ANNIVERSARIES, THE PUBLIC, AND ACADEMIA

Henrike Lähnemann, Sean M. Williams, Stefan Manz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Anniversaries have been much problematised in scholarship, not least in the present special number. But pragmatically, they are also a tried‐and‐tested way of engaging with diverse publics. In contemporary British Higher Education, such work is incentivised through the impact agenda of the Research Excellence Framework. The following contribution brings together three British‐based colleagues in German Studies, who each reflect on their own practical experiences of capitalising on anniversaries. Henrike Lähnemann discusses commemorative activities and events 500 years after the Reformation, in which she uses translating, printing, and singing as historic impact‐style activities to engage audiences in Oxford and beyond. Seán Williams turns to mainstream media, arguing that anniversaries are a useful hook for bringing German Studies content to wider audiences – even if the commemorative occasions seem, on the face of it, less relevant to those of us working in increasingly marginal disciplines in Great Britain. Stefan Manz is concerned with remembering the forgotten ‘collateral’ victims of the First World War during the centenary, particularly those Germans who were interned in camps throughout the British Empire. Manz shows that it is possible to connect the stories of the marginalised to large‐scale anniversaries in order to challenge dominant narratives. Here, as in all cases, the key to success is cross‐sector collaboration and adaptation to non‐academic needs and contexts.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)490-517
Number of pages28
JournalGerman Life and Letters
Volume73
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jul 2020

Bibliographical note

© 2020 The Authors German Life and Letters published by Editorial Board and John Wiley & Sons Ltd

This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Keywords

  • Anniversaries, Impact, Internment

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