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Successful UKRI funding boost to transnational collaboration

A successful funding bid has cemented the future of transnational collaboration between researchers at Nottingham Trent University and Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz, Germany.

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Professor Andrew Thacker (NTU) and Professor Alison Martin (JGU) have been successful in their bid for funding from the AHRC-German Research Foundation Scheme for their project - Spaces of Translation: European Magazine Cultures, c1945 - c1965.

Professor Christopher Smith, Executive Chair, Arts and Humanities Research Council, says:

I am delighted that the second year of this partnership between AHRC and DfG has generated such interest from our research communities. Once again, we have been able to co-fund a wide range of exceptional collaborative projects.

This programme demonstrates the scope that exists for continued and deepening research cooperation between the UK and Germany and is evidence of our international ambition.

One of only 18 successful grants, the project was awarded over £400,000 to run from 2021 to 2024. Professor Thacker and Professor Martin will study a small constellation of literary and cultural magazines from three countries (Britain, France, Germany) in order to consider how, through translation, they explore and construct notions of European identity in the period following from the end of World War Two to the mid-1960s. Rapid shifts towards decolonisation, the Americanisation of European culture, the rise of anti-militarism and the strategic and ideological conflicts instigated by the Cold War all stimulated an ongoing reassessment of what the European idea stood for and whether or how it might be achieved. Using the notion of periodicals as 'European spaces' the project addresses the following research question: how does periodical culture in Britain, France, and Germany use translation to reconfigure a vision for Europe after the catastrophe of World War Two?

At the heart of the project lies a focus on the practice of translation as carried out in the magazines under consideration: what is the significance of the translation of works of poetry, fiction, criticism, and non-fiction in this period? How do translated texts operate as vehicles for the forging of new European identities? Does the crossing of linguistic boundaries produce alliances across national borders? Conversely, in the practice of non-translation do we see a new assertion of national languages and identities? Do bilingual magazines in this period (e.g. Two CitiesAdamThe Gate/Das Tor) work to bring diverse national literatures together, or mark their continued divergence?

So far, little research has examined how literary and cultural journals responded to these turbulent post-war years by acting as a platform for intellectuals to promote their visions of Europe, forging transnational networks and being actively internationalist in their cultural commitments. The project will mount a range of events to explore these questions, including workshops, an international conference, a public-facing exhibition, and a website with translated materials from the magazines studied. In addition, a number of articles and a co-edited book of essays to reflect the work of the project.

  • Notes for editors

    About Nottingham Trent University

    Nottingham Trent University (NTU) was named University of the Year 2019 in the Guardian University Awards. The award was based on performance and improvement in the Guardian University Guide, retention of students from low-participation areas and attainment of BME students.

    NTU was also the Times Higher Education University of the Year 2017, and The Times and Sunday Times Modern University of the Year 2018. These awards recognise NTU for its high levels of student satisfaction, its quality of teaching, its engagement with employers, and its overall student experience.

    The university has been rated Gold in the Government’s Teaching Excellence Framework – the highest ranking available.

    It is one of the largest UK universities. With nearly 32,000 students and more than 4,000 staff located across four campuses, the University contributes £900m to the UK economy every year. With an international student population of more than 3,000 from around 100 countries, the University prides itself on its global outlook.

    The university is passionate about creating opportunities and its extensive outreach programme is designed to enable NTU to be a vehicle for social mobility. NTU is among the UK’s top five recruiters of students from disadvantaged backgrounds and was awarded University of the Year in the UK Social Mobility Awards 2019.

    A total of 82% of its graduates go on to graduate entry employment or graduate entry education or training within six months of leaving. Student satisfaction is high: NTU achieved an 87% satisfaction score in the 2020 National Student Survey, above the sector average of 83%.

Published on 5 November 2020
  • Category: School of Arts and Humanities