It’s hard to believe that a month has already passed since Stirling’s graduation ceremonies and the great speech by our honorary graduate, film director, critic and programmer, Mark Cousins. Honoured for his outstanding contribution to Scottish cinematic culture and to the reception of global cinemas across Scotland, Mark was introduced by French Programme Director, Cristina Johnston, and brought the ceremony to a close with the following: ‘Let’s be generous, let’s be glamorous, let’s be a bit wild!’ What better advice for a graduating class?!
Semester has now well and truly ended, and staff and students are busy with their various and varied summer activities, so this is really just a chance to report on some recent French at Stirling news.
Firstly, congratulations to Charlotte Cavanagh who has just completed her second year with us and who has been awarded a Stevenson Exchange Scholarship for 2014-15 when she’ll be in the Bordeaux region working as an English Language Assistant. The Stevenson Scholarship is highly competitive and awarded to students across all the Scottish Universities so this is great news!
Charlotte’s plan is to use the funding to help her examine ‘the popularity of foreign languages in France during a time where there seems to be a decreasing number of students in Britain who study languages. I will also compare the French education system and way life to the Scotland. I hope that the skills and information I obtain from my research around this topic will help broaden my horizons and help with my dissertation in fourth year. I hope that the scholarship will enable me partake in recreational activities to meet new people and to travel around France as much as possible. Having only visited Paris and Nice before, I am excited to have the opportunity to visit and explore other regions of France.’
Congratulations, too, to Fraser McQueen and Rachel Taylor who both graduated last month and who were the recipients of prizes for their exceptional performances over the course of their degrees. We wish them both all the very best in their future endeavours.
There will be a couple of changes in staffing for the coming year in French with the arrival of our new Language Assistant, Brigitte Depret, and the departure of our colleague Jason Hartford. Brigitte will be involved with teaching our 1st and 2nd year students, in particular, and Jason is off to take up a post at University of Ireland, Maynooth. Best wishes to both!
We’re looking forward to setting up a new Erasmus exchange with Blaise Pascal University in Clermont-Ferrand over the course of the coming months, too. Laurence Gourievidis, Senior Lecturer in Modern British History at Clermont, visited Stirling in the Spring semester and Jean-Michel DesJacques, our Language Coordinator and Study Abroad Advisor, had a very successful trip over there after teaching ended, so everything is well on track for a new partnership. We’re also in the process of renewing our long-standing partnerships with the University of Passau and the Ecole de Management in Strasbourg, with both of whom we run double degree programmes in International Management and Intercultural Studies.
Finally, some summer reading from Stirling colleagues: David Murphy has a new article in Francosphères, co-authored with Ferdinand de Jong and entitled ‘Archiving the Postcolonial City’!