Notable Faculty & Student Achievements
Associate Professor of German Erika Berroth presented her research paper “Felicitas Hoppe’s Pigafetta: Pluri-Worlds and Vibrant Matter” on the ecological interconnectedness of the Pacific at the 22nd General Congress of the International Comparative Literature Association, ACLA. Title Literature of the World and the Future of Comparative Literature, the conference was held July 29–August 2, 2019, at the University of Macau, Macau SAR, China. Berroth’s presentation contributed to subtheme 4: The Multiple Histories of Comparative Literature; Pacific Insularity: Imaginary Geography of Insular Spaces in the Pacific. Postcolonial critiques of colonial master narratives and approaches to alternative constructions of insularity beyond the dominant Western traditions were essential tasks of speakers contributing to this section.
Supported by a Sam Taylor Fellowship, Associate Professor of German Erika Berroth conducted an interview with Christian Stocker, representative of the SILVIVA foundation, and visited the Sihlwald nature education center in Zürich, Switzerland. The interview and site visit will inform units on nature education and sustainability to be published for the NEH sponsored digital humanities project, our co-authored open access curriculum Grenzenlos Deutsch.
Associate Professor of German Erika Berroth earned funding for a competitive FL-A-CH Mini Grant administered by the American Association of Teachers of German. FL-A-CH stands for Liechtenstein, Austria, and Switzerland, the countries providing funding for studying their languages and cultures at U.S. institutions. The grant enhances a student engagement project, planned for fall 2019, focused on nature education in Austria and Switzerland and emphasizing interdisciplinary connections between SU’s German and environmental studies programs.
Associate Professor of German Erika Berroth received a nomination for the American Association of Teachers of German (AATG) Outstanding German Educator Award. The award recognizes excellence in teaching and outstanding contributions to the German teaching profession. A nominee’s dossier documents five or more years of demonstrated excellence in German education; active membership in the local AATG chapter; creative leadership in German language education; impact in local, state, or national arenas; and continued growth as a German educator. Nella Spurlin, serving on AATG Executive Council and representing the membership of South Texas Chapter of AATG, is coordinating the nomination. Berroth currently serves as chapter president.
German and education major Melina Boutris ’21 presented her research paper on inclusion in special-education classes in Germany at the Undergraduate Research Conference in German Studies at Lafayette College, in Easton, PA, on April 13, 2019. Her presentation, titled “Inklusion von Schülern mit Lernbehinderung im Deutschen Schulsystem: Meine Erfahrungen als Special Education Student in den USA und als Praktikantin in Einer Integrativen Klasse 4 Einer Deutschen Grundschule,” earned an honorable mention, and she was invited to submit the paper for publication on the conference website. Associate Professor of German Erika Berroth mentored the project.
Associate Professor of German Erika Berroth was invited to give a presentation titled “Transnationale Erinnerungskulturen und Identitäten” about her research on transnational memory cultures in Germany and France surrounding the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I for a faculty development seminar sponsored by the German Academic Exchange Service, DAAD, and “Landeskundliches Seminar für Ortslektorinnen und Ortslektoren Weltweit. Europäer? Deutscher? Saarländer? - Identitätsfragen in Grenzregionen,” April 7–12, 2019, in Saarbrücken, Germany. From a worldwide network of 800 professionals serving as mentors and advocates for the mission of DAAD, Berroth was one of 20 faculty members invited to participate in the seminar and one of 11 participants also invited to present. Berroth was the only representative from the U.S., networking with colleagues from Colombia, Italy, Great Britain, France, Spain, Brazil, Oman, China, Korea, Argentina, Israel, and Finland on researching and teaching European identities and futures.
Martin Guillermo Lopez’18 earned an internationally competitive fellowship from the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange for Young Professionals (CBYX). CBYX annually supports 75 U.S. and 75 German awardees. CBYX was created by the U.S. Congress and German Bundestag as a public diplomacy program to promote understanding between the people of the U.S. and Germany. The year of academic, cultural, and professional exchange consists of three phases: two months of intensive German language training, one semester of classes in one’s academic or career field at a university, and a three-month internship in one’s career field. Associate Professor of German Erika Berroth served as adviser and mentor throughout the application and interview process.
Associate Professor of German Erika Berroth presented a research paper titled “Plants and Heimat: Representations of Eco-Identities in the Work of Marica Bodrožić” at the 50th annual conference of the Northeast Modern Languages Association, March 21–24, in Washington, DC. Her paper contributed to a panel series on concepts of memory, understandings of home, and nostalgia for the former Yugoslavia. Berroth’s argument for including critical plant studies in the discourse on place-based identity formations connected to the conference theme “Transnational Spaces: Intersections of Cultures, Languages, and Peoples,” which called attention to the important role of the humanities in the discourse on migrations.
Danyale Kellogg ’19 and Melina Boutris ’21 will present their research at the Ninth Undergraduate Research Conference in German Studies (co-organized by Lafayette College and Moravian College), in Easton, PA. Kellogg will speak on German national security policies. Boutris will present on the inclusion of special-needs learners in the German school system, research related to her summer internship at a school in Heidelberg, Germany. Associate Professor of German Erika Berroth mentored both research projects as independent studies.
Associate Professor of German Erika Berroth earned a grant to participate in a faculty development seminar sponsored by the German Academic Exchange Service, DAAD. The seminar is scheduled for April 2019 and convenes teachers of German from all over the world for a week of study, site visits, and discussions in Saarbrücken, a city located in the border region between Germany and France. The seminar topic, “Identities and Border Regions in Germany and Europe,” is part of Berroth’s ongoing research and writing project on transnational identity narratives.
Associate Professor of German Erika Berroth published an invited review of “Framing Islam: Faith, Fascination, and Fear in Twenty-First-Century German Culture,” a special issue of Colloquia Germanica, an international journal for German studies, in Feminist German Studies, a refereed interdisciplinary publication presenting a wide range of feminist approaches to all aspects of German literature, culture, and language, including pedagogy. The review is guest edited by Heidi Denzel de Tirado and Faye Stewart. It is available in print and online at Project Muse.
Associate Professor of German Erika Berroth earned a materials grant from the German Academic Exchange Service, DAAD, and the German government. The $1,300 grant provides the German Program with a curated collection of titles in German literature published in 2018 and a collection of German graphic novels, which will enrich teaching and learning at all levels in the program.
Associate Professor of German Erika Berroth’s article “Brücken zwischen Mathematik und Deutsch: MINT im Sprachsensiblen Fachunterricht“ has been published in the online open-access and print versions of IDT 2019 Brücken Gestalten:Mit Deutsch Verbinden(Menschen–Lebenswelten–Kulturen: Beiträge der XVI. Internationalen Tagung der Deutschlehrerinnen und Deutschlehrer,Fribourg/Freiburg, 31 July–4 Aug. 2017). IDT, the International Convention of Teachers of German, meets every fourth year and is the largest convention of German teachers worldwide. Berroth’s article was selected for publication to represent Section B3 of the convention, in which 12 scholars selected from an international pool of applicants presented on the topic of integrating STEM with the teaching and learning of German as a foreign language. Berroth’s participation was sponsored by a fellowship from the Goethe Institut, in Washington, DC.
Eleven Southwestern University faculty members have won Sam Taylor Fellowship grants to support their research, with award amounts ranging from $1,000 to $1,600. Sam Taylor Fellowships are selected through a competitive application process and are provided by the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry of the United Methodist Church. This year’s recipients are
- Professor of Physics Steven Alexander, “Generating Energy from Hot Sidewalks” (awarded $1,200)
- Assistant Professor of Communication Studies Lamiyah Bahrainwala, “The Politics of Stealth Halal: Re-Presenting the Islamic Origins of U.S. Meat Products” (awarded $1,600)
- Associate Professor of German Erika Berroth , “Nature Education in the German Classroom: Possibilities for Integration and Inclusion?” (awarded $1,400)
- Professor of Biology Romi Burks, “Unravelling the Mystery: Genetic Differentiation of Chinese and Japanese Mysterysnails Using 16S” (awarded $1,400)
- Assistant Professor of History Jethro Hernandez Berrones, “With Indigenist Spirit: Doctors on Spiritual Practices in Post-Revolutionary Mexico” (awarded $1,500)
- Professor of Anthropology Melissa Johnson, “Human–Jaguar Becomings and Racial Capitalism in Belize” (awarded $1,000)
- Associate Professor of French Francis Mathieu, “Research on Claire de Duras’s Avant-Garde Novella, Ourika” (awarded $1,400)
- Associate Professor of French Aaron Prevots, “Gestures toward the Sacred: Guillevic, Vargaftig, Tellermann, Michel” (awarded $1,400)
- Associate Professor of Communication Studies Valerie Renegar, “Contemporary Modes of Parenting: Disrupting the Representation of Stepmothers in Popular Culture” (awarded $1,500)
- Associate Professor of Spanish Maria De Los Angeles Rodriguez Cadena, “Cultural Memory and Historical Fiction: Women of the Past on Television and Film by Four Contemporary Mexican Women Directors” (awarded $1,400)
- Assistant Professor of Political Science Emily Sydnor, “Researching Attachments to American Political Institutions” (awarded $1,600)
Associate Professor of German Erika Berroth presented two papers a the American Association of Teachers of German/American Council on Teaching Foreign Languages (AATG/ACTFL) conference, in New Orleans, LA, Nov. 16 –1 8. “German and the Environmental Humanities: Projects, Engagement, and Approaches” showcased the interdisciplinary connections of SU’s small German program. “Literacy through Performance: Poetry Slams, Song Contests, and Cabarets” shared best practices on planning, implementation, and assessment of project-based learning with public performances. Berroth served on the AATG Program Committee for this conference. As an appointed member, she contributed to the annual meetings of Alle lernen Deutsch–AATG’s committee for diversity and inclusion and to the special-interest group on small undergraduate German programs.
Associate Professor of German Erika Berroth organized a panel at the 43rd Annual Coalition of Women in German conference at Sewanee University of the South, in Sewanne, Tennessee, Oct. 18–21. The panel, titled “The Forest Unseen: Feminism and Visibility of Connections in Bodies, Nature, Science, and Violence,” was inspired by Sewanee biology professor David G. Haskell’s book The Forest Unseen: A Year’s Work in Nature (2012). Panelists shared their feminist work in the environmental humanities in the field of German studies.
Associate Professor of German Erika Berroth presented an invited lecture and led a workshop at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Oct. 16–17. The lecture, “Looking Daring–Daring to Look: Annemarie Schwarzenbach’s Journeys of Discovery,” connected to an interdisciplinary exhibit at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, titled “Mapping ‘Knoxville’ across Time, Media, and Cultures: Tracing Unexplored Connections between the Wok or Cormac McCarthy, Annemarie Schwarzenbach, and Buddy and the Huddle.” The workshop, Intercultural Knowledge and Competence–Exploring Connections: Making Meaning of Foreign and Familiar Matters, contributed to the University of Tennessee’s Ready for the World program. Audiences and participants explored connections between their own personal and cultural identities and identity narratives emerging from the biographies, literary works, photographs, and travel journal articles of Annemarie Schwarzenbach (1908–1942).
Associate Professor of German Erika Berroth presented a research paper titled “Ecocide and Genocide in Marica Bodrožić’s Short Story ‘Der Lilienliebhaber: Lover of Lilies’” at the 8th Biennial Conference of the European Association for the Study of Literature, Culture, and Environment (EASLCE) Sept. 26–29 at the University of Würzburg, Germany. Scholars from 32 countries presented and discussed their ecocritical work on the conference theme The Garden: Ecological Paradigms of Space, History, and Community. Berroth’s paper integrates summer research completed at the Deutsches Literaturarchiv Marbach, Germany, and is part of the introductory chapter of her current monograph on Marica Bodrožić’s work.
Associate Professor of German Erika Berroth, serving as President of the South Texas Chapter of the American Association of Teachers of German, hosted the Association’s annual convention at Southwestern University on Saturday, Sept. 15, 2018. Collaborating with Assistant Professor of Computer Science Jacob Schrum, she taught hands-on workshops on integrating STEM and German. Welcoming high school and college German teachers from the region to SU’s campus is a community outreach initiative that supports articulated curricular development, mentoring, and resource sharing while increasing the visibility of our campus and our programs in Modern Languages and Literatures. Recognized for her outreach initiatives and appointed as an Ortslektorin (local lecturer) for Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD, German Academic Exchange Service), a professional network of 850 members worldwide, Berroth recently received a $600 resource grant from the DAAD and the German government to build a collection of contemporary German literature.