Irish Studies Würzburg

Prof. Dr. Maria Eisenmann (University of Würzburg, Germany) “Approaches to Teaching Irish Migration and Hybrid Identity in Colm Tóibín’s Brooklyn”. Hosted by the University of Münster, Germany.

“Approaches to Teaching Irish Migration and Hybrid Identity in Colm Tóibín’s Brooklyn”
Datum: 13.01.2022, 10:00 - 12:00 Uhr
Vortragende*r: Prof. Dr. Maria Eisenmann

Brooklyn (2009) recounts the story of a young woman who emigrates from Ireland to the United States in the early 1950s. In his novel Colm Tóibín explores themes such as geographical and cultural displacement of the foreign other as well as the dislocation of the subject at home and abroad. This typical experience of emigration creates a complexity of identity, the hybrid and hyphenated identities as well as the difficulty in finding a sense of belonging.

This paper, firstly, aims to address why Irish migration and hybrid identity should be included as a central topic in the EFL classroom and, secondly, explores how Colm Tóibín’s novel Brooklyn can be used effectively and purposefully in the context of intercultural and cross-cultural teaching and learning approaches.

Maria Eisenmann is Professor of EFL Teaching at the Julius-Maximilians-University of Würzburg and the co-founder of Irish Studies Würzburg (ISWÜ). She studied the subjects English, German and Pedagogy at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne/England and at the University of Würzburg, where she completed her M.A. degree and state examination. After finishing her PhD and working as a teacher in school, she taught at the University of Education in Freiburg, held a deputy professorship for EFL Teaching at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg and held the chair for EFL Teaching at the University of Duisburg-Essen. Her primary research interests lie in the field of teaching literature, media literacy and inter-/transcultural learning with a focus on Irish Studies. She has edited and co-edited numerous books and published widely in the field of foreign language education, literary literacy and teaching literature in the EFL classroom. She is the writer of Ireland – Changes and Challenges, published in 2009, as well as Teaching English: Differentiation and Individualisation, published in 2019. She edited Teaching the Bard Today – Shakespeare-Didaktik in Forschung und Lehre, published in 2019, and co-edited Queer Beats – Gender and Literature in the EFL Classroom as well as Teaching Multimodality and Multiliteracy. Theme Issue of Anglistik 1, both published in 2018.

German Irish Studies Itinerary (GISI)

The “German Irish Studies Itinerary: Great Irish Novels of the Twenty-First Century” celebrates contemporary Irish culture through a lecture series innovative in its format and execution: EFACIS-related experts in the field of Irish Literary Studies collaborate to connect eleven German universities which feature a substantial Irish Studies component. Each of the fifteen experts will be travelling (if – alas! – only digitally in these times of Corona) to several different universities in Germany to talk about their favourite Irish novels of the twenty-first century. The project addresses the challenging situation of Irish Studies in Germany, and supports individual scholars in their endeavours to put Irish Studies back on the map of their institutions and regions.

The lectures introduce students, scholars and interested citizens to internationally celebrated and award-winning Irish fiction. In their analyses and interpretations, leading experts from across Europe will be demonstrating how these novels build on a rich heritage and contribute to discussing traditional, as well as to fashioning contemporary, Irish identities at the intersections of class, gender, race, religion and sexuality, while also intervening in (pre- and post-Brexit) political and cultural debates. Q&A sessions will engage the audiences in discussions and create a deeper understanding of the Irish heritage and contemporary debates in and about Ireland, Northern Ireland and the global Irish.

The project is funded by the Emigrant Support Programme of the Government of Ireland, administered by the Irish Abroad Unit of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Embassy of Ireland, Berlin. For more information on GISI, please see: https://www.germanirishstudiesitinerary.uni-wuppertal.de/


If you are interested in participating in this online event, please sign up by sending an email with the subject line “EISENMANN” to daniel.becker@uni-muenster.de by January 12, 2022. Please include your full name, affiliation or address, and a phone number.


Irish Studies Würzburg (ISWÜ)

Prof. Dr. Ina Bergmann & Prof. Dr. Maria Eisenmann

ina.bergmann@uni-wuerzburg.de, maria.eisenmann@uni-wuerzburg.de