Award for staff publication: “Constructing a German Diaspora”

Aston Reader in German Dr Stefan Manz’s book on German emigration has been named a CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title 2015. The book has been reviewed in a number of highly regarded academic journals as being ‘a very significant contribution to the field of breathtaking scope’, ‘essential’, ‘a model of historical scholarship’, ‘pioneering’, ‘innovative’, ‘unique’, ‘fascinating’, and ‘important.

From the publisher:

“This book takes on a global perspective to unravel the complex relationship between Imperial Germany and its diaspora. Around 1900, German-speakers living abroad were tied into global power-political aspirations. They were represented as outposts of a “Greater German Empire” whose ethnic links had to be preserved for their own and the fatherland’s benefits. Did these ideas fall on fertile ground abroad? In the light of extreme social, political, and religious heterogeneity, diaspora construction did not redeem the all-encompassing fantasies of its engineers. But it certainly was at work, as nationalism “went global” in many German ethnic communities. Three thematic areas are taken as examples to illustrate the emergence of globally operating organizations and communication flows: Politics and the navy issue, Protestantism, and German schools abroad as “bulwarks of language preservation.” The public negotiation of these issues is explored for localities as diverse as Shanghai, Cape Town, Blumenau in Brazil, Melbourne, Glasgow, the Upper Midwest in the United States, and the Volga Basin in Russia. The mobilisation of ethno-national diasporas is also a feature of modern-day globalization. The theoretical ramifications analysed in the book are as poignant today as they were for the nineteenth century.”

Advertisements

Aston academic Stefan Manz on “Britain’s civilian mass prison camps from World War I”

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.

©StefanManz
©StefanManz

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.

Aston visits Wolverhampton Grammar

Last week, our Head of German Studies, Dr Stefan Manz, paid a visit to Wolverhampton Grammar School to talk to their Year 10 students taking GCSE German about the many advantages of studying a foreign language, especially with regard to career prospects.

This was the first in a series of school visits the German group is planning to various schools in the region to inspire MFL students to take their language study to A-level and – hopefully! – beyond.

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 et.al. (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 et.al. (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.)

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.