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Modern Languages celebrates AHRC success

The School of Modern Languages has been two prestigious Early Career Fellowship by the AHRC for 2011. This success is particularly notable as it is very unusual for a school to be awarded two such Fellowships in the same year.  The successful recipients, Dr Helen Abbott and Dr Anna Saunders, will take up their Fellowships in January 2011. Head of School, Professor Carol Tully said ‘We are extremely proud of the work being undertaken by colleagues and these awards are an indication of the quality of research the School is able to boast.’

Dr Helen Abbott has been awarded a Fellowship or her project: Killing Off Poetry: Baudelaire Revisited. Taking as its area of focus the mid-to-late nineteenth century in France (when issues of the interrelationship of poetry and music were particularly hotly debated), this project will use a concentrated case study upon which to base broader analysis of words/music relations. In particular, it will take Baudelaire’s famous sonnet ‘La Mort des amants’ and explore what happens when it is transposed into other forms.

Dr Anna Saunders has been awarded a Fellowship for her project: Memorialising the German Democratic Republic. Since unification, numerous public spaces in eastern Germany have been freed from Cold War narratives and been reinvested with meaning, thus making them available for new types of public remembrance. Eastern Germany’s fast-changing landscape of monuments and memorials is central to the shaping of collective identities and memories, particularly in light of Germany’s two twentieth century dictatorships. While much research has hitherto been carried out on memorials relating to the Holocaust and the National Socialist past, there has been very little detailed work on the way in which the German Democratic Republic (GDR) and the legacy of socialism feature within this landscape – despite extensive historical research on the GDR, as well as a number of recent works on ‘Ostalgie’ and manifestations of east German identities in literature, film and consumer culture. This project aims to fill this gap by producing a monograph which will examine a selection of in-depth case studies of monuments and memorials in eastern Germany.

Publication date: 24 November 2010