Professor Helen Abbott
Professor Helen Abbott

This week the Department of Modern Languages is delighted to be welcoming three new Professors to permanent posts in the Department, following an extensive process to recruit to the position of Chair in Modern Languages.

Professor Helen Abbott joins the Department from the University of Sheffield, where she was Senior Lecturer in French. Professor Abbott is a specialist in nineteenth-century French poetry and music, and uses digital technologies as part of her research into word-music relationships in poetic language and critical theory. Professor Abbott is also a classically-trained soprano. She gives recitals, runs French language coaching sessions for professional singers, and students on her modules have the opportunity to perform assessments in French song. She is currently Research Lead for the AHRC-funded Baudelaire Song Project (2015-2019).

Professor Andrew Ginger was previously Chair in Iberian and Latin American Studies at the University of Bristol, and joins the University of Birmingham as Head of the School of Languages, Cultures, Art History and Music. Professor Ginger has worked for a wide range of national education associations and bodies, including the Arts & Humanities Research Council, the Association of Hispanists of Great Britain and Ireland, the University Council of Modern Languages, and the Modern Languages sub-panel in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework. With Geraldine Lawless (Sheffield) and Gregorio Alonso (Leeds), he leads an international network of scholars in nineteenth-century Hispanism. In recognition of his scholarship on Hispanic culture, in 2010 the Spanish government awarded Professor Ginger the title Oficial de la Orden de Isabel la Católica.

Jennifer Gosetti-Ferencei joins the Department as Professor in German and Comparative Literature, having previously been Professor of Philosophy, and Director of Graduate Studies, at Fordham University, New York. She studied at Columbia University (MFA, Poetry), Villanova University (MA, PhD, Philosophy), and at the University of Oxford (MSt, European Literature; DPhil, Modern Languages and Literatures, German), where she was a Clarendon Scholar. Her publications include books on Heidegger and Hölderlin, phenomenology in modern art and Literature, and German Modernism. Professor Gosetti-Ferencei is the winner of a Choice Award from the American Library Association for Outstanding Academic Title, and she was awarded the Paris Review Prize for a book of poems, After the Palace Burns.

Professors Abbott, Ginger and Gosetti-Ferencei will all be teaching Undergraduates this year as part of Modern Languages degrees. The Department wishes its new Professors a very warm welcome to Birmingham and looks to working with them.