Arts & Humanities

Modern Languages - Faculty

Scott DeVries
Scott DeVries
Department Chair 
Associate Professor of Spanish.

Scott DeVries teaches both language and literature courses with an emphasis on Latin American fiction, poetry, and culture.

Dr. DeVries received a Ph.D. in Spanish from Rutgers University in 2004 for his dissertation on ecology and environmentalism in recent Spanish American fiction. His continuing research encompasses both 19th and 20th century Latin American literature from the perspective of ecological criticism, animal studies, and energy. His first book, A History of Ecology and Environmentalism in Spanish American Literaturewith Bucknell University Press was released in 2013 and his most recent,  Creature Discomfort: Fauna-criticism, Ethics, and the Representation of Animals in Spanish American Fiction and Poetry was published by Brill in 2016. He also has publications in several other venues including articles on Mexican film in Christian Scholars Reviewand on Jorge Luis Borges in the Journal of Philosophy and Literature.

Scott is married to María and they have three children: Joaquín, Ana, and Sofía. Scott likes bowling, Maria likes biking, but with the kids, they all play kickball. Scott’s team usually loses.

C. Arturo Yáñez
TESOL Director
Associate Professor of Spanish

Dr. C. Arturo Yáñez received his B.A. (Licentiate in Education) from the Universidad de Los Andes (Mérida, Venezuela) with majors in education and foreign language teaching. His M.Ed. is from the University fo Toronto (Ontario, Canada) where he specialized in curriculum design and foreign language education. His Ph.D. is from the University of Iowa (Iowa, USA) where he specilized in secondary education, Spanish linguistics and foreign language education. Before he came to Manchester University, Dr. Yáñez was a professor of Spanish and TESOL at the University of the Andes in Merida, Venezuela for 25 years and a visiting professor of Spanish and TESOL at Arkansas Tech University.

Dr. Yañez has published several refereed journal articles and two book chapters. His research is on the pedagogy of foreign languages, evaluation and writing across disciplines. The book chapter entitled "The Big Picture People Rarely Become Historians: Genre Systems and the Contradictions of General Education" has been widely cited by scholars in a number of disciplines in the USA and in Europe. He also published the book, Writing History: Instructional and Pedagogical Complexities.

As editor of the journal Entre Lenguas for the Universidad de Los Andes´ School of Modern Languages, he wrote and edited research-based articles on the best of pedagogical practices for teaching reading, writing, speaking and listening in a second or foreign language.

Dr. Yáñez has presented several research papers in different international conferences in Venezuela, Colombia, Chile, Argentina, Cuba, Mexico, Spain and in the United States. Dr. Yañez has taught many types of courses both in Spanish and English at both undergraduate and graduate levels and has traveled extensively in Spanish-speaking America and Europe.

He is an active member of NCTE, ACTFL and AATSP. Dr. Yáñez is an active foreign language Program Review Evaluator for ACTFL/NCATE and has received training as an ACTFL Oral Proficiency Interviewer (OPI).

Last but not least, Dr. Yáñez has a passion for fine art photography, national parks, orchids and sports. He is a percussionist and played congas professionally for salsa bands since he was twelve.

Shane Thomson
Visiting Instructor of Spanish
Visiting Assistant Professor of English

Faculty Emerita

Janina P. Traxler
Professor Emerita of French

Dr. Traxler has always been interested in how the parts fit together, so pursuits as far-ranging as travel, language study, sewing, mathematics, history, architecture and music continue to attract her. She grew up on a family farm in central Indiana, and though she has spent most of her life in Indiana, she has also lived in France multiple times and spent a year in the People’s Republic of China. Her travels have taken her to Morocco, Kenya, Senegal, most of western Europe, Russia, Turkey, Greece, Canada and the French-speaking Caribbean.

As an undergraduate at Manchester, she majored in French and math and received teacher certification for secondary education. She has taught French and mathematics at Manchester High School, Elementary French at Indiana University, and French and English in the People’s Republic of China. She completed masters and doctoral degrees at Indiana University-Bloomington and her doctoral area is medieval French literature. Her dissertation focused on the Prose Tristan legend of thirteenth-century France.

Dr. Traxler has been on the Manchester faculty since 1979. She teaches all levels of French, plus several courses in English for students across the curriculum: Life and Death (a literature-based critical thinking course), Legends Revisited (classical and medieval literature, plus later reuses of the material), First-Year Seminar, and Arthurian Literature. She regularly offers a January travel course to France, intended for students with little prior experience in French. She has also served as BCA site director and as faculty in residence in Strasbourg, France.

An active scholar of medieval literature, specifically the legend of King Arthur, Professor Traxler regularly gives papers at international conferences. Her publications include several journal articles, book chapters and book reviews. In 1992, she received a National Endowment for the Humanities grant for her research on the medieval Tristan legend. In addition to medieval literature, her scholarship and teaching also explore how modern culture reworks classical and medieval stories, whether in visual arts, film, literature, or popular culture. Currently, she is translating a monograph on the work conditions of Jewish cantors and choir directors in Alsace (c. 1800-1950). She is a member and past president of the International Courtly Literature Society-North American Branch, a member of the International Arthurian SocietyModern Language AssociationAmerican Association of Teachers of French, andAmerican Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages. At Manchester, Dr. Traxler chairs the Department of Modern Languages and the Humanities Division and serves on the Academic Policies Committee. She is a member of the Manchester Symphony Chorus and of Achduth Veshalom Congregation in Fort Wayne, Ind. She is still seeking the grail, though she knows that it has been sighted in a Saint Louis pawn shop.