Our resident pop culture expert, Uwe Schütte, has reviewed a new publication for the influential German music magazine SPEX. The book, Damaged Goods, traces the history of punk in 150 albums, from the 1966 release of the Monks’ debut record to 2016 albums by Savages and Billy Childish.
A few weeks ago, we came across a curious storefront in the Birmingham city centre: German Doner Kebab offers what has long been one of the most traditional “buy at midnight on the way home from the bar” meals in many German cities, and it does a very good job of replicating that quintessentially German culinary experience of the Döner: toasted flatbread, a crispy mix of salad and onions, a tasty garlic sauce and well-seasoned meat – beef or chicken, or a mix of both. They’ve dropped the Umlaut, but they get the food right – and even promise that Börek and Kartoffelsalat are “coming soon”. The fresh ingredients and authentic taste come at a price, but if you want a genuine taste of a German classic, give it a try!
German Doner Kebab
84 Bull Street
From next academic year, Aston is offering a new undergraduate programme which combines a BSc in German, French and/or Spanish with Qualified Teacher Status within four years. After graduation, successful graduates will be able to apply immediately for modern languages teaching positions in secondary schools without undertaking a PGCE. Like all other MFL degrees at Aston, the new programme includes a fully integrated period of study abroad with extensive preparation and support offered by Aston’s award-winning placement team.
To find out more about this exciting new option for MFL students, please click here.
On the occasion of the centenary of the Great War, the academic blog The Conversation has published a text by Aston Reader in German Dr Stefan Manz which provides a fascinating glimpse at an aspect of Britain’s involvement in World War I which has been largely forgotten, namely the large-scale internment of citizens from Germany and the multi-ethnic Austrian and Turkish empires who either lived in or were visiting the British Isles when war broke out in 1914.
Here’s a short excerpt:
In 1914, Britain stood at the forefront of organising one of the first civilian mass internment operations of the 20th century. 30,000 civilian German, Austrian and Turkish men who had been living or travelling in Britain in the summer of that year found themselves behind barbed wire, in many cases for the whole duration of World War I. Public opinion supported this, with headlines braying: “The entire country is in the grip of the German octopus”; and “The German Jew in this country was the lowest type of Hun”.
To read the article “Forgotten: Britain’s civilian mass prison camps from World War I”, please click on this link.
On the 10th of March, it was once again time for the Ánnual German Pub Quiz, the friendly competition between German students and staff from Aston University and the University of Birmingham who were both invited to participate in this test of knowledge about Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
This year, the quiz was hosted by the University of Birmingham. As in previous years, the questions were presented in English and German and provided excellent entertainment for everyone present.The questions ranged from history and music to politics and geography and much, much more. The friendly atmosphere, the nice location and the cheerful companions ensured a lovely evening, and we are already looking forward to next year’s quiz!
Here’s one of the tasks that quizzers were asked to complete this year:
The fall of the Iron Curtain in 1989 led to fundamental cultural and political re-alignments in the German-speaking world, unleashing a wave of cultural comment and creative activity. The 1990s and early twenty-first century saw a re-vitalisation of the film scene in both Germany and Austria, evident not only in highly acclaimed niche productions but also in a series of international box-office hits. Alongside preoccupation with the traumatic past (The Counterfeiters , The White Ribbon) German film turned to topics of migration and multiculturalism (The Edge of Heaven) and discovered a new sense of ironic humour (Good Bye, Lenin!).
The list of films includes:
Stefan Ruzowitzky, The Counterfeiters (2007): 13 November, 15.00 (introductory talk to series by Dr Deborah Holmes)
(Schindler’s List: 20 November, 13.15)
Fatih Akin, The Edge of Heaven (2007): 27 November, 13.30
Michael Haneke, The White Ribbon (2009): 3 December, 20.30
Wolfgang Becker, Goodbye, Lenin! (2003): 18 December, 13.30
On the 22nd of October, Uwe Schütte hosted a reading by the German author Alban Nikolai Herbst, followed by a discussion with the author, at the “Literaturhaus Stuttgart”. Alban Nikolai Herbst read excerpts from his latest novel Argo, the grand finale of his Anderswelt trilogy . Alban Nikolai Herbst is a renowned postmodern German writer and won the literary award “Fantastik Preis der Stadt Wetzlar” in 1999 for Thetis, the first book in this series.
The novel follows an author, Hans Deters, who writes a story about the East German Achilles Borkenbrok. The book deals with the DDR and its people, their fears and hopes, and manages to blend Homer’s Ulysses with our world. It challenges our world views, our perception of reality and guarantees a thrilling reading experience.