Research Project: Erica Carter White Bodies in Motion. Cinematic Histories from the Postwar White Atlantic.
In 1948, the Austrian émigré Erna Felfernig arrived in the Bahamas to take up a position in the British Overseas Nursing Service. Erna’s colonial nursing career would later take her to West Africa, alongside companions similarly new to colonial service: grammar school-educated working-class men, or ‘new women’ mobilized in the modernisation drive that helped Britain ride out the ruptures of decolonisation, and cement neo-colonial dependencies across an expanding Commonwealth.
Travelling with Erna through the circuits of the postwar ‘white Atlantic’ was, this project suggests, the paraphernalia of a middle-class white leisure culture: magazines, leisure commodities, and centrally, films whose images and sounds helped shape the colonial territories as an expatriate home. Drawing on colonial and media history as well as contemporary political aesthetics, this project uses the story of Erna and her peers to illuminate cinema’s role in fashioning racialized, classed and gendered senses of belonging in late British Empire.
Writing Sin: Vernacular Literature and Penitential Theology in the German Lands, 1050–1200 is a project funded from January to December 2018 by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. The project is carried out by Sarah Bowden (German), who in the course of 2018 holds a Humboldt Fellowship for Experienced Researchers and is based at the Humboldt-Universität Berlin, hosted by Prof. Andreas Kraß. The main aim of the project is the completion of a single-authored monograph by Bowden. This book will offer new insight into the relationship between vernacular textual production and penitential theology and practice in the German lands in the 11th and 12th centuries.
Dr Catherine Smale has received funding from the Modern Humanities Research Association to organise a major international conference on the aftermath of World War I in German and Austrian culture.
The conference brings together leading scholars from six different countries and sets out to examine the ways in which German-speaking writers, artists and film-makers engaged with the legacy of the war between 1918 and 1933. It asks how cultural practitioners responded to military defeat and political unrest, and how they contributed to the task of rebuilding society in the wake of the conflict.
The conference will include a public film screening, as well as a guided visit and panel discussion with the curators of the ‘Aftermath’ exhibition at Tate Britain. Research from the conference will be published in a special issue of Oxford German Studies, and it will also feed into Catherine’s book on gender and socio-political activism in this period.
The public engagement project ‘Things we keep – Curators of our own history’ curates crowd-sourced objects that German expats kept during a time of transition or displacement. Together with the participants, the investigators explored the narratives behind these things and linked them to notions of Germanness and emotions of belonging. The findings were presented at an exhibition designed by Studio Rolf Sachs at the German Historical Institute London, which opened on 9 September 2015 with a keynote speech by Inge Weber-Newth followed by a reception. The objects are now permanently accessible via the interactive project website www.thingswekeep.org, which has been accessed from 66 countries. Currently, the website undergoes expansion to include teaching and learning materials for pupils of History and German at UK secondary schools. The project has received media attention in Germany and Austria (Rundfunk Berlin Brandenburg
Saarländischer Rundfunk, FOCUS Online, Südkurier, Mainpost, Recklinghäuser Zeitung, Schwäbische Zeitung, Lausitzer Rundschau, Tiroler Tageszeitung, Nordbayerischer Kurier).
The project is led by Dr Katrin Schreiter, Lecturer in German and European Studies, in collaboration with Dr Tobias Becker, Postdoctoral Fellow at the German Historical Institute London. It received support from Culture at King’s College London (£1,000), King’s Department of European & International Studies (£1,350), King’s Department of German (£500), the German company Melitta (€800) and German Historical Institute London (exhibition space and reception) and artist Rolf Sachs (exhibition design, materials).
In 2012, the Olympics were held in London. Alongside the sporting events, there was also a “Cultural Olympiad” celebrating the best of World Culture. My research focussed on the representation of Germany in the Cultural Olympiad. How was Germany being represented on this global stage? What messages were being promoted about the country? In particular, I focussed on the World Shakespeare Festival. Why Shakespeare? Well, it often comes as a surprise to us, but Shakespeare has also enjoyed a life as the German national poet. Working with Kate Elswit (Stanford) and Jeannie Farr (Hackney College), I assessed the extent to which German productions helped promote a sense of a radical German dramaturgy to a world audience.
The results of this research were published with Cambridge University Press, and the blogs and podcasts from this research can be found here:
Browser does not support script.