Irish Studies Würzburg


    Monica Brandis´ Vortrag hat dieses nahezu vergessene Kapitel des irisch-deutschen Miteinander so nahe am Ende des Zweiten Weltkriegs nach oben gebracht. Selbst im Rahmen der deutsch-irischen Commuity gibt es kaum Kenntnis dazu. 
    Leider ist es so, dass durch den großen zeitlichen Abstand die Zeitzeugen dieser Operation in der Regel die 80 überschritten haben und es abzusehen ist, dass es in einigen Jahren gar keine von Ihnen mehr geben wird. Es wäre schön, wenn Frau Brandis die Gelegenheit bekäme, Ihre Forschungen hierzu weiter zu vertiefen.
    Einerseits war es schade, dass er nur „online“ dargebracht werden konnte, da so der direkte Kontakt zu einem Publikum fehlten. Andererseits konnten auf diese Art und Weise auch zusätzliche Interessierte daran teilnehmen.
    Hier noch einmal meinen großen Dank an Irish Studies Würzburg für diese Veranstaltung. Mein großer Dank geht natürlich (und nicht zuletzt) auch an Monica Brandis, die in mühevoller und zeitaufwändiger Kleinarbeit diese Kapitel der Menschlichkeit erarbeitet und hervorragend präsentiert hat.
    Peter Dietsch, ehemaliger Präsident der Deutsch-Irischen Gesellschaft in Bonn

    For me, the integration of literature into TEFL reminds me of unwrapping a colorful piece of cloth. Narratives of authors from different parts of the world are bright accents on this background of literature masterful pieces created. Broadening the horizon of our students, modern teachers appeal for their critical thinking and analytical processing of knowledge gained. Irish Studies for me is something new and mysterious, mythical and urbanistic, a tiny thread, which knits a global patchwork decorated with historical narratives and puts the present in a critical perspective through lenses of the past.
    PD Dr. Nataliia Lazebna, TEFL Methodology, University of Würzburg

    Although I was a bit disappointed when hearing that the symposium would take place online, I very much enjoyed it either way with many cups of tea at home. Listening to so many different approaches over a short time span was admittedly demanding but also very much broadened my view on the subject. I likewise noticed the informal and welcoming atmosphere in the room amongst those who were present and I am very much looking forward to taking part in a purely face-to-face symposium  sometime!
    Marie-Isabell Hennicke, student of English and American Studies, University of Würzburg

    I really enjoyed the style of presentation of Prof. Hickey’s talk. He managed to present historical-sociolinguistic research procedures and findings in a very approachable way. Original audio files as well as some captivating personal stories were seamlessly incorporated, and turned the talk into a memorable experience. In addition, the organizers are to be applauded for enabling the hybrid (Zoom/live-on-campus) format.
    Dr. Patrick Maiwald, English Linguistics, University of Würzburg

    Working with historical data is as a much a challenge as an opportunity and with his fascinating talk about ego documents Prof. Hickey managed to illustrate exactly that. He was able to show how sociolinguistic research can provide insights into the socio-historical background of Irish immigrants in an interesting and comprehensible way without distorting the limitation of such approaches. I would also like to thank the organisers for offering a hybrid format which allowed me to attend the guest lecture online.
    Lisa Lehnen, English Linguistics, University of Würzburg

    This thrilling lecture is ever inspiring. Its integral nature, which combines both literature excerpts, relevant flashbacks of the lecturer and critical interpretation of Prof. Dr. Patrick Lonergan (NUI Galway, Ireland) introduces the world of John Millington Synge brilliantly. Relevant correlations between literature heritage of the author enriches perception of the readers and outlines further possible interpretations of the writer's works. There is always a way for global melting pot and a will to get the best multifaceted intellectual product.
    PD Dr. Nataliia Lazebna, TEFL Methodology, University of Würzburg

    This was wonderful and absolutely incredible. I’m writing a senior thesis on Irish Environmentalism, and this made me even more excited to start researching, exploring, and writing!
    Emma Yakscoe, Saint Joseph’s University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

    I was very pleased by the lecture by Prof. Dr. Lonergan. Especially the combination of photos and text and quotes were illuminating to me. Thank you for letting me have that online experience.
    Moni Reinwand, Fürth

    This lecture on John Millington Synge by Prof. Dr. Patrick Lonergan was brilliant and fascinating. I was previously unfamiliar with J.M. Synge's works but the informed and insightful commentary helped to really dive into his world. Especially the perspectives on Irish culture and its connection to matters such as global warming were thought-provoking. I will definitely remind myself of this lecture and its approaches in the future.
    Dominik Kraus, student of English and American Studies, University of Würzburg

    For all friends of Irish films Prof. Dr. Lance Pettitt's lecture "Irish Cinema: A (Short) Screen History" provided a concise and valuable overview of a century of films and filming. A variety of facets like films in the Irish language, American productions filmed in Ireland, (early) documentaries and feature films, period films produced with different backgrounds - both Irish and British - and TV productions but also a bit of social history of cinemagoing were presented in a very attractive way including a few film clips as practical examples. I really enjoyed this inspiring lecture, it made me look forward to my next Irish film. Würzburg's Irish partner region of Wicklow is a centre of Irish film with two major studios - Ardmore in Bray and Ashford Studios - where productions like Braveheart or more recently The Tudors or Vikings were filmed. And Irish films are regular features at Würzburg's Filmwochenende, so what would suit better than a lecture about Irish Cinema?! Many thanks to Prof. Pettitt for this enjoyable afternoon!
    Matthias Fleckenstein, Chairman, German-Irish Association of Würzburg

    I thoroughly enjoyed Prof. Dr. Pettitt´s insightful talk on Irish cinema and its history. What really struck me was the degree to which Ireland and especially its cultural image - after centuries of British rule and colonialism - actually continued to be shaped and determined by other (bigger) countries like the U.S. on the movie screen, with the first Irish film studio opening only in 1958. Considering this history and its implications, it doesn´t seem surprising that Irish cinema is still grappling with questions of national identity as we have seen through the multiple movie examples given during the talk, e.g. with "Yu Ming Is Ainm Dom" (2003). It seems to be much like Irish director Jim Sheridan pointed out: “Identity, identity, identity. It’s like a mantra in this country. I think the real reason we’re so concerned about identity is because we’re worried that we haven’t got one.” I definitely have a few new movies on my what-to-watch-next-list now.
    Anne-Sophie Hornung, student of English and American Studies, University of Würzburg

    In the dark of our second pandemic winter, ISWÜ called us together to consider ecopoetics with Maureen O'Connor, and the workshop's bounty was rich and nurturing. Spending time among like minds drawn from different disciplines to contemplate big ideas and beautiful words is one of the unique joys of academic life, and I am deeply grateful to the ISWÜ team and to Maureen O'Connor for bringing us together in this way to nourish new possibilities for the environmental humanities, for Irish Studies, and for our own work.
    Hannah Nelson-Teutsch, M.A., PhD candidate, Graduate School of the Humanities, University of Würzburg

    I quite enjoyed listening to Prof. Coleman's presentation on the topic of "feline form". As a cat lover myself I found it fascinating how much more there is behind the term "cat". The presentation showed how much poets interacted with each other in the past, sending out secret messages to each other or positioning themselves in a hierarchy of poets. It also vividly showed us how much the real world is intertwined with the world of poetry.
    Luca Machacsek, student of English and American Studies, University of Würzburg

    I really enjoyed participating in this online event. I liked the organization of listening to and joining the discussion with four individual lecturers. All of them gave a concise impression of their presented topics. In particular, the comparison between Irish and Eastern German identity constituted a new viewpoint to me. It expressed that, although we are living in different cultural areas, we can still experience very similar events. Also concerning the talk about St. Patrick, I reconsidered for myself that one individual does not necessarily hold only one identity. It is the places and people that characterize one's identity and culture. These impressions were also confirmed by the talks about the novels ''TransAtlantic'' and "Brooklyn". Thanks to all lecturers for the very instructive and interesting day!
    Anke Pickert, student of English and American Studies, University of Würzburg

    I enjoyed the study day. It was an interesting event with a lot of opportunities to gain new knowledge about different aspects of Irish studies. The speakers presented the topics clearly and illustrated their effects on modern times. The wide range of topics was especially great.
    Rupen Kaupert, student of English and American Studies, University of Würzburg

    The Study Day "Journeys Across the Waves: Discovering Irish Identity" offered multiple texts and topics for us to engage with and learn about. In particular,  the lecture on Derek Scally's The Best Catholics in the World and the entailed conversation about memory culture and its importance and difficulties were insightful elaborations on different possibilities of dealing with the past as well as the necessity to do so. More generally, however, the diversity of perspectives and knowledge brought to us through the four presentations and discussions built an event that nicely illustrated the interconnectedness of the topics discussed as well as the richness of adjunct themes and approaches these topics (and Irish Studies in general) have to offer. Lastly, I think it is worth mentioning how the four-part structure allowed us to sit back and listen to one section and engage a bit more actively with another, thus giving everyone a space to participate depending on their individual interests or knowlegde. 
    Nina Wintermeyer, student of English and American Studies, University of Würzburg

    Many thanks to Dr Niamh NicGhabhann for her very interesting talk about "Religious Spaces in Transition". The examples of Irish religious architecture of the 19th and 20th centuries are familiar landmarks around the country but with today's changing society many of these religious spaces have also entered a state of transition, some of them have even completely vanished. The talk highlighted this development from different angles, including historical, socio-cultural, and religious aspects. Niamh NicGhabhann's remarks provided interesting information for students as well as other listeners interested in Irish subjects. I enjoyed the talk very much!
    Matthias Fleckenstein, Chairman, German-Irish Association of Würzburg

    I highly enjoyed Dr. Niamh NicGhabhann’s insightful guest lecture “Religious Spaces in Transition”. Her tour through Ireland’s ecclesiastical architecture demonstrated not only a fascinating variety of architectural styles but also pointed to the varying conditions of these sites. With great enthusiasm, NicGhabhann highlighted the cultural value of neglected ruins and recognized architectural gems alike. The given examples illustrated the meaning of these sites as affective environments and communal spaces. Of particular interest were the creative instances of alternative uses of former ecclesiastical sites. NicGhabhann’s passion for her work shone through her talk and she effectively sparked awareness for both the need for preservation of historical sites as well as the embracing of change. Thank you, Dr. NicGhabhann, for extraordinary insights into Ireland’s material heritage culture and for providing food for thought long after the guest lecture. 
    Sophie Renninger, M.A., PhD candidate, Graduate School of the Humanities, University of Würzburg

    The lecture of Prof. Reinfandt from the University of Tuebingen provided by the Irish Studies Würzburg has given me a great insight into the world of Sebastian Barry’s The Secret Scripture (2008). Prof. Reinfandt presented Barry’s novel with great care and understanding for the characters and the cultural and literary background of the novel’s story. Prof. Reinfandt also managed to give the novel cultural relevancy due to the immediacy of the scandal of the “Magdalen laundries” which links into Roseanne’s tragic story as well. All in all, the lecture provided a deeper dive into the literary style of the novel as well as its emotional story. 
    Anna-Lena Kamm, student of English Literatures and Cultures, University of Tübingen

    I enjoyed the lecture and the discussion of Sebastian Barry's book by Prof. Reinfandt very much! This lecture has been a refreshing and exciting event, which gave a lot of interesting insights into the inspirations and themes of the book.
    Marc Stoyanopoulos, student of English, History and Philosophy, University of Tübingen

    I thoroughly enjoyed Elke D’hoker’s very rich lecture – I thought it was wonderfully inspiring and thought-provoking. I’d read Spill Simmer Falter Whither a few years back after attending a reading by [Sara] Baume here in Leuven, and now I can’t wait to get into A Line Made by Walking.
    Phyllis Boumans, doctoral researcher, Faculty of Arts, KU Leuven

    I really enjoyed listening to the guest lecture on "A line made by walking". What I liked in particular was her approach to art as it is depicted in Baume's novel and the link to nature. D'Hoker provided an insightful way to read the novel and included scholarily works as well. All in all, it was a great online event.
    Bianca Minxolli, student of English and American Studies, University of Würzburg

    Smooth delivery. Even after an hour the topics were still hot and spicy - or a more serious version if the first one should be too slackly: A really thought-provoking and varied lecture with refreshing supplements.
    Brendan Arlt, student of English and American Studies, University of Würzburg

    I enjoyed the interesting talk about "A Line Made by Walking" and the different aspects which were analyzed very much. The presentation was very nicely done and good to follow. It really made me want to know more about the novel.
    Sophie Schneider, student of English and American Studies, University of Würzburg

    The kick-off event was, for lack of a better word, wonderful. I especially loved it when Colette Bryce and Jan Carson read excerpts from their works. […] I am very much looking forward to […] more events and guest lectures on Ireland, Northern Ireland and the Irish-American connection throughout history.
    Leonie Vogel, student of English and American Studies, University of Würzburg

    Thank you very much […] for a most enjoyable event […]. I really appreciated your efforts and the fact that the University of Würzburg is now part of the EFACIS network […]. This is particularly special for me as the former Mayor of Bray, Co Wicklow - the Stadtpartner von Würzburg, […] who signed the twinning agreement in 1999 with the City and as someone who is active in our twinning programme. It was great to see many of the German-Irish community in Würzburg taking part and to have the support of the City. I look forward to many more events […].
    David Grant, former Mayor of Bray, Co Wicklow, Ireland

    It was indeed a very enjoyable event; reflective, passionate and full of insights. In this era of "Zoomification" and, more or less, non-existent air travel it also made me feel a bit homesick! Although the German word Heimweh is better, I think, denoting a longing or a sense of (nostalgic?) pain rather than a sickness. I am certain that the Centre for Irish Studies at Würzburg, with all of its historical Irish associations, will be at the vanguard of academic Irish Studies  in Germany for many years to come. Who knows, it might also help the odd German-based Irish person, whether an academic or not, with their longing for home.
    PD Dr. Fergal Lenehan, Erasmus Coordinator and Research Assistant at Intercultural Studies and Business Communications, University of Jena

    I enjoyed the evening very much […]. The mixture between lecture and music, readings and discussions, information and entertainment made for a lively event. The impressive attendance also testifies to the attractiveness and relevance of Irish Studies.
    Prof. Dr. Engelbert Thaler, Chair of TEFL Methodology, University of Augsburg

    I am very excited that the expansion of close cultural cooperation is still possible in a European sense, in times otherwise associated with Brexit and Corona. I hope that many students at our university and at the schools in our region will be able to benefit from this new partnership.
    StD Friedrich Frenzel, specialist consultant for English with the Lower Franconian representative of the Bavarian ministry of education for grammar schools

    This was a truly lovely kick-off event! It showed the great interest in all things Irish in Würzburg, not only among academics but also among the general population. This was also the best thing about this event for me: it brought together Ireland enthusiasts from near and far, from academia and from beyond the ‘ivory tower’. This was a great taste of (Irish) things to come!
    Prof. Dr. Susanne Mohr, Associate Professor of English Sociolinguistics at the Department of Language and Literature, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway

    It was a pleasure attending the kick-off event and hearing about the impressive developments around Irish studies that the university of my hometown currently undertakes. The kick-off event for ISWÜ was a delightful afternoon and evening that revealed the passion the organizers have for all things Irish. ISWÜ will surely bring vibrant discussions and cultural encounters to Würzburg, intensifing and re-shaping the ties the city and the university have to Ireland and the Irish diaspora. I am looking forward to the multifaceted events to come.
    Marina Fleck, Research Assistant and PhD student of English Literature, Catholic University of Eichstätt-Ingolstadt

    Thank you very much for your great commitment in organising this extraordinary event. As a fan of the Republic of Ireland and its people, but also as an interested follower of the developments in Northern Ireland […], I did not think twice before I signed up. […] With the lectures of Dr. Bracken and Prof. Dr. Achilles I got further insight into the historical background and relationship between Ireland and Würzburg as well as into the influence some outstanding people of this island at the edge of Europe have exerted on the Continent and on many other parts of the world. Thank you also for inviting Colette Bryce and Jan Carson. Both impressed me very much, as they have firsthand experience and processed it so well in poems and prose.
    OStD Sieglinde Herbst, English teacher at Gymnasium Steigerwald-Landschulheim Wiesentheid

    First of all let me congratulate you on the fantastic organisation of the event - I can only imagine how much thought and creativity, time and energy went into the project. And I could feel your heart was in it. Your enthusism was pulpable. You did a great job!
    I thoroughly enjoyed the evening - it was so interesting to listen to all the different speakers; each one of them was excellent and inspiring. 
    All in all I found the event highly successful and am very much looking forward to many great lectures and events in the future.
    […] I am absolutely delighted that both of you had the wisdom and courage to start such a wonderful project. Looking forward to many more events and wishing you every success […].
    Roswitha Böhne, English and PE teacher and Oberstufenbetreuerin at Gymnasium Münchberg