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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Welcome to New Students and New Members of Staff

The management of the department would like to extend a warm welcome to all new students of Modern Languages and Media Studies, at BA, MA and PhD, and to two new members of staff.

We are especially pleased to see so many faces (19!) on our new BA programme in Modern Languages, Translation and Interpreting.

The new staff members are Dr Greg Herman in French, who will be teaching in the department for one year as replacement cover for Dr Natalie Morello, and Dr Gabriele Cablitz in German, who is with us also for one year only as maternity cover for Christiane Guenther.

We welcome too five new PhD students, four in Translation and one in Comparative Literature (English/German): Mrs Maha Mohammed Aldhahi, Mr Turky Embarak Alshaikhi, Ms Katie Jones, Ms Gabriella Valentino, and Ms Li Wu.

We look forward to working with you all!

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Award for Swansea PhD student

Ms Anna-Lou Dijkstra, who is working with Dr Kathryn Jones in French on the European Travellers to Wales research project, has won a prestigious Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds scholarship for 2014-15 to continue her investigations into French and German guidebooks to Wales. Congratulations Anna-Lou!

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German Film-Maker to visit Swansea in November 2014

The renowned German film-maker Andreas Dresen (Sommer vorm Balkon / Summer in Berlin, 2006) will be visiting the Swansea Centre for Contemporary German Culture between 25-27 November 2014. On 26 November in the Taliesin Cinema on campus Swansea students will join visitors from local schools to watch Die Polizistin / The Policewoman, followed by discussion with Herr Dresen. Swansea students will be studying a number of his films this year and will benefit from hearing Herr Dresen debate their meaning with them. Students of all other languages and none will have opportunities to meet Herr Dresen in November and learn about his rich and varied cinematic output.

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New Mandarin Lecturer awarded PhD

The department is delighted to announce that Sabrina Wang, who has been in post since January 2014 teaching Mandarin and building new student pathways in this important world language, has been awarded her PhD from Leicester University. Congratulations Sabrina!

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Sprachcafe Spezial

Sprechen Sie Deutsch? Sprichst du Deutsch?


The German Society and the German Section of the Department of Languages, Translation and Communication would like to invite Swansea pupils, students and parents to a German Language Afternoon held at the Taliesin on the 22nd of March between 1 and 4 pm.


The event involves free German language taster sessions coordinated by Swansea Uni students of German and visiting German and Austrian students and a free film screening of Lessons of a Dream in both German and English.


The event is kindly supported by the Goethe Institut, the DAAD London and the Centre for Contemporary German Culture.

1 – 2 pm free German language taster session.  Suitable also for absolute beginners!

2 – 4 pm free special film screening (in collaboration with the Goethe-Institut) Watch LESSONS OF A DREAM  and learn how British Football came to  Germany.

For further information please contact Christiane Günther at

The Taliesin Arts Centre is located at Swansea University, Singleton Park, SA2 8PP             No booking necessary J

Ieithoedd, Cyfieithu a Chyfathrebu wahodd disgyblion, myfyrwyr a rhieni Abertawe I brynhawn Almaeneg sydd i’w gynnal yng Nghanolfan Taliesin ar 22ain Mawrth rhwng 1.00 a 4.00  o’r gloch y prynhawn.


Yn ystod y digwyddiad fydd sesiynau blasu Almaeneg  rhad ac am ddim wedi’u cydlynu gan fyfyrwyr Prifysgol Abertawe, rhai sydd yn astudio Almaeneg a rhai sydd yn ymweld o’r Almaen ac Awstria, a dangosiad rhad ac am ddim o’r ffilm Lessons of a Dream yn Almaeneg a Saesneg.


Derbyniwyd nawdd caredig gan Goethe Institut, DAAD Llundain a Chanolfan ar gyfer Diwylliant Almaeneg ar gyfer y digwyddiad.



1 – 2 yp Sesiwn blasu Almaeneg yn rhad ac am ddim.  Yn addas hefyd ar gyfer dechreuwyr pur!


2 – 4 yp Dangosiad ffilm arbennig yn rhad ac am ddim (mewn cydweithrediad â Goethe-Institut)  Gwylio LESSONS OF A DREAM a dysgu sut ddaeth pêl-droed Prydain i’r Almaen.


Am ragor o wybodaeth cysylltwch â Christiane Günther os gwelwch yn dda:


Lleolir Canolfan y Celfyddydau Taliesin ym Mhrifysgol Abertawe, Parc Singleton, SA2 8PP            Dim angen bwcio o flaen llaw J





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Student Translation Competition

To mark the European Day of Languages (26 September), local Translation company Veritas launched its annual competition for university students on the steps of the Abbey. See

To enter the competition you must submit a translation of a text of approximately 500 words into your target language together with a 200-word commentary outlining your linguistic decisions. For information about prizes, see:

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European Travelers to Wales Project

Dr Kathryn Jones (French) is pleased to welcome PhD student Anna-Lou Djikstra to the Department to work with her on the research project entitled European Travelers to Wales, which is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and involves colleagues and PhD students from Bangor and Aberystwyth. Anna-Lou was brought up in Amsterdam, and holds a BA in German Studies and MA in Translation Studies from the University of Utrecht. She plans to investigate evolving representations of Wales in German, French and Dutch guidebooks. Bienvenue Anna-Lou!

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Award for German PhD Student

Jenny Watson, who is writing a doctorate on the writings of Nobel Prize Winner Herta Mueller under the supervision of Dr Brigid Haines, heard over the summer that she had won a prestigious Sylvia Naish Scholarship worth £1000. As a result Jenny will be based for 5 weeks at the Institute for Modern Languages Research at the University of London’s School of Advanced Study in Russell Square. As well as giving a presentation on her project to other researchers at the Institute, Jenny will have the opportunity to delve into the rich holdings of London’s many research libraries.

Congratulations to Jenny! We look forward to hearing what she finds out.

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