Skip to content

Lecture by Dr. Erika Berroth : Looking Daring – Daring to Look: Annemarie Schwarzenbach’s Journeys of Discovery"

Born to enormous wealth and privilege in Switzerland, Annemarie Schwarzenbach (1908-1942) made a name for herself as a creative writer, travel journalist, and photographer. Her portraits represent her as an androgynous style icon. A professional border crosser, she not only challenged her contemporaries to face a woman travelling to and reporting from rather unknown parts of the world. She also revealed much of her own inner landscapes in her literary work and identified openly as a lesbian with relationships across the gender spectrum. Being queer was accepted in her family, but opposing her parents’ political views was the origin of severe tensions. She was an anti-Fascist and sought out public intellectuals like Erika and Klaus Mann as her family of choice. She died at 34. Retrospectives, exhibits, symposia, and new editions of some of her works marked the 100th anniversary of her birth and increased awareness of Schwarzenbach’s accomplishments, at times foregrounding her fascinating biography over her remarkable body of work. The lecture asks how Schwarzenbach’s work, especially as a journalist and photographer in America during the depression, connects to today’s audiences interested in representations of race, class, gender, social and environmental justice issues, mental health, or kinships of humans and other forms of life as part of place-based identity formations.

Light refreshments will be served following the lecture.

About the Speaker

Dr. Erika Berroth is Associate Professor of German at Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas. Her current book project titled Transnational Identity Narratives analyzes the complex relationships between migration, trauma, memory, and identity. In her research and teaching she integrates the study of German language literature with critical approaches in the Environmental Humanities and Feminist Studies. Her German courses contribute to an interdisciplinary curriculum designed to develop the intellectual practice of identifying connections between fundamental questions and ideas that shape our world.

In addition to this lecture, Dr. Berroth will also offer a workshop on "Intercultural Knowledge and Competence – Exploring Connections: Making Meaning of Foreign and Familiar Matters" on Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2018 from 2 - 5 pm in Hodges Library, room 253. The workshop free but registration is necessary. For details see .

This lecture is a Ready for the World event and part of the interdisciplinary, multi-media project "Mapping 'Knoxville' Across Time, Media, and Cultures: Tracing Unexplored Connections Between the Work of Cormac McCarthy, Annemarie Schwarzenbach, and Buddy and the Huddle" ( Co-sponsors and supporters are listed here: 

Tuesday, October 16, 2018 at 6:00pm to 7:30pm

John C Hodges Library, Lindsey Young Auditorium (1st floor)
1015 Volunteer Blvd, Knoxville TN