International Online Conference „Narrative Encounters with Ethnic American Literatures“

On September 2-4, 2021, the Department of English is hosting the International Online Conference “Narrative Encounters with Ethnic American Literatures,” convened by Alexa Weik von Mossner, Marijana Mikić, and Mario Grill within the framework of the FWF Narrative Encounters Project.

Taking a cue from pioneering efforts at the intersection of context-oriented approaches in race and ethnicity studies and post-classical narratology, this conference is interested in the relationship between narrative, race, and ethnicity in the United States. Reading so-called “ethnic” American literatures means encountering characters and storyworlds imagined by writers associated with various minority communities in the United States.

How do ethnic American literary texts use narrative form to engage readers in issues related to race and ethnicity? What narrative strategies do they employ to interweave these issues with other important identity markers such as class, religion, gender, and sexuality? How do they involve readers emotionally in their storyworlds and how do they relate such involvements to the racial politics and history of the United States? And how does paying attention to the strategies and formal features of ethnic American literatures change our understanding of narrative theory? These are some of the questions we hope to address at this conference.

Keynote Speakers:

Frederick Luis Aldama, Jacob & Frances Sanger Mossiker Chair in the Humanities at the University of Texas, Austin Paula Moya, Danily C. and Laura Louise Bell Professor of the Humanities, Stanford University Patrick Colm Hogan, Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor, University of Connecticut

The program is available here.

You can register for the conference here. Registration is free of charge.

For any inquiries, please contact narrative [dot] encounters [at] aau [dot] at

Einblick in die Lehre… 3 Fragen an Blake Shedd

Sprachen zu verstehen geht über das reine Vokabel- und Grammatik-Verständnis weit hinaus. Eine wichtige Eigenheit von Sprachen ist nämlich die Mundart. Es gibt sie überall, ob in der englischen oder der deutschen Sprache. Mundartgedichte zu lesen oder Filme anzuschauen sind dabei Möglichkeiten, um das Verständnis zu trainieren. Außerdem sind gemeinsame Aktivitäten wie eine Watch-Party eine schöne Möglichkeit in der Pandemie gemeinsames Studieren zu zelebrieren. 


When Linguistics and Psychology Meet – New Research Project About Questioning Sequences in Coaching

Dr. Eva Graf is currently working on an exciting new research project about questioning sequences in coaching. She is building important groundwork to explore and improve the possibilities in the field of coaching. “In order to standardize coaching or to professionalize coaching, we not only need to know that it works, but we also need to very much know how it works,” says Graf.

Englische Redewendungen erlernen: Wie merkt man sie sich besser?

Redewendungen gelten als besonders schwierige Elemente, wenn es um das Erlernen einer Zweitsprache geht. Zugleich sind sie es aber, deren Verständnis und deren passende Verwendung eine hohe Sprachkompetenz ausweisen. Ein österreichisch-russisches Projekt untersucht nun, wie Englischlernende aus zwei verschiedenen sprachlichen und kulturellen Gebieten mit dem Erlernen von Redenwendungen umgehen. Das Projekt wird vom österreichischen Wissenschaftsfonds FWF gefördert.


English Language Teaching Today: Trends and Challenges

Guest professor Irena Vodopija-Krstanovic has many links to the University of Klagenfurt. She is an alumna, had a guest professorship in the English Department in 2014 and co-organized an Alps-Adriatic-Adriatic-Anglistics conference with a colleague of the Department in Klagenfurt. We had a lot to talk about, including her current guest lecture “English Language Teaching Today: Trends and Challenges”.


Online Guest Lecture: Gender in a Psychotherapeutic Interaction

Guest lecturer Prof. UAM dr hab. Joanna Pawelczyk
Faculty of English at Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznan

In this talk we will discuss how gender ‒ as one of the most salient social categories ‒ can be examined in language and interaction and how it emerges and matters in an interaction between a practitioner (a psychotherapist) and a client.

In the first part of the talk we will consider how gender can be studied in language and communication from an interactional perspective. Here we will focus on the ethnomethodological approach adopting the participant’s perspective and social constructionism following the analyst’s position. We will then apply these approaches to the professional context of psychotherapy to discuss how gender becomes relevant yet often an invisible category for the participants of the psychotherapeutic interaction.

Due to the current COVID-19 restrictions, the talk will take place online and can be joined via the following Zoom link:

Meeting-ID: 977 8466 4308

Kenncode: 009176

Workshop: Why is English spelling so weird? A diachronic perspective on the orthography of English

It is a truth universally acknowledged that both first and second language speakers of English struggle immensely with its spelling. In this workshop, we will look at how English came to have the spelling system it has today and the ways in which orthography reflects widespread pronunciation in previous times as well as various accidents of history. We will touch upon some serious issues English spelling presents for its users and trace variation in spelling in informal genres from historical letters to modern texting practices.


About the presenter:

Monika Kavalir is Associate Professor (docent) at the Department of English at Ljubljana University. Her research focuses on historical linguistics, sociolinguistics and transcultural communication. In co-operation with the University of Klagenfurt, a recent project of hers tackled the translation of contemporary Slovenian poetry into English and German: Monika Kavalir & Gregor Chudoba (2020) Indirect literary translation and intercultural communication: crossing borders in the Neighbours with a Go-Between project, Language and Intercultural Communication, 20:6, 546-560.


Date: Tuesday, 4 May 2021

Time: 12.00 -1.30 pm



Game Studies and Engineering: It’s the passion that drives me

After achieving a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and Engineering at IIIT Una, India, Shivi Vats decided to come to Klagenfurt to continue studying with the master’s programme Games Studies and Engineering. In this interview he talks about why one should study at AAU and what advantages Klagenfurt has over a big city like Delhi, India.


Fortress upon a Hill

The presidential inauguration commemorates the beginning of a new 4-year term of the president of the United States. By reciting the oath of office “[…] to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution”— the incoming president assumes the duty and responsibility to exercise presidential powers. While inaugural ceremonies serve to provide continuity and stability, the 59th presidential inauguration is marred by overwhelming obstacles.

Amidst growing security concerns in the aftermath of Trump supporters storming the Capitol on January 6th, 2021, Joseph Biden will take the inaugural oath under an unprecedented burden of circumstances. As the presence of the National Guard surges and fortifies Washington DC in the wake of increased threats of extremist-led violence on the presidential inauguration, Joseph Biden faces an unparalleled situation; threats of domestic terrorism coupled with the COVID-19 pandemic have tempered what would otherwise be a grandiose event of pomp and spectacle. A scarcely populated inauguration will take place instead, where most will join the celebrations virtually.

This period of daunting political division in the United States underscores the importance of Joe Biden’s inaugural address. No other time in modern American history except for the Civil War, has a message of unity, healing and reaffirming the social contract between the people and the president been so sorely needed. Biden’s inaugural address will likely adhere to traditional patterns that we have all come to know, specifically, the vision for the country moving forward, while asserting his commitment to the COVID-19 pandemic, environmental justice, the economy and racial inequality. But beyond policy initiatives, Joseph Biden’s inaugural address might well allude to the heavy task of reaching those who do not believe he is the rightly elected 46th President of the United States debunking theories of a stolen election.

Lest we forget, the smooth and peaceful transition of power has already been put to the test with claims of a stolen election. In contrast to what American tradition dictates, Trump’s refusal to attend the inauguration further perpetuates to his supporters the belief that Joe Biden is not the rightful elected president, disrupting continuity and the unifying nature of the inaugural.

By Patricia Keren

New Year’s Celebrations

Are you interested in learning more about some anglophone New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day celebrations? Start off on the right foot, and check out our most recent post on Facebook to discover some of the cultural practices that take place in the UK, Ireland, and the US around January 1st!