Visiting Scholars 2014/15

Professor Elena Omelchenko, and Dr Guzel Sabirova, Higher School of Economics, St Petersburg, Russia visited 25-29 November 2014

Prof Elena Omelchenko is a distinguished Russian sociologist with more than twenty years of experience in higher education. She received her PhD from the Moscow State University. She has developed her professional career in such prestigious academic institutions as the Moscow State University, Ulianovsk State University and National Research University Higher School of Economics in St Petersburg. She is well known in Russia and internationally for her work in gender and youth studies, as well as qualitative social research.

Dr Guzel Sabirova received her MA and PhD from the Institute of Sociology of Russian Academy of Sciences. She has developed her research expertise in sociology of religion, gender studies and youth studies. Currently Dr Sabirova is an executive director of the Centre for Youth Studies in the NRU HSE (St. Petersburg) where she is also coordinating international partnerships. Dr Sabirova is also working as a Lecturer in Sociology at the Faculty of Sociology, NRU Higher School of Economics (St. Petersburg).

During their visit Professor Omelchenko and Dr Sabirova conducted a research workshop on ‘The past tense of present tensions: memory, youth and political (dis)engagement’. They jointly presented a paper ‘Transmission of the family and historical memory in the production of generational differences/commonalities’ that drew on their research on young people, political activism and civic engagement in Russia, undertaken as part of their involvement in the EC Framework 7 funded MYPLACE research project.

Dr Denis Dvornikov, 'For Transparency of Justice' (NGO) and Moscow Regional Administration, Moscow visited 26 November 2014

Denis V. Dvornikov is a publicist and NGO expert. Born in Moscow, he graduated in 2001 from the Faculty of Law of the Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia. In 2005 he was awarded a PhD in International Law, having defended a dissertation on Russia’s accession to the WTO. Since 2000, he has worked as an expert and project manager at the Russian State Duma (Parliament) Deputy Association “European Club”; a cross-fractional association working to develop Russia’s links with Europe. In 2008 he founded the NGO “For Transparency of Justice” and in 2011 represented this organisation in the Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation upon the invitation of former President, Dmitri Medvedev. In 2010 Dr Dvornikov was a Fellow of the Chevening Program “Democracy, the Rule of Law and Security” at the University of Birmingham. In addition to his ongoing NGO work, Denis is also employed as a speech writer to the Moscow Regional Administration. He is the author of many published articles on social, international and political topics.

Within the framework of the Distinguished Visitors Programme, Dr Denis Dvornikov gave a lecture as part of LSS’s Research Seminar Series The talk was entitled A Practitioner's Guide to Russia: a Land of Possibilities or Problems? As an individual who has a foot on both the inside and the outside of the state, Denis brought a nuanced view of Russia to the audience at Aston, which was well received and expanded knowledge and understanding of this country that is often painted in black and white terms.

Dr Sebnem Susam-Sarajeva, University of Edinburgh visited 2-4 December 2014

Dr Sebnem Susam-Sarajeva is Senior Lecturer in Translation Studies at the University of Edinburgh. She is co-vice president of the International Association for Translation and Intercultural Studies (IATIS, At the University of Edinburgh, she is the director of the MSc in Translation Studies Programme. She is also member of the Steering Committee of ARTIS (Advancing Research in Translation and Interpreting Studies), a research training and exchange initiative. Her main research areas are: Translation and Music, Gender and Translation, and 'Non-professionals translating'.

During her visit she delivered a public lecture “Translation and Popular Music: Fandom as Part of a Social Movement” and a talk to staff titled “Non-professionals translating - trouble, threat, and teacher?” She also held individual consultations with staff and postgraduate students.

Dr Thomas Schmidt, Institut fuer deutsche Sprache, Mannheim, Germany visited 9-12 December 2014

Dr Thomas Schmidt is Director of “Oral corpora” at the Institut für Deutsche Sprache in Mannheim. He is a developer of the EXMARaLDA system and FOLKER, author of Kicktionary, founding Managing Director of the HSZK (Hamburg Centre for Speech Corpora), and member of the Academic Network of Internet Lexicography.

During his visit Dr Schmidt conducted a workshop for staff and research students on the transcription software EXMARaLDA. Based on recently completed research projects funded by the ESRC and the Volkswagen Foundation, we aim for the Centre for Language Research at Aston (CLaRA) to become a centre for corpora of spoken language, transcribed by applying EXMARaLDA. The workshop thus was an important stepping stone towards reaching these aims.

Margret Hornsteiner, Bamberg University, visited 9th to 14th December 2014

Margret Hornsteiner works at Comparative Politics section of Bamberg University as a lecturer and research fellow, and she has published a number of contributions on German party politics, and has given papers to major US conferences of the Midwest Political Science Association, and at the John Hopkins Centre in Bologna. 

While at Aston, Margret delivered a talk to staff and MA students on her original empirical work on party manifestos.  She also gave two guest talks to students – one to the second year Comparative Politics module, the other to the final year group on Political Parties and Party Systems.  These were all well-received – particularly her introduction to the freely-available Comparative Manifestos Database for students.

Dr Thomas Ballhausen, Filmarchiv Austria & University of Vienna visited 23 – 27 Feb 2015

Dr Thomas Ballhausen is a leading expert in German-language Film Studies. He leads the academic Research Centre at the Film Archive Austria in Vienna (which is comparable to the BFI in the UK). He lectures at the University of Vienna and has published widely on German-language film as well as European cinema in the foremost journals in his field such as Journal of Film Preserva-tion or Medien & Zeit. He curated the prestigious Diagonale film festival and is currently engaged in a joint research project on Austrian film and the Great War funded by the FWF (Austrian equivalent of the British Academy).

During his visit he delivered a number of lectures for students including on: cinematic extremism; Austrian film; Der Untergang; and a public lecture on “The Great War in Silent European Film”. He also held an informal workshop on film studies for final year students and conducted research consultations. 

Professor Barbara Zecchi, University of Massachusetts, visited 9-13 March 2015

Professor Barbara Zecchi is Associate Professor in the Dept. of Languages, Literatures and Cultures and in the Interdepartmental Program in Film Studies at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She is currently serving as the Director of the Spanish and Portuguese Unit. Her research focuses on Gender studies, Film adaptations, Digital Humanities and Spanish Cinema.

During her visit Professor Zecchi deliver a lecture on Gynocinema in Spain and taught a lesson for the Hispanic Film module on the representation of violence and the violence of representation.  She also held one-to-one meetings with both staff and students. 

Dr Fleur van der Houwen, Vrije Univeritet Amsterdam visited 16 – 20 March 2015

Dr Fleur van der Houwen is an internationally renowned forensic linguist who is currently working on the Police and Courtroom interviews and interactions in the Dutch setting.

During her visit she delivered the seventh annual Centre for Forensic Linguistics lecture attended by students, staff and external visitors.  She also taught Masters level Forensic Linguistics students and Undergraduate level Language of the Law students in two separate lectures and held a series of meetings with PhD students on their request.

Professor Ricardo Muñoz Martín, University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain visited 23-28 March 2015

Professor Ricardo Muñoz Martín, is Professor for Translation Studies and Head of the Cognitive Translation Studies Research Group (PETRA) at the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain. He is President of AIETI, the Asociación Ibérica de Estudios de Traducción e Interpretación, and a member of the advisory board for the multidisciplinary John Benjamins journal Translation Spaces. His main research areas are: Cognitive translatology; translation expertise; translation process studies; mental workload and memory processes in translation and interpreting, and the use of empirical methods in translation process research.

During his visit he delivered a public Lecture on the topic ‘Nailing some theses at language departments’ doors’; conducted a research seminar with PhD students on the topic ‘Common Pitfalls in Empirical Research’; and held a research methods seminar for MA students on the topic ‘An introduction to Process Research and TAPs’. He also held individual consultations with staff and postgraduate students.

Dr Jorge Díaz-Cintas, University College London visited 21-23 April 2015

Dr Jorge Díaz-Cintas is Reader in Translation and the Director of the Centre for Translation Studies (CenTraS) at University College London. His main research areas are Subtitling, Audiovisual Translation, Screen Translation, Translation and Ideology, Translation Technology, and Translator Training. He is the founding Chief Editor of the Peter Lang book series ‘New Trends in Translation Studies’. His main research expertise is in the area of audiovisual translation and translation technology.

During his visit he delivered a public lecture on the topic: “From Cinderella to Prince Charming: Taking Stock of Subtitling” and held individual consultations with staff and postgraduate students.

Professor María R. Estorino Dooling, University of Miami, USA visited 22 – 24 April 2015

Professor María R. Estorino Dooling is the de Varona Chair of the Cuban Heritage Collection (CHC) of the University of Miami Libraries, providing leadership for the development of the Collection as a center for scholarly inquiry and its continued growth as the premier collection in the United States on Cuba and its diaspora.

During her visit she introduced a one-day international workshop “Oral History and Cuba: A Changing Society?” which included invited guests. Professor Dooling introduced the day, presented a paper and was part of the roundtable discussions. This workshop was unique because it included academics from the island and from Miami, as well as international academics who work on Cuba within the island, and the exile community.

Professor Ana Vera Estrada, Instituto Cubano de Investigaciones Culturales Juan Marinello, Havana visited 22-25 April 2015

Professor Ana Vera Estrada is a Cuban researcher and expert in Oral History on the island. She obtained her Master’s Degree from the University of Havana (1975) and her PhD from Carolina University in Prague (1982). She is a member of the renowned UNEAC (Union de Escritores y Artistas Cubanos) and was part of the editorial board of the Journal “Temas” from 1984 to 1992. She works at the Cuban Institute for Cultural Research Juan Marinello and has taught in various MA and PhD programmes in Cuba and at foreign institutions in the United Kingdom, the United States, Spain and in various Latin American countries such as Chile, Argentina and Mexico, among others.

During her visit she presented a paper and participated in the roundtable discussion as part of the one-day international workshop with invited guests titled “Oral History and Cuba: A Changing Society?” This workshop was unique because it included academics from the island and from Miami, as well as international academics who work on Cuba within the island, and on the exile community. She also took part in the “Roundtable on Archival Research” as part of the LSS Research Seminar series and conducted a session with final year students on the current situation between Cuba and the United States.

Professor James M. Jasper, Graduate Center, City University of New York visited 28-30 April 2015

Jim Jasper is one of the foremost scholars on social movements, collective action, and strategic thinking. His work particularly focuses on agency, culture, emotions and ideology in collective action, and he is one of the leading voices challenging the structural biases in social movement studies in favour of a dynamic, strategic interactionist approach.

Jim gave a lecture and a workshop during his stay at Aston. The lecture, ‘The identity dilemma: Perils of declaring who you are’ was given in the LSS School Research seminar series and the following day, Jim gave a research seminar, attended by colleagues from the School and specialists in social movements from outside Aston.

Professor Mark Choate, Brigham Young University Utah and U.S. War College visited 18 – 20 May 2015

Professor Mark Choate is an internationally renowned scholar whose research interests include modern Europe, world migration, colonialism, terrorism, and grand military strategy. His publications include Emigrant Nation. The Making of Italy Abroad (Harvard University Press, 2008), which was the winner of the Council for European Studies Book Award.

During his visit he gave a lecture titled “Evaluating the Strategy of NATO Expansion, 1992 – 2015” and conducted discussions regarding future research collaboration.