Past sessions: Winter 2023

Visitors to The English Café can expect a bon soir when Elise Renson takes the helm

Monday 9 October
From Asterix terrain to EU capital: How Belgium became a playground for polyglots
Join us as Altissia’s Elise Renson beams in from beyond the border. Born and raised in the outskirts of Brussels, Elise speaks French, Dutch, English and German. She navigates between all four with ease, for at Altissia she is an Account Manager for the Belux (Belgium-Luxembourg) and DACH (Germany-Austria-Switzerland) markets. Having spent an Erasmus semester in beautiful Berlin during her BA days, she attests to the efficacy of immersing oneself in a target language in settings that are laid back. But it’s not just her Master’s in Multilingual Business Communication that keeps her speaking in tongues. She will give us some insight into aspects of Belgian history that have shaped its present-day kaleidoscopic culture.

Prepare for a game-changing evening with Prof Karina Zalcmane

Monday 23 October
Sports Law and Criminology: The game is on
Associate Professor, Dr. iur. Karina Zalcmane is the Vice-Rector for Academic Affairs and Development at EKA University of Applied Sciences in Latvia.   Her publications include “The subculture of football fans and its place in the delinquent culture”  (2018); “Sports Criminology” (2022) and a co-authored work entitled “The Problematic Issues of Sports Law in Latvia: Compliance of Labour and Tax Legislations from the Sustainable Development Perspective” (2021). A veritable polymath, she is also a Lawyer; a member of the  International Association of Sports Law and Women in Sports Law; previously had a stint studying mechanical engineering and she is also –  wait for it – a dance teacher!

Media didactics expert Andreas Giesbert plans to pull out all the stops

Monday 6 November [CANCELLED]
No more singing the blues: Uncovering some almost-forgotten jazz and R&B treasures
In his academic career, Andreas Giesbert has gone from Hegel to AI, with pit stops in board gaming land and feminist theory.  He’s hardly feeling blue, though, for he recently became a member of the Mount Zion Memorial Fund, a US-based charity that revamps churches in America’s rural south.  In his presentation he will share some original recordings and interviews with blues music maestros.  Music and history lovers – make a date with The English Café!

Kerstin Langhein coordinates Erasmus stays abroad for both staff and students

Monday 20 November
Broaden your horizons by taking a few weeks, a semester or a year abroad!
Sa parlare italiano!”  A degree in Italian Philology coupled with a binational MA in Comparative Literature and three semesters in Udine and Bergamo will tend to do that.  Thankfully, when she visits the The English Café this coming November,  Hagener Kerstin Langhein of the FernUniversität’s International Office will set aside her expertise in Italian and stick to English.  She will give us the scoop on how to select the perfect uni, what to keep in mind concerning ECTS and, most importantly, how to secure funding for a life-changing study-abroad experience.  You won’t want to miss this!

For Careers Advisor Dr Stephanie Steden, assisting students is all in a day’s work

Monday 15 January
Dr Stephanie Steden
A wellspring of wisdom on the world of work
Seventy-five percent of FernUniversität in Hagen students are already employed, but things being what they are today, sticking to one tiny pigeon hole for one’s entire career is increasingly the exception rather than the norm. The portal Stephanie Steden manages is a hub of information on the fluctuating German job market, ideas and inspiration for making a career change and links to webinars, workshops and online and offline events that could impact your career. Log into our Zoom meeting to find out what the FernUni Career Service can do for you.

Live from the USA: Associate Professor Stephanie Brown will join our evening session in the middle of her day

Monday 29 January
Associate Professor Stephanie Brown
From Ohio, the bellwether in US elections, a look at literature that changes lives
Stephanie Brown is an Associate Professor in the Department of English at the Ohio State University, USA. Author of The Postwar African American Novel: Protest and Discontent, 1945-1950, she is also an expert in twentieth and twenty-first century literature, speculative fiction and critical theory. You won’t want to miss her visit to the English Café when she will discuss her current research and introduce attendees to a contemporary literary movement that is off the beaten path.

North Rhine-Westphalia will be busy partying in the pre-Lent period.

Monday 12 February
Shrove Monday: No meeting
With the FernUniversität in Hagen’s work day ending at noon on this day, there is no evening meeting. See you two weeks’ time!


Putting students to the test: Dr Kempka will talk about exam dos and don’ts

Monday 26 February
Dr Andreas Kempka
Exam tips that stand the test of time

Dr Andreas Kempka of the Centre for Learning and Innovation is our go-to guy for online assessments, high-tech proctoring and nigh on everything pertaining to examinations in a distance setting. His presentation in The English Café will be a veritable crash course in coping with online exams: before during and after the assessment. This is a must-attend session for those writing exams – whether online or off – at the end of the winter semester.

Dr Schwanebeck will put his money where his mouth is in a talk on monetary policy

Monday 11 March
Dr Benjamin Schwanebeck
Not too tight to mention: Monetary policy and inequality in the Eurozone

A post doctorate scholar at the FernUniversität’s Chair for International Economics, Dr Benjamin Schwanebeck is a maestro of macroeconomics, finance and central bank policy. If you’ve ever wondered why there’s so much month left at the end of your money, this presentation is just for you! Dr Schwanebeck will give us some insight into how the policy pronouncements from Frankfurt and Brussels impact both Max and Maxine Mustermann – and what this all means for those living in the Eurozone.

There is no doubt that Dr Jitschin’s talk will go down in history

Monday 25 March
Dr Adrian Jitschin
A blast from the past: From Ancient Greece to contemporary Ghana – are societal processes the same old, same old?
When he isn’t up to his neck with tasks in his day job as head of the FernUniversität’s Frankfurt Campus, Dr Adrian Jitschin is also a social historian.  His recent co-authored publication “African Processes of Civilisation” features essays by the renowned German Sociologist Norbert Elias and examines what small contemporary communities reveal about societal changes from times gone by.

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