I started my academic career as an undergraduate at the University of St Andrews. In the course of my degree in German Language and Literature I spent a year as an assistant teacher at a school in Hamburg and then a semester as an exchange student at Erlangen University. The year after I graduated I went back to Erlangen to work as a Lektorin for English in the Sprachenzentrum. After this I returned to Scotland, this time to Edinburgh University as a doctoral student. From there I moved down the East coast in 1978 to take up a post as lecturer in German. I was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 1998 and appointed to the Headship of the School of Modern Languages in 2004.
Head of School
Director of the North East Routes into Languages Consortium
Director of the Teacher Development Agency funded German Extension Course
Representative for Germanic Studies on the University Council of Modern Languages (UCML)
1974 University of St Andrews: MA in German Language and
1986 University of Edinburgh: PhD in Middle High German Literature
Association of German Studies; Women in German Studies; International Arthurian Society; Interantional Courtly Literature Society; Wolfram von Eschenbach Gesellschaft; Oswald von Wolkenstein Gesellschaft
German, French, Danish
I work on German medieval literature, particularly mystical and visionary writing. Other interests are in the intertextuality and narrative structures of Arthurian romance, the articulation of voices and identity in women's writing and the influence of the hagiographical on secular subjects in vernacular writing.
At the moment I am working on a BA funded project on the development of "mystical culture" from the 13th through to the 15th century in Northern Germany. This will result in a volume entitled 'Companion to Northern German Mysticism' commissioned by Brill ( Leiden) which I am editing together with my colleague Henrike Lähnemann.
Within the context of the 'Northern German Mysticism' project, I am exploring the impact that the translation of Birgitta of Sweden's 'Revelationes' into Low German had on art and literature from the 14th through to the early 16th century. I am particularly interested in the circulation of this translation in northern Germany and Scandinavia by the publishing houses of Lübeck as the centre of the Hanse.
I wish to investigate more generally the circulation of Latin and Low German devotional texts by the publishing houses of Lübeck through the mercantile channels of the Hanseatic League and their reception within Northern Germany and Scandinavia.
2001 BA conference grant (17th. meeting of the Anglo-German Colloquium)
2010 BA Small Grant Award (Northern German Mysticism project)
2011 DAAD Study Grant (research in Münster)
I teach courses on literature and film. My literature courses reflect my research interests in Middle High German literature, while my teaching in film focuses on the beginnings of the German cinema in the Weimar Republic (1919-1933) and the propagandistic use of film during the Third Reich (1933-1945).
As Head of School the time I have for teaching is restricted. I normally teach on the following modules:
SML1018 Texts and Contexts
GER4001 German Cinema to 1945: Weimar Republic and Third Reich
However, in 2011/12 I shall be on research leave in Semester 1.
I am eager to supervise students working on topics that fall within my research interests (12th and 13th century courtly literature, in particular the Arthurian romance; female spirituality in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries; the 'Schwankroman'; Northern German literature in the late Middle Ages).