Friederike von Schwerin-High

Professor of German and Russian; On leave Spring 2024
  • Expertise


    Friederike von Schwerin-High’s research ranges from Gotthold Ephraim Lessing and the Age of Goethe to Thomas Mann. She is particularly interested in translation studies and alterity in narrative and philosophy.

    A constant in her research is the question of how cultures and individuals represent difference to themselves. In Shakespeare, Reception and Translation: Germany and Japan (2004), she examined eight German and four Japanese translations of one Shakespearean text, ranging from the 1760s to today. She found that in each of them the magical world of The Tempest came across as very different in spite of the avowed neutral behavior on the part of the translators. 

    Her other publications include a book translation of Harald A. Innis’s works (Kreuzwege der Kommunikation) and articles on blank verse, G. E. Lessing, Goethe, Thomas Mann, Heinrich von Kleist, Doris Dörrie, and Judith Hermann. In addition, for the past five years she has been the co-editor of the journal Pacific Coast Philology.

    She is currently working on a comparative study of novels that act like biographies and which include works of fiction by Thomas Mann, Natsume Soseki, Christa Wolf, Philip Roth and Orhan Pamuk. 

    Research Interests

    • Translation Studies
    • 20th Century Fictional Biography and Theories of Otherness
    • Goethe
    • G. E. Lessing
    • Intersections in Narrative and Philosophy
    • Shakespeare Reception in Germany and Japan

    Areas of Expertise


    • Age of Goethe
    • Intellectual History
    • Turkish-German Literature
    • Translation Theory
    • Thomas Mann
    • Doris Doerrie
    • Genre Studies
  • Work


    Shakespeare, Reception and Translation: Germany and Japan (Continuum Press, December 2004)

    Kaleidoskop, Test Bank (Houghton-Mifflin, 1998)

    “’aber sonst ist es doch eine verwandte Geschichte…’: Gegenüberstellung von Gegenwart, Geschichte und Gefühl in Thomas Manns ‘Unordnung und frühes Leid,’” in Thomas Mann Memoria-Band, Memoria Series (W. Delabar und B. Plachta, eds., Weidler, 2005)

    “Eighteenth Century Women (Liselotte von der Pfalz, Luise Kulmus Gottsched, and Caroline de la Motte Fouqué),” in Women in German Yearbook, vol. 17 (C. Donato, ed., Eighteenth-Century Book Reviews Online, 2005)

    "Doris Dörrie's Film and Book Am I Beautiful," in The New Europe at the Crossroads Series (U.E. Beitter, ed., Peter Lang Publishing, 2003)

    "Schnee Später," Podium (Austria), v. 121, Fall 2001

    Translation from English to German, Harold A. Innis, Kreuzwege der Kommunikation [Crossroads of Communication. Selected Texts] (K. Barck, ed., Springer, 1997)

  • Education


    University of Massachusetts, Amherst

    Master of Arts
    University of Massachusetts, Amherst

    Bachelor of Arts
    Universitaet Heidelberg

    Recent Courses Taught

    • Advanced German
    • Elementary German
    • German Composition
    • Independent Research in German Language & Literature
    • Intermediate German
    • Multicultural Germany
    • Systems of Worldviews