Introducing our new Secretary and Postgraduate Representative!

As previously announced, we are delighted that Catherine Smale (King’s College London) will be taking over as Secretary and Chantal Sullivan-Thomsett (University of Leeds) as Postgraduate Representative on the WIGS committee! In this blog post, they introduce themselves and their work…

Photograph of Chantal Sullivan-Thomsett (University of Leeds)
Chantal Sullivan-Thomsett
(University of Leeds)

Hi, my name is Chantal Sullivan-Thomsett and I am currently a second year PhD Candidate based within both German and Politics and International Studies subject areas at the University of Leeds. I completed a BA(Hons) in German and Linguistics at the University of Leeds in 2013 and then completed a MA in Germanic Studies part-time over two years at the University of Sheffield in 2016. My research interests centre on the politics and political culture of post-war Germany, and, more specifically, the German Greens and protest movements. My experience of two different German departments and my background in German Studies ensures that I am fully aware of the exciting diversity and scope of research being conducted by female researchers in German Studies across the UK and Ireland. I am particularly excited to be working alongside my fellow postgrads and early career researchers and would really like to hear your thoughts on the biggest challenges facing women in German Studies as we enter challenging times for our subject and the ongoing will-we-won’t-we Brexit. You can find me on twitter @chantalS_T or email me on

Photograph of Catherine Smale (King's College London)
Catherine Smale
(King’s College London)

Hello! My name is Catherine Smale and I am a Senior Lecturer in the German Department at King’s College London, where I have worked since 2011. Previously, I completed my PhD at the University of Cambridge and carried out post-doctoral research at the Freie Universität Berlin. My research interests focus on women’s writing in both the Weimar Republic and the German Democratic Republic. At present, I am working on a book project that explores the relationship between gender, poetry and political activism in the 1920s and ’30s, but I have also worked on East German writers such as Christa Wolf and Irina Liebmann. Both my research and my teaching are grounded in a deeply-held commitment to women’s experiences, and I am very pleased to have the chance to support women Germanists by serving as secretary on the WIGS committee. My main aims will be to showcase the outstanding research that is being carried out by female Germanists in the UK and Ireland, to foster communication among existing WIGS members, and to reach out to potential new members within and beyond the academe. You can find me on twitter @CatherineSmale or email me on, and I look forward to seeing many of you in November at the WIGS conference in Dublin!

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