AGS Conference 2011

September 23, 2010

Association for German Studies in Great Britain and Ireland

The seventy-fourth conference of the Association will take place on 13-15 April 2011 at:-

Queen Mary University


The next conference of the Association for German Studies in Great Britain and Ireland will take place at the Queen Mary University London, 13-15 April 2011. The lead panel for the conference will be ‘London in German Culture – German Language Culture in London’, with further panels on Literary and Cultural Theory, Language Learning and Teaching, History and Remembrance, Linguistics, Gender, Medieval and Early Modern Studies, Eighteenth-Century Studies, Nineteenth-Century Studies and Twentieth-Century and Contemporary Studies.

If you are interested in contributing a paper to any of these panels, please send your proposal directly to the e-mail address of the conveners listed below. If you would like to propose a panel or if you would like to offer a paper that does not fall within the remit of any of the listed panels, please contact the Conference Secretary Dr Melani Schröter ( Proposals for papers should be 150-200 words, panel outlines 50-100 words.

Proposals for papers should reach the relevant conveners by 30 November 2010. Any proposals for additional panels should reach Melani Schröter by 31 October 2009.

For the full CFP, please go to

New AGS Website

September 23, 2010

The website for AGS has now moved to, replacing the earlier site at

Please change your favourites to take account of the change.

Also, the on-line list of Germanists has now been discontinued.

Feel free to e-mail comments on the new site to David Clarke.

Shakespeare is German

September 20, 2010

A series of talks, readings, film screenings and discussions
7 October 2010 to 18 November 2010
Goethe-Institut London

“So much has already been said about Shakespeare it might seem there is nothing left to say. But the mind’s chief characteristic is that it will always excite activity in other minds,” wrote Johann Wolfgang von Goethe in his 1815 essay No end to Shakespeare. Right up until the present day countless Shakepearean plays have been produced on German stages, have been filmed by German directors or analysed by German academics. Shakespeare is German – a multi-disciplinary festival organised by the Goethe-Institut London together with the Globe Theatre and the Institute of Germanic and Romance Studies of Queen Mary, University of London – reviews this multifaceted history of the reception of Shakespeare in Germany. 

The season opens on 7 October 2010 with a book launch at the Globe Theatre: for the first time ever both of Goethe’s essays on Shakespeare are united in a bilingual edition entitled Goethe on Shakespeare. On 14 October to commemorate the day Goethe delivered his In Celebration of Shakespeare lecture, actor Sebastian Koch (The Lives of Others, The Black Book, Effie Briest,) reads extracts from texts by Shakespeare, Goethe, Schlegel and Tieck, together with Germanist Martin Swales and accompanied by extracts from German films on Shakespeare. The festival continues with discussions and lectures: actor and director Norbert Kentrup proposes the bold thesis that “Shakespeare is much better in German”, and Rüdiger Görner, literary scholar and founding director of the Centre for Anglo-German Cultural Relations, who wrote the afterword to Goethe on Shakespeare, reflects on Germany’s passion for Shakespeare from the 18th century to the present day.

The Goethe-Institut addresses the widely-different ways that Shakespeare is produced on German and English stages: on 13 November Thomas Ostermeier, artistic director of the Berlin-based Schaubühne and David Lan, artistic director of the Young Vic, talk about Thomas Ostermeier’s radical production of “Hamlet”. On 18 November Herbert Fritsch presents his multi-media art project hamlet_X, for which the theatre-maker carved the Hamlet text into 111 individual sections and then, using famous German actors, turned them into short films. The 1923 film Der Kaufmann von Venedig (The Jew of Mestri) by Peter Paul Felner starring Werner Krauss (Dr. Caligari) and Max Schreck (Murnau’s Nosferatu), and Helmut Käutner’s post-war Der Rest ist Schweigen (The Rest is Silence), filmed in 1959, are good examples of how German directors adapt Shakespeare’s plays and give them a contemporary interpretation.

The programme is rounded off with two further lectures: Ray Ockenden, lecturer at Oxford University talks about how Shakespeare was viewed by Stefan George and his friends (George-Kreis), Manfred Pfister, Emeritus Professor at the Freie Universität Berlin, talks about Shakespeare’s sonnets.


New German Studies memory network announced

September 20, 2010

The Interdisciplinary Committee of the German Studies Association (GSA)
is pleased to announce the creation of a new network devoted to Memory
Studies. We invite you to become a part of our network and participate in this
new intellectual venture in interdisciplinarity.

The network will generally serve as a venue for the exchange of ideas,
but it will also be a place for the proposal and discussion of possible
themes for future panels on Memory Studies at upcoming GSA conferences.

To join up, please contact any of the network coordinators or go to the
newly-created facebook group, “German Memory Studies Network” and
register today!

We look forward to hearing from you.

Carol Anne Costabile-Heming

Irene Kacandes

Gavriel Rosenfeld

Swansea launch on-line petition

September 15, 2010

Modern Languages at Swanseas have launced an on-line petition against the proposed staff cuts. You can sign up here:

New Blog for Swansea Modern Languages

September 10, 2010

As the fight to protect Modern Languages provision at Swansea University continues, staff there have set up a new blog for all those interested in the current situation:

Take a look and show your support!

AGS Chair Frank Finlay enourages AGS members to protest over threatened Swansea cuts

September 4, 2010

AGS President Professor Frank Finlay has encouraged AGS members to write in protest at the proposed redundancies at Swansea University. The University’s proposal, which amount to a halving of the current academic staff on Modern Languages programmes will ‘seriously endanger modern language provision at Swansea’, writes, Brigid Haines, Head of Modern Languages at Swansea:

‘Swansea Modern Languages Department is the leading third-level language provider in Wales and has an outstanding reputation for undergraduate teaching, postgraduate teaching, and research. In RAE 2008, Modern Languages at Swansea was ranked first in Wales in terms of research power. In the latest National Student Survey French, German and Hispanic Studies at Swansea each scored over 90% for overall student satisfaction, earning the accolade ‘Top Performing Subjects’ in Swansea University publicity. Modern Languages staff contribute extensively to the highly successful MA in Translation with Language Technology. The Department is particularly proud of its Welsh-medium provision, which is supported by the Welsh Assembly, and its contribution to the University’s internationalisation agenda.
Over the course of the last year we have lost staff who taught Russian, Portuguese and Catalan, for financial reasons; we have also just lost our Austrian language tutor. The current proposals will quite simply devastate the Department, leaving it unable to fulfil its core functions adequately. They will severely damage the provision of language degrees in Wales . We are particularly concerned that Italian degrees may yet be withdrawn as a result of the lack of lecturing staff. Needless to say, we reject the concept of compulsory redundancies absolutely.’

To protest, please write to

Professor Richard Davies
Swansea University
Singleton Park

Raymond Ciborowski
Registrar and Head of Administration
Swansea University
Singleton Park
NB Please send a copy of any e-mail to

Times Higher reports Swansea cuts

September 4, 2010

The Time Higher also has a report on the threatened Swansea cuts:

Modern Languages in Swansea threatened with cuts

September 3, 2010

Swansea University has announced plans to halve the number of academics teaching Modern Languages, including German. You can see a full report at