German

Notable Faculty & Student Achievements

April 2024

  • Associate Professor of German Erika Berroth’s engagement with the German speaking community was instrumental in securing a gift to Southwestern University’s Distinctive Collections: Uwe Lemke’s extensive Perry Rhodan collection, donated by his widow Mary Duffy. The many volumes of this epic narrative represent Germany’s most successful and longest running science fiction series that started in 1961, arguably the most successful science fiction novel series in the world. This gift makes Distinctive Collections and Archives currently the only library in the USA that can provide access to a German language collection of the Perry Rhodan series.





  • Associate Professor of German Erika Berroth presented an invited talk on “Die Zukunft des Sprachenlernens in den USA: Visionen und Innovationen” (The Future of Studying Languages in the USA: Visions and Innovations) at the Goethe-Institut in Washington DC. The joint conference sponsored by the American Association of Teachers of German (AATG) and the Goethe-Institut brought together invited expert voices in education, administration, and professional organizations to collaborate on future oriented visions for the continued success of learning and teaching German across institutions, proficiency levels, and global networks.





  • Associate Professor of German Erika Berroth earned two DAAD materials grants to support teaching and learning in German Studies. The grants from Deutsche Akademische Austauschdienst (German Academic Exchange Service) and the German Foreign Office provide two curated collections of German language titles: a collection of literary works published in 2023, and a collection of literature commenting on and reflecting current salient issues in German culture. Students will use the collections to study representations of diversity, inclusion, and anti-racism in German literature. Success with DAAD materials grants is made possible through Berroth’s work in community engagement as a DAAD Ortslektorin, serving to amplify and multiply the DAAD mission and motto “Change by Exchange.”





  • Associate Professor of German Erika Berroth mentored two students who presented their research projects at the 13th Undergraduate Research Conference in German Studies, organized by Moravian and Lafayette Colleges in Pennsylvania on April 6, 2024. This national conference brought together young scholars and their mentors for presentations and discussions of a range of interdisciplinary topics representative of German Studies. Isabella Moore ’25, double major in German and Environmental Studies, presented her comparative study on developments in the use of solar energy in Germany and the United States. Kendyl Feuerbacher ’27, double major in German and Studio Art with a minor in Design Thinking, presented her research on the increase of motivation for learning new languages through the use of video games.





March 2024

  • Associate Professor of German Erika Berroth served as an Evaluator for the National German Exam, administered through the American Association of Teachers of German. The National German Exam is administered each year to over 15,000 high school students of German. The exam, now in its 64th year, provides individual diagnostic feedback, rewards students through an extensive regional and national prize program, and creates a sense of accomplishment. Exam results provide teachers a means of comparing students in all regions of the country, as well as programmatic data to help inform curricular decisions. For over 60 years, the Federal Republic of Germany, through the German Foreign Office and its Pedagogical Exchange Service, has provided the AATG/PAD National German Exam Scholarship, a three-week trip to Germany. Berroth’s outreach and support for teachers and learners of German facilitates transitions from high school to college level German curricula and the enjoyment of lifelong learning.





  • Associate Professor of German Erika Berroth hosted a campus exploration day for 15 students from Germany and their teachers on February 29. The students from Paul-Klee-Gymnasium in Augsburg participate in the German American Partnership Program, GAPP, with Westwood High School in Round Rock. Established in 1972, the German American Partnership Program facilitates bilateral transatlantic exchanges between schools in the U.S. and Germany. With a substantial network of participating schools and over 400,000 participants over the years, GAPP is the largest bilateral exchange program between the U.S. and another country. Berroth’s sustained engagement in this form of community outreach connects and supports German educators across institutions and increases guidance for students of languages, who are encouraged to integrate experiences abroad into their educational paths. Southwestern students and GAPP participants enjoyed opportunities for increasing their intercultural knowledge and competence.





June 2023

  • Associate Professor of German Erika Berroth accepted an invitation to serve on the 2024-2025 Fulbright U.S. Student Program National Screening Committee. Berroth looks forward to contributing her experience and expertise to the Fulbright U.S. Student Program Team, Institute of International Education.





April 2023

  • Associate Professor of German Erika Berroth, together with Liesl Alingham, Associate Professor of German, Sewanee, Anne Stone, Associate Professor of Communications, Rollins, and Melissa Nelson, Director of Social Impact Hub, Rollins, earned an ACS Award to offer a faculty development workshop at Sewanee from Tuesday, May 23, 2023,– Thursday, May 25, 2023. The workshop is titled Sustainability Mindset: Making Change Makers. Check the ACS site and register here.





  • Associate Professor of German Erika Berroth presented an invited lecture and an invited workshop at Belmont University in Nashville, TN, on April 2 and 3, 2023. The lecture titled Connecting through Literature: Reading GDR Women Writers in 2023 contributes to Belmont’s general education initiative, Well-being for Life-long Learning (WELL Core), as an intercultural learning WELL Core. The workshop for language educators is titled Hospitality, Inclusion, and Intercultural Learning: Increasing Empathy by Engaging Food Ways Across Cultures. It contributes to Belmont’s ongoing community engagement series, Conversations @ Belmont, that allows for communication and collaboration among educators at colleges, middle, and high schools for the purpose of preparing students to transition to college





Feburary 2023

  • Associate Professor of German Erika Berroth served as a judge at the Texas State German Contest. On February 25, 2023, Texas State University in San Marcos hosted the Texas State German Contest on its 41st anniversary. This scholastic competition for high school students brought together over 1,000 high school students and their teachers from all over Texas. Engagement with this event marks an important aspect of Berroth’s commitment to community building and outreach. It was a wonderful opportunity to encourage young learners to continue their studies of languages, literature, and cultures.





  • Associate Professor of German Erika Berroth is co-editor of the recently published volume: “Behinderungen und Herausforderungen. Disability Studies in der Germanistik.” (Sektion) Wege der Germanistik in transkultureller Perspektive. Akten des IX. Kongresses der Internationalen Vereinigung für Germanistik (IVG). (Jahrbuch für Internationale Germanistik. Beihefte 5). Bd. 5 . Frankfurt a. M.: Peter Lang, 2022, 463-605. Included in this volume is Berroth’s research article on representations of Deaf Cultures in German film: “Repräsentationen von Gehörlosigkeit im Film – Jenseits der Stille im Kontext der ‘Deaf Futures.’” 489-506.





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. 





November 2021

  • Associate Professor of German Erika Berroth was invited by the Goethe-Institut Washington, D.C., to participate in a two-day conference held November 11–12 in Berlin, Germany. The conference brought together representatives from current and potential partner programs to explore participation in a digital transnational education network currently active in Germany, Russia, Ukraine, Georgia, and Austria. Topics included education on sustainable development, peace and conflict studies, and transcultural communication. Through this network, the Goethe-Institut provides a structure for promoting transcultural learning, exchange, and the exploration of shared values. Berroth looks forward to exploring collaborations with Associate Professor of German Liesl Allingham at the University of the South, who was also invited to the conference.





  • Associate Professor of German Erika Berroth participated in the 46th Annual Coalition of Women in German (WiG) Conference, which convened virtually November 4–7. As chair of the WiG Dissertation Prize Committee, Berroth presented the 2020 award to Melissa Elliot for her nuanced work on the narratives of film music in East German DEFA movies. Berroth presented a poster on her collaboration with Head of Special Collections and Archives Megan Firestone in mentoring research assistants to create an open educational resource with documents and artifacts from Uta Merzbach’s estate. Berroth highlighted research on how humanities-based faculty-student research projects, digital-humanities projects, and research assistantships increase opportunities for high impact experiences particularly for students of languages, literatures, and cultures.





October 2021

  • Associate Professor of German Erika Berroth earned a residency at the Deutsches Literatur Archiv and Collegienhaus in Marbach, Germany. The residency is cosponsored by the Deutsche Schillergesellschaft and the Max Kade Foundation. Berroth is completing research on contemporary German-Croatian author Marica Bodrožić, whose recent publication, Pantherzeit, offers poetic reflections on the spring 2020 COVID-19 lockdown in Germany and around the world.





  • Associate Professor of German Erika Berroth was invited to give a lecture and lead a workshop at Sewanee University of the South, contributing to a series of events for German Campus Week on October 8.  Berroth’s talk, “Cultures of Environmentalism in Germany: Learning to Care,” addressed the larger Sewanee community, while the workshop on environmental activism engaged students of German specifically. The event was sponsored by the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany, Washington D.C., and the Department of German and German Studies at Sewanee.





  • Associate Professor of German Erika Berroth was invited to be a featured speaker at the Belmont University 20th Annual Humanities Symposium: Reading as a Radical Act, which convened in Nashville, Tennessee, from September 27 to October 4. Berroth’s presentation, “Read to Me! Read with Me! Increasing Awareness of Diversity and Inclusion for Readers and Listeners of All Ages,” addressed the power of reading as a social activity in contemporary German cultures, featuring examples from children’s books, poetry slams, the 20th anniversary of Vienna’s One City–One Book project, and the importance of overcoming the one-inch barrier (i.e., the reluctance to read subtitles of films telling stories from other languages and cultures). Berroth also designed a related quiz that Belmont students took to earn their Wellcore Cultural Well-Being credits.





September 2021

  • Associate Professor of German Erika Berroth hosted the 4th Biannual Joint Conference of the North Texas, Houston, and South Texas Chapters of the American Association of Teachers of German (AATG) September 17–18. The virtual conference brought together over 60 German educators at the high school and college levels, promoting the sharing of scholarship, outreach, mentoring, and networking. Berroth presented a research paper titled “Lies Mir Vor! Lies Mit Mir! Anregungen Zur Inklusion in Kinder- und Bilderbüchern” on current publications for ages three and up that promote empathy around themes of diversity and inclusion for young audiences as well as adult readers through complex connections of images and text and “Mehrfachadressierung”—strategies engaging multiple audiences across generations. Berroth mentored Melina Boutirs ’22, a German and education double major, who presented research completed for her German capstone, “German-language Hip Hop in Modern Language Teaching and Learning: Increasing Social Justice and Diversity in the Curriculum,” that was well-received by teachers seeking to integrate contemporary German music topics into their curricula. 





July 2021

  • Associate Professor of German Erika Berroth presented a research paper and coorganized and comoderated a section of four panels for the XIV Congress of the International Association for German Studies (IVG), which met in hybrid form July 26–31, 2021, in Palermo, Italy. The IVG meets every five years with the aim of promoting international cooperation in the field of German studies. This year’s motto was “Wege der Germanistik in Transkulturellen Perspektiven.“ Berroth’s contribution addresses inclusion and diversity in representations of disabilities in contemporary German cinema. Her paper opened the section “B14: Behinderungen und Herausforderungen: Disability Studies in der Germanistik.”





June 2021

  • Associate Professor of German Erika Berroth presented the paper “Opening Language Learning to Social Justice: Designing an OER German Curriculum” at the virtual Language Education for Social Justice conference and the 37th Summer School of Applied Language Studies hosted by the University of Jyväskylä, Finland, June 1–3, 2021. An international group of scholars, educators, and artists answered central questions: What does social justice have to do with language education? Why do we need to talk about social justice as language teachers, teacher educators, and researchers? How can research look at and beyond language in education with the goal of being a catalyst for critical thinking, democracy, equity, and peace? Berroth’s contribution focused on the collaborative authoring and editing of an open educational resource, Grenzenlos Deutsch, an introductory German curriculum.





April 2021

  • Associate Professor of German Erika Berroth presented a paper at the 74th KFLC: The Languages, Literatures, and Cultures Conference at the University of Kentucky, Lexington, April 22–24, 2021. Her paper “STEM, German, and Dürrenmatt: Interdisciplinary Connections” contributed to the panel “Friedrich Dürrenmatt at 100,” commemorating the Swiss author and public intellectual.





  • Associate Professor of German Erika Berroth earned a materials grant from the German Academic Exchange Service, or DAAD. The German program curriculum and interdisciplinary programs will be enriched through a curated collection of diverse materials on German myths and legends. Berroth is eligible to compete for those grants as she serves as a DAAD Ortslektorin, connecting and coordinating outreach to educators at all levels of instruction.





Feburary 2021

  • Associate Professor of German Erika Berroth received a grant from the German Academic Exchange Service, DAAD. The grant enriches the teaching and learning of German at SU through a curated collection of prominent publications in German literature in 2019 and 2020.





  • Associate Professor of German Erika Berroth participated in a roundtable at the 2021 virtual conference of the Modern Language Association in Toronto, Canada. Berroth was one of four speakers invited to present on the topic “How to Survive as a Small German Program.” The session was sponsored by the American Association of Teachers of German.





November 2020

  • Associate Professor of German Erika Berroth contributed to the joined virtual conference of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) and the American Association of Teachers of German (AATG) November 2022, 2020. Berroth offered a session for German educators on developing connections in German instruction to topics in sustainable development with a focus on climate-science information and disinformation literacy. Berroth participated in annual meetings as a member of AATG’s regional and national leadership teams and committees.





  • Associate Professor of German Erika Berroth delivered a workshop for German educators, invited by the Goethe-Institut in Washington, DC, in collaboration with Goethe-Institut Mexico. The workshop on integrating authentic resources into education for sustainable development was part of the virtual conference Unsere Nachhaltige Zukunft  (Our Sustainable Future), November 13 15, 2020. Using resources available at www.klimafakten.de, Berroth introduced an international audience to models for integrating principles of climate-science communication into teaching German language and culture.





October 2020

  • Associate Professor of German Erika Berroth gave a presentation on “Syllabus Design and Universal Design for Learning (UDL)” at the 45th Annual Women in German Conference, which was hosted virtually at Sewanee, University of the South, Tennessee, October 15–18, 2020. The presentation contributed to a pedagogy panel on “Universal Design for Learning as Feminist Practice.” Berroth serves on the Women in German Dissertation Prize Committee and was delighted to meet and mentor the candidates and the award winner, who participated from Germany. 





  • Associate Professor of German Erika Berroth  participated in a three-day faculty seminar convened in the context of the 44th annual meeting of the German Studies Association. Via Zoom, the Beyond Umweltschutz:  Narrative and Visual Responses to Environmental Threats seminar brought together 18 environmental humanities scholars from three continents to discuss the research papers they shared with this group earlier this year. Berroth’s contribution, “From Apathy to Empathy: Approaches to Inviting Activism at the Intersections of Science and Storytelling in Werner Herzog’s Documentaries and Ilija Trojanow’s EisTau  (2011)/ The Lamentations of Zeno  (2016),” relates to texts and contexts she teaches in her first-year and advanced-entry  seminar on International Climate Fiction. 





September 2020

  • Associate Professor of German Erika Berroth  published an article commemorating the work of the late Ursula Mahlendorf, an advocate for justice, feminist scholar, and pioneer in connecting psychoanalysis with the study of literary representations, childhood trauma, and creativity. The article appears in Glossen,  a peer-reviewed, bilingual, German–American scholarly journal on literature, art, and culture in German-speaking countries after 1945.





July 2020

  • Associate Professor of German Erika Berroth  published the coauthored article “ Grenzenlos Deutsch : Co-Creating Open Educational Resources through Feminist Collaboration” in Feminist German Studies , published by the University of Nebraska Press. The publication of Feminist German Studies  volume 36, no. 1 marks the first special issue in the history of this journal, on the topic “Collaboration in the Humanities.” Members of the authoring collective are currently refining and expanding the scope of the OER Grenzenlos Deutsch, which supports the teaching and learning of German in hybrid or remote settings around the globe.





April 2020

  • Double major in German and physics Claire Harding ’20 earned a prestigious Fulbright Award. The nationally competitive Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship will take Harding to Germany, where she will integrate hands-on science learning with lessons in American cultures and the English language. The Fulbright English Teaching Assistant (ETA) Program places recent college graduates and young professionals as English teaching assistants in secondary schools or universities overseas, improving foreign students’ English language abilities and knowledge of the U.S. while increasing the U.S. student’s own language proficiency and knowledge of the host country. ETAs also pursue individual study/research plans in addition to their teaching responsibilities. Harding’s teacher and mentor, Associate Professor of German Erika Berroth, deeply appreciates Harding’s contributions to the German program as a tutor and member of the leadership team of the German Club.





  • Associate Professor of German Erika Berroth accepted an invitation issued by Priscilla Layne, president of the American Association of Teachers of German (AATG), to speak at the AATG-sponsored roundtable at the 2021 Modern Language Association conference in Toronto, Canada. The conference theme is Persistence. The roundtable addresses networking strategies in small programs. The panelists on this roundtable come from a variety of institutions, from large public state schools to small liberal-arts colleges. Berroth looks forward to representing small language programs at Southwestern University on this panel.





March 2020

  • Associate Professor of German Erika Berroth earned a materials grant from the German Academic Exchange Service, DAAD. Materials enriching the teaching and learning of German at SU include a curated collection of literary works published in 2019 and a collection of German classics adapted for beginning learners.





Feburary 2020

  • Associate Professor of German Erika Berroth gave an invited presentation at the Northeast Conference on Teaching Foreign Languages, February 13–15, in New York, NY. Her talk connected to the conference theme “Languages for All: Envisioning Language Learning Opportunities for Every Learner” and focused on increasing inclusion through networking. The presentation was sponsored by the American Association of Teachers of German.