Building on a range of ‘practices and activities which foster a thriving research culture, and a significant volume of interdisciplinary research’ (RAE 2008), the newly established European Languages and Studies research cluster has created a dynamic environment that remains focused on the nurturing and enhancement of ambitious individual projects while promoting dialogue between French, German and Spanish studies as well as European studies and Linguistics. Current research projects of members of the cluster cover a range of areas, periods and methodologies from early-modern French religious minorities to francophone postcolonial literature; from modern German church history to German-Irish relations; from cultural translation and early colonial texts in Spanish to Latin American road movies; and from linguistic interfaces to bilingualism. Since 2008 members of the cluster have published more than ten monographs or edited volumes, and organised or co-organised a number of conferences.
Supervision is available in all of the above areas and research students make a strong contribution to our research culture. In the past five years, there have been successful PhD theses on a wide variety of topics such as Assia Djebar; current perceptions of the events of 1968; French media perceptions of the Northern Ireland ‘Troubles’; Austrian politics and the Slovene minority; Miguel de Unamuno’s poetics and prose; and Identity, space and nation in contemporary Irish and Spanish cinema.
Since 2008 members of the cluster have been awarded a number of grants and fellowships, in particular to work on the following projects: ‘A study of Benjamin Priolo (1602-1667) and his Ab excessu Ludovici XIII de rebus gallicis historiarum libri XII (1665)’ (Tribout, British Academy); ‘Research Networks in Linguistics’ (Henry, AHRC/IRCHSS). Professor Mairéad Nic Craith was Leverhulme Research Fellow in 2009-2010. Professor John Gillespie (jointly with Professor David Johnston, QUB) received major funding from the Department of Education to support research for the Languages Strategy for Northern Ireland. The cluster will host the EuroCALL HQ from 2010 onward. Finally, a range of indicators show that members of the cluster are recognised by peers at national and international level and play an important part in learned societies or subject associations such as the Royal Irish Academy (Nic Craith, Ó Dochartaigh); EUROCALL (Barr, Gillespie); Women in Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies (Thornton); the Association for French and Francophone Studies in Ireland (Tribout); and the Association for German Studies in Great Britain and Ireland (Ó Dochartaigh).