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Carolin Emcke, writer, born in 1967, lives in Berlin.

Higher Education

Studied philosophy, politics and history in London, Frankfurt am Main and Harvard; won a scholarship from the Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volkes; doctorate in philosophy for a thesis on “collective identities”


1998 – 2006: staff editor at “Spiegel”, travelling as foreign editor in various crisis regions (Afghanistan, Pakistan, Kosovo, Iraq,
Columbia, Lebanon et al.).
2007 – 2014: writer and international reporter for DIE ZEIT (incl. in Israel, West Bank, Pakistan, Egypt, Iraq, Haiti, USA).
Since 2014: free-lance writer, columnist for “Süddeutsche Zeitung”


2003/2004 Visiting lecturer in political theory at Yale University with seminars on theories of violence and witnessing war crimes;
2006-2007 Adviser for the journalism degree course at Hamburg Media School;
Frequent visiting/guest lecturer on human rights, theories of violence, racism and fanaticism, rightwing populism, witnessing history,
photography, cultural identities


Since the 2004/2005 season, curator and presenter of the monthly discussion event “Streitraum” at the Schaubühne, Berlin.


Co-curated “Narrating War”, Theme Days at Berlin’s “Haus der Kulturen der Welt”, with historian Valentin Groebner, 2014.


Worked with director Angelina Maccarone to create three video spots entitled “Tolerant? That’s us” (in German with English, French, Russian, Turkish and Spanish subtitles). On YouTube since April 2014.


“Kollektive Identitäten – sozialphilosophische Grundlagen” (“Collectice Identities”), Frankfurt 2000
“Von den Kriegen – Briefe an Freunde”, Frankfurt 2004
“Echoes of Violence – Letters from a War Reporter”, Princeton University Press 2007
“Stumme Gewalt – Nachdenken über die RAF” (“Mute Violence. Reflections on the RAF”), Frankfurt 2008
“Wie wir begehren!” (“How We Desire”) Frankfurt 2012; Published in Englisch, Spanisch, French, Finnish
“Weil es sagbar ist – Zeugenschaft und Gerechtigkeit” (“Because We Can Speak”), Frankfurt 2013
“Gegen den Hass” (“Against Hate”), Frankfurt 2016; Published in French, Italian, Spanish, Dutch, Slovenian, Japanese, Korean, Finnish
“Ja heißt Ja und…”, Frankfurt 2019


“Das politische Buch” from the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (2005)
“Ernst-Bloch-Preis: Award for Young Authors” (2006)
“Theodor Wolff-Preis” (2008)
“Otto-Brenner-Preis, 1st Prize” (2010)
“Reporterpreis – Best Reportage” (2010)
“Journalist of the Year”, mediummagazin (2010)
“Ulrich Wickert Award for Child Rights” (2012)
“Johann Heinrich Merck Preis” from the German Academy for Language and Literature (2014)
“Lessing Award” from the Free State of Saxony (2015)
“Lichtenberg Poetik-Dozentur Award” (2015)
“Peace Prize of the German Book Trade” (2016)
“Soul of Stonewall Award” (2017)
“Brückenpreis der Stadt Regensburg” (2019)

Organisational Roles

Member of the Board of Trustees of the Gerda-Henkel-Stiftung
Member of the Senate of the Leibniz Gemeinschaft
Member of the Board of Trustees of the Wissenschaftskolleg, Berlin