Chris Stubbs sculptor who pioneered
AcademiaNet is an Internet portal that is funded by the DFG and the academies and is intended to increase the visibility of women in science. During an interview with me, the journalists specifically asked not only about my research projects, but also about the situation of women in science in general - especially when comparing Germany and England.
List of medievalists, German and other, who signed the letter of protest (newest on top)
160. Michael Shields, M.A. (National University of Ireland, Galway)
159. Prof. Susan S. Morrison (Texas State University - San Marcos)
158. Prof. Wendy Marie Hoofnagle (University of Northern Iowa)
157. Prof. Megan McLaughlin (University of Illinois)
156. Prof. Anita Obermeier (University of New Mexico)
155. Dr. Alice Shields (New York)
154. Prof. Diane Wolfthal (David and Caroline Minter Chair in the Humanities, Rice University)
153. Prof. Virginia Blanton (President, Society for Medieval Feminist Scholarship)
152. George Ferzoco (Research Fellow in Medieval Religious Culture, University of Bristol, International Medieval Sermon Studies Society)
151. Dr Helen Webster (University of East Anglia)
150. Prof. David Ganz (Emeritus Professor of Palaeography, King’s College London)
149. Prof. Karl A. Zaenker (University of British Columbia, Vancouver)
148. Prof. Dr. Manfred Eikelmann (University of Bochum)
147. Prof. Dr. Mathias Herweg (Institute for Literary Studies Karlsruhe)
146. Dr. Christoph Mackert (Manuscript Center of the University Library Leipzig)
145. Prof. Dr. Frank Fuerbeth (University of Bochum)
144. Dr. Martin Baisch (FU Berlin)
143. Dr. Regina Toepfer (University of Frankfurt)
142. Prof. Dr. Helmut Brall-Tuchel (University of Duesseldorf)
141. Prof. Dr. Thomas Bein (University of Aachen)
140. Prof. Dr. Claudia Brinker-von der Heyde (Pro-Vice Chancellor Universitaet Kassel)
139. Dr. Sandra Linden (University of Tuebingen)
138. Prof. Dr. Sieglinde Hartmann (Chair Oswald von Wolkenstein Society)
137. Phil. Dr. Alvaro Alfredo Braganca Junior (Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro)
136. Prof. Dr. Ricarda Bauschke (University of Duesseldorf)
135. Prof. Dr. Peter Strohschneider (LMU Muenchen, Chairman of the Science Council [Council of Sciences and Humanities])
134. Prof. Dr. Peter Andersen (University of Strasbourg)
133. Dr. Nicola Zotz (University of Vienna)
132. Prof. Dr. Susanne Hafner (Fordham University)
131. Dr Stephen Mossman (University of Manchester)
130. Prof. Dr. Franz Fuchs (University of Wuerzburg, Chairman of the Pirckheimer Society)
129. Prof. Dr. Christian Domenig (University of Klagenfurt)
128. Prof. Dr. Elisabeth Lienert (University of Bremen)
127. Dr Martin Jones (King’s College London)
126. Dr. Carsten Kottmann (Tuebingen)
125. Dr. Renatedecke-Cornill (State and University Library Bremen)
124. Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Haubrichs (Saarland University)
123. Ulrich Barton, M.A. (University of Tuebingen)
122. Prof. Dr. Markus J. Wenninger (University of Klagenfurt)
121. Dr. Friedel Helga Roolfs (LWL Muenster)
120. Prof. Winder McConnell (University of California)
119. Prof. Dr. Nine Miedema (University of Duisburg-Essen)
118. Prof. Dr. Juergen Kuehnel (University of Siegen)
117. Dr. Barbara Fleith (Universite Lausanne / Geneve)
116. Dr. Pamela Kalning (Heidelberg University Library)
115. Prof. Dr. Dietrich Huschenbett (University of Wuerzburg)
114. Prof. Dr. Monika Schausten (University of Siegen)
113. Prof. Robert K. Weninger (King’s College London)
112. Prof. T. J. Reed (Oxford)
111. Prof. Dr. Ernst Hellgardt (LMU Munich)
110. Lydia Bichel (student at the University of Stuttgart)
109. Prof. Dr. Klaus Ridder (University of Tuebingen)
108. PD Dr Heike Sahm (University of Siegen)
107. Prof. em. John L. Flood (University of London)
106.Dr Gary Shockey (Towson University)
105. Prof. Peter Kern (University of Bonn)
104. Rike Borchers M.A. (Alumnus University of Bristol)
103.Dr Sheila Watts (Newnham College Cambridge)
102. Dr Peter Macardle (University of Bristol)
(alphabetical - November 1 11am)
1. PD Dr. Wolfgang Achnitz (University of Muenster)
2. Dr. Klaus Amann (University of Innsbruck)
3. Dr Elizabeth Andersen (Newcastle University)
4. Dr Jeffrey Ashcroft (University of St Andrews)
5. Prof. Dr. Bernd Bastert (University of Bochum)
6. Prof. Dr. Christa Bertelsmeier-Kierst (University of Marburg)
7. Dr Bettina Sculptor (University of St Andrews)
8. Prof. Dr. Hartmut Bleumer (University of Goettingen)
9. Dr Cordula Boecking-Politis (University of St Andrews)
10. Dr. Astrid Breith (Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences)
11. Prof. Dr. Elke Brueggen (University of Bonn)
12. Prof. Dr. Horst Brunner (University of Wuerzburg)
13. Dr. Nathanael Busch (University of Marburg)
14. Dr Mark Chinca (Trinity College Cambridge)
15. Prof. Dr. Albrecht Classen (Arizona University)
16. Dr Sebastian Coxon (University College London)
17. Prof. Dr. Michael Dallapiazza (Universita Urbino)
18. Dr. Graeme Dunphy (University of Regensburg)
19. Dr Cyril Edwards (University of Oxford)
20. Prof. Dr. Edith Feistner (University of Regensburg)
21. Prof. Dr. Christoph Gerhardt (University of Trier)
22. Prof. Dr. Kurt Gaertner (University of Trier)
23. Prof. Dr. Annette Gerok-Reiter (University of Tuebingen)
24. Prof. Dr. Thomas Gloning (University of Giessen)
25. PD Dr. Romy Guenthart (University of Zurich / Konstanz)
26. Prof. Dr. John Greenfield (Universidade do Porto)
27. Prof. Nigel Harris (Birmingham University)
28. Prof. Dr. Burkhard Hasebrink (University of Freiburg)
29. Prof. Dr. Claudia Haendl (Universita di Genova)
30. Dr. Dorothea Heinig (University of Marburg)
31. Prof. Dr. Joachim Heinzle (University of Marburg)
32. Prof. Dr. Franz-Josef Holznagel (University of Rostock)
33. Prof. Dr. Christoph Huber (University of Tuebingen)
34.Dr Harry Jackson (University of St Andrews)
35. Dr Tim Jackson (University College Dublin)
36. Prof. Dr. Ina Karg (University of Goettingen)
37. Prof. Dr. Beate Kellner (LMU Munich)
38. Prof. Dr. Manfred Kern (University of Salzburg)
39. Dr. Klaus Kipf (VL16, LMU Munich)
40. Dr. Klaus Klein (University of Marburg)
41. Prof. Dr. Dorothea Klein (University of Wuerzburg)
42. Prof. Dr. Fritz-Peter Knapp (University of Heidelberg)
43. Prof. Dr. Susanne Koebele (University of Erlangen)
44. PD Dr. Florian Kragl (University of Vienna)
45. Prof. Dr. Gerhard Krieger (University of Trier, President of the Mediaevistenverband)
46. Prof. Henrike Laehnemann (Newcastle University)
47. Dr. Karl-Eckhard Lenk (Verden)
48. Prof. Dr. Eckart Conrad Lutz (University of Freiburg / CH)
49. Prof. Jun Matsuura (University of Tokyo)
50. Dr Timothy McFarland (University College London)
51.Dr Nicola McLelland (University of Nottingham)
52. Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Volker Mertens (FU Berlin)
53. Prof. Dr. Matthias Meyer (Vice Dean of Philological and Cultural Studies Faculty, University of Vienna)
54. Prof. Dr. Victor Millet (Santiago University)
55. Prof. emeritus Brian Murdoch PhD LittD FRHistS (Stirling University)
56. Prof. Dr. Jan-Dirk Mueller (LMU Munich)
57. Dr. Ralf G. Paesler (University of Marburg)
58. Prof. Nigel F. Palmer (St. Edmund Hall Oxford)
59. Prof. Rene Perennec (Universite Francois Rabelais, Tours, France)
60. PD Dr. Jens Pfeiffer (University of Kiel)
61. Dr. Ralf Plate (Middle High German Dictionary, Academy Mainz)
62. Dr. Christine Putzo (University of Friborg)
63. Prof. em. Silvia Ranawake (Queen Mary London)
64. Dr. Bjoern Reich (University of Goettingen)
65. Dr. Susanne Reichlin (University of Zurich)
66. Dr Silvia Reuvekamp (University of Duesseldorf)
67. Prof. Dr. Berta Raposo Fernandez (Universitat de Valencia)
68. Prof. Dr. Klaus Ridder (University of Tuebingen)
69. Prof. Dr. Werner Roecke (Humboldt University Berlin)
70.Dr Sabine Rolle (Edinburgh University)
71. PD Dr. Michael Rupp (University of Wuerzburg)
72. Christoph Schanze M.A. (University of Giessen)
73. Prof. Dr. Sabine Schmolinsky (University of Erfurt)
74. Prof. Dr. Ruediger Schnell (University of Basel)
75. Dr. Wolfram Schneider-Lastin (University of Zurich)
76. PD Dr. Martin Schubert (Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences)
77. Prof. Dr. Meinolf Schumacher (University of Bielefeld)
78. Prof. em. Frank Shaw (Bristol University)
79. Dr Maria Sherwood-Smith (Netherlands)
80. Dr. Stefan Seeber (University of Freiburg)
81. Prof. Dr. Max Siller (University of Innsbruck)
82. Romy Steiger, M.A. (University of Chemnitz)
83. Prof. Dr. Markus Stock (Toronto University)
84. Prof. Dr. Uta Stoermer-Caysa (University of Mainz)
85. Prof. Dr. Michael Stolz (University of Bern)
86. Dr Almut Suerbaum (Somerville College Oxford)
87.Dr Neill Thomas (University of Durham)
88. Tina Terrahe, M.A. (University of Marburg)
89. Prof. Annette Volfing (Oriel College Oxford)
90. Prof. Konrad Vollmann (University of Munich)
91. Dr. Gisela Vollmann-Profe (Catholic Univ. Eichstaett)
92. Dr. Bettina Wagner (Bavarian State Library Munich)
93. Prof. em. David Wells (Birckbeck College London)
94. Prof. Dr. Rene Wetzel (Universite de Geneve)
95. Prof. em. Roy Wisbey (King’s College London)
96. Prof. Dr. Gerhard Wolf (University of Bayreuth)
97. Prof. Dr. Juergen Wolf (University of Marburg)
98. Wolfram von Eschenbach Society
99. Prof. em. David Yeandle (King’s College London)
100. Dr Chris Young (Pembroke College Cambridge)
101. Prof. Dr. Hans-Joachim Ziegeler (University of Cologne)
As President of the Society for Medieval Feminist Scholarship, I write in support of Dr. Anne Simon and ask that you reconsider the proposal to make redundant Dr. Simon's position as Senior Lecturer in the Department of German. The international out-cry thus far speaks to the caliber of Dr. Simon's work, even as the upset of students and colleagues demonstrate her many contributions to the University of Bristol. Foremost, in co-founding the Center for Medieval Studies, Dr. Simon has done us all a great service. CMS has a valued reputation among scholars world-wide, in no small part because of its investment in international exchange. As one indication of its position as a medieval center, CMS will host the International Arthurian Society conference in late July. Clearly, the vitality of this center is a result of the energies of its faculty and the engagement of its students. The Faculty of Arts, moreover, have indicated that the study of Medieval Cultures is one of five themes selected as research priorities for the next five years. It is hard, then, to understand how one could consider redundant a researcher and teacher who has contributed so much to the success of CMS and to the study of medieval cultures at Bristol. Dr. Simon's dedication to teaching courses that support CMS and her organization of study abroad trips for students are but two illustrations of her investment in the growth of medieval studies at Bristol. This investment is clearly a sound one, as the many students who have championed Dr. Simon's case has stressed. Second, that the Department of German could opt to focus on modem Germany alone is staggering. It would be the equivalent of saying that there is no need to study medieval or ancient Britain, no need to think about life in England before the Reformation. Yet, we value historical inquiry for the insights it provides both about the past and about the present, even as we need them to shape our future. Surely historical German studies are vital to the present and future of the European collective and the place of the UK within it? After all, the history of Anglo-Saxon England is tied directly to the history of Germany. The logic of the decision to make Dr. Simon's position redundant, therefore, is not apparent. Many have wondered if the decision is because of Dr. Simon's research on women and gender studies. This conclusion hardly seems possible, given the value of social history in contemporary humanist studies. The knowledge gained because we now interrogate the past and its structures of power not only improves our understanding of pre-modern societies but also allows us to trace the continuities and discontinuities to the present. A second conclusion of the proposal to terminate Dr. Simon is that administrators at the University of Bristol do not support the promotion of female researchers or scholars who work in women’s and gender studies. Indeed, an examination of the scholars in the Faculty of Arts (as shown on your campus web pages) illustrates that only 15% of the full professors are female, a disproportionate representation. Of the five, only one produces scholarship regularly on women and gender. It is deeply troubling to think that an institution as prominent as the University of Bristol might be actively working against the advancement of women in the professoriate. To the outsider, the targeting of Dr. Simon's position suggests a decided bias against women and against the study of women and gender. On behalf of the Society for Medieval Feminist Scholarship, I urge you to reconsider this decision and avoid the conclusions such an action provokes. There is far more to be gained by keeping Dr. Simon on the faculty and supporting her work, even as you reward her for her productive service as a researcher and teacher.
Yours, Virginia Blanton
Associate Chair, Department of English
President, Society for Medieval Feminist Scholarship
Department of English, CH 106
University of Missouri-Kansas City
5100 Rockhill Road
Kansas City, MO 64110
Today the long-awaited article by the higher education correspondent of the THES has finally appeared, which critically illuminates the situation in Bristol and also refers to the protest of the German Mediaevistik; online at the link, but I also copy the full text here.
With a scholar of German studies under siege, medievalists mobilize
December 2, 2010
By Simon Baker
Bristol’s plan to cut post would harm UK expertise, warn colleagues worldwide. Simon Baker reports
Dozens of scholars in medieval German studies are running an international campaign of support for a University of Bristol academic threatened with redundancy.
After 18 years of service, Anne Simon, a specialist in medieval and early modern German literature, has been told that her post is at risk as the university disinvests in the field.
Fellow medievalists from across the world have flooded Bristol with letters and emails criticizing the decision, which, they say, will severely undermine study of the subject.
Students have also joined the protest, and there is anger over claims - denied by the university - that academics have been warned not to speak out.
Elizabeth Andersen, a senior lecturer in German studies at Newcastle University, said there had been an “overwhelming response” from medievalists, particularly those who know Dr Simon through a biannual Anglo-German colloquium.
Noting that Dr Simon was “highly regarded” for her research and dedication to teaching, she said that specialists in German literature could not understand why Bristol was cutting back in an area in which it was held in “high esteem”.
The university has a renowned Center for Medieval Studies - which Dr Simon co-founded - and its work would suffer as a result, Dr Andersen said. Bristol’s move had “touched a nerve” with fellow academics, she added. "If I were in Bristol, I would be delighted that the university was held in such high esteem, but would also be distraught about what it was doing."
About 150 scholars from across the world have signed a letter of support for Dr Simon, among them eminent figures from German, Austrian and Swiss higher education.
They include Peter Strohschneider, chairman of Germany’s Council of Science and Humanities and professor of medieval studies at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich.
A shrinking enclave
Henrike Lahnemann, chair of German studies at Newcastle’s School of Modern Languages, said the “vehemence” of the reaction from scholars reflected great concern about the erosion of German medieval studies in British universities.
If Dr Simon left Bristol, there would be only 11 permanent staff in seven institutions dedicated to the subject, she said.
Ian Tompkins, a fourth-year student in German at Bristol who has been supporting Dr Simon, said there was anger about where cuts were hitting while huge sums were spent on projects such as refurbishing the students ’union.
By removing its specialist teacher in medieval and early modern literature, Bristol “completely undermined” the curriculum, he said.
A Bristol spokesman said its decision was "not taken lightly".
“This proposal, made at a time when most, if not all, universities have to cut costs, is part of a university-wide program where most of the required savings have been secured by early retirements and voluntary severance,” he said.
"Moreover, the proposal should go ahead, then, despite protestations to the contrary, the material effect (beyond those on the individuals concerned) would be minimal."
Bristol also plans to ax a lecturer post in the department of Hispanic, Portuguese and Latin American studies, despite advertising for a new chair.
The news from the University of Bristol that Prof. Anne Simon’s position as specialist for Medieval and Early German Literature and Cultural History is threatened of being abruptly terminated because of “redundancy” has also caused alarm among her former colleagues and academic friends in Canada.If it were not so grievous both for Dr Simon and her students, it could be seen, from the outside, as another sequel in David Lodge's satires on university life in his home country. Dr Simon is one of the few British scholars of early German Studies whose work is also well known to North American scholars. Since her earlier graduate studies at the University of British Columbia, notably under the renowned British-Canadian medievalist Michael S. Batts, Dr Simon went on to postgraduate studies and further academic work in the UK and in Germany. She kept up her professional contacts with her North American colleagues, gave lectures at conferences in Canada and the United States, initiated an extended visit by Canadian scholar Prof. Marketa Goetz-Stankiewicz in 2009, and generally furthered the critical study of earlier German and European cultural history in the Anglo-American world. Looking at the testimonies from Dr Simon's distinguished British and European colleagues on the website in her support one becomes overwhelmed by a feeling of dismay at the short-sightedness of this administrative decision. We can only hope and fervently wish that the Dean of Arts and the administration of the University of Bristol at large will pay heed to the words of Prof. Silvia Ranawake on this website: “The loss of the Medieval / Early Modern expert will make it impossible for the Department of German to offer a credible well-balanced program of German Studies that will be up to the standards normally associated with an internationally recognized university. " By substituting the subjunctive form “would” for the indicative “will” in the above statement the University of Bristol could be given the chance to correct its (in my view) misguided decision, continue the highly successful premodern studies component of its German Studies division , and fully reinstate and confirm Dr Simon in her position.
Karl A. Zaenker, Assoc. Professor Emeritus
Department of Central, Eastern and Northern European Studies (CENES)
The University of British Columbia
Vancouver, B.C. Canada
November 28, 2010
I have known Dr Anne Simon for some two decades. Before she was appointed at Bristol in 1992, she was my research assistant in the University of London on the Walther von der Vogelweide project. I valued her work as a caring and conscientious tutor when I was Examiner in Bristol (1992-1994). Subsequently I have met her at conferences and been impressed by her papers. She is now a scholar of international repute, as is evident from the e-mails you have received from my German, Austrian and Swiss colleagues. She has diversified her research and teaching, working now primarily in the early modern period. She was also much respected as a Head of Department at Bristol.
Medieval and Early Modern studies have long been one of the strengths of Bristol’s German Department (as of other departments). I was fortunate enough to hear Professor August Closs give a paper on Gottfried’s Tristan, shortly before his death. The tradition has been continued by, among others, Professor Frank Shaw. To abolish the teaching of the first thousand years of German literature is, as one of my German colleagues has pointed out, nonsensical.
The board of our company is aware that the University of Bristol will limit its courses in German studies to the modern era, i.e. that it intends to remove the areas of the Middle Ages and the early modern period. As a society of Germanistic Mediaevistics with over 400 learned members from all over the world, including more than 20 from your country, we would like to consider with this open letter:
- The Germanic Mediaevistics (or Germanic Philology) is the historical core area and the basis of Germanistics as a scientific discipline. It was the field of work of the Brothers Grimm and Karl Lachmann, from which modern literature and linguistics have developed as areas of specialization.
- Since its inception, German Media Studies has understood itself to be a broad science of the history of the German language and all of the texts written in it, taking into account the historical and cultural contexts. Her interests range from law to specialist literature and poetry to religious and philosophical texts. In no other area of German studies does one learn in a comparable way in cultural contexts, i.e. to think networked.
- Today, Germanistic Mediaevistics is an interdisciplinary, interdisciplinary oriented science that is interested in cultural studies, but based on philological and historical research. Wherever mediaevistic subjects cooperate in institutes, projects and societies, the Germanistic mediaevistic department is involved, very often in the lead.
- Representatives of the Germanistic Mediaevistics have therefore always occupied top positions in university management, science administration and research funding to a disproportionate extent, the current President of the German Science Council is only a prominent example.
- As part of the German studies course, Mediaevistics guarantees the historical dimension of the discipline. Without it, German literature will be shortened by centuries, the origins and prehistory of the novel, poetry, song, historiography, religious literature, specialist literature and encyclopedia become incomprehensible - the history of almost all modern genres can no longer be thought of as a whole .
- Studying Middle High German as a language level far enough removed from today's German facilitates access to historically less deep layers of German. Understanding the language of Luther, but also the language of Goethe, requires knowledge of the previous development of the German language.
- Mediaevistics enables the encounter with an initially completely foreign level of one's own culture, a time before the book and before widespread reading ability. Understanding here requires learning a variety of transmission techniques, far beyond linguistic translation. Learning these techniques sharpens the view for historically based cultural differences.
- After the large-scale collapse in knowledge of Latin, the easier-to-learn medieval vernacular languages are also the only authentic access to the tradition of the Middle Ages and the early modern period. The Middle Ages are therefore of increasing importance.
- Where one thinks that one can do without the contribution of Mediaevistics, one gives up the claim to a serious university course in the field of German studies. The subject becomes a foreign language discipline focused on language acquisition, loses its place in inter-university and international academic exchange, and it becomes more difficult for students to move to other universities.
British German studies is already too small to be able to afford further interventions in the still existing substance - the decision of your university is therefore of national and international importance.
We therefore urge you to reconsider your decision: The economically justified, spontaneous dismantling of historical disciplines would very quickly lead to damage to the humanities that can no longer be done well. The flattening of historical awareness hits the core of occidental identity at a time when knowledge of one's own past is urgently needed as the basis for intercultural understanding. This dismantling is therefore politically not justifiable not only in terms of education policy. Principiis obsta.
The Board of Directors (Prof. Dr. Prof. Dr. Eckart Conrad Lutz University of Freiburg Switzerland; Prof. Dr. Klaus Ridder University of Tuebingen; Prof. Dr. Susanne Koebele University of Erlangen
It was with great dismay that I heard from the “compulsory redundancy” of Dr. Find out about Anne Simon. To fire such a well-known mediaevist with the aim of dismantling mediaevistics and the early modern era sends completely the wrong signals.
Especially the planned Arthurian Congress of Professor Dietl (University of Giessen) in Bristol, in which employees of my chair will also take part, shows the relevance of the Middle Ages and its networking with your renowned university very clearly. Dr. Simon in 2006 held an interdisciplinary conference on Medea: Mutations and Permutations of A Myth was internationally registered. In addition, Dr. Simon, as co-founder of the Center for Medieval Studies, contributed to the interdisciplinary nature, which is of great interest to so many scholars and students.
The research performance of Dr. Anne Simon builds bridges for modern times, which cannot be made comprehensible without their roots in the Middle Ages and in the early modern times. Dr. Simon did pioneering work in the area of early modern times. Her 1998 work on Sigmund Feyerabend’s Das Reyssbuch dess heyligen Lands. A Study in Printing and Literary History. Knowledge literature in the Middle Ages 32 (Wiesbaden: Reichert) has attracted international attention and is still used as a basic work. The 1998 volume she co-edited brings together further groundbreaking research: Author and authorship in the Middle Ages. Meissen Colloquium 1995 (= Proceedings of the Fourteenth Anglo-German Medieval Colloquium) Ed. Elizabeth Andersen, Jens Haustein, Anne Simon and Peter Strohschneider (Tuebingen: Niemeyer). I myself was able to profit very fruitfully from her numerous works on the ‘Ritter vom Turn’ (2001, 1999). Your relevant articles are equally well received in German media studies. I only mention "God experience or world experience: the experience of traveling in pilgrimage reports of the fifteenth century". In: Travel and World Experience in German Medieval Literature. Lectures of the XI. Anglo-German Colloquium September 11-15, 1989, University of Liverpool. Ed. Dietrich Huschenbett & John Margetts. Wuerzburg contributions to German philology 7 (Wuerzburg: Koenigshausen & Neumann, 1991), pp. 173-814.
Your studies on Judaism and Islam are very topical right now. With her teaching units â € œEngaging with the Other: Germany, Judaism and Islam, she makes a contribution to placing the recent past in greater context.
Dear Dean, as a professor of Latin studies, older languages and language levels are particularly important to you. I therefore sincerely ask you to reconsider your decision.
I accept the dismissal of Dr. Anne Simon and the intended closure of the Germanic Media Studies in Bristol. Despite all the savings that the British universities are currently suffering from, such a decision can only meet with incomprehension in international German studies, especially in view of Anne Simon's internationally recognized research achievements in key areas of media and early modern research.
I therefore emphatically join the protest.
I am writing to urge you and your colleagues to reconsider the recently announced redundancy of my colleague and fellow researcher Dr Anne Simon of the School of Modern Languages, an internationally renowned scholar in British German Studies.
I am given to understand that the decision was taken on the grounds that the reduction of German to 5 FTEs (one professor, four lecturers), was necessary to ensure the financial viability of the faculty, and that the least damaging way of achieving this reduction , in order to protect the future of the subject, would be to disinvest from the Medieval / Early Modern component of the subject of German.
Contrary to this view, I, together with other colleagues in German Studies, consider this action as highly damaging to the future of the subject at the University of Bristol on the following grounds.
The loss of the Medieval / Early Modern expert will make it impossible for the Department of German to offer a credible well-balanced program of German Studies that will be up to the standards normally associated with an internationally recognized university. The periodization of literature and culture on which the decision appears to be based, no longer provides the basis for today's teaching and research. The most stimulating courses and the best of cutting-edge research favor thematic and interdisciplinary approaches crossing the boundaries of cultures and periods. They draw heavily on the expertise of scholars such as Dr Simon with an intimate knowledge of the history of the German language, literature and culture. Her research and teaching in the areas of, for example, travel literature, city culture, text and illustration, gender studies, religion and literature are prime examples. Losing this expertise will not only have serious repercussions for the academic viability of the subject of German at Bristol, but will also diminish the Faculty's potential to offer up-to-date interdisciplinary teaching, both at undergraduate and postgraduate level.
I hope that you and your colleagues will give these considerations some thought and reconsider your decision in the interests of the subject, the Faculty and the University of Bristol.
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