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Faculty of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences

Languages in a Global World

Languages in a Global World is held annually and brings together local Modern Foreign Language teachers and their GCSE and A-level students, University of Exeter alumni, and current staff and students of languages and international cultures at the University.

Guest Speaker, Rosie Tapper, joined the Faculty of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences on 19 February 2024 to deliver another insightful instalment to the Languages in a Global World event series.

University of Exeter Senior Vice-President and Provost, Professor Dan Charman introduced Rosie, Exeter graduate and Vision 2030 Counsellor for the British Embassy Riyadh. HASS Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Executive Dean, Professor Gareth StansfieldProfessor Gareth Stansfield and Professor Li Li, Associate Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Global Engagement lead the conversation with Rosie. This was followed by a Q&A for school students, hosted by Professor Fiona Cox, Head of the Languages, Cultures and Visual Studies department in the faculty.

You can read the full story on the University’s news site.

About the speaker

Rosie studied French and Italian at Exeter University. As a student, she fell in love with Paris where she worked in a bureau de change and then in a pharmaceutical company. During that year, Rosie also volunteered with a non-government organisation to organise and run international camps, bringing together young people in rural France to work with local people on practical projects. After her year in Paris, Rosie spent the summer in Italy where she joined a camp in the mountains behind Rome and toured Sicily.

After graduating, Rosie worked in a bar in Lyon before joining the Foreign Office. With the exception of a spell with the European Union in Kabul, Rosie has since worked for the Foreign Office. As a diplomat, Rosie has focused on the region extending from the Horn of Africa through the Middle East to Afghanistan and Pakistan. Rosie learned Russian ahead of postings in Central Asia, and Arabic so she could talk to politicians, journalists and human rights campaigners in Baghdad. Today Rosie is Vision 2030 Counsellor at the British Embassy in Riyadh – and still chipping away at Arabic!

Languages in a Global World 2023: Dame Melinda Simmons
Via Teams Webinar

On Thursday 12th January, 2023, the faculty of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences was delighted to host The UK Ambassador to Ukraine, Dame Melinda Simmons. Dame Melinda was in conversation with Associate Pro Vice-Chancellor, Professor Li Li and Professor Melissa Percival. Pro Vice-Chancellor, Professor Gareth Stansfield, introduced the conversation which was followed by a Q&A for school students.

The discussion explored the key role Dame Melinda's undergraduate degree in French and German has played in her career and her experience of the powerful skillset that comes with knowledge of a variety of languages.

The event audience included our local foreign Modern Languages teachers and their students, Exeter Alumni, current staff and students of Languages, Cultures and Visual Studies at the University of Exeter.

About the speaker

Dame Melinda Simmons is currently serving as British Ambassador to Ukraine, where she has been posted since 2019. She has a BA degree in French and German from the University of Exeter and in addition speaks fluent Ukrainian, and has a decent understanding of modern Hebrew. She began her career in business and after studying at night school for an MA in European Politics, switched to work for an international NGO specialising in conflict prevention and resolution in fragile and conflict affected countries. She moved from there to the civil service and has worked for three government departments. She has previously been posted to South Africa. She is now based in Kyiv leading the UK’s support in country for Ukraine’s defence against the Russian invasion. 

Melinda was appointed Dame Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George (DCMG) in the 2023 New Years Honours for her services to British foreign policy.

Guest Speaker, Richard Lyntton joined the College of Humanities at the University of Exeter on 21st January 2022 as part of the Languages in a Global World Series.

The Author was in conversation with Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Global Engagement, Professor Mark Goodwin and Professor Katharine Hodgson, Professor in Russian.

Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive, Professor Lisa Roberts, introduced the conversation that was followed by a Q&A hosted by Professor Melissa Percival, Associate Dean for Global in the College of Humanities.

About the guest:

Author Richard Lyntton was born Richard Bramford in Highgate London. He attended William Ellis School, Exeter University, Moscow State Linguistic University (Formerly Maurice Thorez Moscow State Pedagogical Institute of Foreign Languages), and Sandhurst. Richard served as a captain and tank commander in the British Army in the first Gulf War; European Community Task Force Humanitarian Liaison in Russia; UNHCR Liaison Officer, and United Nations Military Observer (during heavy shelling and NATO airstrikes) in Sarajevo, Bosnia; and was a United Nations Television Producer in former Yugoslavia. He was called to testify at the International War Crimes Tribunal in the Hague after witnessing and filming human rights atrocities and abuses in Bosnia. His films are archived at the Imperial War Museum, London. When he's not writing, Richard is a professional actor--you may have seen him as the Ringside Doctor in Creed 1. He lives in Philadelphia with his wife, interior designer Michelle Wenitsky, and their two sons.‌

This event took place virtually on 18 June 2021 16:30 – 17:30 BST.

Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive of the University of Exeter, Professor Lisa Roberts, introduced Susannah Poulton, who is an International Trade Adviser at the Department for International Trade and a graduate of Spanish and German, in conversation with Professor Janice Kay.

The conversation was followed by a Q&A chaired by Professor Sally Faulkner, Assistant Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Europe) and Professor of Hispanic and Film Studies. Questions were  submitted by school students in advance of the event and preselected accordingly.

The 2020 event was held on 10 January.

Frank Gardner, OBE, in conversation with Professor Emma Loosley, Professor in Theology and Religion, College of Humanities. Followed by a Q&A with Professor Sally Faulkner, Assistant Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Europe).

The event was followed by a drinks reception and book signing of Blood and Sand and Ultimatum.

The 2019 event was held on 25 January.