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Prof. Dr. Katharina Rennhak Receives The Ambassador of Ireland – St. Patrick’s Day Award

Prof. Dr. Katharina Rennhak Receives The Ambassador of Ireland – St. Patrick’s Day Award

At the first in-person St. Patrick’s Day reception since the pandemic, Katharina Rennhak has been awarded “The Ambassador of Ireland – St. Patrick’s Day Award” for her work in the field of Irish Studies. In his speech, the Ambassador praised her enthusiasm, dedication and commitment at the forefront of the movement to reinvigorate Irish Studies in Germany. Amongst other accomplishments, Katharina Rennhak has established the “Travelling Visiting Professor in Irish Studies” which has hugely contributed to the reputation, visibility and sustainability of Irish Studies in Germany and further afield. It is currently running in its second year and is co-funded by DFA’s “Emigrant Support Programme – Irish Studies” funding stream.

Katharina is professor for English Literature at the University of Wuppertal since 2009. She is president of the European Federation of Associations and Centres of Irish Studies (EFACIS) and Director of the Center for Narrative Research (ZEF). She is also a member of the International Association for the Study of Irish Literatures (IASIL) Executive (European Representative)‌

Katharina Rennhak is an extraordinary researcher and lecturer, with a focus on the interaction of Irish literature and culture around 1800 and around 2000, in theories of narrative, identity, power, and relevance, as well as in the relationship between British and Irish literary cultures and histories. Her publications include two monographs, the more recent dealing with the narrative construction of masculinities in British and Irish women writers' novels around 1800 (WVT, 2013). Among her edited collections are Women Constructing Men: Female Novelists and Their Male Characters, 1750–2000 (with S. Frantz; Lexington, 2010) and Narrating Ireland in Different Genres and Media (WVT, 2016).

The award recognises the contribution of individuals to the promotion of Ireland and Irish culture in Germany and the development of stronger links between the two countries and was established in 2020. The inaugural award honoured the work of René Böll and the important role he has played over many years, through his writing and art, in keeping alive the links between Achill and Germany, as well as promoting strong relations and mutual understanding between the two countries. Last year, the award was given to Matthias Fleckenstein in recognition of his work in promoting Ireland in Germany and deepening relations. Matthias is a founding member of the German-Irish Society in Würzburg.

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