Dr Brigid Haines

Dr Brigid Haines
Reader
Languages, Translation and Communication
Telephone: (01792) 205678 ext 4028

About Me

I am Reader in German. A founder member of the UK organisation Women in German Studies, I have published widely on women's writing in German, including the monograph (with Margaret Littler) Contemporary Women's Writing in German: Changing the Subject). Since my 1991 monograph on the works of Adalbert Stifter, my other main focus has been on German writing from Eastern Europe. This has included the AHRC-supported projects, 'Maritime Bohemias: Representations of "Bohemia" in Libuše Moníková and other Contemporary German Writers', and 'Enduring Empires: History, Trauma and Identity in Recent German Writing from Central and Eastern Europe'. My current work is on the 'eastern turn' in German literature and on the work of Herta Müller, the 2009 Nobel laureate in Literature. My book (with Lyn Marven) Herta Müller (OUP) appeared in 2013. In summer 2013 the DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) supported a period of research leave at the University of Potsdam. Also in 2013 the DAAD supported my application for the the visit of the Dresden-based writer Jörg Bernig to Swansea as writer-in-residence.

Areas of Expertise

  • The eastern turn in recent German-language literature
  • Herta Müller
  • gender and German culture
  • German film

Publications

  1. Letting Go: Death and Dying in Michael Haneke's Amour and Andreas Dresen's Halt auf freier Strecke. In Nick Hodgin; Julian Preece (Ed.), Andreas Dresen. Lang.
  2. (Ed.). The Eastern Turn in Contemporary German-Language Literature. Brigid Haines; Anca Luca Holden (Ed.), Wiley.
  3. (Ed.). Herta Müller. Brigid Haines, Lyn Marven (Ed.), Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  4. (Ed.). Aesthetics and Politics in Modern German Culture: Festschrift in Honour of Rhys W. Williams. Oxford: Lang.
  5. Sport, Identity and War in Sasa Stanistic’s Wie der Soldat das Grammofon reparier’. In Aesthetics and Politics in Modern German Culture: Festschrift in Honour of Rhys W. Williams. (pp. 153-164). Oxford: Lang.

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Teaching

  • ML-321 Modern Languages Dissertation

    This module provides students with the opportunity to research one aspect of French, German, Italian or Hispanic culture in detail, and to present the findings of their research in a dissertation of 8000 words. The module will be taught by means of four practical seminars on research and writing skills, and through three formal supervision sessions with a dissertation supervisor. Your supervisor will help you to find a topic, suggest research strategies, agree a suitable title, discuss the structure of your dissertation, and will read closely and comment on one draft chapter. The topic may relate to a module you are doing at Level 3, provided that this does not involve a duplication of material and is agreed with the module coordinator in advance. The dissertations may be written in English, in your target language, or in Welsh (where Welsh-medium provision is available).

  • ML-M08 Gender and Culture: An introduction

    This module provides an overview of the main stages in the development of gender theory. It proposes the view that the study of history and culture through the prism of gender represents a genuine paradigm shift and introduces key contemporary issues such as the body, masculinity, and gender in visual, literary and material culture and the media. Students will be introduced to a range of theories and cultural contexts, and encouraged to use such concepts as starting points for their own areas of investigation concerning gender.

  • MLG204 Power and the Personal: Shifting Identities in Modern German Culture

    How far are contemporary German identities still shaped by memories of the Second World War and the Cold-War division of Europe which followed? Or are the influences of global and youth culture more significant? Is German national identity inevitably associated with guilt? What part is played in identity formation by gender, migration and generation? What is it like to be Jewish in Germany today? Is there still a place for religion in expressions of Germanness? Is it still possible to talk of a west and an east German identity, or has that divide been overcome? How intimately are German identities still influenced by questions of `Heimat' (home / belonging / place)? These questions and others are posed in the texts and films on this module, all of which are outstanding examples of German cultural expression in the new Berlin Republic. At the heart of the module is the question: how is the personal sphere of identity bound up with the workings of power?

  • MLG244 German Cinema of the New Millennium

    Since the turn of the millenium, German film has been enjoying a renaissance. Films such as Goodbye, Lenin (dir. Wolfgang Becker, 2003), Downfall (dir. Oliver Hirschbiegel, 2004), and The Lives of Others (dir. Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck , 2006) have attracted worldwide audiences. Viewers have been drawn to the sometimes sensitive, sometimes sensationalist depictions of Germans attempting to come to terms with the double calamities of fascism and communism. The new movement in German film production is explored in this module through other key films by both young and established filmmakers. The chosen films examine the lasting effects of traumatic moments in twentieth-century German history: pre-First World War, the Third Reich, 1968 protest, the GDR and its disappearance. But they also contribute to debates in the twenty-first century, post-unification Berlin Republic on transnationalism, city life versus 'Heimat', the 'normalisation' of Germany as a nation, and the troubling persistence of neo-Nazism; furthermore, they offer new perspectives on universal themes such as conflict, violence and friendship, youth, age and gender. You will examine the cultural, political and economic contexts of contemporary German film production and analyse in detail the aesthetic strategies employed in the selected films.

  • MLG343 Power and the Personal: Shifting Identities in Modern German Culture

    How far are contemporary German identities still shaped by memories of the Second World War and the Cold-War division of Europe which followed? Or are the influences of global and youth culture more significant? Is German national identity inevitably associated with guilt? What part is played in identity formation by gender, migration and generation? What is it like to be Jewish in Germany today? Is there still a place for religion in expressions of Germanness? Is it still possible to talk of a west and an east German identity, or has that divide been overcome? How intimately are German identities still influenced by questions of `Heimat' (home / belonging / place)? These questions and others are posed in the texts and films on this module, all of which are outstanding examples of German cultural expression in the new Berlin Republic. At the heart of the module is the question: how is the personal sphere of identity bound up with the workings of power?

  • MLG344 German Cinema in the New Millennium

    Since the turn of the millenium, German film has been enjoying a renaissance. Films such as Goodbye, Lenin (dir. Wolfgang Becker, 2003), Downfall (dir. Oliver Hirschbiegel, 2004), and The Lives of Others (dir. Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck , 2006) have attracted worldwide audiences. Viewers have been drawn to the sometimes sensitive, sometimes sensationalist depictions of Germans attempting to come to terms with the double calamities of fascism and communism. The new movement in German film production is explored in this module through other key films by both young and established filmmakers. The chosen films examine the lasting effects of traumatic moments in twentieth-century German history: pre-First World War, the Third Reich, 1968 protest, the GDR and its disappearance. But they also contribute to debates in the twenty-first century, post-unification Berlin Republic on transnationalism, city life versus 'Heimat', the 'normalisation' of Germany as a nation, and the troubling persistence of neo-Nazism; furthermore, they offer new perspectives on universal themes such as conflict, violence and friendship, youth, age and gender. You will examine the cultural, political and economic contexts of contemporary German film production and analyse in detail the aesthetic strategies employed in the selected films.

  • MSS106 Hollywood: A History of American Film

    Hollywood: A History of American Cinema is a contextual and chronological study of the history of Hollywood, its effect on American society and its attempts to reflect the changes of that society. Key films are studied in depth and in relation to each other and to social and political developments in the USA.

Supervision

  • Women writers in literary journalism: Edna Staebler in context (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr Yan Wu
  • Metaphor, Memory and the Weight of History in the Work of Herta Muller (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr Katharina Hall
  • 'Intercultural and Intertextual Encounters in Michael roes'''' Travel Fiction.' (awarded 2013)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Professor Julian Preece

Research Groups

  • Centre for Contemporary German Culture

    The Centre for Contemporary German Culture (CCGC) produces world-class research on the literature and culture of twentieth- and twenty-first century Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The Centre is unique to Wales and makes an important contribution to German Studies in Britain, Europe and North America. It aims to promote and stimulate further research on the work of contemporary German-language authors and film-makers in the English-speaking world.

  • GENCAS (Centre for Research into Gender and Culture in Society)

    Interdisciplinary Gender Research Centre, Swansea University.