Launch of new research project on German Pop Music

This event marks the launch of a new project on German Popular music at Warwick/ Aston unis. It takes place on Wed 8th Feb, 5-7pm in the Occulus building, OC1.09. Warwick Uni Campus. No tickets. Event free. Come along!

This ia a new research intiative that seeks, through collaboration with Warwick University, to promote the serious academic treatment of German popular music and its (much underrated) cultural value and contribuiton to world culture. The topic, perhaps oddly, remains something of a blindspot within German Studies as a discipline. We start with two venerable speakers, David Pattie and Luis-Manuel Garcia.



Celebrating W.G. Sebald at Literaturhaus Stuttgart

Uwe_sebaldRenowned German author and academic W.G. Sebald  would have celebrated his 70th birthday this week. To mark the occasion, Uwe Schütte, Reader in German at Aston, was invited to Literaturhaus Stuttgart to read from and speak about an aspect of Sebald’s work which is less familiar to most readers than his prose writing: his poems, created over more than four decades and mostly published posthumously.

To find out more about this event, click here.

Publication of Figurationen. Zum lyrischen Werk von W. G. Sebald

FigurationenAston Reader in German Uwe Schütte recently published his latest book Figurationen. Zum lyrischen Werk von W. G. Sebald.


W. G. Sebald is today considered as one of the most import literary voices of the late 20th century. While his celebrated prose works have received a great deal of attention, his little-known poetry was much neglected. This regrettable state of affairs has now been rectified by Uwe Schütte.


His study Figurationen looks at the entirety of the author’s poetical oeuvre: Sebald’s first poems were published in 1964 but he kept writing poetry over the next 40 years, up to his untimely death in 2001. The vast majority of poems were published only posthumously and Figurationen also features unknown poetry from the Sebald archive.  While some poems are complementary to narrative texts, Schütte can demonstrate that the poetical body of texts  demands attention in its own right.



Further details and an extract of the book can be found here:




German Reasearch at Aston

The summer  provides us with time to relax and reflect on the events of the past academic year – but it is also a good time for research. Here are some examples of recent publications by German at Aston staff:

Claudia Gremler:

“Utopien, Epiphanien und Melancholie : Der Norden als Erfahrungs- und Imaginationsraum in der deutschsprachigen Gegenwartsliteratur.” IN: Martin Huber (ed), Literarische Räume. Berlin: Akademie Verlag 2012.

“‘Warum bleiben wir eigentlich nicht immer hier?’ Schweden als Projektionsraum für deutsche Sehnsüchte in Kurt Tucholskys ‘Schloß Gripsholm’ und seinen beiden Verfilmungen”. Text und Kontext, 33 (2011) , pp. 21-47. (Full text available here.)

Stefan Manz:

“Intercultural transfer and artistic innovation: German musicians in Victorian Britain.” German Life and Letters, 65,2 (2012), pp. 161-180.

“Expellees, counterfactualism and potatoes : enlargement and cross-national debates in German-Polish relations.” IN: Ljiljana Šarić (ed.),  Contesting Europe’s Eastern Rim. Bristol: Multilingual Matters 2010.

Gertrud Reershemius:

“Research cultures and the pragmatic functions of humor in academic research presentations: a corpus-assisted analysis.” Journal of Pragmatics, 44, 6-7 (2012), pp. 863-875.

“Reconstructing the past? Low german and the creating of regional identity in public language display.” Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, 32, 1 (2011), pp. 33-54.

Uwe Schütte:

“Gegen die Welt wie sie ist. Versuch über Thomas Bernhard als Realist.” Manuskripte, 93 (2011), pp. 150-157. (Full text available here.)

Arbeit an der Differenz. Zum Eigensinn von Heiner Müllers Prosa.  Heidelberg: Universitätsverlag Winter. (Introduction available here.)

Conference Report: GermanAtAston at LLAS Conference

The Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studies (LLAS) is an organisation which provides professional development, resources and information to the higher education sector with the aim of achieving the best possible learning experience for students in language subjects.

This year’s LLAS conference was held at Edinburgh and featured papers from two GermanAtAston staff talking about teaching innovation in German studies at Aston.

Click here to read the conference report on the CLERA blog, run by the Centre of Language Education Research at Aston.

Celebrating Sebald: Uwe Schütte Speaks about the Late Author’s Life and Works

On 1 July 2012 Dr Uwe Schütte, Head of German Studies at Aston, appeared at Bridport Art Centre as part of the Celebrating Sebald event. The talk, which was attended by an audience of nearly 100 Sebald enthusiasts, was very well received.

Dr Schütte’s talk was informed by both his intimate knowledge of Sebald’s works and his close personal relationship with the distinguished writer, who taught at the University of East Anglia until his untimely death in 2001. Starting out as one of Sebald’s postgraduate students in the 1990s, Uwe Schütte quickly developed into an internationally renowned expert on the late author’s works. His book on Sebald’s critical writings will be published next year.

Click on the youtube link below for an extract of the talk. Listen to Uwe Schütte address the sigificance of “Austerlitz” for the interpretation of Sebald’s literary oeuvre, and hear his comments on the reception of this book by the reading public.




German@Aston at LLAS Conference

From 4-5 July, the Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studies (LLAS) hosts their annual conference in Edinburgh. This year’s theme is “Language Futures: Languages in Higher Education”. This is of course a topic very close to German@Aston’s heart and two of our colleagues, Elisabeth Wielander and Dr Claudia Gremler, will be there to give papers and to live-tweet from the conference.

Elisabeth will be sharing first results from her PhD project on Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL), a teaching method which is applied widely here at Aston, where almost all teaching takes place in the target language, and Claudia will speak about the educational benefits of student video production projects for foreign language learning.

The full conference programme can be downloaded here.

German Research at Aston University

Aston's German Section

If you wonder what German staff at Aston get up to when there is no teaching and no marking to be done, then take a look at the section’s impressive research output. All our publications are listed in Aston’s research repository and many can be even be downloaded for free!

One of Aston’s (and German at Aston’s) key research areas is language education research and we are proud that CLERA, the Centre for Language Education Research at Aston, is thriving following its successful launch last year – and has now started its own blog and twitter feed. So why not head over to see what’s new in the world of classroom research!

Currently one of CLERA’s German projects investigates the topic of teaching content courses in the target language (one of Aston’s specialities) and the Centre’s first conference is dedicated to Transition in Languages and will take place in July.

Austrian Digital Literature

Dr Jeanine Tuschling co-organised a conference (18-19th April) entitled “Lit.Net Austria“ on Austrian authors and literature on the Internet in co-operation with the Ingeborg-Bachmann-Centre and the Institute of Germanic and Romance Studies at the Institute of Advanced Studies in Londons sponsored by the Austrian Cultural Forum and the UK
Embassy of Switzerland. The conference brought together scholars and pioneers of digital literature from Britain, Germany, Switzerland and Austria.




The conference was accompanied by a workshop on “Communicating literature through the internet” , which provided an insight into the mechanics of the European market of net-literature and discussed the implications of the web for publishers, authors and cultural policy makers. The event was attended by a representative of the Swiss Ambassador in London, as well as members of the wider public.

Journalist Ann Morgan wrote about the event:

” Challenging the traditional polar opposition between the fixed, stable, solid creation of the printed volume and the fluid, collaborative, playful world of the net, Mazenauer showed how performance art and multimedia are reducing the central importance of the book and throwing its covers open to embrace a much broader spectrum of things. Looked at in this way, the internet itself could even be considered a book.”
Read her full article  in the “Huffington Post”.

Celebrating Sebald

Bridport Arts Centre is going to do so with a film screening and a talk by

Uwe Schütte, Head of German at Aston, his former student and acclaimed Sebald scholar, who will speak about “Sebald’s Legacy”.

The talk will be followed by a screening of “Patience”, a film after Sebald’s novel “The rings of Saturn” by Grant Gee. The Guardian called the documentary a “guide through the psycho-geography of the author”, taking the viewer on a literary stroll along the coast of East Anglia, where Sebald spent most of his adult life. Read the Guardian review here

Philip French commented in the Observer that watching the film made him want to read all of Sebald’s oeuvre. The images are accompanied by readings from the book, as well as by comments by friends, readers and fellow authors.


Tickets for the event are available at