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RA5a: Structure,environment and staffing policy

Research ethos
The University of Wales Swansea defines its mission as that of being ‘a centre for excellence in research and scholarship which enjoys international esteem for the quality of its work’. For its part, the German Department is committed to excellence in research within a supportive academic environment. The expansion of the German Department which took place during the late 1980s and early 1990s has been consolidated during the last five years. It was noted in the previous submission that the Department had been enabled, through its relatively sudden growth, to develop a coherent research programme in ways that might not have been feasible in long-established departments. Opportunities for collaborative research, particularly (though not exclusively) in literature of the post-war period, have been further enhanced.

Research structure
The chief mechanism through which the Department promotes, manages and monitors research is the weekly Departmental research seminar. This is attended by academic staff, language assistants, research students, taught MA students and those undergraduates who are considering further academic study. Papers are offered by research students, members of staff at Swansea and invited speakers from the UK and abroad. Members of staff are normally expected to contribute one paper to the seminar each year. Staff are, moreover, encouraged:

· to aim to publish at least two pieces of research each year in recognised journals or in books;
· to participate in conferences in the UK and abroad;
· to organise conferences to bring internationally recognised scholars to Swansea.

Research support is provided by regular sabbatical leave, and by travel grants to enable staff to attend conferences. Staff are encouraged to supplement their sabbatical entitlement by applying for additional support from the AHRB, the British Academy, the Leverhulme Trust and other relevant grant-awarding bodies. During the period of the review, Dr Cheesman was awarded a DAAD Research Fellowship (1996) and British Academy Conference Grant (1996), and his ESRC award (detailed below) has enabled him to spend three semesters on sabbatical leave; Dr Haines was awarded a British Academy Research Grant (1995); Dr Jucker was awarded research grants by the DAAD (1996) and Pro Helvetia (1998), and a Leverhulme Study Abroad Fellowship (2000) to complete a monograph on The Politics of Volker Braun’s Texts; Dr Large was awarded two British Academy Conference Grants (1994, 2000) and AHRB Research Leave (1999) to complete a monograph on Nietzsche’s Renaissance Figures; Dr Linklater was awarded a British Academy Travel Grant (1994).

Research output is monitored through the staff appraisal scheme and, institutionally, by the University Research Committee. Departments are expected to update their research profile each year, indicating that planned publications have appeared or are in press. The holdings in German in the University of Wales Swansea Library are excellent: we subscribe, for example, to over seventy journals in the field. These holdings are supported by a generous annual allocation, and further enhanced by substantial donations from the Austrian Cultural Institute, which first designated Swansea as one of its centres for research in 1997.

Centre for Contemporary German Literature
The main research development in the period covered by the present RAE has been the consolidation of the Centre for Contemporary German Literature, first established in 1993. Funded initially by a HEFCW Research Initiative, and then by the University of Wales Swansea Development Fund (£37,500 per year), the Centre continues to provide a focus for research and teaching in contemporary literature by inviting distinguished writers to spend up to a month in Swansea, making themselves available to staff and postgraduates in particular. In addition to giving readings of their work, writers participate in the weekly research seminar, to which British and German academics who are interested in a given writer’s work are also invited. Distinguished writers who have already visited Swansea are: Peter Schneider (1993), Volker Braun, Sarah Kirsch, Uwe Timm (1994), Peter Bichsel, Jurek Becker (1995), Herta Müller (1996), Christoph Hein (1998), Hermann Peter Piwitt (1999), Hans-Ulrich Treichel, Zafer Senocak and Kerstin Hensel (2000). The dissemination of research into contemporary literature is achieved by the volumes in the series Contemporary German Writers (General Editor, Rhys W. Williams), published by the University of Wales Press. Each volume contains a short, previously unpublished work by the author in question, an interview, a series of critical essays by UK and overseas scholars (including at least one by an academic guest of the Centre), and a bibliography. To date, nine volumes have appeared, and a further three volumes are in progress or at the planning stage:

· Peter Schneider, ed. Colin Riordan (1995, ISBN 0-7083-1289-6)
· Volker Braun, ed. Rolf Jucker (1995, ISBN 0-7083-1313-2)
· Peter Bichsel, ed. Rolf Jucker (1996, ISBN 0-7083-1380-9)
· Sarah Kirsch, ed. Mererid Hopwood and David Basker (1997, ISBN 0-7083-1336-1)
· Jurek Becker, ed. Colin Riordan (1998, ISBN 0-7083-1456-2)
· Herta Müller, ed. Brigid Haines (1998, ISBN 0-7083-1484-8)
· Uwe Timm, ed. David Basker (1999, ISBN 0-7083-1447-3)
· Christoph Hein, ed. Bill Niven and David Clarke (2000, ISBN 0-7083-1614-X)
· Hermann Peter Piwitt, ed. David Basker (2000, ISBN 0-7083-1665-4)
· Hans-Ulrich Treichel, ed. David Basker (due Spring 2001)
· Zafer Senocak, ed. Tom Cheesman and Karin Yesilada (due Autumn 2001)
· Kerstin Hensel, ed. Beth Linklater and Birgit Dahlke (due Spring 2002)

Whether the substantial material from a successful conference on Kerstin Hensel in September 2000 can be incorporated into the Contemporary German Writers series format, or whether it becomes a larger, separate volume, is as yet undecided. Funding for the Centre for Contemporary German Literature is secure for at least the next five years.

‘Axial writing’
Another major development has been the award to a team led by Dr Tom Cheesman of an ESRC grant of £139,000 for research into ‘Axial Writing’. With participants in Swansea, Leeds and Southampton, the research team is studying the impact of migrant and hybrid writers and film-makers in British and German culture. The ‘Axial Writing’ project forms part of the ESRC multi-disciplinary research programme on Transnational Communities. The project was launched at Swansea with an international colloquium on postmigrant Turkish-German culture in November 1998, and in September 2000 Dr Cheesman was the chief organiser of a major international and interdisciplinary conference on ‘Writing Diasporas’, held in Swansea in collaboration with the Arts Councils of England and Wales, the British Council, International PEN, and the Goethe-Institut.

Staff changes
Since the last RAE there have been a number of significant staff changes: Dr Colin Riordan was appointed to the Chair of German at Newcastle from October 1999, the second member of the Department to be appointed to a chair since 1990. Dr Haines and Dr Jucker have been promoted to Senior Lectureships internally. Mr Terry Holmes has retired; Dr James Hawes and Dr Mererid Hopwood left the Department, the former for a creative writing career, the latter for a post with the Arts Council of Wales. Over the period covered by the RAE, former members of staff were highly research active: Mr Holmes published his study of Büchner (1995), Dr Hopwood her study of Johann Peter Hebel (1995), Dr Hawes articles in MLR and DVjs, and Dr Riordan his edited volume Green Thought in German Culture (1997). These staff have since been replaced by Dr Beth Linklater (formerly of Leeds and Oxford Brookes Universities) and Dr Katharina Hall. Dr Linklater’s book on Irmtraud Morgner and Gabriele Stötzer-Kachold appeared in 1998; she also co-edited a volume on Autobiography by Women in German (2000) and has an article forthcoming in GLL (2001). Dr Hall, the youngest member of the Department, is in her first post. She has been included as research active, with three published articles; her monograph ‘Hast du ein Gedächtnis?’ Memory and the Representation of the Past in Günter Grass’s Danzig Trilogy has been accepted for publication and will appear in 2001.

Overview of individual staff members
The majority of staff have been in post throughout the review period, developing their other research interests in addition to work on the Contemporary German Writers volumes. Dr Basker has published articles on Wolfgang Koeppen in GLL and MLR; Dr Cheesman published his monograph The Shocking Ballad Picture Show (1994) and has co-edited a further volume on Francis James Child (1997); Dr Haines has continued her research into women writers, particularly of the post-war period, and published articles on Ilse Aichinger, Lou Andreas-Salomé, Elfriede Jelinek, Herta Müller, Libuše Moníková and Christa Wolf; Dr Jucker edited volumes on Stefan Schütz (1997) and Zeitgenössische Utopieentwürfe (1997); Dr Large guest-edited an issue of the Journal of Nietzsche Studies on ‘Nietzsche and German Literature’ (1997) and published a translated edition of Nietzsche’s Twilight of the Idols, for the Oxford World’s Classics series (OUP, 1998). His study Nietzsche and Proust will appear with OUP in 2001. Professor Williams contributed a chapter on the German-speaking countries to The Oxford Guide to Contemporary Writing, ed. John Sturrock (OUP, 1996); he also contributed conference papers and chapters on Andersch (1994, 1995, 1999, 2000), Sternheim (1995, 2000), Blei (1997), Landauer (1997), the Cultural Legacy of the British Zone (1997), and the ‘Gruppe 47’ (1999). Full details of these and other publications are available on our website: <www.swan.ac.uk/german>.

Further collaborative research
Further examples of collaboration include Colin Riordan’s Green Thought in German Culture, partly derived from the papers of the Swansea conference ‘Ecological Thought in German Culture’ (1995), which contains contributions by four members of the Swansea staff, together with chapters by other British and German scholars. Dr Cheesman jointly edited the proceedings of the Twenty-Sixth International Ballad Conference, held in Swansea in July 1996. Five members of staff contributed to the Dublin conference on Travel Literature in 1994, published as Reisen im Diskurs, ed. Anne Fuchs and Theo Harden (Heidelberg: Carl Winter, 1995); five gave papers at the German Studies Library Group conference when it came to Swansea in 1998; three contributed to the Coleraine conference ‘Representations of Jews in German Literature since 1945’ in 1999 (which appeared as a German Monitor volume in 2000), and three gave papers at the Bristol conference on ‘Germany 2000’; two were invited to give papers at the conference on ‘Inner Emigration’ held at Hofstra University, New York, in 1999; two were invited to give papers at the EC Ariane/Institute of Translation and Interpreting symposium on ‘Literary Translation and Culture 2000’, held at the British Centre for Literary Translation, Norwich (1999); two gave papers at the Maynooth conference ‘Image into Text/Text into Image’ (1995).

Conference organisation
In keeping with the strategy of organising and hosting conferences, the following have taken place in Swansea over the review period:

· Fifty-Seventh Meeting of the CUTG (1994)
· Fourth Annual Conference of the Friedrich Nietzsche Society (1994)
· ‘Ecological Thought in German Culture: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives’ (1995)
· Twenty-Sixth International Ballad Conference (1996)
· ‘Postmigrant Turkish-German Culture / Türkisch-Deutsche Postmigrantenkultur’ (1998)
· Annual Conference of the German Studies Library Group (1998)
· ‘Writing Diasporas’ (2000)
· ‘„Der langsame Blick“: Kerstin Hensel’ (2000)

Members of the Department have also co-organised the following conferences held elsewhere:

· ‘„... Und hätte England nie verlassen“ – Uwe Johnson zum Gedenken’ (IGS London, 1994)
· ‘Unverhofftes Wiedersehen – Johann Peter Hebel wieder zutage gefördert’ (IGS London, 1995)
· ‘Autobiography by Women in German’ (Manchester, 1998)
· ‘Women and Society’ (UWE Bristol, 1999)
· ‘Literarisches Exil heute’ (Mainz, 2000)
· Ecce Opus: Nietzsche Revisions in the Twentieth Century’ (IGS London, 2000)

Other visiting writers and academics
In keeping with its commitment to contemporary literature and its desire to operate as a focus for

research, the Department has been active in inviting both visiting academics and writers. In addition to the programmes of Writers-in-Residence and conferences, the following have visited the Department and given readings or papers over the current RAE period:

· Visiting writers: Christoph Wilhelm Aigner (Salzburg), Janko Ferk (Klagenfurt), Sabine Gruber (Wien), Alois Hotschnig (Innsbruck), Irina Liebmann (Berlin), Albert Ostermaier (München), Hasan Özdemir (Ludwigshafen), Erwin Riess (Wien), Stefan Schütz (Hannover), Feridun Zaimoglu (Kiel), Friedrich Zauner (Rainbach im Innkreis).

· Research seminar speakers from overseas (some of whom have contributed to volumes in the Contemporary German Writers series): Heinz Ludwig Arnold (Göttingen), Helmuth Bauer (Berlin), Birgit Dahlke (Berlin), Angela Drescher (Berlin), Dietmar Grieser (Wien), Detlef Gwosc (Potsdam), Walfried Hartinger (Leipzig), Lutz Hermann (Köln), Dagmar von Hoff (Hamburg), Herbert Hoven (Köln), Gerhard Kaiser (Freiburg i. Br.), Susanne Kord (Washington, D.C.), Edward Larkey (Baltimore), Johanna Lonsky (Wien), Beatrix Schiferer (Wien), Alan D. Schrift (Grinnell), Christine Tresch (Zürich), Gert Vonhoff (Münster), Sabine Wienker-Piepho (Freiburg i. Br.), Karin Yesilada (München/Istanbul).

· UK research seminar speakers: Seán Allan (Reading), Matthew Bell (KCL), Stefan Berger (Cardiff), Stephanie Bird (UCL), Caroline Bland (Cardiff), Annette Blühdorn (Bath), Elizabeth Boa (Nottingham), Holger Briel (Surrey), Erica Carter (Warwick), David Constantine (Queen’s, Oxford), Paul Cooke (Aberystwyth), Peter Davies (Manchester), Mererid Puw Davies (St John’s, Oxford), Christian Emden (Sidney Sussex, Cambridge), Allyson Fiddler (Lancaster), Deniz Göktürk (Southampton), Terry Hale (BCLT, Norwich), Kevin Hilliard (St Peter’s, Oxford), Andy Hollis (Salford), Alasdair King (Portsmouth), Tom Kuhn (St Hugh’s, Oxford), Karen Leeder (New College, Oxford), Karl Leydecker (Stirling), Margaret Littler (Manchester), David Midgley (St John’s, Cambridge), Paul O’Doherty (Ulster), Georgina Paul (Warwick), Julian Preece (UKC), Angharad Price (Jesus, Oxford), Sheenagh Pugh (Glamorgan), Ian Roberts (Britannia RNC, Dartmouth), Ritchie Robertson (St John’s, Oxford), Sandra Schiller (Aberystwyth), Ingrid Sharp (Leeds), Gisela Shaw (UWE Bristol), Chris Short (Cardiff), Martin Swales (UCL), Susan Tebbutt (Bradford), Peter Thompson (Sheffield), Sheila Watts (Newnham, Cambridge), Heidi Zojer (Birmingham).

Conferences and visiting speakers have attracted financial support from the Arts Councils of England and Wales, Austrian Cultural Institute, British Academy, British Council, Cardiff University, City and County of Swansea, DAAD, Dylan Thomas Society of Great Britain, ESRC, Goethe-Institut, National Literature Centre for Wales, National Library of Wales, Swansea Institute, Wales Tourist Board, and Welsh Academy.

Postgraduate students
The Department has continued to attract an average of three research students each year, and thus contributes to producing future Germanists. The following have completed PhDs in Swansea and now hold posts in German elsewhere:

· Ian Roberts (PhD on Wolfdietrich Schnurre, 1995), now at Britannia Royal Naval College, Dartmouth
· Owen Evans (PhD on Günter de Bruyn, 1995), now at University of Wales Bangor
· Karoline von Oppen (PhD on ‘The Role of the Writer and the Press in the Unification of Germany 1989-1990’, 1997), now at University of Birmingham
· David Clarke (PhD on Christoph Hein, 1999), now at Nottingham Trent University
· Jonathan Hughes (PhD on Joseph Roth, 2000), now at University of Sussex

Other PhDs completed over the review period were: Fred Whalley on Frank Wedekind (1996), Philip Evans on ‘West German Satirical Texts and the Debate on National Identity’ (1996), Ruth Jenkins on Hans Erich Nossack (1998), and Emily Jeremiah on ‘Troubling Maternity: Mothering, Agency and Ethics in Women’s Writing in German of the 1970s and 1980s’ (2000). A further six PhDs are in progress. One of the more recent developments has been the policy to encourage postgraduates to publish in recognised outlets so as to maximise their employment prospects. While still in Swansea, David Clarke co-edited the Contemporary German Writers volume on Christoph Hein and contributed a chapter, and Jonathan Hughes published an article in GLL. Of the current doctoral students, Emily Jeremiah has published one article in the proceedings of the conference ‘Germanistische Forschung zum literarischen Text’ (Vaasa, 2000) and has another forthcoming; Stuart Smith has had one article accepted for publication in the proceedings of the ISSEI 2000 conference.

Electronic media
The annual CUTG publication Research in Germanic Studies has been produced in the Department since the 1999-2000 issue, edited by Dr Large. It is published on the CUTG website (www.cutg.ac.uk), which is hosted on the Departmental webserver, as are the websites of Women in German Studies (www.wigs.ac.uk), the Friedrich Nietzsche Society (www.fns.org.uk), and the British Comparative Literature Association (www.bcla.org). Several members of the Department have been active in exploiting the research potential of the new electronic media: Dr Cheesman established the e-mail discussion group ‘ballads’ (1995) and published a guide to online ballad resources in Ballads into Books (1997); Dr Haines established the WIGS website and e-mail discussion group ‘wigs-forum’ (1996), giving a presentation at the University of Exeter WIGS conference (1996). Dr Large established the websites for the BCLA (1995), the CUTG and the FNS (1996), and the e-mail discussion group ‘german-studies’ (1998). He has chaired a panel on ‘Comparative Literature and the New Media’ at a workshop conference of the BCLA (Luton, 1997), given an invited presentation on electronic resources for German Studies at the University of Oxford Computing Laboratory (1998), and further presentations to the German Studies Library Group (1998) and CUTG (2000). In September 2001 he will be speaking on ‘Das auslandsgermanistische Internet’ at the Deutscher Germanistentag in Erlangen. Dr Cheesman and Dr Jucker have each published two articles in electronic journals; Dr Jucker also published an article in the ReCALL Newsletter (1997). Most recently, PhD student Jonathan Hughes established the website ‘Joseph Roth online’ (2000).

Translation studies

In addition to the ‘Axial Writing’ project, new MA programmes in Literary Translation (1996) and Translation with Language Technology (2000) have given a further impetus to the development of translation-related research within the Department. The Department has hosted two Translators-in-Residence for extended periods, co-funded by the Arts Council of Wales – Kevin Perryman (München, 1998) and Inge Leipold (München, 1999) – as well as writer/translator readings by James Hawes and Johannes Grammich (1995), and by Jaan Kaplinski and Fiona Sampson (1997). Several of the visitors to the research seminar (David Constantine, Terry Hale, Sheenagh Pugh, Heidi Zojer) have spoken on translation-related topics. Dr Large has been a member of the Institute of Translation and Interpreting Sub-Committee on Literary Translation since 1998, and has read for the BCLA/BCLT Translation Competition since 1996. He chaired a panel on ‘Nietzsche and/in Translation’ at the conference ‘The Translation of Philosophy’ (Middlesex, 1996), and in 1999 he and Dr Cheesman were invited speakers at the conference ‘Literary Translation and Culture 2000’ (British Centre for Literary Translation, Norwich). Dr Cheesman has translated plays and poetry by Albert Ostermaier, a novel (Gefährliche Verwandtschaft) by Zafer Senocak, and poetry by Gino Chiellino and Adel Karasholi; Dr Large has published translations of articles on Nietzsche and Heidegger by Sarah Kofman, Mazzino Montinari and Jean-Luc Nancy; Dr Hall has published two translated articles from the German; Dr Cheesman and Dr Hopwood collaborated with Departmental language assistants to produce published translations of poetry.

Users of this website should note that the information is not intended to be a complete record of all research centres in the UK

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Last updated 17 October 2003

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