Test Dept book launch 28 May

Straying a little from our usual focus on German music, the German section is proud to host the Midlands launch of “Total State Machine”, a fantastic new volume documenting the work of seminal English industrial band Test Dept.

Screen Shot 2015-05-13 at 21.26.23

You can find more info on the event, which will be opened with welcome address by our colleague Uwe Schütte, by visiting the event page.

The event is free but requires registration.

You can also watch a video or visit the publisher’s website.

 

Andreas Spechtl, DAAD Songwriter in Residence

Spechtl 2For the first time, we  invited to Aston not a Writer but a Songwriter in Residence. Andreas Spechtl, singer and songwriter of the Berlin-based, Austrian band Ja, Panik will be in Birmingham from 20 April. His band is recognised as one of the foremost German-language indie bands. They won acclaim in particular for their last two albums “DMD KIU LDT” and “Libertatia”, the latter winning the Album des Jahres Award of the leading music magazine SPEX. The highlight of his stay will be a free  solo concert in the city centre. More news on this after Easter. Spechtl was invited by our resident pop music expert Uwe Schütte and his stay is sponsored by the DAAD  and the Goethe Institut, London.

Annual German Quiz at Aston University

Like every year, Aston University and the University of Birmingham are once again hosting a German Quiz night where students – and staff! – from both institutions can test their knowledge of all things German-speaking. This year, the event is hosted at Aston campus and the winners will be awarded fantastic prizes from our sponsors.

PDF - German Pub Quiz Poster 2015

Midlands German Network launched at Aston

The Midlands German Network was officially launched on January 21, 2015, at Aston University. Aston is one of six universities in the Midlands who joined up in the Network to build and deepen links between local schools, universities and employers. MGN also works with a range of partners from industry and academia in order to promote interest in German language learning and culture.

The launch event was attended by around 120 visitors representing local schools, the Network universities and other stakeholders. They were welcomed by Prof Simon Green, Executive Dean of Aston’s School of Languages and Social Sciences, and Network Director Dr Stefan Manz who officially launched the MGN website. At the following panel discussion with representatives from Network partners such as the German Embassy, UK German Connection, the Goethe Institute, DAAD, UK Trade&Investment, Routes into Languages and the German Honorary Consul for the Midlands, each partner briefly presented explained how they are promoting German and afterwards, the panel members answered questions prepared by students from local schools. The event finished with an interactive introduction to the activities of the Arsenal Double Club, a joint project by UK German Connection and the Goethe Institute.

The launch event also provided the perfect opportunity to thank the sponsors of the Midlands German Network for their support. The website was created with seed funding from the German Embassy, and our corporate partner E.ON, as well as the Institute for German Studies (IGS) at the University of Birmingham and Routes into Languages provided funding for the launch and the Network in general.

For more information about the Midlands German Network, please go to the website at: www.midlandsgermannetwork.org.uk.

Kraftwerk conference at Aston resounding success

Kraftwerk_astonimage

The Kraftwerk conference held at Aston University on 21/22 January 2015 was a resounding success, attracting an audience of over 160 participants. Particular highlights were the keynote address given by Dr Steven Mallinder (formerly of Cabaret Voltaire) and a lively presentation by DJ Rusty Egan (formerly of Visage) who also DJed at the after conference party in the student union bar. The conference attracted considerable media coverage by a number of publications and on several BBC radio channels as well as the BBC Breakfast TV programme.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=03rlLjppzz4&spfreload=10

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-birmingham-30907513

http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/music/features/the-kraftwerk-conference-why-a-bunch-of-academics-consider-the-german-electropoppers-worthy-of-their-own-symposium-9993879.html

Aston to host first ever academic conference on Kraftwerk

Kraftwerk performing their retrospective at MOMA Photo: ©BOETTCHER
Kraftwerk performing their retrospective at MOMA Photo: ©BOETTCHER

On 21 and 22 January, 2015, Aston University is hosting the first-ever academic conference on the groundbreaking German electronic band Kraftwerk. Uwe Schütte, organiser of the conference: “I think Kraftwerk are fascinating, and deserve critical, scholarly attention. They’ve received that, but only a little.”

Founded in the early 1970s, they were ahead of their time with regard to the use of technology in producing music. To quote the conference website,

Kraftwerk have long been recognised as major pioneers of electronic music. The group attracted keen interest particularly in the UK, where their innovative sound had a decisive influence on the development of 1980s synth pop.

Over two days, a diverse group of scholars will speak about such diverse topics as “Fun Fun Fun on the Autobahn: Kraftwerk Challenging Germanness”, “We Are the Robots! On the Cultural-Historical Origins of the Man-Machine” and “Cabaret Voltaire and Dada Modernity”. And instead of the usual sit-down conference dinner, participants will get the chance to shake it up at the Kraftwerk Disco.

The conference has garnered great international attention, with a host of international speakers and more than 200 registered participants from across the world. It has also been reported on in the national and international press, for example in The Guardian, leading music magazine NME and German music platform Ampya.

Midlands German Network launched at Aston in January 2015

Connecting Local Schools, Universities and Businesses

MGN logo

Graduates with German language skills are highly sought-after on the British and international labour markets. The Midlands German Network (MGN) is a university-led initiative which fosters cooperation between local schools, universities and businesses. Its aim is to make young people aware of the manifold opportunities, increase the uptake of German, and support recruitment for local employers.

The Midlands German Network will be officially launched at Aston University on January 21, 2015. This launch event will be an opportunity for networking across all three levels. Organisations represented include the German Embassy, the Goethe Institute, and UK-German Connection.

For: Secondary and Primary school teachers, pupils from Year 9 onwards; local businesses and universities, including students; anyone interested in German culture and language.

To find out more about the launch and to register for the event, please click here. Please forward details of the event to interested parties.

Registration deadline: 10 December 2014, although later registration is possible by contacting midlandsgermannetwork@aston.ac.uk. Any questions or comments should be addressed to this email address.