German

Notable Faculty & Student Achievements

November 2022

  • Associate Professor of German Erika Berroth earned a materials grant from the German Foreign Office and the German Academic Exchange Service, Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD). The grant covers a curated collection of German language titles for children and young adults, including picture books, graphic novels, non-fiction, and fiction. Students will use the collection to study media, narration, as well as representations of diversity, inclusion, and anti-racism in German literature for young audiences. Success with DAAD materials grants is made possible through Berroth’s work in community engagement as a DAAD Ortslektorin.





  • Associate Professor of German Erika Berroth was the plenary keynote speaker at the 54th annual conference of the Tennessee World Language Teaching Association, “The Future of Languages is You: Learn and Share” in Franklin, Tennessee, on November 4–5, 2022. Berroth’s keynote address titled “Honoring Multilingualism and Linguistic Diversity as Ways of Belonging” introduced important questions related to language justice. Increased awareness about language justice contributes to creating inclusive multilingual spaces and includes challenging structures of power and privilege associated with languages, accents, or dialects. Berroth highlighted the benefits of empathy gained through learning multiple languages and through inhabiting multilingual spaces. The invited plenary keynote engaged a diverse audience. The conference convened educators from the Tennessee Classical Association, the Tennessee Association of Chinese Teachers, and the American Association of Teachers of French, German, Spanish, and Portuguese.





October 2022

  • Associate Professor of German Erika Berroth was invited to contribute to a podcast series sponsored by Literaturhaus Heilbronn, Germany, which was published on October 14, 2022. The podcast series is titled “Warum Kleist?” (Why Kleist?) and features responses from international Kleist scholars. Contemporary German language authors compete for the annual award of the Kleist-Preis in honor of one of Germany’s most remarkable language artists, Heinrich von Kleist (1777-1811). Berroth’s research includes a book on Kleist and work on several Kleist-Preis awardees. The podcast episode can be accessed here.





  • Associate Professor of German Erika Berroth hosted the annual fall meeting of the South Texas Chapter of the American Association of Teachers of German on September 24 at Southwestern. An enthusiastic group of 20 educators from graduate programs, high schools, colleges, and universities convened to learn and share in a workshop on integrated performance assessments (IPAs). Research confirms that use of IPAs leads to higher proficiency in students, as demonstrated, for example, by improved performance on Advanced Placement exams or other national assessments. The full-day workshop offered professional development opportunities for German teachers who often are the lone teacher in their subject at their institutions. Jennifer Christianson ’99 and current adjunct faculty member in Southwestern’s German Program Erin Osterhaus ’09 participated in the workshop. Osterhaus is currently implementing the cutting-edge curriculum for first-year German.





  • Associate Professor of German Erika Berroth participated in a three-day seminar titled “The Medical Humanities in German Studies” at the 46th Annual Conference of the German Studies Association, held September 15–18 in Houston, Texas. The seminar brought together 19 scholars who shared, analyzed, and interrogated current research at the intersection of medical humanities and German studies. In reading and discussing each other’s work, participants not only discovered cutting-edge scholarship, but also engaged in discussions about how a medical humanities research approach sheds new light on Germanophone culture, literature, language, and history. Berroth’s contribution focused on representations of mental health in German language migration and identity narratives. Her research contributes to the courses she lists with Southwestern’s interdisciplinary health studies minor.





September 2022

  • Associate Professor of German Erika Berroth was a member of the Associated Colleges of the South (ACS) Working Group: Inclusive Assessment Practices for Flexibility, Rigor, and Equity in summer 2022. Berroth delivered a presentation on her experience and expertise in using transparency in teaching and learning (TILT) methodology. The working group’s resources are available on the ACS website.





  • Associate Professor of German Erika Berroth visited with Anton Knittel, director of Literaturhaus Heilbronn in Germany, and contributed to the organization’s podcast Warum Kleist? (Why Kleist?),  a collection of scholarly voices on the German poet and writer Heinrich von Kleist, who was the subject of one of her books.





  • Associate Professor of German Erika Berroth gave a research presentation at the International Conference of Teachers of German (Internationale Tagung der Deutschlehrerinnen und Deutschlehrer), held August 15–20 in Vienna, Austria. Berroth’s paper, titled “Bilderbuch-Didaktik: Das Potential Anspruchsvoller Bilderbücher für Literarästhetisches und Sprachliches Lernen im Diversitätsorientierten Unterricht,” was part of the “Visuelles Lernen mit Bildern, Filmen und Bild-Text-Verbindungen” section. Berroth provided context and examples for antiracist pedagogies in German studies with authentic materials from early childhood education, analyzing the visual language of representations of difference in illustrated books for young readers.





May 2022

  • Associate Professor of German Erika Berroth presented an invited webinar for the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages Special Interest Group on Small Undergraduate German Programs on May 4. The webinar, titled “Pragmatic Program-Building Blocks for Small German Programs,” addressed a national audience and offered examples of the what, why, and how of program building, such as developing a signature “best” (e.g., the German program best at producing Fulbright English Teaching Assistant Award recipients), building connections across disciplines and programs, developing a focus on justice issues, and intensifying outreach strategies.





April 2022

  • Associate Professor of German Erika Berroth presented research from her sabbatical project at the virtual conference of the Association for Intercultural German Studies at the University of Zadar in Croatia, held April 19–22. Her paper titled “Ausgewählte Texte aus Lyrik, Essays, und Romanen von Marica Bodrožić mit Kritischen Perspektiven aus den Umweltgeisteswissenschaften” provided an environmental humanities perspective on the literature of migration to the conference theme of intercultural spaces in the Mediterranean.





March 2022

  • Associate Professor of German Erika Berroth increased the German program’s community outreach by serving as a judge for regional and statewide competitions for students of German in secondary education. The regional Sprachfest 2022 and the Texas State German Contest brought together German educators and students across institutions. To increase outreach and networking among German programs, Berroth has accepted invitations to present her work in program leadership and curricular innovation. She will lead an invited webinar for the American Council on Teaching Foreign Languages Small Undergraduate German Programs Special Interest Group in April. She also will deliver the keynote address at the Tennessee World Language Teaching Association Annual Conference later this year. The theme of the conference is “The Future of Languages Is You: Learn and Share.” As a DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) local representative, Berroth earned a materials grant (700  Euro) from the German foreign office, and students of German will benefit from a curated collection of literary works published in 2021.





Feburary 2022

  • Associate Professor of German Erika Berroth participated virtually in the American Association of Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) 2022 Annual Meeting, which took place January 19–24 in Washington, D.C. Berroth is a member of the Southwestern team of faculty and staff participating in the 2022–2023 Institute on ePortfolios, which offers strategies to broaden student engagement. AAC&U, in collaboration with the Association for Authentic, Experiential, and Evidence-Based Learning (AAEEBL) and the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA), is leading the Institute on ePortfolios, utilizing a year-of-engagement model. 





December 2021

  • Associate Professor of German Erika Berroth earned a grant from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) to participate in the 17th International Convention of German Teachers, which will convene in Vienna, Austria, August 15–20. Berroth will be part of an international group of 30 Ortslektoren, or teachers of German collaborating with DAAD worldwide to promote the study of German language, literature, and culture.