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What is German? Myths and Fairytales
with Dr Jeff Bowersox from UCL

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Join Associate Professor at UCL, Jeff Bowersox, as he explores the German language with a keen focus on history and literature. Jeff will then consider the development of Germans across history, including an insight into their geography and culture, before taking a look into the foundations of German fairytales, and how the stories of The Brothers Grimm have shaped what we know as ‘Germany’. Jeff ends this Subject Spotlight with an exciting activity, which allows you to explore passages from Rapunzel and identify changes throughout the generations.

Dr Jeff BowersoxUCLLanguages

All episodes
1. What is German?
2. Germany and maps
3. German fairytales
4. Activity - changes in language over time

About the university


UCL is located right in the heart of central London and prides itself on being a global hub of education in the capital, attracting students from over 150 countries. UCL has a lot to offer with 440 undergraduate programmes in which integration of research and teaching is prioritised. UCL has a unique history, founded in 1826 inspired by the ethos of Jeremy Bentham's belief in opening up education for the many and not to discriminate on who can receive a higher education. UCL strives to continue the tradition of being change-makers today, remaining committed to accessibility and using research to tackle real-world problems.

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Meet the academic
Dr Jeff Bowersox

Jeff Bowersox is an Associate Professor of German history at University College London, and he teaches and researches on Germans’ connections with the wider world. The author of Raising Germans in the Age of Empire: Youth and Colonial Culture, 1871–1914 (Oxford UP, 2013), he is now studying African-American entertainers touring in the German lands before the jazz age. He is also the managing editor of, an online resource exploring histories and experiences of Blackness in the German lands since the Middle Ages.

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