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LANGUAGE FESTIVAL 2016 - Tuesday 2 February 2016

Modern Languages and European Studies department are delighted to be taking part in the Language Festival 2016 as part of 'One World Week'.

The Language Festival aims to showcase the work done by students studying a language related degree and raise the profile of the different languages being studied at the University of Reading.

There will be:

* Exhibitions of student work

* Stalls and taster sessions

* Poetry

* Storytelling

* Music

For further information contact Deborah Murphy


We are delighted to announce that our students are doing well with scholarships .  The German Academic Exchange Service provides scholarships for German Studies summer schools in Germany and this year six of our students have been successful in obtaining these scholarships.  This is the most we have received and we are delighted for these students and congratulate them on being awarded these scholarships and wish them every success in the summer.  Congratulations must also go to Sandra Beer for supporting these students with their applications.  Well done all of you.



obituary - mary bryden (1953-2015)


 Her former colleagues and many friends in the university will be extremely sad to learn that Katherine Mary Bryden, Emeritus Professor of French Studies at the University of Reading, died on 5 November 2015 at the early age of 62, after a three year battle against cancer.

She had a richly varied life and a very distinguished scholarly career. She was born on 9 September 1953 and attended Eastbourne High School for Girls from 1964 to 1971. She came to the University of Reading to study for an Honours Degree in French in 1971. After graduating in 1975, she did a Final Diploma of the Institute of Linguistics (French) in 1977 and an MA in Modern Languages at Salford University from 1980 to 1982.

After 12 years, she returned to Reading in 1987 on a French Department Studentship to do a PhD on Beckett, one of the main areas of what was to be her future work. While pursuing her research on 'Women in Samuel Beckett's Prose and Drama: Her Own Other' (which became her first book), she also became Beckett Research Fellow, working part-time in the Library's Beckett Archive, later becoming Associate Director of the Beckett International Foundation. She was appointed to a Lectureship in French Studies in 1995, promoted to Senior Lecturer two years later, then moved to a Chair of European Literature at Cardiff University in 2003 until 2007, at which date she returned to Reading as Professor of French Studies. She occupied many different roles in Reading: Head of the Department of Modern Languages and European Studies; School Director of Research; Co-Director of the Beckett International Foundation. Nationally she was Vice-President of the Association of University Professors and Heads of French (AUPHF), and its President from 2010-13. She was also President of the international Samuel Beckett Society from 2003 to 2005, and a member of the Arts and Humanities Research Council Peer Review College from 2006 to 2014.

Her research specialities lay chiefly in the sphere of twentieth-century French literature, philosophy, and culture and she worked intensively (and, one should add, published prolifically) on Samuel Beckett, Gilles Deleuze, Hélène Cixous, T. E. Lawrence and Thomas Merton. Her books included Women in Samuel Beckett's Prose and Drama (mentioned earlier), Samuel Beckett and the Idea of God (1998), Deleuze and Religion (2001), Gilles Deleuze: Travels in Literature (2007), Beckett's Proust/Deleuze's Proust (2009) ) (jointly with M. Topping), ) and a number of edited books Samuel Beckett and Music (1998), Beckett and Animals (2013). She also wrote about a hundred essays, articles and reviews on a wide range of topics, although the work of Beckett remained central to her writing. She also wrote creatively from time to time and won a BBC short story competition.

Her family suggest that tributes should be in the form of contributions to St Wilfred's Hospice, Eastbourne where Mary spent her last days. They can be sent c/o Haine & Son, Funeral Directors, 19 South Street, Eastbourne, East Sussex BN21 4UJ.

Jim Knowlson


Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014

We are delighted to report that we were ranked 4th among Modern Languages units for Research Impact, showing the superb reach and significance of our research. 80% of our case studies submitted were judged to be ‘world-leading’.

In addition, 65% of our research outputs were graded as ‘internationally excellent’, with 15% as ‘world leading’. This strong performance reflects the diverse and energetic research of our department, which includes specialists in modern and medieval literature, cinema, linguistics and history.

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