Charlie Hebdo editors double down on their principles in first issue since attacks

The latest edition of Charlie Hebdo is nothing out of the ordinary. Today’s response to the attack on its offices on January 7 is precisely what sets it apart from other newspapers. The front cover, a cartoon of a weeping prophet Muhammad holding a sign reading “Je suis Charlie” that was released in advance, is …

How the far right landed in the French Senate

As if the French president, François Hollande, didn’t have enough woes, elections for the senate have dealt him another blow. Three years after Hollande’s socialists won the first ever majority for the left in the upper house, the right wing has taken back an assembly it believes to be its own. And worse still, among …

Nicola McLelland on BBC Radio Nottingham

For a change, here’s an audio post on the Blog. Last week, Head of German Nicola McLelland was interviewed on BBC Radio Nottingham about language learning in the UK. Click below to listen…

Visiting the Valley of the Fallen

I have recently returned from a visit to one of Spain’s most (in)famous monuments, El Valle de los Caídos (The Valley of the Fallen), where I was doing an interview with some journalists from the BBC. I first visited the monument in 2009, and having spent the best part of five years researching and writing …

Shifting Sherlocks

Warning: the following blog contains spoilers for series three of Sherlock. Shortly after the first series of the BBC series Sherlock I contributed to an edited collection examining the series. My chapter was inspired by the almost simultaneous release of the Benedict Cumberbatch starring series, the Robert Downey Jr starring film, Sherlock Holmes (dir. Guy …

A Most Curious Case: The Trials and Tribulations of the Genitive in Dutch and German

In the 19th century, the Dutch genitive case was referred to as the ‘holy case’ by the poet and novelist  Jacob van Lennep (1802-1868) because, like certain sacred names in Judaism, it was written but not spoken. By this, he meant that the genitive occurred still in careful written language but that it had all …

Where the Governmental and the Avant-Garde meet

The following post by Kiki Yu was originally published on the blog of the School of Contemporary Chinese Studies at UNNC. If the charm of Berlin lies in the confrontation of different ideologies demonstrated through architecture and the closeness between history and present, the beauty of Shanghai is highlighted through the harmonious mix of all …

The March on Washington 1963 and the Untold Stories Behind the Dream

Co-convened by three professors of American History and American Studies — Britta Waldschmidt-Nelson, Sharon Monteith and Marcia Chatelain, from Germany, Britain and the US — a September 2013 symposium reflected the global impact of the March on Washington by forging a transatlantic conversation in the city of the March. Hosted by the German Historical Institute …

Rethinking the relationship between Realism and Romanticism in the nineteenth century

Romanticism and Realism are arguably the two most prominent nineteenth-century movements in European literature and art, typically conceived as mutually exclusive and somehow reflecting the philosophical conflict of idealism and realism that runs through the history of modern European culture, or indeed is seen as universal. Nineteenth-century European literary history is seen as a shifting …

Germania remembered

A new book, Germania Remembered 1500–2009. Commemorating and Inventing a Germanic Past, co-edited by Dr Nicola McLelland (German) and Dr Christina Lee (English), and with a foreword by Tom Shippey, examines how German, English and Scandinavian scholars, writers and artists have invoked the remote history of Germany in order to bolster their ideas about what it …