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For all of these years: John R.Wilkie (Professor and HoD: 1972-77). Raymond Hargreaves. Hugh Rorrison. John Tailby. Douglas Cossar. Richard Byrn. Sydney Donald. Fred Bridgham.

For a period: Helen Chambers.

Lektorinnen: Dagmar Döldissen. Dorothea Obergfell. Sibylle Bernhold. Anette Nübel. Gundula Kretzschmar. Adelheid Petruschke.


1975 F.G.T.Bridgham, Rainer Maria Rilke: Urbild und Verzicht
1975 Translation by Raymond Hargreaves and Roger White, Ludwig Wittgenstein: "Philosophical Remarks"
1975 Douglas Cossar, Examination and Edition of the German translations of the pseudo-Bernhardine ‘epistola de cura rei familiaris’
1976 Richard Byrn, The "Cordiale-Auszug". A study of Gerard van Vliederhoven's "Cordiale de IV novissimis" with particular reference to the High German versions
1977 Sydney G. Donald, The Drama of Friedrich Dürrenmatt from "Es steht geschrieben" to "Die Wiedertäufer" with special reference to the Grotesque
1978 Translation by Hugh Rorrison, Erwin Piscator: "The Political Theatre"
1978 John Tailby, Der Reimpaardichter Peter Schmieher: Texte und Untersuchungen

Sample Graduation numbers:




Single Subject German:




Mod. Lang. & Two Subject German:




General Studies German:




Subsidiary German:




Language component (+Oral) in Finals:



Single Subject German:

40% (as before)

(no change)

Mod.Lang.& Two Subject German:

50% (as before)

(no change)


One of the main considerations in choosing the following passages for translation has been to offer students samples of modern English prose. [...] We make no apology for using traditional grammatical terms, which, it seems to us, are the best available for discussing problems of translation. We feel that students of German at an advanced level ought to be familiar with such terminology. (Preface to: Practice in German Prose. Passages for Translation, by G.Kolisko and W.E.Yuill, 1957, reprint of 1963)

These were still Cold War years. Given that factor, it was a particularly memorable development when the University entered its Treaty of co-operation with the then Karl-Marx-Universität, Leipzig. Generous hospitality given to teams of visiting non-English-speaking GDR dignitaries in the Wilkie household eased its introduction. Many Leeds Departments were able to take advantage of this arrangement to establish academic links and collaborative ventures with colleagues in the KMU – John Buckler’s account of the co-operation between colleagues in Paediatrics appears below.

But the Tübingen exchange still remained the Department’s main academic link with Germany. And John Wilkie always set out to recruit a ‘Tübinger’ to conduct the German Choir in preparation for the annual Modern Languages Christmas Concert (with rehearsals continuing in the warm comfort of the Wilkie household).

And the main language-teaching method was still ‘Prose Comp. & Trans.’ Our staple was the collection of passages assembled by Kolisko & Yuill, or else the staff member’s private collection – the subject-matter varied according to the individual teacher’s preference. The opening sentence from Kolisko & Yuill’s Preface (quoted above) is educationally very revealing. Their intention was that the exercise of translating from English into German should be simultaneously a form of instruction in good-quality English. All but two of their 150 ‘samples of modern English prose’ are taken from published authors; the other two are from The Observer. – No question yet of ‘German for Special Purposes’.

Year groups were divided between Honours (i.e. Single Subject and Modern Languages German) and Subsidiary German. In order to provide uniformity of delivery, each group was taught by one colleague, thus class-size could vary from as little as 8 to as many as 42 – that load-discrepancy had to be changed!

In this record of language teaching policy in our Department, however, it is worth observing one significant alteration to the profile of ‘language’ in the overall degree-classification which occurred in the early 1970s: The old stipulation ‘Students must satisfy the Examiners in German Language, otherwise they will not be awarded a Degree’ was jettisoned on the grounds that ‘no one part of the syllabus is more important than another.’