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Professor Dennis Tate
Professor Dennis Tate

Internal News - 08 November 2006

Bath Professor shares platform with German Chancellor Angela Merkel

Dennis Tate, Professor of German Studies in the Department of European Studies & Modern Languages, was invited to join German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the eightieth birthday celebrations of author Günter de Bruyn at the end of October.

Professor Tate said: “The involvement of Chancellor Merkel in the series of events marking de Bruyn’s birthday, which included a conference, a reading by the author, an exhibition and a celebratory concert at which the Chancellor gave her speech, showed the unusual level of national esteem that de Bruyn enjoys.

“Chancellor Merkel’s determination to be part of the celebrations of the life’s work of a fellow East German whom she knows well personally was the subject of high-level press coverage both before and afterwards. All the leading German daily newspapers included articles about de Bruyn on his birthday, 1 November.

“The department's international reputation for research into contemporary German culture was highlighted by this invitation to join other experts on de Bruyn’s work and members of Germany’s political elite.”

Professor Tate was the only invited guest from outside Germany, and his participation was noted in an article in the weekly newspaper Die Zeit and in the detailed conference report in the local Märkische Oderzeitung. He contributed an article on the reception of de Bruyn’s work outside Germany to the Festschrift, presented to the author during the celebrations and spoke on one of de Bruyn’s novels at the conference itself.