Tag: Jason Hartford

International Graduates

More catching-up with recent graduates and tales of their lives since they finished studying with us. Today’s tales both happen to come from Scandinavian graduates… first, Silje Volden, from Norway, and Terry Karpathakis, from Sweden.

Silje graduated from Stirling in 2013 with a BA Hons in English Studies and French: “I originally chose Stirling because of its opportunity to do French for beginners. It was also on the list of universities that the Norwegian organisation which helped me apply co-operated with. In addition, the pictures of the surroundings and campus looked amazing!

2016 Volden Loch Lomond kayak club Feb
Loch Lomond trip with Uni kayak club

 

During my time there I enjoyed both the English and French part of my studies. Stirling is also great for past-time activities and I tried to enjoy that to the full as well of course. I went on exchange to Geneva, Switzerland for my 2nd semester 3rd year. That certainly helped my language skills a lot and this compulsory time abroad was also a reason that I chose this course.

2016 Volden Unige logo Feb

 

One of my favourite modules during my stay in Stirling was a module on Post-War France with Jason Hartford. This made me love history once again and was just so incredibly interesting on a cultural, as well as a social level.

After graduating and taking a year to travel, I did a one-year teaching course here in Norway to become a qualified teacher (like you can in Scotland). I am now a secondary school teacher (kids aged 12-15). I teach English and French, where English is a compulsory subject and French is not. This means that, often, the French groups are more motivated and can progress quicker. However, a difference between classes and groups is always interesting.

I certainly appreciate that I did French, as it certainly made me stand out and landed me a job. French-English was a great combination both for being relevant during my studies and after.”

We continue to offer that route into French via the Beginners’ stream for students who don’t have a Higher (or equivalent), overseen by our Language Coordinator, Jean-Michel DesJacques. Students in those classes focus on intensive language learning for the first two semesters, before beginning to study literary texts and films in Semester 3 (still alongside intensive language learning), and then merging with the non-Beginners in Semester 4. From that point onwards, there’s no further differentiation between Beginners and non-Beginners and, every year, we’re delighted to see a cluster of former Beginners among our successful graduates.

Thanks to Silje for this article and best wishes for the future!

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Summer news

Mark Cousins
Mark Cousins

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’!
Bonnes vacances!

Jason Hartford at the University of Sheffield

Jason Hartford will be giving a paper as part of the University of Sheffield’s French Research and Culture programme entitled: ‘Separated before Birth? Charles Péguy and Michel Foucault: Methodologies of History’ on 12 March.

The paper reflects a theoretical interest that initially arose out of a teaching activity, as Jason explains: “I’ve become interested in methodology as an idea and a theoretical area, and having read a little bit about Foucault have started to compare his with others’ methodologies. Péguy was an unusual creature, a mostly non-practising but still strongly self-identified Catholic, and a Dreyfusard nationalist. Not common for his day! Well, what I’ve discovered is that in a few limited, but still interesting ways, some of Péguy’s thought from 1909 is comparable with some of Foucault’s thought from 1969 — even though no one, to my knowledge, has proposed comparing them.” This is a very new area of work for Jason and he is looking forward to feedback from the talk in Sheffield.