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Linguistic Diversity and Cultural Identities in Europe: Oral Voices and Literary Languages


EUROTALES: an Exhibiting and Museographical Experiment

Friday 11 April 2014

at the Museum of English Rural Life, University of Reading

Organised by Dr Nadia Cannata, Dipartimento di Studi Europei, Americani e Interculturali Sapienza - Università di Roma

Hosted by Dr Paola Nasti, Department of Modern Languages and European Studies, University of Reading.

Sponsored by Professor Brian Richardson, FBA, The University of Leeds

The Museum of English Rural Life is located at Redlands Road, Reading RG1 1EX

for more information contact Dr P Nasti



A new issue of ReadingItaly, the Italian Studies Postgraduate Forum of the University of Reading ( is now online. This number is dedicated to the 2013 Society for Italian Studies Postgraduate Colloquium, which took place at the University of Reading on 8 November 2013.

Sotirios Paraschas

Sotirios Paraschas, in the Department of Modern Languages and European Studies, has been selected as a runner-up in this year's RETF 'best research output by an ECR' competition. The panel, made up of School Directors of Research, were very impressed with his book 'The Realist Author and Sympathetic imagination' (Legenda).

Study Spanish at Reading - New in 2015

We are delighted to announce that from September 2015 we will be offering BA Spanish - 4 years full-time as well as combined degrees with French, German, Italian, European Studies, English Language, English Literature, History and Management Studies.  Further details available shortly.

A degree in Spanish Studies at Reading will lead to an in-depth knowledge of the Spanish language and more broadly of Hispanic culture in the many countries across the globe where Spanish is spoken. You will have the opportunity to study the language in the context of the enormously varied history, literature and cinema in which is is embedded.

New book edited by Emeritus Professor of French Mary Bryden Beckett and Animals (Cambridge University Press)

The animals that appear in Samuel Beckett's work are diverse and unpredictable. They serve as victim and persecutor, companion and adversary, disconcerting observers and objects oblivious to the human gaze. Bringing together an international array of Beckett specialists, this is the first full-length study to explore the significance of the animals that populate Beckett's prose, drama and poetry. Essays theorise a broad spectrum of animal manifestations while focusing on the roles that distinct animal forms play within Beckett's work, including horses, sheep, cats, dogs, bees, insects and others. Contributors situate close readings within a larger literary and cultural context, drawing on thinkers ranging from Aristotle to Deleuze, Foucault and Agamben, and on authors such as Flaubert, Kafka and Coetzee. The result is an incisive and provocative collection that traverses disciplinary boundaries, revealing how Beckett's creatures challenge conventional notions of species identity and, ultimately, what it means to be human.

For more information:

For more information on Professor Bryden's research:

OBE for former Personal Professor in French

The world's leading expert on the Nobel-prize winning novelist and playwright Samuel Beckett has been awarded an OBE in the New Year's Honours List.

Emeritus Professor Jim Knowlson was appointed OBE for services to literary scholarship.

He founded Reading's Beckett International Foundation and set up the Beckett Archive - the largest and richest collection of books, manuscripts and materials anywhere on the author - who died in 1989. Professor Knowlson, a close friend of Beckett's is the sole authorised biographer.

A Reading graduate and PhD, Professor Knowlson came to the University of Reading in 1969 to a Lectureship then a Readership in French from the University of Glasgow, where he had lectured mainly on Eighteenth Century French literature and thought.

In Reading he specialised in Modern European Drama and in 1981 became a Personal Professor in French - work which was recognised by the French government who awarded him the prestigious Officier dans l'Ordre des Palmes Academiques in 2011.

Vice-Chancellor Sir David Bell said: "Jim Knowlson has had an eminent career, devoted to scholarship of European theatre and the work of his great friend Samuel Beckett. He has been tireless in building the Beckett Archive into the richest collection of material in the world on the literary giant and he has been instrumental in making the Beckett International Foundation into a globally-renowned research body."

Chancellor's Awards

We are delighted to announce that three students from the Department of Modern Languages and European Studies have been awarded the Chancellor's Award 2013.

Award recipients are students who achieved the highest results in their subject at the end of their first of second year of study.  We are pleased to recognise their outstanding results.

Lucia Crowther - Part 2 BA Italian and History of Art

Nicola D'Alessandro - Part 1 BA Italian

Katharina von Oltersdorff - Part 2 BA German and Management 

Many congratulations to all three of them on their wonderful achievement and success.  We are very proud of you.

2014 Sunday Times University Guide

According to the 2014 Sunday Times University Guide Italian Studies at Reading University is ranked 4th -

League table rise for the Department of Modern Languages and European Studies, Reading

All modern languages taught in the department have moved up in the Complete University Guide 2014 league table. Italian is up 6 places in the top 13 nationally (out of 32), while French is up 3 places in the top 30 and German is up 4 places in the top 31.

DAAD Scholarships available

Every year the German Academic Exchange (DAAD) offers scholarships for three- to four-week summer courses at German instituations of higher education. These courses focus on German language, literature, and cultural studies.

The programme is open to students of all disciplines, provided they have a good knowledge of German at the time of application.

For more information and to see where you can undertake these summer schools please visit the DAAD German Summer Schools website.

Please be aware that applications must be made via the Department of Modern Languages, if you are interested please see Gillian Williams, Room 268 HumSS.



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