9 German language students win prestigious scholarship

Nine Swansea University languages students have secured scholarships from the German government to allow them to follow summer courses at German universities, with the aim of improving their language skills and their knowledge of the country.

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Annual Roy Knight Lecture

Richard Dyer, Professor of Film Studies at King’s College London, will give the annual Roy Knight Lecture in Romance Studies on 1 March at 4pm in the Faraday Lecture.
All are welcome. The lecture will be followed by a wine reception.

Title: La dolce vita as news and gossip

La dolce vita (dir. Federico Fellini., 1960) is one of the most famous films ever made, an international and often scandalous hit that gave the world not only the term and idea encapsulated in its title but also ‘paparazzi’. It is a film about gossip and news that was itself news and is based in the news stories, fashionable people and actual fashions of its time. This talk looks at this whole process, the real and fictional images of Rome La dolce vita draws on, the way it relates to neo-realism in its use of non-actors, location shooting and episodic structures and the way that it transmutes them into symbol and spectacle. La dolce vita is rooted in the real and yet refuses to present itself as realist, insisting on the way knowledge of the real is always literally mediated.

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Chartered Institute of Linguists

All students cordially invited to attend a talk by Mr. Matthias Postel from the Chartered Institute of Linguists, London. He is coming to Swansea on Monday 13 February to give a talk on Career Paths with Languages and about becoming a member of the Institute. The talk will take place in Faraday Lecture Theatre 3-4pm.

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Pupil Language Ambassador Conference

The Department is looking forward to taking part in the Pupil Language Ambassador Conference taking place on the Bay Campus on 2 February. Over 300 pupils from 43 schools across Wales are expected to participate in this day-long event which will equip individual pupils with skills and ideas to champion modern languages in their schools. The conference will be opened by Kirsty Williams AM, Cabinet Secretary for Education, and is supported by the British Council, the European Commission, Routes into Languages Cymru and the Goethe-Institut. Swansea staff are leading workshops and taster sessions in French, German, Mandarin and Spanish.

Swansea undergraduates can work as school language mentors engaging with pupils from year 9 and upwards on a parallel scheme funded by the Welsh Government. Through Routes into Languages Cymru and in conjunction with Swansea Employability Academy undergraduates also work as language ambassadors, gaining valuable experience and transferable skills.

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Summer School Success in Germany for three Swansea Students

Three first-year students of German have been successful this year in gaining scholarships awarded by the German Academic Exchange Service / DAAD or Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst. Click this link for details:

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Berlin Poet Peter Wawerzinek visits Wales on the trail of Dylan Thomas

Peter Wawerzinek, Ichdylanich: Bilingual Literary Performance
Summary: Next week cult Berlin underground poet Peter Wawerzinek arrives in Wales to read from his fictitious memoir of his life with his favourite fellow poet, Swansea’s own Dylan Thomas. Part absurd fantasy, part comic harangue, Ichdylanich recounts Peter’s experiences in and around Wales on the trail of Dylan in 2010. Born the year after Dylan died, sharing his passion for the amber liquid but brought up in orphanages on the coast of the Baltic Sea, Peter is sometimes convinced that Dylan is the father that he never knew. Ichdylanich is also a declaration of frustrated love for the people and places which inspired Untermilchwald. In Wales once again und travelling entirely under his own steam, Peter is launching his new book in Swansea and Laugharne.
Bio: Peter Wawerzinek belonged to the underground scene in East Berlin’s Prenzlauer Berg in the 1980s. His nickname was Moppel Schappik, which was also the title of his first surrealist novel on the life of a picaresque hero in the Capital of the dying Workers’ and Peasants’ Republic. In 2010 Peter finally became famous when he won the Ingeborg Bachmann Prize for the autobiographical Rabenliebe. In 2014 Schluckspecht, on the subject of his struggle with alcoholism, was greeted with more rave reviews.
There will be three performances:
23 January at 4pm: Swansea University, Wallace Lecture Theatre
23 January at 7.30pm: 5 Cwmdonkin Drive, Swansea (the Dylan Thomas House), N.B. there is an entrance fee of £5 which includes refreshments
24 January at 3pm: Brown’s Hotel, Laugharne
Please spread the word.
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Results for Swansea’s Department of Languages, Translation and Communication in Times / Sunday Times Good University Guide

The Department was pleased last month to read that our courses and students’ achievements were gaining recognition in the all-important Times / Sunday Times Good University Guide.

Among the highlights for the Department of Languages, Translation and Communication at Swansea were:

Swansea Media Studies came 16th out of 90 for student satisfaction;

Swansea French came 8th out of 49 for graduate job prospects;

and Swansea German came 7th out of 38 for student satisfaction.

Overall Swansea University was up four places to 43rd out of all UK Higher Education Institutions.

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Year abroad student in Germany becomes ‘European Ambassador’!

Cara Bebbington, a single honours German student, wrote in this week with some exciting news:
‘I am studying German in Würzburg as an undergraduate student of Swansea University, Wales. Prior to my arrival at the university of Würzburg, I researched the different opportunities that would be available to me, and the prospect to take part in the European Ambassador Programme, which has meetings with fellow academics with the benefit of a scholarship, was appealing. I applied by handing in my CV and a letter of motivation and then shortly before relocating to Germany, I received a confirmation email that I had been selected as one of 11 ambassadors. The European Ambassador Programme is made up of international students from all over Europe, who attend lectures, speeches and debates of several different topics, with an expectation that ambassadors will take part by voicing their opinions. The idea came about because of the large international community in Würzburg (30,000 students live in Würzburg). It is therefore a great opportunity for me to learn about the city in which I am living, as well as the surrounding countries. So far I have attended two events for the programme and I have already learned so much. It has not only enhanced my German linguistic skills, but also given me a greater understanding of the cultural differences of the surrounding countries through conversing with the other ambassadors. We, the selected ambassadors, also try to arrange weekly social meetings, such as dinner in a restaurant, to discuss about the project and voice our ideas.’



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Postgraduate Colloquium in German Studies comes to Swansea

The German Section of Swansea’s Department of Languages, Translation and Communication is delighted that the national colloquium for postgraduate students is coming to Swansea for a record fifth time. Congratulations to the hosts, PhD students Jenny Watson and Luke Edwards.

Fifty-Sixth National Postgraduate Colloquium in German Studies

Saturday, 25 October 2014 at Swansea University

9.15-10.00 Keynote Lecture (Chair/Introduction: Jenny Watson, Swansea): DR BRIGID HAINES (Swansea): ‘Ich habe keine Theorien’: Herta Mueller and German Studies
10.00-10.20 COFFEE
PANEL 1: Legacies of the Enlightenment (Chair: Stephan Ehrig, Bristol)
10.20-11.00 MIRTA DEVIDI (Padua): The Relevance of Friedrich Schlegel’s Discourse on the Ugly for the Reception of Early Romanticism
11.00-11.40 WILLIAM HALL (Manchester): ‘Mangelnde Mündigkeit’: Kleist’s Father Figures and his Critique of Reason
PANEL 2: Constructing Identities in 20th-Century Literature (Chair: Primrose Young, Birmingham)
11.40-12.20 STEPHAN EHRIG (Bristol): Gender and Myth: Kleist’s Penthesilea as a Role Model for Christa Wolf’s Kassandra
12.20-13.00 ADAM ROBERTS (Leeds): Mask of Fiction: The Masking Function of Fictional Narratives in Hermann Hesse’s Steppenwolf
13.00-14.00 LUNCH
PANEL 3: Communities and Representation (Chair: Rich McClelland, King’s College London)
14.00-14.40 ANDREAS GREWENIG (Trier): Deutsche Hochkultur, Geschlecht und Judentum in Kurt Maetzigs Ehe im Schatten (1947)
14.40-15.20 JOSEPH TWIST (Manchester): From Gastarbeiter to Muslim: Cosmopolitan Literary Responses to Post-9/11 Islamophobia
15.20-15.40 TEA
PANEL 4: Literature, Sight and Sound (Chair: Tom Smith, University College London)
15.40-16.20 FRANCESCA ROE (Bristol): Landscapes of Glory and Grief: Austro-Hungarian Representations of the Italian Front in Poetry and the Visual Arts
16.20-17.00 KAROLINE BAUMANN (FU Berlin): Intermediality 2.0: The Case of (German) Pop Literature

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Tuesday 14 October, 4pm, Glyndwr A: Departmental Guest Speaker, Dr Matilda Mroz

The first research paper of the new semester will be given by Dr Matilda Mroz on Tuesday 14 October at 4pm in Glyndwr A at 4pm. All are welcome.

Framing, Visibility and Looking Back: Cinema on the Fringes of Holocaust Memory

Dr Matilda Mroz (Greenwich University

This paper explores three films (Ida, Aftermath, and Birth Place) that revolve around scenes of unearthing the bones of Jewish Holocaust victims from the Polish rural landscape. As victims of Polish, rather than German, violence, the individuals in question had remained on the fringes of Holocaust memory, the true nature of their deaths repressed and denied for decades. The paper draws on an archaeological model of cultural memory, in which cinema is posited as a privileged medium through which to search through the layers of ‘rubble’, the erasures and silences, created by cultural dislocations and ruptures (Laura Marks, 2000). The films’ intense focus on the earth as a material archive allows a reading of the rural landscapes, following David Martin-Jones (2013), as ‘facified’, as an affective landscape that ‘looks at us’ and speaks of an occluded past. At the same time, the films mark the limits of this communication, bringing us up against the obtuse materiality of formless earth and decayed bone. The paper argues that the films thus raise important questions relating to framing and visibility, both in terms of the framing of the visible in onscreen space, and the attempt to frame a meaningful narrative against a background or in a situation that is potentially indifferent and even hostile to meaning, that deframes and threatens to nullify the primacy of human existence.

Swansea Univesity’s Department of Languages, Translation and Communication consists of the following academic sections: Film Studies, French, German, Italian, Media Studies, Spanish and Translation, each with its own research staff and students.

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