Supporting the needs of schools and helping to inspire students.
The Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures (LLC) is committed to working with schools and we are engaged in a broad range of outreach initiatives, from media work and online lectures to school visits and webinars.
This page is designed to bring together a range of online resources for students of Modern Languages (French, German, Italian, Spanish), and covers aspects of language, literature, film, history and visual culture. Our interdiscisplinary and comparative resources, reflecting our popular degrees in Comparative Literature and Culture, Liberal Arts and History of Art and Visual Culture, will also be of interest to students of English, Drama, Art, Film, History and other Humanities subject areas.
Here you will find examples of our media work, upcoming webinars, podcasts, information about collaborative exchange between lecturers and teachers, opportunities to contact experts for bespoke learning resources and materials, and LLC lecturers talking about their favourite course texts.
We welcome invitations to speak to both students and teachers, so do please get in touch! We are happy to give talks using different platforms and media.
Contact Dr James Kent for more information - details above.
These pages are in development and being expanded regularly. You can also follow us @llc_rhul on Twitter for more updates.
Teaching Resources (developed by staff and alumni)
Lore: A Short Study Guide to Cate Shortland's Film
Dr Jon Hughes
This short video, made by Dr Jon Hughes, introduces you to Cate Shortland's gripping film Lore (Germany/Australia, 2012). The film is set in Germany in the aftermath of the Second World War, and tells the story of a family's perilous journey across the war-torn country. It is both a coming-of-age drama and a probing examination of questions of personal and national guilt. Students on Dr Hughes' final-year course 'National Socialism and the Third Reich in German film and visual culture from 1933 to the present' always respond enthusiastically to cinematic response to the legacy of National Socialism.
Arsenal F.C. Double Club - language learning project with alumnus Steve Eadon
Steve Eadon studied European Studies, including German and Spanish language, at Royal Holloway (2006-10). Now he's fulfilling a childhood dream of working for Arsenal F.C. as part of the Community outreach team. Here he introduces the innovative Double Club project:
"I carry out a variety of roles in the department, but my main focus is managing the Arsenal Double Club project, which uses football to promote language learning in primary and secondary schools. We achieve this by producing football-themed teaching resources in French, German and Spanish, in partnership with specialist language partners such as the Institut français, the Goethe-Institut London and the Consejería de Educación, to support the National Curriculum. Having access to such a diverse, multilingual squad of players helps make language learning more relevant and engaging, especially for reluctant pupils. The project itself has been running in schools across the UK since 2006, but recently I have been adapting the resources so that pupils can use them independently at home, as they face the challenge of continuing their education whilst on lockdown. Beyond the resources, we also deliver MFL assemblies, conversation classes for GCSE students and language-themed tours of Emirates Stadium. I also run workshops to teachers, PGCE students and British Council Language Assistants on how to use our resources and occasionally deliver career talks to undergraduate students of MFL."
Here’s a link to the Home Learning resources, currently available for French and Spanish: https://www.arsenaldoubleclub.co.uk/fun-zone/home-learning/
Film: ‘The Making of Modern Italy: Art and Design in the Early 1960s’
Professor Giuliana Pieri
A short film by Professor Giuliana Pieri about ‘The Making of Modern Italy: Art and Design in the Early 1960s’, an exhibition she curated for the Estorick Gallery, London in 2019:
Find out more about Professor Pieri's research and her project 'Interdisciplinary Italy' here.
Film: 'Exploring Leftover Meanings in Representations of Food'
Dr Ruth Cruickshank
In this short film, Dr Ruth Cruickshank, Senior Lecturer in French and Comparative Literature and Culture, discusses her research exploring hidden leftover meanings in representations of food, drink and eating, and explains how it feeds her teaching in Comparative Literature and Culture, Liberal Arts, French and Translation Studies.
Radio Interview: The cultural impact of the First World War in France.
Professor Eric Robertson
Much of the Western Front fighting in World War I took place in France, yet the cultural legacy of the war in France remains under-explored in the UK. Professor Robertson was joined by Peter Read (University of Kent) to consider how the experience of the war affected the Cubist and Surrealist movements and the development of French film, pushing some artists towards traditionalism, and others towards the avant-garde.
You can listen to the programme here.
BBC Radio 4 - In Our Time: Federico Garcia Lorca
Professor Sarah Wright
In July 2019, Professor Sarah Wright was part of an expert panel discussing the work of the Spanish author Federico Garcia Lorca with broadcaster Melvyn Bragg, on the BBC Radio 4 show 'In Our Time'.
Podcast: The politics of sport in Nazi Germany
Dr Jon Hughes
Dr Jon Hughes discusses sport and politics in the context of the career of the German boxer Max Schmeling in this August 2019 episode of the British Society of Sports History podcast 'Sport in History'. You can stream the episode here, or access it via the Podcasts apps for Apple or Android.
Radio Interview: Discussing the Italian language.
Dr Stefano Jossa
In this Italian-language interview, Dr Stefano Jossa discusses his provocative book La piu` bella del mondo. Perche' amare la lingua italiana (Torino: Einaudi, 2018).
BBC Radio 4 - In Our Time: Johann Wolfgang Goethe
Professor W. Daniel Wilson
Emeritus Professor Dan Wilson was part of an expert panel on BBC Radio 4's 'In Our Time', discussing the life and work of the great German author and polymath Goethe.
Reading and Viewing Recommendations from our Team
Professor Emily Jeremiah on Die Verwandlung / Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka
Die Verwandlung / Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka (1915) is a dark and brilliant study of abjection and powerlessness. Exploring the situation of a young man who wakes up one morning having turned into a verminous creature, the work probes questions of morality and humanity in a bleak yet comical fashion. Students on my course 'Death, Desire, Decline: Franz Kafka and Thomas Mann' enjoy engaging with this unnerving text.
Dr Fabrizio de Donno on 8 1/2, directed by Federico Fellini (1962)
This is the first film to depict on the big screen the figure of the film-maker (or the Auteur) and the creative process surrounding film-making. It is a film that uses playfulness and irony to explore the mysterious sources of creative energy, while raising big questions about the meaning of art and the purpose of film-making. I teach this film in my course 'Post-war Italian Cinema: The Auteur Tradition', where students explore the golden age of Italian cinema and one of the most influential national traditions in world cinema.
Dr Jon Hughes on M, directed by Fritz Lang (1931)
This influential and disturbing German thriller is studied in my course 'The Birth of Film'. It is an early example of a sound film, directed by Fritz Lang, one of the great auteurs of European film. It's an unnerving tale of the hunt for a serial child murderer in Berlin, and explores themes of guilt and justice that remain relevant today.
Dr James Kent on 'Citizen in Downtown Havana' – photograph by Walker Evans, 1933
There’s a photograph by Walker Evans called Citizen in Downtown Havana (1933) and it’s one of the main reasons I became so interested in Cuba and photography. We study the image in my course 'Tales of the City: Introduction to Thematic Analysis' and explore Evans’ representation of Havana at a critical historical moment in its history. The photograph depicts an Afro-Cuban man dressed in an immaculate white linen suit in front of a newsstand in Centro Habana. A few years ago, I interviewed the British photographer David Bailey and we talked about the picture as he had previously cited it as one of his favourite photographs. He likened it to a still from a movie and said to me “you could write a short story about him!” – comparing the scene in the picture to one from a B-movie or film-noir. This is one of the reasons I enjoyed studying this photograph with students; they often spot things I’ve never noticed before and find new ways of interpreting the image. Every time you look at the picture, it tells another story.
Professor Giuliana Pieri on the photograph 'Vespa scooters leaving the Piaggio plant in 1946’
It is an Italian Vespa scooter, by the Italian company Piaggio. The first Vespa scooters were manufactured in 1946, and by the 1950s they had become a symbol of Italy’s post war economic recovery, and the excellence and ingenuity of Italian design. We study this scooter and its cultural significance in a final year module I teach, 'Italian Fashion and Design'. We explore the international success and reach of Italian fashion and design, and in particular how this scooter came to symbolise Italy and an Italian lifestyle in the global cultural imaginary.
Year Abroad students in Avignon, France