School of Modern Languages

Impact and Engagement

Impact and engagement

Impact and engagement activities with positive effects, locally and globally.


From the School of Modern Languages to the World

Much of our research and teaching matters to the world outside of academia. Staff in the School of Modern Languages work with schools, charities, creative arts practitioners, NGOs, politicians, local authorities, and the general public. Our impact and engagement activities have had positive effects on the work of our partners, both in the UK and abroad. 

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Our work

Examples of our recent activities include:

  • The AHRC-funded project 'Eyes on Murakami'
    The project is led by Dr Gitte Marianne Hansen in partnership with a diverse group of collaborators from around the world, each contributing to the project through their respective eyes—that is, perspectives and expertise—on Murakami and contemporary Japanese culture. Through a number of publications and events that took place in early March 2018, the project examines the literary worlds of Murakami, including the gendering of his characters as well as the processes of translation and transmedial production.
  • Cultural Narratives of Crisis and Renewal (CRIC)
    The project Cultural Narratives of Crisis and Renewal (CRIC) examines cultural production and cultural practices in periods of societal crisis at the turn-of the 20th Century on both sides of the Atlantic. The overarching aim of the project is to investigate the role of cultural production, not just as a vehicle to elaborate cohesive narratives in moments of crisis, but as a space to create alternative imaginaries for social renewal. The project has received funding from the European Commission, Horizon 2020 - MSCA - RISE. Participating universities: Newcastle University (UNEW) as coordinator; Universitat de València (UVEG), Universitat de Lleida (UDL) and University of Groningen (RUG) in Europe; Universidad Austral de Chile (UACH), Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú (PUCP), Universidad Nacional de Córdoba (UNC) and Universidad Nacional Tres de Febrero (UNTREF) in Latin America.

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    Project coordinators: Patricia Oliart and Jorge Catalá-Carrasco. 
  • Public displays of the exhibitionChildren under the Nazisas part of local authorities’ Holocaust Memorial Day programmes: in the City Library as part of Newcastle City Council’s 2018 HMD programme, and in the Quadrant as part of North Tyneside City Council’s 2019 HMD programme
  • The Real Translation Projectdirected by Angela Uribe de Kellett 
    Our students translate texts for charities into a range of target languages. Over the past decade around 500 undergraduates have worked with organisations such as National Trust properties Cragside and Wallington, translated documents for local primary schools and provided translation and interpreting support for human rights lawyers. The Real Translation Project provides excellent opportunities for our language students to hone their linguistic skills and help community and charity organisations translating documents into the languages taught in the School of Modern Languages.One of the final year students’ projects that caught the eye of the local media involved translating the city Castle’s audio-guide under the leadership of Dr Pauline Henry-Tierney, Jan-Okke Baumbach, Dr Conceição Pereira and Linlin Fang. (Read more)

Read more in our newsletter.

Some of the impact generated from our research is (and has been) entered into the REF.

Visit the HaSS Faculty Impact Pages.

Key contacts in the School of Modern Languages:

Dr Beate Müller (Director of Impact and Engagement):

Dr Gillian Jein (Acting Director of Impact and Engagement in 2019/20):

Administrate support for impact and engagement: Mrs Shelley Barnes:


REF 2021

For REF2021, the School is supporting the development of three Impact Case Studies:

For REF purposes, impact is defined as "an effect on, change or benefit to the economy, society, culture, public policy or services, health, the environment or quality of life, beyond academia" (see point 297 at ).

For REF2021, the School is supporting the development of three Impact Case Studies:

  • Generating impact in linguistic human rights for indigenous people (Peru), led by Prof. Rosaleen Howard
    This project reinforced the skills and professional profiles of the indigenous participants in the Peruvian state training programme in translation and interpreting between indigenous languages and Spanish. It raised the visibility of the bilingual indigenous women leaders who work as non-accredited mediators among members of their communities in highland Peru. It triggered the recruitment of three of the non-accredited interpreters to work for the Commission set up to register Quechua- and Aymara-speaking victims of an enforced sterilisation programme that targeted indigenous people in the 1990s. Newcastle research brought to the state's attention the suitability of the non-accredited interpreters, due to their gender and cultural sensibilities; their mediation ensured the rightful registration of the victims. Howard’s work led to one of the non-accredited interpreters doing the state training programme; she is now accredited. The project also raised consciousness with the team at Peru's 'Place of Memory, Tolerance and Social Inclusion', where the events of Peru's recent 'dirty war', which blighted the lives of the women who participated in the follow-on-funding project and their communities, are documented.
  • Re-orienting Holocaust Education to the Fate of Children under the Nazis, led by Dr Beate Müller
    Müller's research on the Holocaust puts the fate of children under Nazi rule and their testimonies at centre stage. Her work has shaped the ways in which charities, schools, as well as organisations and authorities in South Africa and the North-East of England educate their publics about the Third Reich. Müller's travelling exhibition on children's lives under Nazi rule and associated learning resources have equipped existing provision with a new focus on children from all walks of life, which is particularly effective for educating young learners. The resultant changes in educational practices and resources used have enriched the awareness of schoolchildren, vulnerable youths, and the general public about the dangers of racism.
  • National education policy and teacher training in Peru, Chile and Bolivia: Inclusion of critical gender, race and ethnicity perspectives in education among policy makers, teacher training programmes and teachers, led by Dr Patricia Oliart
    By revealing the social and cultural history of education linked to the institutional cultures in the education system in Peru, Oliart’s research (2011) influenced both the formulation of the National Education Plan for 2007-2021 and the implementation of education policies between 2014 and 2016. The Fe y Alegria network of schools (80 schools and 84,000 students in Peru) use her research on teenage sexuality in Cusco (2005)  for capacity-building work among teachers serving rural schools and marginal urban communities, with the aim of reducing school dropouts among teenage girls. Oliart’s work figures in the curricula of teacher training programmes on intercultural education in Peru, Chile and Bolivia.

REF 2014

For REF2014, the School submitted two Impact Case Studies:

Medieval Heritage in the Convents of Northern Germany: Rediscovery, Preservation and Presentation (Prof. Henrike Lähnemann). Newcastle’s extensive and authoritative study of the medieval manuscripts that originated in the Lüneburg convents has led the Protestant successors of these female religious communities to a more informed and in some cases considerably revised interpretation of their medieval heritage. As the convents prepare for the quincentenary of the Lutheran Reformation, they have drawn on the underpinning research to run interactive workshops for the general public on liturgical singing and calligraphy and mount new exhibitions in their museums for the thousands of visitors visiting the convents.

Enriching the world’s cultural treasury through research-led poetry translation (Prof. Francis Jones). Jones’s research-led translations expertly and innovatively communicate Bosnian, Serbian and Dutch poetry to English-reading poetry audiences (including poets) worldwide. His translations enable poets whose reach has previously been limited to single-language areas to expand towards English-reading audiences, thus enriching these audiences’ cultural experience and enhancing Bosnian/Serbian/Dutch citizens’ pride in their domestic literary heritage. Jones’s publications are the recognised English translations of these works. From 2008 to 2013, they have been used in numerous publications and websites as well as stimulating ‘onward’ translations. His output has served as a catalyst for new events celebrating the poets, poems and cultures that he has worked on. The Summaries of HaSS Impact Case Studies Submitted to REF2014 7 techniques developed as part of Jones’s research also underpin expert-seminar leadership and translator-assessment work. This has influenced other translators’ methods and enabled them to communicate poetry more effectively across linguistic barriers to increasingly larger audiences.


Read more about our impact and engagement activities in the newsletters.