Like a caramel pudding, somehow

As promised in an earlier post, I would like to start a series of blogposts on different didactical settings I tried out this year and think about what worked, what should be improved and how far you can take active pedagogy with second years.

It all started in the middle of the first term, when I realised that the students consider giving presentations as being “active” in a class. I thought it was time for them to understand a little bit better what actively producing knowledge really means.

Continue reading “Like a caramel pudding, somehow”

German-French Summer School in Human/Machine Translation

Among the many things I have not managed to do over the past week, advertising the upcoming German-French Summer School in Human/Machine Translation is probably the most urgent one, since the deadline for application is tonight.

This project is supported by DARIAH and Le Mans Université and aims at bringing together French- and German-speaking scholars wishing to learn how to translate with semi-automatic methods and reflect on the changes it involves for translation practice. The summer school includes hands-on sessions, but also discussions between Humanities and IT scholars on translation goals and methods, evaluation, and the didactics of semi-automatic translation. Traveling (within a reasonable frame) and staying (at the University dorm) expenses are covered. Details on the program are to be found here and your application (a brief CV and motivation letter) has to be uploaded here. All the information is in English in order to simplify the process, but I expect us to speak a mixture of German, French and English during the Summer School week. Apply today!

At the end of the second academic term

The second and last term of the French academic calendar has finally come to an end and with it a phase so intense that I did not event manage to think of blogging. There are many aspects of my life as a newly appointed professor though that would have deserved a “live” comment I wasn’t able to deliver – much to my discomfort, as I remember how helpful blogging had been when I became a junior research group leader. Back then, blogging was a way of not running behind the train, but keep walking a little bit ahead of it. For this year, it mostly felt like I had to read the locomotive’s driving instructions and drive it at the very same time. Continue reading “At the end of the second academic term”


Compared to my professional activity of the past years, there turns out to be plenty of valuable experience that I can rely on – certainly more than I thought at first. Team management, project management, administration, international relationships, networking on different scales, opening eyes and ears to new cooperations and concretizing them: this is all still at the core of my job. But I was really expecting this part not to be so different from what I had known and done before. I am much more surprised to see how much of my teaching relies on my work of the past three-four years.

I am in fact surprised because I had the feeling to do very little teaching over these years. Continue reading “Teachings”

Next on

What silenced me so long is the state of application. Month after month, job applications determined my life.  When you are applying for jobs – depending on the jobs, obviously, but still -, blogging and tweeting can easily be perceived as a sign of vanity or of an unprofessional leisure. Every time I was tempted to write, I worried that future employers might interpret it the wrong way, and at some point I simply decided to wait. Since I finished this long round of applications and interviews yesterday, let me tell you first about the good news, and then about a few general conclusions I draw from this process.

Continue reading “Next on”