Samuel Fischer Gastprofessur

We are thrilled to announce that the Colombian-Ecuadorian comic artist and illustrator PowerPaola will take over the Samuel Fischer Guest Professorship for Literature this winter semester!

“Virus Tropical – screening & talk”

Powerpaola spoke with Lea Hübner

The event took place on December 7, at  ACUD Kino Berlin.

Adapted from the graphic novel memoir by Colombian-Ecuadorian cartoonist Powerpaola, Virus Tropical is a thoughtful and deeply affecting coming-of-age story that begins on the night Paola is conceived – in a stylized but anatomically complete sequence that sets the tone for the film’s matter-of-fact exploration of sexuality and family – and ends with her striking out on her own as a young adult. Over the intervening years we accompany Paola, the youngest of three daughters raised by a mostly single mom, as she gropes and fumbles her way through friendships, new schools, clunky romances, and various domestic dramas. Scrappy DIY black and white animation and lo-fi Latin-indie score lend a lovingly idiosyncratic charm to a film that brings forth a unique and utterly refreshing girl’s POV perspective. By the end you have formed a gentle intimacy with this family and are happy to have spent time together.

Powerpaola was born in Quito (Ecuador) in 1977 and moved to Colombia with her family at the age of 13. She studied at the Fundación Universitaria de Bellas Artes in Medellín, where she founded the art collective Taller 7. After extended stays in Paris, Sydney, San Salvador and Paris, among other places, she currently lives in Buenos Aires.  At the age of 27, she began drawing comics, which first appeared on Flickr; in 2011, the Argentinian publisher Editorial Comun published her autobiographical comic Virus Tropical. The comic was enthusiastically reviewed, translated into French, Italian and Brazilian and made into a film in 2017 (the film was shown at the Berlinale in 2018, among others). The German translation by Lea Hübner was published by Parallelallee in 2022.

Lea Hübner was born in Stuttgart, Germany, in 1973. She studied Latin American Studies as well as Spanish and Philosophy at Freie Universität Berlin. Before and during her university education she lived, studied and worked in Brazil and Spain for about two years. She is a freelance translator for Spanish and Portuguese of a  wide range of texts, such as literature, documents, essays, exhibition catalogues, children´s books and poetry, but with a main focus on comics by latin american authors, bringing Marcelo D’Salete, Marcello Quintanilha, Powerpaola, Sol Díaz, Angélica Freitas and Sole Otero to a german-speaking readership. Lea Hübner also works in a comic-bookshop, curates and interprets panel discussions with artists and has been working as a teacher for literary translation at several universities, currently at Lateinamerika-Institut at Freie Universität Berlin.

On Thursday, December 7, Powerpaola talked with Lea Hübner about her comic Virus Tropical, family, identity and her time in Berlin.

Literatures of the World

The Samuel Fischer Visiting Professorship for Literature was established on the initiative of Prof. Dr. Gerd Mattenklott at the beginning of the summer term 1998. It is funded by S. Fischer publishers, Freie Universität Berlin, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and Holtzbrinck Berlin – Inspire Together. Each semester an author is invited to teach at the Peter Szondi Institute of Comparative Literature. In addition to a seminar at the Freie Universität Berlin public readings and events with the guest professors are organized in Berlin and other German cities.



Winter Semester 2023/24


As part of the opening lecture on November 22, Powerpaola will talk about her writing practice in Virus Tropical and Todas las bicicletas que tuve as well as discuss other book publications, including QP and Todo va a estar bien. These texts will serve as the basis for Powerpaola’s presentation and discussion of topics she will explore with students in her winter semester seminar “I’m not talking about me (but also)”: the intimate and complex connection between creative work and life, oneself and other people.

Here you can find more information about Powerpaola

Summer Semester 2023

Nancy Campbell

We are delighted to announce that Scottish writer Nancy Campbell will be the Samuel Fischer Guest Professor for the upcoming summer semester. On May 4, she will give her public lecture »Hot Metal Frozen Paper« at the Peter Szondi Institute for General and Comparative Literature at Freie Universität Berlin. More information about the lecture is available here and you can find more information on Nancy Campbell here.

Winter Semester 2022/23

Notes On Love

On November 30, Xiaolu Guo and Divya Ghelani discussed craft, language, humour, and home in Guo’s novels and shared personal experiences as writers. The conversation took place at daadgalerie Berlin.

Summer Semester 2022

On Becoming A Feminist: Writing Here And Now

A conversation between Lina Meruane (Chile-USA) and Priya Basil (UK-Germany) about how increasing attention to female characters in their early fiction made them aware of gender troubles and about how, later on, becoming feminists influenced their non-fiction writing. Conversation in English. Click here for the recording on YouTube.

Wintersemester 2021/22

Dokument, Erfindung, Traum

On 16 February 2022, Dorothee Elmiger read from her book “From the Sugar Factory” and spoke with Florian Werner about her research, observations, inspirations as well as her time as Samuel Fischer Visiting Professor. The event took place at the daadgalerie and the recording was made available online for a limited time. Excerpts can be seen at @sfischerprof on Instagram.


Nancy Campbell and Salvador Plascencia in conversation with Svenja Gräfen at the Galerie für Zeitgenössische Kunst

© Andreas Lamm

Notes On Love: A Conversation with Xiaolu Guo.

Xiaolu Guo 郭小櫓 in conversation with Divya Ghelani at daadgalerie Berlin

© Phil-Dera

Five Men And A Caravaggio – Screening & Talk

Xiaolu Guo 郭小櫓 in conversation with Giuliana Kiersz

© Phil-Dera