4 May 2021

Margaret Kelleher

on Anne Enright, The Green Road

17 May 2021

Katharina Rennhak

on Sally Rooney, Conversations with Friends




08 June 2021

Derek Hand

Solar Bones: The Contemporary Irish Novel and the Anxieties of the Age

18 May 2021

Claire Lynch

The ‘art of precious scars’: Making, Breaking, and Repairing the Irish Family in Helen Cullen’s The Dazzling Truth (2020)

…I found the lecture by Claire Lynch very, very interesting. I really liked how she pointed out how the general themes of the novel, motherhood, marriage equality and consequently mental health correlate with the Irish history of the last few years. What I found most interesting was the take on motherhood …

I really enjoyed the lecture by Claire Lynch! It gave us a very informative and overall view about the novel. Additionally, I think she pointed out the most important facts and topics about the novel so that it helped understanding everything that remained unclear while reading the excerpts. I also appreciated that Claire Lynch contextualized the novel into the history and current events of Ireland. All in all in the end I was very grateful for Claire Lynch‘s effort and for her taking part in our session!

The lecture by Claire Lynch was the first guest lecture I ever had. I found it to be very well structured and easy to follow. Considering the circumstances of the online lecture I really appreciated the use of visual aids and the overall presentation of the book and the author. Her knowledge of this topic was really impressive and one could clearly see how passionate she feels about this book and her general work. This made the lecture even more interesting and enjoyable.

GISI Lectures at the University of Tübingen

5 May 2021: Ralf Haekel

on John Banville, The Sea

12 May 2021: Margaret Kelleher

on Anne Enright, The Green Road

2 June 2021: Derek Hand

Solar Bones: The Contemporary Irish Novel and the Anxieties of the Age

9 June 2021: Stefanie Lehner 

Post-conflict Masculinities and Absent Presences in David Park’s The Truth Commissioner (2008)

I really enjoyed Prof. Dr. Haekel’s lecture on The Sea by John Banville. His lecture gave me a lot of insight into the novel and deepened my understanding and appreciation for it. He raised the main themes of the novels, illustrated them, and expanded them. He used quotes from the novel to emphasize his theories and used other sources to strengthen his argument. Prof. Dr. Haekel always flagged his personal reading when the novel was ambiguous. Other sources he used were well chosen and supported his theories. Another quality of Prof. Dr. Haekel was that he presented well and spoke freely, clearly, and lively. The Q&A at the end of the lecture was interesting as well, he catered to every question and was open to other’s readings of the novel, leading to an interesting discussion. I learned a lot from Prof. Dr. Haekel’s lecture and I appreciate Prof. Dr. Reinfandt’s initiative to create a diverse online class with different input. It really brightened up the online teaching format and I look forward to the next lecture.

The numerous lectures provided by the German Irish Itinerary have provided me with a great insight into the world of contemporary Irish fiction. The lecturers presented their novels with great care and understanding for each author and the respective novel’s content. I feel as though I have been taken on a trip through the beautiful green island and gained a lot of knowledge of the Irish people and their lives, past and present, along the way. I can confidently say that I will be on the look-out for further great publications.

Even in an online semester, the German-Irish itinerary has been a wonderfully varied and enriching experience. Listening to lectures and participating in discussions with experts on contemporary Irish novels from various universities is a refreshing way of bringing together different points of view and arguments into one online classroom. Especially with contemporary novels, it is challenging to make a claim of greatness for them because they have not had the chance to withstand the test of time. Hence the different lecturers chose for themselves the novel which they considered to be great and as they advocated for a novel's greatness out of a personal conviction, the lectures were more animating and engaging. In every single lecturer, one could observe enthusiasm and convincing arguments for the respective novel which also foregrounded the difficulty to choose for oneself which novel deserves the name of "greatness". I am particularly grateful for the guests who joined us from Ireland because they could share both backgrounds on Irish history and personal experiences of life in Ireland which makes the experience of the novels more vivid and relatable. This program did not only inform me well about Irish contemporary novels but also provided me with an overview of cutting-edge research on Irish contemporary novels and Irish literary and cultural history. This seminar enabled me to experience discourses both in and beyond the university of Tuebingen. I am really thankful to have received this rare opportunity to participate in such a unique seminar.

Having listened to the lectures on John Banville’s The Sea, Anne Enright’s The Green Road and Sally Rooney’s Conversations with Friends, I can say that I have enjoyed the talks and discussions very much so far! It became clear that there are themes such as memory, family and the historical conflict which recur throughout a number of the selected Irish novels, while others deliberately avoid or transform these themes. In terms of Irish history, I have learnt more about the Great Famine as well as the Celtic Tiger period and the subsequent crash. The combination of close reading and theoretical abstraction offered by the lecturers led me to appreciate the novels I had personally liked even more, or else understand what I had missed in novels which I had personally somewhat grappled with and why these novels, too, could be considered as ‘great’. 

22 April 2021

Ralf Haekel

on John Banville, The Sea

Ralf Haekel on Banville, The Sea


29 April 2021

Claire Lynch

The ‘art of precious scars’: Making, Breaking, and Repairing the Irish Family in Helen Cullen’s The Dazzling Truth (2020)

What an absolute pleasure this was. Thanks for the great questions brains of Wuppertal! https://t.co/3Q9cL9Vg17

— Claire Lynch (@DrClaireLynch) April 29, 2021

Truly honoured that The Truth Must Dazzle Gradually has been chosen as the lecture topic by @DrClaireLynch for the @e_efacis German Irish studies Itinerary ⬇️⬇️ https://t.co/YnWo1so6oN

— Helen Cullen (@wordsofhelen) April 27, 2021


11 May 2021

Derek Hand

Solar Bones: The Contemporary Irish Novel and the Anxieties of the Age


10 June 2021

Catherine Toal

Unnameable: Milkman and The Troubles

6 May 2021

Elke D'hoker

‘A creature other than myself’: Art, Nature, Ethics in Sara Baume’s A Line Made by Walking (2017)

I thoroughly enjoyed Elke D’hoker’s very rich lecture – I thought it was wonderfully inspiring and thought-provoking. I’d read Spill Simmer Falter Whither a few years back after attending a reading by [Sara] Baume here in Leuven, and now I can’t wait to get into A Line Made by Walking.

Phyllis Boumans, doctoral researcher, Faculty of Arts, KU Leuven


I really enjoyed listening to the guest lecture on "A line made by walking". What I liked in particular was her approach to art as it is depicted in Baume's novel and the link to nature. D'Hoker provided an insightful way to read the novel and included scholarily works as well. All in all, it was a great online event.

Bianca Minxolli, student of English and American Studies, University of Würzburg


Smooth delivery. Even after an hour the topics were still hot and spicy - or a more serious version if the first one should be too slackly: A really thought-provoking and varied lecture with refreshing supplements.

Brendan Arlt, student of English and American Studies, University of Würzburg


I enjoyed the interesting talk about A Line Made by Walking and the different aspects which were analyzed very much. The presentation was very nicely done and good to follow. It really made me want to know more about the novel.

Sophie Schneider, student of English and American Studies, University of Würzburg