Engaging Minds, Transforming Lives


Department Notables

Spring 2017

  • Assistant Professor of German Michelle Reyes and Associate Professor of German Erika Berroth accepted an invitation to screen and discuss the documentary Out of the Shadows: German Stories of Love, War and Faith on Apr. 25, 2017. Their presentation contributed to the Spring 2017 film series “Nachkriegsidentitäten - Post War Identities” hosted by the Department of Germanic Studies at The University of Texas, Austin.

  • Associate Professor of German Erika Berroth earned a full scholarship from the Goethe Institute in Washington, D.C., to participate in the 41st International Convention of Teachers of German (IDT), July 8–Aug. 4, 2017 in Freiburg i.Ü. Switzerland,  titled “Building Bridges—Connecting with German: People—Environments—Cultures. Berroth will present on her work of connecting STEM and German.

  • Associate Professor of German Erika Berroth is the recipient of an internationally competitive DAAD scholarship to participate in a faculty development seminar in Erfurt, Germany, April 8–14, 2017. The German Academic Exchange Service (Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst) seminar “Religions in Germany and the 500 Year Anniversary of the Reformation” brings together German teachers from all over the world to learn, discuss, and share resources. Berroth’s contribution, “Martin Luther in Film,” offers insights into research and teaching on filmic representations of the reformer produced in East and West Germany and in the USA. Berroth started this project in 2011, when she mentored Rory Jones ’12. Rory completed his German Honors Thesis on Luther, earned a Fulbright Fellowship, and for the year following his graduation from Southwestern taught English and continued his research exactly where he had hoped to be placed: Lutherstadt Wittenberg, Germany.

  • Assistant Professor of German Michelle Reyes and Associate Professor of German Erika Berroth offered a screening and panel discussion of their documentary, “Out of the Shadows: German Stories of Love, War, and Faith,” on March 30, 2017 at Southwestern University. Reyes, Berroth, and film director Whitney Milam discussed the film and its contexts with attentive audience members, many of whom shared their own memory narratives after the viewing. The documentary offers narratives and reflections of Germans who experienced the horrors of WWII as young children and later immigrated to the United States. Challenging easy dichotomies between victims and perpetrators, those stories reflect the resilience of people who found their ways out of the shadows of war and led faith-filled lives in their new homeland. The film project was made possible by a Sam Taylor Fellowship grant from the United Methodist Church. The inaugural screening at the Texas German Heritage Society in Austin generated interest among diverse audiences. Further screenings and panel discussions are planned for University of Texas at Austin and for Sun City in Georgetown. Reyes and Berroth express their gratitude for the excellent administrative and practical support of Administrative Assistant for the Faculty Susie Bullock.

  • Associate Professor of German Erika Berroth participated in the 48th Annual Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA) Conference in Baltimore, Md, March 23–26, 2017. The convention theme, “Translingual and Transcultural Competence: Toward a Multilingual Future in the Global Era,” furthered a much-needed discussion on the nature and value of the multicultural mosaic that the United States has become in the global era. Berroth presented her research paper titled “Pilgrimages of Recovery: Marica Bodrožić’s Work on Resilience, Landscapes and Humans” for the panel named Writing Spaces: Landscapes and/in German Travel Writing. Berroth also chaired and contributed to a panel sponsored by the Coalition of Women in German, Feminist Approaches to/in German Studies: Inclusivity and Sustainability. Her presentation, “Empathy: Experiments in Teaching for Diversity and Inclusiveness,” reflected on teaching methods and content for teaching on the Syrian refugee crisis and on transnational identity formations.

  • Three Southwestern students, mentored by Associate Professor of German Erika Berroth, presented their work at the Seventh Undergraduate Research Conference in German Studies on Saturday, April 1, 2017. This year the conference, co-organized by Lafayette College and Moravian College, took place at Moravian College in Bethlehem, Pa. This conference gives students the opportunity to present their research in all German-related fields, including but not limited to the study of German literature, film and culture, art history, music, philosophy, history and politics. Rosa Karen Castañeda Hernandez, Class of 2017, a double major in German and Communication Studies, presented her German Capstone project, “Illuminating Dark Tourism: Perspectives on Representations of Holocaust Tourism in Am Ende kommen Touristen (2007),” for a panel on the Holocaust. Miriam Richard, Class of 2018, an Education major who studied German at SU and abroad, presented her research paper titled “The Painful Consciousness of Being Transnational: Representations of Transnational Identities in German Texts and Films.” Aaron Woodall, Class of 2018, a Political Science major, presented his research on “Displacement and the Reconstruction of Transnational Identity.”

  • Part-Time Assistant Professor of German Michelle Reyes authored a book chapter titled “On Women and Dwarves: Material Engagements in the Brothers Grimm’s Kinder- und Hausmärchen” in the book Tracing the Footsteps of Dwarfs: Images, Concepts and Representations in Popular Culture.

  • Assistant Professor of German Michelle Reyes and Associate Professor of German Erika Berroth presented their documentary film “Out of the Shadows: German Stories of Love, War and Faith” at the Texas German Heritage Society on Feb. 26. This oral history project explores the stories of Germans who were children during WWII and later emigrated to the United States. The project was funded through a Sam Taylor Fellowship. A screening and discussion at Southwestern is scheduled for March 30 at 6:30 p.m.

  • Associate Professor of German Erika Berroth was appointed as DAAD Ortslektor. The  Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst, German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) recognized Berroth, also a DAAD alumna, for her work as resident expert/multiplier in German Studies, with local, regional, and national outreach through her work for the American Association of Teachers of German (AATG) in the Texas AATG Chapters, at national conferences, and in her leadership roles on national committees. This appointment provides her with access to competitive DAAD funding including access to support from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research through grants for teaching and research materials. Berroth’s first materials grant recently arrived at Southwestern in two large boxes filled with books on:

    • Refugees and Migration (21 titles)
    • Foundations in teaching German as a Foreign Language (17 titles)
    • Games to be used in Teaching German as a Foreign Language (9 games/quizzes)
    • Selection of top literary publications in 2016 (24 titles)
    • Annual subscriptions for Der Spiegel and a Pedagogy Journals
  • Associate Professor of German Erika Berroth has been appointed to serve on the American Association of Teacher of German’s Alle lernen Deutsch Committee by AATG President Hal Boland. This national committee fosters the recruitment of students and teachers from underrepresented groups to the teaching and learning of German. The committee disseminates information about underrepresented populations in the teaching and learning of German in the U.S. and creates materials for the German classroom that highlight the diversity of German-speaking countries.

Fall 2016

  • Seven Southwestern faculty members were awarded a prestigious Sam Taylor Fellowship Grant. The 2016 recipients include:

    • Professor of Physics Steven Alexander, “Creating a Wave-Powered Robot,” $1,200
    • Associate Professor of Music David Asbury, “Research at the Library of Congress and the University of South Carolina Related to the Correspondence of Andrés Segovia and Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco,” $1,100
    • Associate Professor of German Erika Berroth, “Learning Arabic to Teach the Syrian Refugee Crisis: Inclusiveness and Diversity in the German Classroom,” $1,750
    • Associate Professor of Art History Patrick Hajovsky, “Examining Excavated Aztec Sculptures and Offerings in the Templo Mayor Museum and Museo Nacional de Antropología,” $1,220
    • Associate Professor of French Aaron Prevots, “Gestures Toward the Sacred: Guillevic, Vargaftig, Tellerman, Michel,” $1,500
    • Associate Professor of Communication Studies Valerie Renegar, “Beyond the “Wicked Stepmother”: Representations of Stepmothers in Popular Culture,” $1,830
    • Professor of Spanish Katy Ross, “Immigration in Spain: The Cultural Effects of Otherness,” $1,500
  • Associate Professor of German Erika Berroth and Part-Time Assistant Professor of German Michelle Reyes participated in the 2016 joint conference of the American Association of Teachers of German (AATG) and the American Council on Teaching Foreign Languages (ACTFL) on Nov. 18-20 in Boston, Mass. Berroth organized and chaired a panel sponsored by the Coalition of Women in German. Reyes’ paper titled “Domesticity Reimagined: Shirts and Female Empowerment in The Six Swans” contributed to this panel, which was dedicated to showcasing feminist approaches to teaching fairy tales and integrating New Materialist theories. Berroth presented a paper titled “Empathy: Genres for Teaching and Learning Compassionately about Syria and Refugee Experiences” contributing to a series of two panels dedicated to “Teaching the Syrian Refugee Crisis in the DACHL Curriculum.” As an appointed member, Berroth also participated in the annual meeting of Alle lernen Deutsch, a committee representing AATG’s long-standing commitment to affirming diversity in the study of German language and German-speaking peoples and their cultures.

  • Associate Professor of German Erika Berroth presented her research in the Environmental Humanities at two conferences recently. At the South Central Modern Language Association (SCMLA) Annual Conference in Houston, TX, she presented her paper “Marica Bodrožić: Ecopoetics for the Anthropocene.” At the meeting of the European Association for the Study of Literature, Culture and Environment (ASLCE) in Brussels, Belgium, she presented her paper “Eco-poetics of Resilience: Slow Violence, Vibrant, Matter, Enlivenment, and the Affect of Material Kinship in the Work of Marica Bodrožić” and chaired a session on Climate Fiction in Northern Europe. Also, Monatshefte, a quarterly journal “at the forefront of American Germanistik,” invited Berroth to review the first comprehensive survey of ecocritical scholarship and approaches in German, Ecocriticim. Eine Einführung. Herausgegeben von Gabriele Dürbeck und Urte Stobbe. Köln: Böhlau, 2015.

  • Associate Professor of German Erika Berroth presented guidelines, examples, and curricular recommendations on integrating STEM and German at the annual meeting of the Texas Chapter of the American Association of Teachers of German (AATG) in San Marcos, TX, on Sept.10, 2016. High school, college, and university teachers collaborated on coordinating curricular decisions and pedagogies to advance student learning outcomes. Berroth built her work from a 3-week curriculum development workshop she completed in Leipzig, Germany, sponsored by the German government and AATG.

Spring 2015

  • Associate Professor of German Erika Berroth received a nationally competitive grant to participate in a faculty development summer seminar sponsored by the American Association of Teachers of German. Her participation is made possible through funding from the Transatlantik-Programm der Bundesrepublik Deutschland through funds of the European Recovery Program (ERP) of the Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Energie. The seminar, held June 13 - July 4, 2015, at the Herder-Institute at the University of Leipzig, will explore the integration of MINT/STEM subjects in the German curriculum. In addition to observing classroom instruction, experiencing numerous workshops, and designing instructional materials, participants will visit the Deutsches Hygiene-Museum in Dresden and enjoy a two-day excursion to Wolfsburg for a hands-on experience with leaders in the German auto industry.

  • Assistant Professor of Computer Science Jacob Schrum and Associate Professor of German Erika Berroth hosted a campus-wide lecture on March 6, 2015, funded through their Associated Colleges of the South Blended Learning Grant. The presenter was Mohamed Esa, professor of German at McDaniel College and President of the American Association of Teachers of German. Esa taught two German classes, featuring Rammstein’s “Ich will” and the Grimm fairytale “Der goldene Schlüssel.” He engaged with students and faculty during lunch, discussing neue deutsche Härte – Germany’s heavy metal scene – and gave a thought-provoking lecture titled “Cultures and Languages Across the Curriculum – CLAC – Integrating STEM and Languages.”

Fall 2014

  • Erika Berroth, associate professor of German, presented research on transnational and multicultural European film at the 71st Annual South Central Modern Languages Association Conference in Austin, Texas, on October 20, 2014. Showcasing her curricular innovations in the German program at the 39th conference of the Coalition of Women in German in Shawnee on Delaware, PA, October 23-26, 2014, she spoke on “Teaching German in the Anthropocene” on the Pedagogy Panel titled Sustainability as Feminist Practice. Her poster presentation “Innovations in a Small German Program” highlighted the impact of an ACS Blended Learning Grant in the development of our new short-term embedded study abroad program for student-athletes: Global Players: Leadership, Football, Intercultural Learning, first implemented this summer. Berroth also organized and chaired the session “Feminist Embodiment and Empowerment,” and, as Chair of the 2014 WIG Dissertation Prize Committee, introduced and honored this year’s winner.

  • Erika Berroth, associate professor of German, presented a research paper titled “Slow Violence and Vibrant Matter in Marica Bodrožić’ Novel Kirschholz und alte Gefühle” at the 38th annual conference of the German Studies Association for a panel with the title Berlin Haunts: Specters of the Past and Future in Recent Berlin Fictions. Berroth also contributed to discussions in a session sponsored by the GSA Environmental Studies Network titled “The Metabolism of Cultures: Consumption, Waste, and Desire in Ecological Humanities,” and in a session sponsored by the North American DAAD Centers for German and European Studies titled Mensch/Natur/Umwelt: New Research and Pedagogy of the Green Germany.”

Spring 2014

  • Erika Berroth, associate professor of German, was invited to write the introduction to Gernot Blume’s new volume of poetry, Redewendungen, Gedichte aus den Jahren 2012/13. Blume, a contemporary German poet, ethnomusicologist, composer, singer, musician, multicultural improviser, and multi-instrumentalist has gained international recognition for his complex body of work. Germanists are particularly delighted with his Dichterlieder compositions that breathe new life into German classics like Friedrich Hölderlin, Heinrich Heine, Rainer Maria Rilke, Hermann Hesse, and Hildegard von Bingen. The volume is scheduled for publication in the fall of 2014.

  • Erika Berroth, associate professor of German, is the recipient of the 2014 Coalition of Women in German Faculty Research Award. The award recognizes and supports projects that address a significant topic with demonstrated relevance to German Studies informed by a feminist perspective. Preference is given to projects that engage the intersections of gender with other categories such as sexuality, class, race, ethnicity, religion, and citizenship. The Coalition of Women in German, WIG, also encourages proposals that further the project of rethinking German Studies along transnational lines. Dr. Hester Baer, President of WIG notes the relevance of Berroth’s research project to feminist work in the context of transnational aesthetics, representations of economic transformations in East-Central Europe, and environmental implications in the literature of migration. Berroth is working on a book about the contemporary German author Marica Bodrožić, winner of the European Union Prize for Literature in 2013.

  • Erika Berroth, associate professor of German, presented a poster titled “Global Players: Leadership – Football –Intercultural Perspectives” at the 15th annual Texas Foreign Language Education Conference, TexFLEC, that took place on February 14 & 15, 2014, at the University of Texas, Austin. The poster outlined the process and components of a summer experience in Germany that integrates athletic competition with intercultural learning. The conference topic, Shaping the Future of Foreign/Second Language Education to Cross Cultural Boundaries: Integrating Theory and Practice provided opportunities for engaging discussions of the innovative collaboration between our Football and German programs at Southwestern. At the conference, Dr. Berroth also contributed to discussions on addressing foreign language anxiety, best practices on using technologies in second language culture learning, and from her perspective of teaching FYS, on teaching writing for international students.

Fall 2013

  • Erika Berroth, associate professor of German, participated in the 38th annual conference of the Coalition of Women in German (WIG) in Shawnee on Delaware, Pa., Oct. 24-27, 2013. Berroth led three professional development workshops, organized and moderated a panel on “Erlkönigs Töchter: Witches and Ghosts in German Literature and Film,” and collaborated in selecting the 2013 winner of the Women in German Dissertation Prize. She was appointed to chair the Dissertation Prize Committee in the coming year. The WIG membership also voted to sponsor Berroth’s proposal to organize and moderate a panel on “Eco-Pedagogy and Feminist Praxis in Modern Languages and Literatures” at the 2014 conference of the American Council for Teaching Foreign Languages  (ACTFL) and the American Association of Teachers of German (AATG) that will be held in San Antonio next November.

Spring 2013

  • Erika Berroth, associate professor of German, participated on June 4, 2013 in the NITLE Seminar “Intercampus Teaching / Networked Teaching,” exploring how the German program could benefit from networked classes through shared assignments and blogs, videoconferencing, and team-taught courses.

  • Erika Berroth, associate professor of German, participated in the Tenth Biennial Conference of the Association for the Study of Literature and Environment, May 28-June 1, 2013, at the University of Kansas. Dr. Berroth collaborated across disciplines in the ASLE workshop “Teaching a Tree,” at the intersections of science, drawing, and creative writing. For the “Eco-Ethics and the Moving Image” panel, she presented work on her transnational identity narratives project. Her talk on “Marica Bodrožić’s Documentary of post-war Croatia: The Self in Time and Place” analyzed Bodrožić’s visual essay on tracing and connecting identities and belongings in a return from Germany to places of Bodrožić’s childhood in Croatia. Dr. Berroth also participated in discussion on Environmental Humanities, Digital Humanities, and pedagogy models integrating Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures with Environmental Studies.

  • Erika Berroth, associate professor of German, presented a research paper titled “Marica Bodrožić: Transnational Identity Narratives in Layers, Folds and Fractals” at the 44th annual convention of the Northeast Modern Language Association in Boston March 21-24. With this essay, part of a theory chapter in her book on transnational identity narratives by contemporary women writers, Berroth contributed to a double panel titled “The Eastern European Turn in Contemporary German-Language Literature” which brought together eight leading scholars on the topic from Europe and the United States. While at NeMLA, she also participated in expert discussions on “Blended Learning in Modern Languages and Literature Classrooms” and “Best Practices: Teaching Professional Communication in German.”