimenting.”

Nearly 20 graduate students, who work as editors and staff for the annual journal, celebrated its 30th birthday Friday.

The journal accepts submissions from students all over the country in French, Spanish, Portuguese and Italian. Works written in other languages are considered as well.

After two years of working on the journal, Nappo, a Fulbright award winner, will continue his education in Mexico this fall.

Fulbright honors are awarded to exceptional professors and students to help them travel and increase understanding of other cultures.

“This is a real bargaining point for the department,” he said of the journal. “Publishing is a really important part of (graduate education).”

Helene Tzitsikas, a Spanish professor emeritus, founded the journal in 1971 to provide early publishing experience for graduate students.

“We didn’t have any of the advantages that we have today,” she said. “The only thing that the university gave us was the Xerox.”

But after three years of publishing, Tzitsikas and the student staff discovered the Council of Graduate Students, MSU’s graduate student government, which now provides funding for the publication.

It costs about $1,000 a year to print the journal, which usually runs between 60 and 100 pages.

“This is the best-kept secret at the university,” Tzitsikas said. “It’s really flourished to become a very, very successful journal.”

Since French Professor Michael Koppisch began advising the journal two years ago, it has continued to grow. The publication staff held a language conference last fall for graduate students around the country. The journal also printed in color for the first time this year.

“It’s been quite a remarkable experience,” Koppisch said. “Each year, a new group takes over, and it’s gotten bigger and better and stronger.

“This is one of the most important kinds of academic endeavors that students can engage in.”


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