Dr Anna Saunders

Head of School / Senior Lecturer in German

I am Senior Lecturer in German Studies at Bangor University. I specialise in GDR history and memory, with a particular focus on questions of memorialisation and the performance of memory within the built environment. I graduated with a BA in French and German from the University of Bristol in 1999, where I also completed a PhD in German Studies in 2003. My doctoral work explored the effects of the socialist education system in the GDR, and specifically examined the concept of patriotism among young people in eastern Germany between 1979 and 2002. After a temporary lectureship at Bristol, I was appointed Lecturer in German at Bangor University in 2005, where I have served as Head of German since 2009 and am currently Head of School.

Undergraduate teaching

I have taught on a wide range of undergraduate modules at Bangor, encompassing modern German literature, German-language film, German and European history and music.

I currently teach on the following undergraduate modules:

  • German language and translation (various levels)
  • History in Context
  • The German Film
  • East Germany and its Legacy

I teach on the following modules for the MA in European Languages and Cultures:

  • Modes of Critical Theory
  • Critical Theory in Practice

I also offer specialist MA modules on ‘Sites of Memory in East Germay’ and ‘(Non)conformity in the GDR’.

Postgraduate Supervision

I am happy to supervise doctoral students working on questions of memory and identity in contemporary Germany, the social and cultural history of the GDR, post-socialist Germany, memorialisation and museums. I currently supervise the following doctoral students:

  • Stefanie Kreibich, ‘Black and White: The Commemoration of East Germany in contemporary museums and films’

Recently completed doctoral students:

  • Stephanie Bostock, ‘Exhibiting the Everyday: The Musealisation of the 1950s in France and Germany'

Research Interests

  • Monuments and memorials in Berlin and eastern Germany; socialist realist sculpture; memory and the built environment.
  • Social and political history of the GDR, with particular emphasis on youth culture, education and the employment of quasi-religious propaganda.
  • East Germany and its transformation since unification; development of East German identities; Ostalgie; memory of the GDR.
  • National identity and historical consciousness in twentieth-century Germany.

Research Grants

  • 2007: British Academy Small Research Grant
  • 2009-2010: AHRC Network Grant (Principal Investigator)
    ‘After the Wall: Reconstructing and Representing the GDR’, in collaboration with Dr Debbie Pinfold, University of Bristol.
    Further details at: http://afterthewall.bangor.ac.uk
  • Jan-Sept 2011: AHRC Early Career Fellowship, 'Memorialising the GDR'.

Recently Organised Events

  • Co-organisation of a series of postgraduate symposia entitled The GDR Today with colleagues from the universities of Birmingham and Bristol. The third symposium is to take place at Bangor University on 6-7 April 2017.
  • Co-organisation of an international interdisciplinary conference with colleagues from the School of Modern Languages and the School of Philosophy and Religion: City Margins – City Memories, Institute of Modern Languages Research, London, 7-8 April 2014. Further details at: http://cityconference.bangor.ac.uk