Staff in Modern Languages

Head of Department

Dr Stephen Forcer

Dr Stephen Forcer

Senior Lecturer in French Studies
Head of the Department of Modern Languages

I completed my first degree and MA at the University of Warwick (1994-1999) before moving to Wadham College, Oxford to write my doctoral thesis (1999-2002) under the supervision of Professor Malcolm Bowie. I joined the University of Birmingham in September 2005, having previously held temporary posts at Keble College, Oxford and the Universities of Leeds and Exeter.

I am currently Head of the Dep ...

Academic staff by section

Full list of staff in Modern Languages

Professor Helen Abbott

Professor Helen Abbott

Professor of Modern Languages

As Professor of Modern Languages, I specialise in nineteenth-century French poetry and music. My research explores ways of writing about word-music relationships in poetic language, in critical theories, and using digital methodologies. My particular focus is the work of (post-) romantic and symbolist poets including Gautier, Baudelaire, Verlaine, Rimbaud, Villiers de l’Isle-Adam, and ...

Dr Caroline Ardrey

Dr Caroline Ardrey

Research Associate, The Baudelaire Song Project

I am Research Associate on The Baudelaire Song Project (AHRC-funded 2015-2019), led by Prof. Helen Abbott. I specialise in the relationship between nineteenth-century French poetry and other art forms, particularly music, fashion and popular culture.


Professor Emeritus Jennifer Birkett

Emeritus Professor of French Studies

I held the Established Chair of French Studies from 1990 to 2011. My research derives from specialist bases in French Studies, but is also cross-disciplinary and interdisciplinary. In general, I am interested in the relations of history, politics and narrative form - the operations of ideology in prose fiction, as they manifest themselves in particular texts. In French Studies, I work ...

Dr Craig Blunt

Dr Craig Blunt

Senior Lecturer in French Studies

I was appointed to the University of Birmingham in 1995. My main areas of interest are all aspects of contemporary French politics and society.

Dr Edward Boothroyd

Dr Edward Boothroyd

Teaching Fellow in French Studies

Following undergraduate and postgraduate study at the University of Birmingham, I was appointed to the position of Teaching Fellow in French Studies in September 2011. My specialism is in 20th-century literature and French theatre from the 17th-century onwards.

Dr Monica Borg

Lecturer in Italian Studies
Educational Enhancement Fellow (CEEF) College of Arts and Law (CAL)
Associate Lecturer, The Open University

I teach undergraduate language and culture modules in Italian Studies and CELC (Centre for European Languages and Cultures). I am a keen supporter of enquiry-based interactive learning and have been involved, especially in my role as Educational Enhancement Fellow for the College of Arts and Law,  in promoting and increasing the uptake of educational technology to enhance teaching and ...

Clelia Boscolo

Clelia Boscolo

Lecturer in Italian language and Translation Studies
Language Courses Co-ordinator

I studied Combined Honours Italian and Russian at Birmingham University, graduating in July 1989. I have been teaching Italian as a foreign language at all levels since 1981 and have worked in the Department of Italian Studies since September 1989.


Dr Clodagh Brook

Reader in Italian Cinema and Culture

I am Reader in Italian Cinema and Culture at the Department of Modern Languages. I completed my DPhil at the University of Oxford in 1998. I did both MA and BA degrees at University College, Dublin.

Research: I am currently finalizing my third monograph (Italian Cinema, Religion and Identity) for University of Toronto Press and am Principal Investigator on a large AHRC grant, Interdisciplinary ...

Dr Leslie Brook

Honorary Senior Research Fellow

I have published widely in various genres of Medieval literature: epic, romance and translation from Latin to Medieval French, with a particular interest in the translation by Jean de Meun of the Letters of Abelard and Heloise. Latterly I have been working with Prof Glyn Burgess on publishing editions of Old French narrative lays.

Dr Hilary Brown

Lecturer in Translation Studies

I joined the Department of Modern Languages in 2011 and teach in Translation Studies and German. I am currently Translation Studies Section Lead and Convenor of the MA in Translation Studies (campus).

Professor Michael Caesar

Emeritus Professor of Italian Studies

My current responsibilities (2012-14) are directed to teaching and researching on Leopardi. The first complete English edition of his notebooks (Zibaldone) will be published in 2013 (

Professor Martyn Cornick

Professor of French Cultural History

I hold a Personal Chair in French Cultural History. My main research areas are 20th-century Cultural History (especially Jean Paulhan and the Nouvelle Revue française), the life and work of Armand Petitjean, and Franco-British Inter-Cultural Studies, with a particular focus on the French presence in London.


Dr Russell Cousins

Honorary Senior Lecturer

I have research interests in Zola’s fiction, French Cinema and  screen adaptation. My publications include studies on Zola, various aspects of the cinema and  together with Ron Hallmark and Ian Pickup, I have published books and articles  on studying in France.

Professor Ceri Crossley

Emeritus Professor

I joined the Department of French in 1973 and taught language and literature at all levels until I retired in 2008.


Dr Béatrice Damamme-Gilbert

Senior Lecturer in French Studies

I first came to Birmingham as a lectrice as part of the on-going exchange with the University of Nancy II, Lorraine (France). I am a specialist in the works of Julien Gracq, one of the foremost French literary figures of the 2nd half of the 20th century, and also of J.M.G. Le Clézio, the 2008 Nobel prize winner. I am now the longest serving member of the Department of French Studies.

Dr Paolo De Ventura


I study early Italian literature and the historical evolution of the Italian language. I love Dante and his world, which is the fascinating and complex universe of the art and thought of the European Middle Ages.

Nieves Díaz-Cueva

Nieves Díaz-Cueva

LCAHM Senior Welfare Tutor Officer
Senior Language Tutor
Co-ordinator for Spanish, Languages for All

I have been teaching languages in Higher Education for almost 20 years.  For as long as I can remember languages and culture(s) have been the main focus of my interests and my career.

Dr Franco D'Intino

Honorary Senior Research Fellow
Director of the Leopardi Centre

My main research interests are the work of Leopardi (in the context of European Romanticism) and the relationship between prose genres (autobiography, novel) and ethics in modern European literatures (XVIII-XX centuries).

Professor William John Dodd

Emeritus Professor of Modern German Studies

My main research interests are in German language, literature and culture of the twentieth century. I have published extensively on Franz Kafka and on the literature and culture of dissent in the “Third Reich” (the so-called “inner emigration”). I am also interested in linguistic and sociological approaches to discourse, and in language description. I teach a variety of ...

Professor Lisa Downing

Professor Lisa Downing

Professor of French Discourses of Sexuality

I am Professor of French Discourses of Sexuality. My work is located at the intersection of sexuality and gender studies, cultural studies, and critical theory. My research has a European, especially French, bent and also focuses on comparative European and North American contexts. My most recent publications have been on the gendering, sexualization, and othering of the figure of the murderer, ...

Mr Fumitsugu Enokida

Language Tutor in Japanese

I have been teaching Japanese as a foreign language at the University of Birmingham since 1999. I teach all levels to a wide range of students from undergraduate students to the public. My role also includes a committee member of the BATJ Speech Content for University Students and OCR External Verifier as well as Assessor of the QCB/NVQ for Japanese.

Dr Sarah Fishwick

Dr Sarah Fishwick

Language Tutor in French Studies

My specialisms lie in practical language, especially translation, and writing by French and Francophone women authors. I am the Convenor of the BA Modern Languages Translation Studies pathway.

Sophie Gavrois

Language Tutor in French

I am a native speaker of French and come from Saint-Etienne, France. I joined the Centre for Modern Languages in 2003. I enjoy very much teaching French, as a foreign language or as native or second language, and I have 18 years of teaching experience.

Professor Andrew John Ginger

Chair of Spanish
Head of School of Languages, Cultures, Art History and Music

In my research, I am interested in how the modern Hispanic world fits with the wider span of cultures over time and place. By extension, I am concerned with the notion of ‘commonality’ over stretches of geography and history.  My concerns are interdisciplinary, ranging across visual cultures and cinema, thought, and literature.

Professor Jennifer Gosetti-Ferencei

Professor Jennifer Gosetti-Ferencei

Professor of German and Comparative Literature

As Professor of German and Comparative Literature, I specialize in literary modernism, theory and philosophy of literature, and aesthetics. I have taught and written on a wide range of topics, often drawing on the intersections among modern literature, Continental philosophy, and visual art.

Mrs Agnès Gower

Mrs Agnès Gower

Language Coordinator (French Studies)

I first came to Birmingham as a Colloquial Assistant (lectrice), as part of the University’s long-standing exchange with The Université Lumière Lyon 2.  After a few months back in France, I decided to return to Birmingham and the Department of French Studies, again as a Colloquial Assistant.  I have not left since.  


Dr Elystan Griffiths

Dr Elystan Griffiths

Senior Lecturer in German

My main research interests are in German literature of the period 1750-1815, with a particular interest in literary responses to political and social change. I am currently working on a monograph on the German idyll during this period. I have also published on the development of German literature in the context of the unification of Germany in 1871. I teach widely across the German ...

Emilie Grinan-Coley

Emilie Grinan-Coley

Language Tutor in French

I am a native speaker of French, and come from the Franche-Comté region in Eastern France. I have been teaching French at the University of Birmingham since 2006, and have 15 years of experience teaching French as Foreign Language in France and the UK.

Dr Louise Hardwick

Dr Louise Hardwick

Senior Lecturer in French and Francophone Studies
AHRC Early Career Leadership Fellow
Associate Fellow, Homerton College, University of Cambridge

I am a specialist of Francophone Postcolonial Cultures. The majority of my research focuses on the literature, film and visual art of the Francophone Caribbean, and interrogates the international legacies of slavery, colonialism and postcolonialism, working at the intersection of culture, history and politics. I have also undertaken comparative work on African, Canadian and Indian contexts. My ...

Dr Nigel Harris

Reader in German

I see myself as a medievalist with an extension into the sixteenth century, and as someone with a particular passion for teaching these still deeply relevant periods to modern undergraduates.

Adelheid Heuwieser

Adelheid Heuwieser


My role at the University of Birmingham is to support students of German, and anybody who is interested in German language and culture, in their endeavour to improve their language skills and also to engage with important aspects of German culture.

Professor David Hill

Emeritus Professor of German Studies

My main research interests lie in the literature, culture and society of Germany around the end of the eighteenth century.

Nicholas Hunter

Language Tutor in French Studies

I teach on a variety of language and content modules. I lecture mainly on early-modern French literature and culture, particularly 17th-Century texts, and on 20th-Century writing and film.

Dr Kate Ince

Dr Kate Ince

Reader in French Film and Gender Studies

My work focuses on French, European and women's film-making, on film theory and aesthetics, and on twentieth-century French and feminist thought.

Dr Conrad James

Lecturer in Hispanic Studies

Conrad James teaches a range of courses on the literature, culture and social history of the Spanish Caribbean and its diasporas. His work focuses mainly on Cuban, Dominican and Dominican-American writers.

Dr Monica Jato

Senior Lecturer in Hispanic Studies

I came to the University of Birmingham in September 2007. I previously worked at Michigan State University, The University of New Hampshire and The University of North Texas.

Dr Sara Jones

Dr Sara Jones

Senior Lecturer

Sara Jones is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Modern Languages. Her current research analyses the political, social and cultural processes of remembering state socialist dictatorship.

Dr Angela Kershaw

Dr Angela Kershaw

Senior Lecturer in French Studies

I am a twentieth century specialist with particular interests in the inter-war and Second World War periods, gender, translation studies and travel writing.

Professor John Klapper

Professor John Klapper

Professor in Modern Languages

My main research interests are writing under National Socialism, particularly the non-conformist writers of inner exile. I teach courses on German language, literature and history. I am also interested in all aspects of foreign language learning and teaching, instructed second language acquisition and pedagogical grammar. I am currently School Head of Research.

Mariela Knowles

Mariela Knowles

Language Tutor in Spanish

I am a native speaker of Spanish and I was born in Argentina. I trained as a language teacher and have over 15 years teaching experience  at all levels, from children as young as 3 to adults. I have been teaching Spanish at the University of Birmingham since 2004.

Valérie Leick

Valérie Leick

LCAHM Distance Learning Co-ordinator
Senior Language Tutor
Co-ordinator for French, Languages for All

A language teacher for 23 years, I am still learning a lot from every new student. I enjoy sharing my native language and culture but above all I derive a lot of satisfaction from inspiring students to become a good language tutor for themselves and keep learning beyond their university years.

“To have another language is to possess a second soul” - Charlemagne

Miss Li Li

Mandarin Chinese Tutor

I am a native speaker of Mandarin Chinese and enjoy language teaching, interpreting and translating.

Professor Francis Lough

Professor Francis Lough

Professor of Hispanic Studies

My main teaching and research interests are in 20th and 21th century Spanish literature and cinema, although I have also an interest in the works of Jose Saramago, Felisberto Hernandez and the Spanish philosopher María Zambrano. Currently I am working on the literature of the Spanish Civil War, including graphic novels. 

Dr Ita Mac Carthy

Senior Lecturer in Italian Studies

My research lies mainly in the renaissance period and focuses on the connections between literature, art and society, on questions of literary genre and aesthetic practice, and on women's studies. I am currently writing a book, provisionally called The Grace of the Italian Renaissance, that examines the notion of ‘grace’ in renaissance culture, literature and art; developing the ...

Dr Sofia Malamatidou

Lecturer in Translation Studies

I am a Lecturer in Translation Studies in the Department of Modern Languages at the University of Birmingham. I have a background in corpus-based translation studies and textual and intertextual analyses of translated texts. I am the Programme Lead for the campus MA in Translation Studies.

Dr Elisenda Marcer Cortés

Lecturer in Catalan Studies

A native of Barcelona, I studied Hispanic Philology and completed the doctorate courses in Catalan Philology at the University of Barcelona. I arrived at the University of Birmingham in 2001 where I completed my doctoral thesis entitled ‘Intertextual dynamics in Gabriel Ferrater’s work: the role of English poetry’. I taught all levels of Catalan Language and content modules ...

Dr Nicholas Martin

Dr Nicholas Martin

Director of the Institute for German Studies
Reader in European Intellectual History

Nicholas Martin is Reader in European Intellectual History in the Department of Modern Languages (German Studies), and Director of the University’s Institute for German Studies. He is currently on research leave - until 27 March 2017.

He is Editor-in-chief of the academic journal Forum for Modern Language Studies.

Dr Martin’s research interests are in modern German intellectual ...

Ulrike Mynette

Ulrike Mynette

Language Tutor in German / Erasmus Coordinator

I first came to Birmingham with the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) in 1987 to work at Aston University as a Lektorin. Since then I have taught German language classes at a huge variety of institutions from primary schools to in-company training. I have worked at the University of Birmingham for some 15 years now.

In August 2010, I started to work as an Erasmus coordinator for incoming ...

Dr Robert Oakley

Honorary Research Fellow in Hispanic Studies

I taught Spanish, Portuguese and Luso-Brazilian Language and Literature at the University of Birmingham for 31 years, retiring in 1998.

Ms Junko Ogawa

Programme Lead and Year Abroad Tutor for Japanese
Co-ordinator for Japanese, Languages for All

I have been teaching Japanese as a foreign language in Higher Education over 15 years. I am responsible for all aspects of Japanese language programmes including module development, year abroad and internship programme in Japan.

Ira Ortigosa Pascual

Basque Language Tutor

Since September 2014, I am in charge of the position created at the University of Birmingham and funded by the Etxepare Basque Institute to promote Basque language and culture.

Dr Emanuela Patti

Senior Research Fellow

I joined the University of Birmingham in 2015 where I am currently working as a Senior Research Fellow for the AHRC-funded project Interdisciplinary Italy 1900-2020: interart/intermedia. My research interests range across a variety of areas, including modern and contemporary Italian culture, cultural representations of Dante, comparative literature, digital cultures, intermediality. I have ...

Dr Wendy Perkins

Honorary Senior Lecturer in French Studies

Since I retired as a Senior Lecturer in the Department, I have been focusing on full-time research into the lives of women in seventeenth-century France. 


Dr Holly Pike

Teaching Fellow in Hispanic Studies

I am a teaching fellow in Hispanic Studies specialising in twentieth-century Hispanic literature, culture, gender and sexuality, and translation.

Dr Paulo Pires Pepe

Dr Paulo Pires Pepe

Portuguese Teaching Fellow
Coordinator of Portuguese Studies
Director of the Cátedra of Gil Vicente

After completing my undergraduate studies in Portugal, I moved to the UK where I completed a MA at Birkbeck College, University of London (2009-2010) before moving to the University of Nottingham, to write my doctoral thesis (2012-2016). I joined the University of Birmingham in October 2016.

Ms Wibke Rickers

Ms Wibke Rickers

Language Tutor in German

I am a language tutor in German in Languages for All, Department of Modern Languages. I teach German across the full range of language levels, academic as well as Open Access and Free for All.

Dr Charlotte Ross

Dr Charlotte Ross

Senior Lecturer
Programme Lead for Italian Studies

Programme Lead and Admissions Tutor for Italian Studies; School Quality Officer.

Main research interests and areas of PG supervision: gender, sexuality and embodiment in modern and contemporary Italian culture.

Dr Natalia (Natasha) Rulyova

Dr Natalia (Natasha) Rulyova

Lecturer in Russian

Dr Natasha Rulyova has research interests in three areas: post-Soviet Russian media including new media, translation studies with the focus on self-translation, and genre studies.

Her work on post-Soviet media resulted in the following main publications: monograph (with Stephen Hutchings) of Television and Culture in Putin's Russia: Remote Control (London: Routledge, ...

Dr Lorraine Ryan

Dr Lorraine Ryan

Birmingham Fellow

Dr. Ryan joined the University of Birmingham in January 2012.

She will be a visiting fellow to the IMLR (Institute of Modern Languages Research Institute) in the University of London for the academic year 2015-2016.

This year, she has been commissioned by the Georg Eckert Institute for School Textbook Research in Leipzig, Germany to provide professional expertise on counter-memory and its ...

Dr Gabriela Saldanha

Dr Gabriela Saldanha


I am a Lecturer in Translation Studies in the department of Modern Languages at the University of Birmingham. I teach a range of courses on translation theory and research methods. My current research focuses on the role of translators in the contemporary book market, transcultural reading practices and translational stylistics. In the past, I have carried out research on gender and language use ...

Mr Antonio M. Sánchez

Lecturer in Latin American Cultural Studies

I have been at Birmingham since 2005. I teach Latin American culture, literature and intellectual history as well as Spanish language and translation.

Rosa Sánchez-Riobo

Spanish Language Intructor

Teaching Spanish language for undergraduates has been both a challenge and a pleasure for the past seven years. I sincerely hope to continue doing so for many coming years.

Dr Berny Sèbe

Dr Berny Sèbe

Senior Lecturer in colonial and post-colonial studies

My research interests revolve around the colonial and post-colonial encounters between European and non-European worlds, in particular in the cultural and political realms. My recent works look at the making of imperial heroes in Britain and France since the era of 'New imperialism' (second half of the nineteenth century), the history of the conquest and decolonization of the Sahara, ...

Ms Gemma Segura Sirvent

Catalan Language and Culture Teaching Fellow

I studied Catalan and Philosophy at the University Autonoma of Barcelona because I have always loved to read and to discover interesting facts about my language and literature.

Teaching what I love is a pleasure and I feel very fortunate because in my opinion learning and sharing make us alive and better people.

Professor Ronald Speirs

Emeritus Professor of German Studies

My research is on German literary and intellectual topics since the later nineteenth century, including Friedrich Nietzsche, Max Weber, Franz Kafka, Thomas Mann, Bertolt Brecht.

Mr Xiaolong Tang

Programme Lead and Year Abroad Tutor for Chinese
Co-ordinator for Chinese, Languages for All

Aside from being directly involved in most aspects of undergraduate language teaching, I also regularly play an important role in developing and organising Mandarin Chinese language modules and programmes.

Dr Emma Tyler

Dr Emma Tyler

Lecturer in French Studies
Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

I have been working at the University since the 1990s, and specialise in teaching French language skills and translation skills at undergraduate level. I also train translators at postgraduate level. I am the convenor of the new undergraduate pathway in Translation Studies and Senior Admissions Tutor for the School of Languages, Cultures, Art History and Music. 

Professor Wilfried van der Will

Honorary Professor of Modern German Studies

Wide ranging research interests in 19th and 20th century German culture, philosophy and politics, especially from the end of the First World War to the present. Has published books and essays on German literature and society post-1945, on the worker-culture movement of the Weimar Republic, on culture in the Third Reich, on protest and democracy from the 1960s to the 1980s and on the reception of ...

Dr Jacqueline Visconti

Honorary Research Fellow

Jacqueline Visconti is Associate Professor in Italian Linguistics at Genoa University, as well as Honorary Research Fellow of the University of Birmingham and Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Reading. In 2014 she received Habilitation to Full Professor in Italian linguistics.

Dr Emma Wagstaff

Dr Emma Wagstaff

Senior Lecturer in French Studies

I came to Birmingham in 2006, and am based in the Department of Modern Languages. Among a range of teaching and research interests, I am particularly keen to promote the study of French literature and the visual arts, and the interactions between them.

Dr Aengus Ward

Reader in Hispanic Studies

I have been a lecturer in the Department of Modern Languages (Hispanic Studies) since 1994. I teach medieval Spanish literature and Spanish language and linguistics. My research interests lie in the fields of medieval Spanish history and historiography, textual editing, diachronic phonology and syntax.

Dr Andrew Watts

Dr Andrew Watts

Senior Lecturer in French Studies

I was appointed to the University of Birmingham in 2007, having previously taught at the universities of Bristol and Newcastle. I am a specialist in nineteenth-century French prose fiction, especially the work of Honoré de Balzac. My current research focusses on adaptations of classic novels from this period in a variety of different media including silent film, graphic novels, and stage ...

Dr Jules Whicker


I am an enthusiastic teacher and student of Hispanic Literature and Culture and especially that of the Spanish Golden Age, an era that originated many of the most compelling, sophisticated and influential works in Hispanic literature and art. I also have a long-standing interest in translation, having translated (independently and in collaboration) several golden-age comedias, a quantity of ...

Dr Ruth Whittle

Senior Lecturer in German Studies
Distinguished Fellow (TA)

As a student you are most likely to know me in my role as the School’s Senior Tutor. I teach courses on 19th- and 20th-century German literature as well as Translation in Practice and language classes, particularly business German.

I have widely researched and published in the areas of language study and internationalisation, and women in German literature and literary history.

In my ...

Professor Dennis Wood

Emeritus Professor of French Literature and Chevalier dans l'Ordre des Palmes Académiques

In the French department I taught on undergraduate and postgraduate courses on literature and cinema, including a final-year option on Godard, Resnais and Rohmer. I was Head of Department from 1997 to 2002. In my retirement I have continued to edit Benjamin Constant’s Correspondance généralewith Dr C P Courtney (Christ’s College, Cambridge) and Dr Adrianne J Tooke ...

Dietmar Wozniak

Director, Languages for All
Senior Language Tutor
Co-ordinator for German, Languages for All

As director of Languages for All I have overall responsibility for the team’s activities and the University's Institute Wide Language Programme (IWLP). In addition, I teach German language at all levels and offer modules on German politics.

Dr Xiaohui Yuan

Lecturer in Interpreting and Translation Studies

I lecture on Chinese-English Interpreting and Translation Studies. My research interests include intercultural pragmatics in translation and interpreting, using translation and interpreting in mediation, and cultural influence on mediation.