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News and Events

1st Queen's French Literary Festival                  

The School of Modern Languages is delighted to welcome 4 distinguished French writers to Belfast for the first Queen's French Literary Festival:

Evelyne Bloch-Dano: http://www.ebloch-dano.com/
Hélène Gestern: http://www.helene-gestern.net/helene.gestern/index.html
Hadrien Laroche: http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hadrien_Laroche
Matthieu Rémy: http://www.republicain-lorrain.fr/france-monde/2013/01/01/une-saint-valentin-de-mots

The two-day event will feature a variety of activities and workshops for QUB undergraduate and postgraduate students, and three public events to which everyone is invited:

  • Launch and Public Lecture by Professor Catriona Seth (Université de Lorraine and QUB) on Thursday 1 May @ 6pm in the Old Staff Common Room, Lanyon Building, QUB
  • A round table with all 4 writers on Friday 2 May @  4.30pm in the Old Staff Common Room, Lanyon Building, QUB
  • A reading by Hélène Gestern and Gerard Brennan in No Alibis Bookstore, Botanic Avenue, Belfast on Friday 2 May @ 6.30pm

Further information is available by clicking FrenchLiteraryFestival. You can also follow the Festival on Twitter #QUBLitFest and on youtube:  QUBLitFestVideo

The Festival has been made possible through sponsorship by the French Embassy in London, Power NI, No Alibis Bookstore and the Institute for Collaborative Research in the Humanities.

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International Students

The School of Modern Languages welcomes students from all countries to our taught and research programmes.  However, our postgraduate programmes in Translation and Interpreting have been particularly popular with international students in recent years.  Please click on the video below to hear about their experiences at Queen's University Belfast

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OUT OF THE ORDINARY: WOMEN OF THE SPANISH AVANT-GARDE
                                              
A colloquium at Queen’s University Belfast (sponsored by The Postgraduate and International Student Centre, The School of Modern Languages,  and  the Office of Cultural and Scientific Affairs of the Spanish Embassy)

 22-23 May 2014

This colloquium, which is led by postgraduate and early career researchers, highlights a unique group of women avant-gardists who, while working from the margins of male-dominated groups, not only created a significant body of work but also helped to change the image of women in the early twentieth century.  For full information please click OutOfTheOrdinaryPDF.

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Robert Penn Warren Graduate Student Fellowship Competition

The School of Modern Languages is delighted to announce that one of our PhD students (French), Daniel McAuley has been awarded‌ the Robert Penn Warren Graduate Student Fellowship.  This is a higly prestigious award and it is the third time in the last six years that it has been won by a student in our School.

The School wishes Daniel every success in his time carrying out his research in the Robert Penn Warren Center for the Humanities in Vanderbilt University, Nashville, USA.  The Centre promotes interdisciplinary research and study in the humanities and social sciences.

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Congratulations to our "Santander Student Mobility" Award Winners

The School of Modern Languages is delighted to announce that EIGHT of our students were successful in the recent Santander Student Mobility Awards competition.  The awards range from £2,000 to £5,000 per student and the funding will be used to support students' research and educational activities in European and Brazilian universities. 

Stéphanie Brown, a PhD Student in French Studies describes her project which the Santander award will help fund:

 

"My proposed research in Rio de Janeiro is concerned with the ‘third space’ of creativity that is central to the issues on which my PhD on transnational writers and artists, self-representation and urban spaces is focused. The study of French artist JR’s global street art project based in Rio “Women are Heroes”, for which he was awarded the 2011 Ted Prize, provides an important testing ground for my argument that transnational street artists are making use of physical spaces of marginality as metaphors signalling a demand for the recognition and visibility of a cultural and identitarian ‘third space’."

 

 

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AHRC FUNDING SUCCESS

 

Professor Greg Toner has received an £787k award from the Arts and Humanities Research Council to continue his work on the Dictionary of the Irish Language which is the standard historical dictionary of Irish covering the period from the seventh century to the seventeenth. The award, which will run for five years, will be held in conjunction with Dr Máire Ní Mhaonaigh of the Department of Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic in Cambridge.

 

The Dictionary was originally published by the Royal Irish Academy as 23 separate fascicles between 1913 and 1976. It runs to over 2000 pages, contains over 35,000 entries and is an indispensable tool for scholars working on medieval Ireland and Scotland. As parts of the Dictionary are now over 100 years old, Prof. Toner and Dr Ní Mhaonaigh will revise its contents by examining all key textual editions that were not available to the original compilers of the Dictionary. The project will uncover previously unrecorded words, excise ghost words and suggest new or revised definitions.

 

Professor Toner published the first electronic edition of the Dictionary in 2007 (www.dil.ie<http://www.dil.ie>), and produced a Supplement containing revisions to 4000 entries in 2013, again with AHRC funding. The new revised Dictionary will contain new information on words relating to agriculture, medicine, law, music, religion and society that will be of particular interest to historians and archaeologists nationally and internationally, and will trace the origin and development of words over a period of a millennium. New features will be added including a mobile version and a 'Word of the Day'.

 

An important aspect of the Project will be training in lexicography and textual edition for younger scholars and the team will run a number of workshops aimed especially at doctoral students. The rich vocabulary of the Dictionary is ripe for exploitation by creative writers and thinkers in modern Irish and Scottish Gaelic, and project staff will collaborate with authors, translators and terminologists to explore ways of reviving old words in new contexts.

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Modern Languages Seminar Series - Semester 2

The next seminar in the Modern Languages series is scheduled for:

Wednesday 30 April 2014 at 4.00pm in room 101, 12 University Square
Dr Anne Holloway
(Queen's University Belfast)

Further Fragments from Soto de Rojas: A 'new' mythological fable of the Spanish Baroque


All Welcome

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British Council Erasmus "Your Story" competition 2013 - essay winner


Warmest congratulations to Ellie Cameron on winning the British Council "Your Story" competition.  Ellie is a Spanish and Portuguese student and her essay is an honest and entertaining account of her time in Portugal which formed a compulsory part of her four year degree.

https://www.facebook.com/notes/erasmus-british-council/british-council-erasmus-your-story-competition-2013-essay-winner/616092508433160.

 

 

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National Student Survey Results 2013

All three subject areas in the School – French, Irish and Spanish & Portuguese – have been given top ratings by our final year ‌students who took part in the National Student Survey earlier this year.

The overall student satisfaction with their course in the School of Modern Languages was 91% (above QUB and national averages).

QUB received an overall satisfaction score of 90% for all courses, which puts it in 12th place in the UK university results.

The School of Modern Languages scored extremely high satisfaction ratings in key areas of teaching and learning:

  • 97% agreement that staff explained things clearly
  • 94% agreement that staff made the subject interesting
  • 91% approval for staff enthusiasm
  • 96% satisfaction with Library and IT resources
  • 82% satisfaction with the promptness and detail of feedback on written work (10% above QUB and national averages)

The full results for all universities can be found by clicking here.  

Many thanks to all our students who took the time to complete the survey earlier this year.

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Doctoral Success

Congratulations to French PhD student Tanya Campbell for successfully defending her thesis entitled ‘Representations of Slavery in French Writing: From Revolution to Abolition’. Tanya’s thesis engages with articulations of the concept of slavery in the period between 1789 and 1848, and covers a wide range of novels, plays and journalism from the period. Tanya was jointly supervised by Dr Nigel Harkness  and Dr Maeve McCusker, and her examiners were Professor Charles Forsdick (University of Liverpool) and Professor Margaret Topping. Tanya is currently taking a year out to travel in Australia, and is working on an article from one of her PhD chapters.

Tanya at the ANZAC shrine in Melbourne (city skyline in the background)

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Modern Languages Prize Giving Ceremony

Daniel Parson's Prize Ceremony Photo

The School of Modern Languages was delighted to host a Prize Giving Ceremony for students, parents, sponsors and teachers on 1 July 2013.  The Sc‌hool ceremony celebrated successes across all levels including some of the students who had just graduated that afternoon.  There was a range of prizes including Certificates of Recognition for Student Ambassadors who support the School in a variety of events throughout the year.  We would like to thank all our sponsors including Santander for their continued support. 

  

Pictured is one of our second year students in French, Daniel Parsons receiving the Samuel and Sarah Ferguson Travel Prize from Ms Norma Sinte.  This travel bursary is donated by Ms Sinte in memory of her parents and is to help enhance the compulsory year abroad experience in third year.

 

 

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Green Awards May 2013
Green Awards May 2013

‌Green Awards

The School of Modern of Languages was delighted to recieve its environmental Bronze Award at the recent Queen's Green Awards

Our Environmental Champion, Dr Marcas MacCoinnigh led the Languages team and we plan to go for Silver next year.  You can see our current environmental activities by clicking here.

(Dr Marcas MacCoinnigh, back row, third from left with all the award winners)

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PhD Student Wins International Conference Prize

Daniel McAuleyA second-year PhD student, Daniel McAuley, has won a prize for best postgraduate paper at a recent international conference. Daniel gave a paper entitled 'L’innovation lexicale chez les jeunes des quartiers urbains pluriethniques : « c’est banal, ouèche » at the recent Association for French Language Studies conference in Perpignan. His PhD, which is based on a corpus he collected using participant observation methodology, looks at lexical innovation amongst young speakers in the suburbs of Paris and Marseille and the impact this is having on the phonology, morpho-syntax and lexis of contemporary French. Many congratulations to Daniel!

 

 

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Student exchange with University of São Paulo, Brazil

Since February of this year, Jacqueline Gallagher, a student on the BA Spanish and Portuguese pathway at Queen’s, has been studying at the University of São Paulo (USP) in Brazil as part of her year abroad. The five-month placement was arranged through an exchange agreement between the two universities, and Jacqueline is the first undergraduate student from the School of Modern Languages to take part. At the end of her first year Jacqueline successfully completed a summer internship scheme with Santander and was subsequently able to secure a scholarship from the bank which covered some of her travel expenses.

During a recent visit to São Paulo, Queen’s Lecturer in Brazilian Studies Tori Holmes caught up with Jacqueline and heard about her experiences at USP, where she has been taking classes in Portuguese language and Brazilian culture. As Jacqueline told Tori, “My semester here at USP has been an unforgettable experience. Being able to spend time at a top-notch Latin American university, in an amazing city with incredible people has been invaluable not only to my language skills, but also to my cultural awareness of a fascinating country and its people”.

Photo caption: Jacqueline on USP’s leafy campus

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Education Award Winner

Congratulations to Tony Russell who won the Course Rep of the Year for the Faculty Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences at the recent Students' Union Education Awards.  Tony is a final year Spanish and Portuguese student but has also been an excellent Student Ambassador for the whole School over the last few years.  

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Popular Download

Dr Sarah Bowskill's article 'The Representation of the Female Body in the Multimedia Works of Regina José Galindo' published last year in the Bulletin of Latin American Research was the fifth most downloaded article of the year for that journal and was accessed over 400 times.

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International Scholarships

All international students enrolling on the MA in Interpreting or MA in Translation are eligible for the following scholarships:

New Opportunities Scholarship (£1,000 reduction in tuition fees) Please click here.

Early Bird Reward (10% reduction in tuition fees). Please click here.

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Congratulations on award

Congratulations to Agata Dziadul, one of our MA Translation students, who has been awarded the Emily Sarah Montgomery and Sir Thomas Dixon Travel Scholarship. These awards are keenly contested and the School is proud of Agata's achievements.

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Melanie Henry, The Signifying Self

Congratulations to Dr Melanie Henry on the publication of her book, The Signifying Self: Cervantine Drama as Counter-Perspective Aesthetic, with the MHRA Texts and Dissertations Series.

The series exists to promote important work by younger scholars by making the most accomplished doctoral research available to the widest possible readership through a policy of affordable pricing and not requiring a publication subvention.

You can buy copies of the book via the MHRA website - http://www.mhra.org.uk/Publications/Books/henry.html

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Postgraduate Funding for 2014/15

Details of funding available for taught and research courses once finalised can be found by clicking here.

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School Seminar Series - 2012-13 Semester 2

Please click  here to view our programme of seminars for semester 2.

Everyone is most welcome to attend.

 

 

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Students outside the Museo Reina Sofia in Madrid just before a trip to see Picasso's Guernica with Dr Gabriel Sánchez

Challenge Yourself to Look at the World in a Different Way: The Year Abroad in Spain

Recently Dr Gabriel Sánchez Espinosa visited some of our students spending their year abroad in Spain to find out how they were adapting to the Spanish way of life. 

One of the students placed in Andalucía told him that: ‘The six weeks that have elapsed since my arrival in Spain have been the busiest and most rewarding of my life. I cannot recall another time when I have learned and experienced so much within so short a space of time.’ 

A student living in the Basque country described their idyllic life saying: ‘I have had no problems settling in here in Irún and everyday just gets better. The culture is very different but in a good way. I love the buzz of the ‘Plazas’ on a fine evening and it is so family orientated.  I find great pleasure sitting in the square reading, ‘in Spanish of course’, with a little glass of ‘vino’. I have just finished reading La Casa de los Espíritus by Isabel Allende.  I feel that this opportunity has given me the confidence to step outside my comfort zone.’ Needless to say, we are all very jealous of the ‘vino’ in the buzzing ‘plazas’ back in rainy Belfast! 

And finally, when Gabriel asked the students to give some advice to second year students who are just beginning to think about placements abroad for next year, a student currently living in Madrid said: ‘Overall, I feel I am settling in to life in Spain better than I initially thought I would. Although I was extremely nervous leaving home, I tried not to have too many expectations about my year abroad, preferring to let things fall in to place when I arrived. Everything from finding accommodation to integrating in to Spanish society has all came to together perfectly and as my first month in Spain finishes I am left hoping that the next seven don’t go as fast!’

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Undergraduate Awards Success

Many congratulations to Christina McCloskey, a second-year French and Spanish student whose essay for her Spanish module, World as Stage, was highly commended by the judges in the Languages & Linguistics category of the 2012 Undergraduate Awards. This is an excellent achievement, and means that Christina’s essay was ranked in the top 10% of the almost 3000 essays that were submitted for the Undergraduate Awards this year from 100 universities around the world. Professor Isabel Torres, Christina’s tutor and Head of Spanish at Queen’s commented: ‘I am absolutely delighted that Christina's essay has been recognised by the Undergraduate Awards. To be included among the top 10% of undergraduate work in the discipline is a wonderful achievement and richly deserved. This is an impressive performance for an individual student at level 2. It also reflects upon the whole class, whose dynamism and willingness to participate fully in all the activities of the module facilitated a range of outstanding work. My warmest congratulations to Christina and my thanks to everyone on the module - a pleasure to teach!’

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Grant Success – AHRC Research Networking Scheme “Translating Cultures”

Dr Piotr Blumczyński has been awarded an Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) grant to launch an international research network exploring “English Evaluative Concepts in Translated Religious and Devotional Texts.”

The project combines a keen local focus with a broad transcultural research perspective provided by a group of collaborative partners working, across a range of disciplines, in markedly different regions of Europe: Northern Ireland, Italy, Poland, and Spain.

Through a series of thematic conferences, community events and workshops held at diverse locations in 2013–2014, the network will seek to (1) develop our understanding of the interactions between linguistic, cultural and religious communities by exploring shared and conflicting systems of values; and (2) contribute to raising awareness of the nature of translation and interpreting as a process of conceptual and cultural – rather than merely linguistic – mediation.

The total value of the reward amounts to £44,376. Piotr is the Principal Investigator in the research project.

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Double Grant Success

Dr Fiona Clark has been awarded two grants for a 14 month period to complete a project into medical history linking Ireland, France, Spain, and Mexico in the eighteenth century, entitled: 'Scratching below the Surface: Empire, Authority, and Venereal Disease (Mexico City, 1789-1798)'. This funding comprised Wellcome Trust for the History of Medicine (£27, 974) for the period September 2011-January 2012, and an Arts and Humanities Research Council Early Career Fellowship (£63,535) for the period February - October 2012.

This project has grown out of the discovery of reports and correspondence written by an Irish surgeon, Daniel O'Sullivan relating to a series of trials into the effect of a non-mercurial treatment for venereal disease held in Mexico City in the early 1790s. The materials clearly indicate a level of tension, manipulation, and suspicion in relationships among the medical and ecclesiastical authorities that has, to date, remained unexplored. As such, O'Sullivan's work throws potential new light on the internal governance of local Mexican hospitals and raises questions relating to the exercise of medical authority on a transatlantic level, the means by which individuals progressed in their medical careers, and the use of patronage within the eighteenth-century Spanish court.

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Castellano-leoneses por el mundo

The regional TV station of Castilla-Leon in Spain recently produced a programme about people from the region living in Belfast.

Spanish PhD student, Leticia Villamediana, who works on Eighteenth Century Periodical Press, features in the progamme.

The programme can be viewed on YouTube - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WEkCBNpIjwQ

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Queen’s students at the EU Parliament

Languages Students gain insights into EU Careers in Brussels

18 Queen’s students, including 11 studying Languages, took part in the first ever Brussels Study Tour organised by the Careers Service in the final week of the Easter Vacation. The aim of the tour was to introduce Queen’s students to the EU institutions and to promote the aspiration of living and working at the heart of Europe. The group was hosted at the Irish College in Leuven, and was accompanied by Ms Roisin Copeland, Senior Careers Advisor, and Dr Nigel Harkness, Director of Education in the School of Modern Languages.

The group visited the EU Parliament and Commission, had meetings with a range of people working in the EU institutions as translators, policy advisors, journalists, and diplomats, and gained insights into the wide range of career opportunities there are for linguists in Brussels and the application process. Among the social highlights of the tour were dinner with the Irish Ambassador to Belgium, and an alumni reception hosted by the Office of the Northern Ireland Executive in Brussels. As one of our students commented, ‘Meeting the QUB alumni really showed us that there is a place for Queen’s graduates in Brussels and that working in the EU is a really attainable goal’.

Dr Nigel Harkness welcomed this important initiative: ‘Not only did the study tour make our students aware of the career opportunities that are available to Languages graduates in the European Union, but it also reinforced what we have been saying to them since day 1 of their degree: that learning a language really does give them a head start when it comes to careers. Everyone they met in Brussels stressed that speaking English simply is not enough. To work in the EU institutions you need to be able to speak English and French as basic working languages, and then at least one of the other 24 official languages, which include Spanish, Portuguese and Irish.’

  

 

 Pictured at the Alumni reception are Russell Donaldson (Law with French), Dr Gerry Mulligan, Director of the Office of the Northern Ireland Executive in Brussels, and Dr Nigel Harkness, Director of Education in the School of Modern Languages

 

 

 

   

 

Dr Gerry Mulligan welcomes students and alumni to the Office of the Northern Ireland Executive in Brussels. Also pictured is Ms Roisin Copeland, Senior Careers Advisor and Tour Leader.

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Micheal O'Mainnin Placenames Photo

 

Launch of New Placenames Website 

Congratulations to our colleague, Dr Mícheál Ó Mainnín, who had a successful launch of the new Placenames website at Stormont on 21 January 2013.  People are invited to explore the origins and history of their local place-names through www.placenamesni.org

For more information please click here.   

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The paths of medical un/orthodoxy? Colonial Latin America and its World

Friday 8th - Saturday 9th November 2013

This exciting two-day international colloquium sponsored by the Wellcome Trust and the Society for the History of Medicine  will bring together scholars from across the UK, Latin America, and the United States, to discuss the different processes by which individuals and ideas impacted on the promotion, defence, criticism, or prohibition of medical practices in early modern Latin America, the Caribbean, and across the Atlantic. 

For further details on participants and abstracts, please click here.

For more information, contact: Dr Fiona Clark f.clark@qub.ac.uk

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