From Germanic & Romance to Modern Languages: the controversial (re)launch of an Institute

On Saturday, 7 December 2013, the former Institute of Germanic & Romance Studies will be (re)launched under its new name, the Institute of Modern Languages Research. The renaming was one result of the recent HEFCE review of the University of London’s School of Advanced Study, based on the claim that the former name apparently did not “reflect correctly its future focus and remit”.

The issue met with considerable opposition, in particular within the UK’s German studies community, and serious concern was raised referring to the longstanding history of the Institute, the current problematic developments in the country and the future of German studies.

The Institute has now invited to what it calls “a day of debate and discussion” on post-national modern languages, featuring roundtable discussions on topics such as “Spaces: Iberian and Latin American Connections and Disconnections”, “New Directions in German Studies”, “Post-Colonialism, the Transnational and Translation”, “AHRC Themes (Translating Cultures, Science and Culture”. Furthermore, the work at the Institute will be showcased, including a postgraduate poster session, where I will present my project on the reception of Stefan Zweig in China.