Welcome to the new EGS website!

By the EGS team We’ve made a lot of changes, and we hope you enjoy looking through the newly designed pages. This summer has been a time of thoughtful reflection and exchange within the EGS collective, as we sought to overhaul the website and build a new version that is broader, more inclusive and more accessible. Since the beginning, our goal has been to provide a resource to help teachers of German Studies deliver a more diverse curriculum, to amplify a broad…

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“Why not?” Exploring sex & gender history through N.O. Body’s memoirs”

Dr Ina Linge is Lecturer in German at the University of Exeter, where she is also Co-director of the interdisciplinary Sexual Knowledge Unit. I started out as a new Lecturer in German in June 2020, in the middle of the pandemic. It has certainly been a challenging and exhausting time to develop new modules and teach them for the very first time. But I have also found it immensely enjoyable to create modules on topics…

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Teaching Pop Music

Tom Smith is a Lecturer in German Studies at the University of St Andrews. Here, he reflects on his experiences teaching popular music in the undergraduate German classroom. Be sure to listen along to his course playlist (just below) as you read! As I look back on 2020, one of its highlights was the chance to run my Honours module on German popular music and identity. So with thanks to my students for their inspiration,…

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Remaking the German Studies Curriculum: A Diversifying Approach

We are excited to publish a post from Domenic DeSocio, who is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures at the University of Michigan. He is currently completing a dissertation on the intersection of temporality and queer and female sexualities in German-language modernist literature. He has recently received funding to set up a teaching database of primary materials and lesson plans – and watch this space for a similar initiative from Expanding…

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Is this the first poem written by a Black German writer?

Dr Nicola Thomas is Lecturer in German at the University of Bristol. Here, she talks about stumbling across a lesser-known landmark in Black German history.  I’ve just started a new job at the University of Bristol, and I was asked to update the first-year poetry reader over the summer. Over the years, colleagues at Bristol (past and present) have worked hard to introduce marginalised voices to the curriculum, via their research interests in nineteenth-century women’s revolutionary writing, working class poetry and women writers…

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Race and Revolution in German Literature around 1800

Joanna Raisbeck is a Stipendiary Lecturer in German at Wadham College and The Queen’s College, University of Oxford, with research interests in German Romanticism and the so-called ‘Sattelzeit’. The question of race in German literature before the late twentieth century is in general overlooked on undergraduate syllabuses. There are excellent resources that help readers explore Black history in the German-speaking countries, such as Black Central Europe, and there are other ongoing projects that investigate the legacies…

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Modern Theories, Medieval Worlds: Teaching Gender and Identity in Medieval Literary Studies

In this month’s blogpost, Aysha Strachan, a PhD candidate at KCL/HU Berlin, suggests that teaching modern theory alongside medieval literature gives us better access to the challenges that these texts issue to modern norms and assumptions. As a new Graduate Teaching Assistant teaching second-year seminars on Gender and Identity in German Arthurian literature, I was excited to help shape the reading list and module structure. The module takes modern theories on identity and difference (from…

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Germany and Eastern Europe

In our first blog post of 2020, Karolina Wątroba discusses the “spectral presence” of Poland in German literature and suggests that attention to this presence, central to much of our undergraduate teaching yet often unremarked, can help us consider intercultural entanglements more generally. Studying and then teaching German at Oxford as a Polish immigrant, I have always been struck by the fact that the undergraduate curriculum does not feature much discussion of Poland and Eastern…

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Should we teach Handke? Canon, curriculum and the Nobel Prize.

The awarding of the 2019 Nobel Prize in Literature to Austrian Peter Handke has been highly controversial. Here, Helen Finch (University of Leeds) considers the implications this has for Germanists and our responsibility to respond.  ‘Should I read Handke, then?’ a student of German at Leeds asked me yesterday. I stuttered, stopped, hedged. Normally, I am thrilled when students show an interest in reading German literature in their free time. And I’m often touched when…

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Introducing ‘Teaching Alterity in 2019’

Rey Conquer (St. Hilda’s, Oxford) and Ellen Pilsworth (Reading) organised a roundtable on ‘Teaching Alterity in 2019’ at the recent meeting of the Association of German Studies UK and Ireland at the University of Bristol. Rey has shared their introduction to the panel (below) to give a sense of what it was about for those who couldn’t make it. A full write-up of the roundtable can be found here. This time last year at AGS…

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Teaching Alterity: Write Up

We got together at the 82nd annual conference of the Association of German Studies UK and Ireland at the University of Bristol between 4th and 6th September 2019, where Rey Conquer (St. Hilda’s College, Oxford) and Ellen Pilsworth (Reading) organised a roundtable on ‘Teaching Alterity in 2019’. Rey’s introduction to the panel can be read here. We sent Richard McClelland (Bristol) to report back. AGS Delegates and Speakers at the ‘Teaching Alterity’ Roundtable As Germanists…

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(Re)Thinking the Periphery

Our latest blog entry is brought to you by Dr Mererid Puw Davies, Senior Lecturer in German at UCL. In it, she reflects on how language teaching and learning shapes how we think about centres and peripheries of culture.  Reading modern languages at university, we were learning about the great cultural centres of continental Europe. We looked East, we looked South, and searched out the great metropoles far away. This experience was, and remains, entirely formative…

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Transforming MFL: Expanding the German Studies curriculum at secondary level

This month’s blog post is by Transform MFL, a secondary teacher of languages in London who is on a mission to diversify and expand the curriculum for modern languages at GCSE level. “[T]he study of a modern foreign language at GCSE should […] broaden students’ horizons and encourage them to step beyond familiar cultural boundaries and develop new ways of seeing the world” (Department for Education) The National Curriculum at Key Stage Three (ages 11…

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Empowering Students and Decolonising the Curriculum in Leeds

Helen Finch is Associate Professor in German and currently German Subject Research Leader at the University of Leeds, and Stephan Petzold is Lecturer in German History and currently Director of German at the University of Leeds. In today’s blog post, they discuss their new approach to first-year teaching which positions students as researchers from the very start of their university careers. Why is my curriculum white? How can we ensure a fair gender representation in…

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Launching the Expanding German Studies project

As those of you who follow us on Twitter will know, we launched the Expanding German Studies project at the end of August, with a roundtable at the Association of German Studies conference in Bangor. Six fantastic speakers – Joseph Twist (UCD), Godela Weiss-Sussex (IMLR/Cambridge), Clare Bielby (York), Sarah Bowden (KCL) and Richard McClelland (Bristol) – and a very engaged audience of Germanists from around the UK joined us to celebrate the launch of the project,…

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Expanding the Curriculum in Nineteenth-Century German Studies

Dr Joanna Neilly, University of Oxford Dr Joanna Neilly is Associate Professor and Tutor in German, St Peter’s College. Her research focuses on German literature and culture of the late eighteenth and the nineteenth centuries, with a particular emphasis on Romanticism. Her current project re-examines German Romantic fiction as an aesthetic model for world literature, and its ongoing relevance within this context today. In our first blog post, she reflects on the challenge of teaching diverse…

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