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The University of Southampton

AHRB research grants for University of Southampton School of Humanities

Published: 15 July 2004

Researchers in the University of Southampton's School of Humanities are celebrating after receiving grants totalling almost £500,000 from the Arts and Humanities Research Board (AHRB).

Two projects have attracted significant support from the organization's research grants scheme, underlining Southampton's first-class reputation as one of the top ten research universities in the UK.

Dr Tim Bergfelder, Head of Film Studies, receives funding for his three-year project entitled 'German-speaking émigrés in British cinema, 1925-1950'. His research focuses on the exchange of technology, personnel, and aesthetics. Examining a period that spans from the late silent film era to the immediate post-World War II years, the project team will analyse films, pursue biographical investigation and documentation, and examine patterns of migration, exile, and international film production.

Dr Patrick Stevenson, Reader in German sociolinguistics in Modern Languages, has been awarded funding over a period of four years for a project on 'The German language and the future of Europe'. Patrick will examine the role of language in the formation of national identities, and in the promotion of national interests in contemporary Europe, at a crucial moment in its development.

Taking the relationship between German and other languages as its central theme, he will focus on the consequences of two key social processes: the growing movement of people into and within Europe, and the enlargement of the European Union. He will explore issues relating to language, migration and citizenship in Germany and Austria, and the competition between German and English as common languages in new member states of central and Eastern Europe.

Commenting on the awards, Professor Michael Kelly, Head of School, said: "These innovative and outward-facing projects confirm our position as one of the top five universities in the UK for arts and humanities."

The AHRB research grants scheme provides awards for up to five years to support major research projects that will lead to important advances in knowledge and understanding, contributing not only to the research community but also to the wider world. The AHRB announced a total of £14.5 million in grants in its latest round of awards.

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Notes for editors

  1. The University of Southampton is a leading UK teaching and research institution with a global reputation for leading-edge research and scholarship. The University has over 19,200 students and 4800 staff and plays an important role in the City of Southampton. Its annual turnover is in the region of £250 million.
  2. Dr Tim Bergfelder studied English Literature and History at Berlin's Free University and Film Studies at the University of East Anglia. He has taught at Southampton since 1995, and has been a Senior Lecturer since 2002. In 2004 he became Head of Film. His research interests include the history of European film industries, in particular the area of multinational co-productions and their relationship to Hollywood. Further interests include comparative studies of cinema audiences; the cultural reception of popular European film genres; and the biographical and aesthetic trajectories of emigre or exiled filmmakers. Among his many publications are the books International Adventures. German Popular Cinema and European Co-Productions (Oxford and New York: Berghahn 2004), The German Cinema Book (as co-editor; London: BFI 2002), and The Titanic in Myth and Memory (co-ed; London and New York: I.B. Tauris).
  3. Dr Patrick Stevenson studied Modern Languages, Linguistics and Education at the Universities of Oxford, Sussex and Reading. He has taught German and Linguistic Studies at Southampton since 1979, and has been a Reader in German Studies since 1997. His main research interests are in German sociolinguistics, language ideologies, the politics of language, language contact and multilingualism. Together with other Southampton colleagues, he has recently organised a major international conference on 'Language and the Future of Europe: Ideologies, Policies and Practices', which was held in Southampton on 8-10 July 2004. For more information visit
  4. The AHRB funds postgraduate training and research in the arts and humanities, from archaeology and English literature to design and dance. The quality and range of research supported not only provides social and cultural benefits but also contributes to the economic success of the UK.
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