Many of those who were shocked by the untimely death of Gudrun Loftus in a tragic accident have expressed the lasting importance which her teaching has had for them: for almost twenty years, she had been at the heart of German language teaching at the University of Oxford. When she took up her post in 1990, this marked a new departure for her as well as for the university, which created her post in response to the fact that the teaching of Modern Languages at schools had changed significantly. The shift in emphasis towards fluency in the spoken command of a foreign language had improved the ability of school-leavers to hold a conversation, but for many, writing in German and expressing themselves with accuracy was an increasingly unfamiliar and rather daunting task. Gudrun Loftus was a vigorous advocate of teaching grammar systematically in order to enable students to aspire towards speaking and writing like native speakers, and she was instrumental in putting together a course that helped students to achieve this. She was famously strict in her marks; students knew that the standards she expected were high, and that she had very clear views on what was and…
“Gerry, Oliver and family would like to sincerely thank Oxford University’s German Faculty staff and students and St John’s College for the many warm tributes to Gudrun as a much valued colleague and teacher, following her untimely death in Oxford recently.
Our sincere thanks also go to those who attended her requiem mass in St Bernardine’s Church in Buckingham, and to those who sent cards, flowers and donations in Gudrun’s name for World Villages for Children.”
The Vice-Chancellor gives notice that he will make an appointment to the de Osma Studentship during Michaelmas Term 2010. The Studentship is open to members of the University of Oxford.
Nationality: Any nationality
Level of study: Undergraduate and Graduate students
Subject: Candidates should be concerned with Spanish studies, such as Spanish art history, Spanish language and literature, Spanish history, geography, or archaeology. They must, when presenting their applications, provide evidence that they have sufficient knowledge of both written and spoken Spanish to enable them to make proper use of the facilities of the Instituto as well as a detailed account of their proposed study.
The Modern Language Association of America has awarded its twentieth annual Aldo and Jeanne Scaglione Prize for Comparative Literary Studies to Frédérique Aït-Touati, of the University of Oxford, Saint John’s College, for her book Fictions of the Cosmos: Science and Literature in the Seventeenth Century, published by the University of Chicago Press. The prize is awarded annually for an outstanding scholarly work that is written by a member of the association and that involves at least two literatures.