I graduated with a BA (Mod. Hons.) in German and French from Trinity College Dublin in 1989, and obtained my PhD in 1997 (with a thesis on the intellectual collaboration between two eighteenth-century German thinkers: Matthias Claudius and Friedrich Heinrich Jacobi). During both my undergraduate and postgraduate studies, I spent some time studying abroad: as an undergraduate at the University of Göttingen (1987-88), and as a postgraduate at the University of Bern, Switzerland (1989-91 & Summer 1992) and a semester at the University of Hamburg (winter 1991-92).
Since 2001 I have been a College Lecturer/Associate Professor in German at UCD. In the 1990s I held temporary lectureships at UCC and UCD, was Faculty of Arts Fellow for German at UCD, tutored at Trinity College Dublin, and taught German language at Dún Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology, and at the National College of Ireland.
2004-08 I was Membership Secretary and Treasurer of the German Studies’ Assocation of Ireland (http://www.germaninireland.org), that fosters the study of the German language and the cultures of the German-speaking countries, as well as consituting a platform for all colleagues teaching and researching in German Studies at Irish third-level institutions. 2013-14 I was a representative on the first commitee of German Connects campaign (http://www.germanconnects.ie), an initiative of the German embassy and Goethe Institute, which, in collaboration with the Swiss and Austrian embassies and third-level institutions around Ireland, promotes and supports the learning of the German language at all levels. From January 2010 to August 2016 I was the Head of Teaching and Learning in my School (UCD School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics) and 2015-16 the School Lead for the University-Wide Curriculum Enhancement and Reform. I completed the Diploma in Teaching and Learning 2015-2017.
Music is my main hobby and passion, and I enjoy including it in my teaching and research. I have taught courses on Music and Literature in German Romanticism, used opera to give an introduction to German Enlightenment, Classicism and Romanticism, and for many years co-ordinated and co-taught on a Level 3 module with Dr Wolfgang Marx of the School of Music on German Opera in the Nineteenth Century. I have also co-organised two international conferences on Music and Literature related topics: Music and Literature in German Romanticism (2000) and Eduard Hanslick (2010).
The two years I was fortunate to spend on a Swiss Government Scholarship in Bern sparked off an interest in Swiss literature. In addition to musically-informed courses, I teach courses and conduct research into literature by Swiss-German authors and am a member of an international group of colleagues conducting research in this field.
I also very much enjoy teaching German-language classes and have taught at all levels. Currently I am coordinator and course designer of the second-year German language modules, and also teach a final-year module on Advanced Translation (German-English). I am also involved in an ECML project in Graz to develop and online self-assessment tool designed to prepare for the alignment of a a course or programme with the CEFR.