Professor Gert Vonhoff

Multi-disciplinary learning

Name Professor Gert Vonhoff
Email G.Vonhoff@exeter.ac.uk
Position Associate Professor in German
College College of Humanities

Multi-disciplinary engagement within Modern Languages

Professor Gert Vonhoff teaches German language, literature and cultural studies within the Modern Foreign Languages department (MFL). Within the MFL courses, students get to “translate and learn a language” and also immerse themselves in learning “a cultural background of the different languages. This makes studying a language at university level very special… I think that’s our function here at the University; to raise awareness for this multiplicity of these views…”

Within his teaching, Gert involves many elements within the syllabus, from German media to fine arts. This engages students within an interdisciplinary learning environment, encouraging them “to become a ‘multi-tasker’; to not just see one area but to add on their experiences… To become not just a specialist, but a generalist who is able to take this more general perspective, this more general new horizon, and bring this together with a detailed analysis needed for each and every text.”

Many students take modules outside of their degree; combining languages with another discipline. This benefits the students through enriching “intercultural competence”, and in turn brings new perspectives to the language disciplines.

Gert’s multi-disciplinary engagement goes beyond the courses offered at the University. He is involved in the international Gutzkow project; a research group that produces books and online material about the German literature of Karl Gutzkow. Colleagues from other British universities, Germany (including a biography specialist in Berlin), Ireland and France collaborate within an “international portrait, which brings together established researchers and people who are just… behind postgraduate studies. We really try to be as inclusive as possible…"

Aim 6: Multi-disciplinary learning for global challenges 

To provide all students with the opportunity to explore the relevance of different disciplines to contemporary challenges facing the world

Additional resources

Multi-disciplinary learning and a holistic mind-set

"You cannot face anything these days in an isolated way…"