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Visiting Scholars 2017/18

Dr Vladimír Bilčík and Dr Matúš Mišík, Comenius University, Bratislava, Slovakia visited 24-26 January 2018

Vladimír Bilčík studied at Swarthmore College (BA), University of Oxford (MPhil) and Comenius University (PhD). He heads the EU program at the Research Centre of the Slovak Foreign Policy Association (RC SFPA) and lectures on European integration and international relations in the Department of Political Science, Faculty of Arts at Comenius University in Bratislava. 

Matúš Mišík Matus Misik is Assistant Professor of Political Science at the Comenius University, Bratislava.  He is a partner on a Visegrad-fund project on Central European Countries and Brexit with Balazs Szent-Ivanyi (LSS).  He has previously been a visiting fellow and teacher at Aston, and has also held research positions in Austria and Canada.

During their visit they addressed a staff and student seminar about growth of populism in Central Europe and spoke at a well-attended event at the House of Lords, jointly hosted by Aston Centre for Europe and Policy Network, on the Visegrad countries and Brexit. The event was chaired by Shadow Brexit Minister Baroness Hayter and featured widely on social media.

Prof. Dr. Christiane Dalton-Puffer, Vienna University, Austria visited 30 Jan-4 Feb 2018

Prof Christiane Dalton-Puffer is Associate Professor of English Linguistics and part of the Centre for English Language Teaching at Vienna University. Prof Dalton-Puffer’s many research specialisms include instructed second language learning, Content-and-Language integrated Learning (CLIL) and content in ELT, bilingual education, classroom discourse, discourse analysis, pragmatics, phonetics/phonology, teaching and learning of L2 pronunciation, word-formation, and history of English word-formation, and teacher education. Her current research is on classroom discourse especially in CLIL, and she has been part of the leading team of the interdisciplinary Research Platform “Theory and practice of Subject Didactics” at the University of Vienna since 2009.

During her visit she gave a talk as part of the LSS School seminar series on "Cognitive Discourse Functions as an interdisciplinary construct for language and content integration in CLIL" and a public lecture on "Policy and practice of CLIL in Austria”. She also delivered a CPD workshop with local teachers on “Great Expectations. What do we want from CLIL, what do we know about it?”

Professor Luise von Flotow, University of Ottawa, Canada, visited 14-17 May 2018

Luise von Flotow is full professor in Translation and Interpretation, and Director of the Faculty of Graduate and Postgraduate Studies at the University of Ottawa, Canada. She was trained at various British universities (University of London, University of Windsor) before obtaining her PhD from the University of Michigan, US, and starting her academic career in Canada. Her main research interests include the political and ideological influences on translation (specifically translation and gender and transnation and nationalism), literary translation as public diplomacy, actual literary translation: from German and French into English, and audiovisual translation (dubbing and subtitling). 

During her visit she took part of the 15th Aston Feminist Café, on the topic: “Feminist activism and translation: Where are the women?” and delivered a presentation as part of the LSS School seminar series titled: “Trajectories in Feminist and Gender-Aware Translation and Translation Studies”. She was also keynote speaker at the one-day Conference "Women/Gender/Feminism and Translation Studies", organised with the support of the Centre for Languages and Research at Aston (CLaRA).

Professor Jan-Louis Kruger, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia, visited 9-14 June 2018

Professor Jan-Louis Kruger is associate professor in Translating and Interpreting and Head of the Linguistics Department at Macquarie (Sydney, Australia). He is also extraordinary professor at the School of Languages on the Vaal Triangle Campus of North-West University in South Africa. He has been involved in the teaching of and research into audiovisual translation for the past 16 years and has completed projects on the state of subtitling, subtitler training and subtitling and multilingualism in South Africa. His main research interests at present include studies on the reception and processing of audiovisual translation products including aspects such as cognitive load, comprehension, attention allocation, and psychological immersion.  

During his visit he presented at the conference 'Data Quality in Eye Tracking and Translation Studies Research' which attracted 50 attendees from all over the UK and even Europe (The Netherlands, Portugal, Switzerland). He also led a workshop entitled “Processing Eye-Tracking Data in Translation Studies Research”. The workshop targeted PG students, early career researchers and academics in the fields of audiovisual translation and translation process research.

Professor Tarja Nikula-Jäntti,University of Jyväskylä, Finland, visited 28 November - 3 December 2017

Prof Tarja Nikula is Professor of Applied Linguistics and Director of the Centre for Applied Language Studies (CALS) at the University of Jyväskylä. CALS is a national expert unit specialized in studying the goals, practices and policies of language education. The focal areas of research include language testing, the development of language proficiency in different contexts and communities of practice, and language education policy. Prof Nikula’s research specialisms include classroom discourse, content and language integrated learning (CLIL) and foreign language learning and teaching, discourse-pragmatics and subject-specific language. She published numerous articles and has most recently co-edited Conceptualising Integration in CLIL and Multilingual Education (2016).

Prof Nikula presented a seminar on her research, Classroom discourse perspective on CLIL: insights from a research trajectory. This seminar was very well attended, with more than 40 students on the MA TESOL programme, PhD students in Applied Linguistics, members of academic staff from Aston and other west Midlands universities and teachers from local secondary schools.  Prof Nikula also gave a public lecture titled A multi-sited policy perspective on CLIL which was attended by Aston academic staff, two scholars from our TEMPUS partner university in the Ukraine and teachers from local schools.  In addition, Prof Nikula delivered a workshop titled Implications of CLIL for classroom practice which was attended by Aston academic staff, some of our teaching assistants, PG students from the University of Birmingham and teachers from local schools.

Professor Thomas Saalfeld and Lucas Geese, University of Bamberg, Germany visited 21 February 2018

Thomas Saalfeld is Professor of Political Science, University of Bamberg, Director (‘Sprecher’) of the Bamberg Graduate School of Social Sciences (BAGSS), Convenor of the Standing Group on Parliaments of the European Consortium for Political Research

He has previously held senior academic roles in the UK and currently holds a major research grant “Pathways to Powers - The Political Representation of Citizens of Immigrant Origin in Eight European Democracies (PATHWAYS).  

Lucas Geese is Doctoral fellow/ associate member of Bamberg Graduate School of Social Sciences (BAGSS) (supervised by Prof. Thomas Saalfeld), Research fellow at the Chair of Comparative Politics (University of Bamberg) with the ORA+-Project "Pathways to Powers - The Political Representation of Citizens of Immigrant Origin in Eight European Democracies (PATHWAYS)"

During their visit they delivered a talk to the LSS School seminar series on activity of BME parliamentarians in different countries and held discussions with academic staff and postgraduate and research students.

Professor Aagje Swinnen, Maastricht University, Netherlands visited 5-9 December 2017


Aagje Swinnen joined the Center for Gender and Diversity of Maastricht University in 2006. Since October 2016, Swinnen holds the position of Socrates Endowed Chair International Humanism and the Art of Living at the University of Humanistic Studies in Utrecht. Originally trained as a literary scholar, Swinnen has broadened the scope of her research to cultural studies of aging, focusing on the workings of age ideologies and the intersection of age and other markers of social difference in a wide variety of cultural texts, such as photography and film. 

Prof. Swinnen gave a Research seminar On Poetry interventions and dementia  and gave the plenary lecture at the Symposium Dementia and Culture Narratives held at Aston 8-9  December, 2017.