Dr Dušan Deák, Comenius University, Bratislava, Slovakia visited 19-25 September 2016

Dr Dušan Deák is distinguished historian and ethnologist working in the field of memory studies, religious studies and Indology. He received his PhD in History from University of Pune, (Maharashtra, India). He has developed his professional career in the Comenius University, Institute of Asian and African Studies (Slovak Academy of Sciences) and University of SS. Cyril and Methodius (Trnava, Slovakia) where he was a head of the Department of Ethnology and Non-European Studies from 2004 to 2013. He is well known internationally for his work in studying history and memory from below in diverse cultural and political context including postsocialist societies of Central and Eastern Europe and postcolonial India.

During the visit Dr Deak worked together with Dr Anton Popov and other interested colleagues on furthering research collaborations including the development of a Horizon 2020 application. 

Professor Elin Fredsted,  University of Flensburg, Germany and Professor Helen Kelly Holmes,  University of Limerick, Ireland visited 29-30 November 2016

Professor Elin Fredsted is professor for Danish at the University of Flensburg in Germany. She is an expert on language contact and multilingualism and has published widely on the topic of Soennerjuts, a minority language spoken on both sides of the Danish – German border. Professor Helen Kelly Holmes is professor of Applied Languages at the University of Limerick in Ireland. Her research focuses on the interrelationship between media and language and on the economic aspects of multilingualism. She is also a specialist for Irish as a minority language. 

During the visit Professors Fredsted and Kelly-Holmes took part in a workshop on a planned research project: “The native speaker myth and its role in language maintenance efforts of minority languages” and delivered a seminar on the same topic as part of the LSS research seminar series. They also, with Professor Gertrud Reershemius, worked on a joint publication and developed a funding application for the EC RISE scheme.

Dr Istvan Tarrósy, University of Pecs, Hungary, visitied 30 January - 3 February 2017

Dr Tarrósy is Associate Professor of Political Science, Director of the Africa Research Centre, and Deputy Head of the Department of Political Science and International Studies, University of Pecs. Dr Tarrósy’s principal research interests relate to politics in East African countries, and the relations of the region with Asia. He has extensive fieldwork experience in the region and beyond, including Tanzania, Kenya, Rwanda, The Gambia, Egypt, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Botswana; as well as in a number of Asian countries (Japan, China, Hong Kong and Taiwan). 

Dr Tarrosy was at ACE for one week, during which he held classes to our undergraduate and MA students, as well as had discussions with a number of colleagues on potential future collaboration. His research interests on African politics, as well as the politics of migration to European relate well to the research interests of several colleagues, and thus holds potential for working together. We will be working together with him to establish stronger relations with the Department of Political Science at the University of Pecs.  

Professor Dorothy Kelly, University of Granada, Spain visited 28-30 March 2017

Professor Dorothy Kelly is a full professor for Translation Studies at the University of Granada, and Deputy Vice-Chancelor for Internationalisation. Her research specialisms include curricular design for translator training, translator training, trainer training, intercultural (communication) competence and internationalization of higher education (including student mobility at tertiary level).

During her visit Professor Kelly delivered a workshop attended by staff, MA and PhD students on the topic of “Curriculum design for university translator for the education programmes”. She also gave a talk as part of the LSS research seminar series titled: "The place of translator education in higher education today: trends and tensions" and held individual consultations with students.

Dr Igor Kuznetsov, The Kuban State University and Mr Vladimir Kolesov, The Krasnodar State Museum of History and Archaeology, Russia visited 30 March - 1 April 2017 

Dr Igor Kuznetsov is distinguished social anthropologist working in the field of the ethnicity, ethnic minorities’ rights, Caucasian studies and history of social anthropology in USSR and Russia. He received his PhD in Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology of Russian Academy of Sciences, (Moscow, Russia). He has developed his professional career in the Kuban State University (Krasnodar, Russia) where he has been a head of the Department of Archeology, Ethnology, Medivle and Ancient History since 2011. He is well known internationally for his work in studying ethno-cultural processes in the late-Soviet and post-Soviet Caucasus.

Mr Vladimir Kolesov, is uniquely positioned as being both an academic (with degrees in history and ethnology) and a museum practitioner. As an ethnographer, Vladimir has years of research among ethnic minorities and indigenous groups in the Caucasus and the Black Sea regions (including Southern Russia, Azerbaijan, Abkhazia and Turkey). He received his BA and MA in History from the Kuban State University (Krasnodar) and is currently working on his PhD project as an external doctoral candidate at the Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology of the Russian Academy of Sciences (Moscow). For over fifteen years Vladimir has been working in public and educational sector in the regional museum – The Krasnodar State Museum of History and Archaeology – where he is a head of the History and Ethnology Devision.   

The main purpose of the visit by Dr Kyznetsov and Mr Kolesov was participation in the workshop ‘Remembering / Forgetting imperial past: Nationalism and the making of ethnicities around the Black Sea’ that was organised by Dr Anton Popov and Dr Ebru Soytemel as part of the LSS CCISC research activities. The workshop focused on the relatively under-researched field of intersections between in the post-imperialism (and to an extend post-colonialism) and post-socialism and their impact on cultural, political and ethno-national processes in the regions around the Black Sea that historically were the contested borderlands of three Eurasian empires (the Ottoman, Russian, and Habsburg) later being divided by the Iron Curtain as either the part of the USSR and the Soviet Bloc or the NATO allies (Turkey). The workshop brought together the distinguished regional experts from the UK, Austria, Russia (e.g. Dr Kuznetsov) and Turkey working within different national and disciplinary traditions (e.g. sociology, anthropology, history and political science) as well as public sector practitioners (e.g. Mr Kolesov is a museum practitioner) and civil society activists. Moreover, their visit will lead to further development of research contacts and potential collaboration in research projects between Aston’s LSS, the Kuban State University and the Krasnodar State Museum of History and Archaeology.

Professor Kerem Oktem, Centre of Southeast European Studies, University of Graz, Austria visited 30 March - 1 April 2017

Professor Kerem Oktem is distinguished scholar of SouthEast European Studies, having expertise on micro-politics, social movements, identity politics and memory. He completed his PhD at University of Oxford and worked at University of Oxford for 10 years as a research associate of the programme for Southeast European Studies at Oxford (SEESOX). Prof. Oktem is now the Vice-President of the Research Foundation Switzerland Turkey and alumni of the Mercator-IPC Fellowship. He is also the deputy director of Center for Souteast European Studies at the University of Graz.

Professor Oktem gave two talks during his visit. One was a panel with the Aston Centre for Europe titled “Turkey and the EU: Great Promises, Lost Chances”.  Students from Politics and IR attended this talk. The other was a CCISC Research Workshop: “Remembering/forgetting imperial past workshop” on 31 March 2017 and Prof. Oktem gave a talk titled : “Coming to Terms with Genocide in a Perpetrator State: Power, Denial and Recognition”.

Dr. Felix Bühlmann, University of Lausanne, Switzerland visited 1 May 2017

Dr Felix Bühlmann is a distinguished sociologist working in the field of life course and social mobility, occupational trajectories, and changing élite structures. He received his PhD in sociology from University of Lausaane and worked as a researcher at the ESRC Centre for Research on Socio-Cultural Change (Cresc), The University of Manchester (2008-2009). He was the head of research at the Swiss Foundation for Research in Social Sciences (2009-2011). Dr. Bühlmann is currently the Editor-in-chief of the Swiss Journal of Sociology.  His research focuses on the questions of upward mobility and occupational trajectories. His previous research include has concerned occupational trajectories of economists, engineers, Swiss business élites and the changing patterns of élite composition. His most recent research focuses on service class and precarious workers. Dr. Bühlmann has published on barriers in social mobility, sequence analysis, and journal articles on political and economic élites, changing composition of power relations in élite groups and barriers in social mobility for working class groups. Dr. Bühlmann is also an expert on Bourdieuian Field Analysis and Sequence Analysis.

Dr. Bühlmann delivered two full days of multiple correspondence analysis (MCA) training. The sessions were attended by a mix of academics from Aston and other institutions. All colleagues enjoyed the session and found it useful.

Dr David Sawyer, University of Maryland, USA visited 3-10 June 2017

Dr David Sawyer is Director of Language Testing at the Foreign Service Institute, in the US Department of State, Washington, following his previous role as Senior Diplomatic Interpreter for the Office of Language Services, also at the US Department of State. His professional interpreting (English-German) for the US Department of State gave him experience interpreting for the US President, Secretary of State and other Cabinet Members at over 40 summits, state visits and visits abroad; he was also President Obama sole interpreter during the Official Visit of Chancellor Merket in 2011. 

In addition to his distinguished professional achievements, Dr Sawyer is also an internationally well-known academic. He holds a position as Senior Lecturer of Graduate Studies in Interpreting and Translationa at the University of Maryland. He has taught different courses at the US Department of State, the University of Mainz, the Monterrey Institute of International Studies and the University of Maryland.  His research specialisms include diplomatic interpreting and action research in translator and interpreter education, and has published widely in these fields, including his monograph Fundamental Aspects of Interpreter Education: Curriculum an Assessment. He is a member of the International Association of Conference Interpreters, where he has served as secretary.

During his visit Dr Sawyer was keynote speaker at the “Translation and Interpreting in Political Settings” conference, organised by Dr David Orrego-Carmona, Dr Olga Castro and Prof Frank Austermuehl and delivered a workshop on “Action Research and Expertise Development in Translator and Interpreter Education”. Dr Sawyer met with colleagues to discuss research collaborations including working on a joint publication and also met with both MA and PhD students.