Carolin Emcke

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Carolin Emcke
Carolin Emcke-2.jpg
Emcke at the Leipzig Book Fair in 2012
Born (1967-08-18) 18 August 1967 (age 51)
  • Journalist
  • Author

Carolin Emcke (born 18 August 1967) is a German author and journalist who worked for Der Spiegel from 1998 to 2006, often writing from areas of conflicts. In 2008 she published Stumme Gewalt (Mute Force) in memory of Alfred Herrhausen, who was killed by the Red Army Faction in 1989. In 2013 she wrote her autobiography, Wie wir begehren (How we desire). She was awarded the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade in 2016.

Early life and education[edit]

Carolin Emcke was born in Mülheim an der Ruhr, Nordrhein-Westfalia, Germany, the daughter of an Argentinian mother and a German father. She received her Abitur in 1986.[1] She studied philosophy, political science, and history in Frankfurt am Main, at the London School of Economics, and at Harvard University.


Emcke was promoted to Doctor of Philosophy in Frankfurt by Axel Honneth with the thesis Kollektive Identitäten: sozialphilosophische Grundlagen. From 1998 to 2006 she worked for Der Spiegel, reporting often from areas of conflicts, such as Afghanistan, Colombia, Gaza, Iraq, Lebanon and Pakistan[2] In 2003/04 she was a lecturer for Political Theory at Yale University.

Flyer for Streitraum, a discussion with Heinz Bude [de], Bernhard Pörksen, and Sonja Zekri on Mistrust and Publicity

From 2004 Emcke has moderated a monthly discussion Streitraum at the Schaubühne am Lehniner Platz in Berlin.[3][4] In 2006 and 2007 she worked as an advisor of the Hamburg Media School [de]. She has been a freelance writer from 2007, writing for papers such as Die Zeit and the Süddeutsche Zeitung. From 2014 she has been on the jury of the Bayerischer Buchpreis [de].[5]

Emcke has held seminars and lectures on topics such as globalisation, theories of violence, and cultural identity. In 2008 she published Stumme Gewalt – Nachdenken über die RAF (Mute Force – Reflections on the Red Army Faction)),[6][7][8] a memorial to her godfather, Alfred Herrhausen, who was killed by the Rote Armee Fraktion on 30 November 1989. This work encourages dialogues between groups in societies, dialogues without violence, revenge and disrespect. She received the Theodor Wolff Prize for the text.

In her 2013 autobiography, Wie wir begehren (How we desire), she described the discovery of her homosexuality, as well as the social exclusion she experienced after her coming out.[9] In January 2014, she conducted an interview with Thomas Hitzlsperger about his coming out for Die Zeit.[10]

Emcke in 2010

Emcke held the speech for the opening of the 2016 Ruhrtriennale, on the topic translation.[2] She was awarded the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade on 23 October 2016 at the Paulskirche, with a laudation by Seyla Benhabib.[11][8]

Other activities[edit]

  • Ernst Reuter Foundation for Advanced Study, Member of the Board of Trustees[12]


Selected works[edit]

  • Kollektive Identitäten. Sozialphilosophische Grundlagen. Campus, Frankfurt am Main / New York, NY 2000, ISBN 3-593-36484-0 (Dissertation Universität Frankfurt 1998, 360 Seiten); 2nd ed. 2010, ISBN 978-3-593-39222-6.
  • (in German) Von den Kriegen. Briefe an Freunde, Frankfurt am Main: Fischer, ISBN 3-10-017013-X 
    • (in English) Echoes of Violence. Letters from a War Reporter, Princeton / Oxford: Princeton University Press, 2007, ISBN 978-0-691-12903-7 
  • Stumme Gewalt. Nachdenken über die RAF. S. Fischer, Frankfurt am Main 2008, ISBN 978-3-10-017017-0 (with contributions by Winfried Hassemer and Wolfgang Kraushaar).
  • Wie wir begehren. S. Fischer, Frankfurt am Main 2012, ISBN 978-3-10-017018-7.
  • Weil es sagbar ist: Über Zeugenschaft und Gerechtigkeit. S. Fischer, Frankfurt am Main 2013, ISBN 978-3-10-017019-4.
  • Gegen den Hass. Essay. Fischer, Frankfurt am Main 2016, ISBN 978-3-10-397231-3.[20]


  1. ^ Carolin Emcke. Internationales Biographisches Archiv (in German). Munzinger-Archiv. 18 October 2016.
  2. ^ a b "On Translation". Ruhrtriennale. Retrieved 5 November 2016.[permanent dead link]
  3. ^ "Streitraum Aktuell" (in German). Schaubühne. Retrieved 25 October 2016.
  4. ^ "streitraum's Videos on Vimeo" (in German). Retrieved 25 October 2016.
  5. ^ "Carolin Emcke" (in German). Bayerischer Buchpreis 2016. Retrieved 26 June 2016.
  6. ^ Emcke, Carolin (6 September 2007). "Stumme Gewalt" (in German). Die Zeit. Retrieved 6 July 2010.
  7. ^ "Interview: "Ich möchte, dass die Täter sprechen."" (in German). Die Zeit. 14 May 2008. Retrieved 6 July 2010.
  8. ^ a b "The German writer Carolin Emcke receives the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade for her commitment to social dialogue". 20 October 2016. Retrieved 5 November 2016.
  9. ^ ""Wie wir begehren" – Carolin Emcke über homosexuelles Leben in Deutschland" (in German). Die Zeit. 28 November 2013. Retrieved 26 June 2016.
  10. ^ Ulrich, Bernd (28 November 2013). "Homosexualität im Fußball – Thomas Hitzlsperger: Aus dem Abseits" (in German). Der Tagesspiegel. Retrieved 26 June 2016.
  11. ^ a b "Carolin Emcke erhält den Friedenspreis des Deutschen Buchhandels 2016" (in German). Friedenspreis des Deutschen Buchhandels. Retrieved 24 June 2016.
  12. ^ Board of Trustees Ernst Reuter Foundation for Advanced Study.
  13. ^ "Preisbücher" (in German). Friedrich Ebert Foundation. 2016. Retrieved 27 October 2016.
  14. ^ "Ernst-Bloch-Preis 2006 (pdf)" (in German). Archived from the original on 19 October 2007. Retrieved 8 January 2014.
  15. ^ "Theodor-Wolff-Preis 2008, prämiierter Text, Bewertung der Jury und Vita" (in German). Archived from the original on 19 September 2011.
  16. ^ "Islamgegner: Liberaler Rassismus" (in German). Die Zeit. 25 February 2010. Retrieved 21 February 2016.
  17. ^ Milz, Annette (21 December 2010). "Die Journalisten des Jahres 2010" (in German). Retrieved 22 December 2010.
  18. ^ "Dokumentation des Merck-Preises für Carolin Emcke" (in German). Deutsche Akademie für Sprache und Dichtung.
  19. ^ "Lessing-Preis 2015 geht an Reporterin Carolin Emcke" (in German). Deutschlandradio Kultur. 24 August 2014. Retrieved 24 August 2014.
  20. ^ "Wenn ihr uns stecht, bluten wir nicht" (in German). FAZ. 14 October 2016. p. 10. |access-date= requires |url= (help)

External links[edit]