Lillian M Banks/Lilian Friedberg/Lilly M Ruh, Chicago, IL

A former friend once told me I have the social skills of a dead ant. And she was right. I’m like a white buffalo in a Swarovski shop. I tend not to do things in the proper order. So, now that I’ve posted half my life story, and dredged up writings from decades ago, I’m finally getting around to writing some sort of introduction to this blog.

Part of the problem is a function of sheer incompetence. I can’t keep up with the technology and the nuts-n-bolts of blog publishing. I am too impatient to go the teach-an-old-dog-new-tricks route. That, in turn, is a function of the material reality of being a “dead woman walking.” My time is limited.

In December 2017, I was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer that had already progressed to my brain. On Dec 6, I had a cranial MRI. The result: “These findings are compatible with metastatic disease … [they] were discussed via telephone with [the physician] at 2100 hours on 12/6/2017, and it was recommended that the patient be called and sent to ER for further evaluation.” All our phones began ringing off the hook, and so it began. That moment. When you learn you have stage IV cancer. We were greeted at the hospital by a team of oncologists.

I went from this:

To this, overnight:

On Dec 8, a neurosurgeon cracked open my skull to remove a 2 cm metastatic lesion from my cerebellum.

At the first post-op visit, I quipped: So I suppose you’re here to talk to me about the approximate size of my favorite tumor? It’s the title of a short story by Sherman Alexie, and it had become a long-standing joke with the neurological ward staff over the course of my week-long stay. After my release, I returned to deliver a bag of treats that included a copy of Alexie’s The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven for the break room.
My “stairway to heaven”

In January 2018, he and a radiation oncologist teamed up to screw a steel frame onto my head and stick me in a gammaknife radiation chamber for a couple hours to knock out the remaining lesions found on the MRI.

Hard nut to crack, tell you that much!

After that, there was chemo to be had, and radiation. Lots of it.

Chemo goes better with cheese.

All in all, cancer has been kind comparatively speaking. After the initial brain surgeries and before the start of chemo, my oncologist told me I had 6 months to a year to live. That was nearly five years ago, and without taking into account a global pandemic. Statistically, I’m not supposed to be here. But here I am, and I have seen many others fare much worse with this awful disease.

It helps to keep a healthy sense of humor. No matter what.

We didn’t expect me to live this long. And I honestly can’t AFFORD to live this long. I’ve cashed in my retirement funds (which were not substantial in the first place). During the period of heavy treatment, I was forced into retirement. A friend kindly set up a GoFundMe account. Friends and strangers contributed generously. But it was never intended to be a long-term thing. Everyone thought I was a dead woman walking. And in many ways, I am. Stage IV cancer IS terminal. There’s no going back and calling it “cancer free”. Updates to the GoFundMe page provide a blow-by-blow account of how the disease has progressed, and contributions are still more than welcome and much needed. It’s been months since anything has come in.

To be honest: We can’t afford me. We have lost my income, and gained between $10,000 and $15,000 in out-of-pocket medical expenses annually. It’s tough. But it beats being dead. The GoFundMe account established in 2018 by my friend Therese Grisham was initially conceived to cover medical expenses for a year, max. The goal of $5,000 has been exceeded threefold. But I wasn’t expected to defy statistics and become a permanently disabled cancer survivor with no income, no disability payments, no form of support aside from my husband’s income. The GoFundMe account remains active, and contributions are still greatly needed and graciously accepted.

My life has been anything but a straight line story, and the best way to “introduce myself” may be to present my life in the form of this narrative Resumé highlighted by hyperlinks: a modern-day take on the 27-eight-by-ten-color-glossy-photographs-with-pictures-and-arrows-and-a-paragraph-on-the-back-of-each-one-explaining-what-each-one-was-to-be-used-as-evidence. For or against me. In some cases, both. There’s a lot of backstory lurking behind the links.



Lillian M. Banks*

On Indian Land

This Piece of Land



Born Lillian Mae Friedberg, Fall 1961, Sheboygan, Wisconsin, USA. Daughter of a single mother of American Indian descent (Ojibwe); paternity (Friedberg) unknown—birth registered in court documents as “illegitimate”; removed from home and placed in foster care at age 9; age 11, transferred to “Winnebago Home for Indians” in Neillsville, Wisconsin, USA, resulting from irreconcilable differences with wealthy, extreme-right wing foster/adoptive family. After multiple re-homings/disrupted adoptions, custody transferred to State of Wisconsin as Ward of the State; became ’emancipated minor’ at age 17; completed high school while working as a waitress.

I have described this experience elsewhere as having been aborted three times: I am not an adoptee, I am an abortee. Here is a partial rendering of the experience–the tale of one aborted adoption. I’m working on the other two. These “abortions” have left me emotionally handicapped, and have influenced every decision I have made–mostly in a negative way.

1980: High School Diploma conferred by Neillsville High School, Neillsville, Wisconsin, USA.

These early experiences—as a person of mixed-racial/ethnic descent, born into the underclass, ‘raised’ in a variety of settings as an abortee—covering all ends of the socio-economic and political spectrum in the United States—have shaped my career as a translator and as an educator.

I have been translating between cultures all my life: between people of poverty and people of prosperity; between people at every point of the political spectrum, and at every point in between; between people of all races, colors, and creeds on three continents (North America, Europe, Africa) and in three languages (English, German, French).


Study of English, German, and Political Science at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire (UWEC) (1980–1984); one year study abroad on academic exchange scholarship from Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel (CAU), Germany (1985).

1985: Bachelor of Arts degree conferred by UWEC; double major German/English

Highlights/Achievements/Publications from this period:

  • 1980–1984: English tutor for English Composition Laboratory, UWEC.
  • Co-Founder, Student Feminist Alliance, a student organization that worked to develop awareness/consciousness of women’s rights (and other issues) at UWEC; one of our primary accomplishments was establishing a Department of Women’s Studies at the university.
  • Founding member, Students for a Democratic Society (SDS); focused on mobilizing opposition to Reagan era/Cold War policies: putting an end to the ‘Star Wars’-initiative, to ‘Project ELF,’ establishing the city of Eau Claire, WI,  as a ‘Nuclear Free Zone.’
  • Membership in Sigma Tau Delta (English Honor Society).
  • Regular contribution of op-ed pieces and letters to the editor published in the student newspaper, The Spectator, and in the local paper, Eau Claire Leader Telegram. There is no surviving record of these publications.
  • 1984: left United States August 1984 on scholarship to CAU, Kiel; while there, active member of student parliament (StuPa); winter semester of 1985, elected to AStA as Frauenreferentin on the Bunte Liste (BuLi)-ticket. In this capacity, advocated for women’s rights and for the establishment of women’s studies at German universities. Among other things, organization of “Feministische Frauen-Ringvorlesungen.”
  • 1985: invited by CAU’s Akademisches Auslandsamt (AAA) to speak to incoming international students about experiences as a politically engaged, activist exchange student.
  • 1985–1986: continuing in Germany as freelance translator and technical translator, primarily for Norsk Data Dietz GmbH, a subsidiary of the Oslo-based computer manufacturer, Norsk Data.
  • 1986—1988: translator and technical writer for Pirwitz Computer Documentation, Kiel, Germany.
  • 1988—1990: grantwriter and public relations specialist, Frauennetzwerk zur Arbeitssituation,  e.V., Kiel, Germany.

The surviving record of publications/presentations from this period is sketchy; however, the following publications/presentations stand out as significant:

  • Lilian M. Friedberg, “Die Frau in BeWegung: Am Beispiel der USA 1776–1986.” In: Feminismus und Wissenschaft, ASTA Frauenreferat, CAU, ed. Brodersdorf: WDA Verlag, 1987 (published version of lecture presented in the Feministische Frauen-Ringvorlesung at CAU, 1986).
  • Lilian M. Friedberg, “Interview mit Zsuszanna Budapest.” In: Schlangenbrut. Bochum, Germany: 11. August 1986.
  • Mary Daly, “Reine Lust: Laster, Tugend, neue Verhaltensweisen—Plastik- und Bonsai-Leidenschaften,” transl. into German by Lilian M. Friedberg. In: Utopos—Kein Ort. Ed. by Marlies Froese. Bielefeld/Germany: AJZ Verlag, 1987, 114–29.
  • Simultaneous interpreter for Dr. Mary Daly, Seminar: Elemental Feminist Philosophy. Basel, Switzerland, July 1988.
  • Simultaneous interpreter for Dr. Mary Daly, Readings from “Outercourse: Recalling the Elemental Powers of Women.” Bern, Switzerland, July 1988.
  • Presenter/Session Leader: “Das Hexikon: Übersetzungen zu Mary Dalys Websters’ First New Intergalactic Wickedary of the English Language,” Seminar: Elemental Feminist Philosophy. Basel, Switzerland, July 1988.
  • Sandra Harding, “Männliche Erfahrung und die Normen sozialwissenschaftlicher Erkenntnis,” transl. into German by Lilian M. Friedberg. In: Männer, Mythos, Wissenschaft: Grundlagentexte zur feminisitischen Wissenschaftskritik. Ed. byBarbara Schaeffer-Hegel and Barbara Watson-Franke. Pfaffenweiler: Centaurus Verlagsgesellschaft, 1989, 223–244.


2000: MA in the Humanities, degree conferred by University of Chicago, June 2000

Thesis: “Mule Minus Forty Million Acres: Topographies of Geographic Disorientation and Redface Minstrelsy in George Tabori’s Weisman und Rotgesicht.”

2004: PhD in Germanic Studies, degree conferred by University of Illinois Chicago, July 2004

Thesis: “‘Had We but the Word…’: A Critical Commentary on Thickly Descriptive Translations of Ingeborg Bachmann

1984—present: AWARDS

  • 1984: Recipient of Women’s History Week Paper Award
  • 1984: Awarded academic exchange scholarship from Christian-Albrechts-University Kiel
  • 1995 Barbara Deming Memorial “Money for Women” Award
  • 1999 Aufenthalt at Europäisches Übersetzerkollegium, Straelen, sponsored by Robert Bosch Stiftung and Deutscher Literaturfonds
  • 2001 Kayden National Translation Award; for Last Living Words: The Ingeborg Bachmann Reader
  • 2001 Robert Kauf Memorial Award; for initial draft of graduate seminar paper “‘Verbrechen, die ich meine…’: Manners of Death as Thickly Descriptive Translation of Ingeborg Bachmann’s Todesarten
  • 2003 Alice J. Dan Research Award by University of Illinois at Chicago [UIC] Center for Research on Women and Gender; awarded for dissertation-in-progress
  • 2005 Outstanding Thesis Award by UIC Graduate College; awarded for PhD thesis: “‘Had We but the Word …’: A Critical Commentary on Thickly Descriptive Translations of Ingeborg Bachmann”)
  • 2012 Chroma Student Art Association Legacy Award, Olive Harvey College
  • 2010 UW-Eau Claire, Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award

1986—2010: DRUMMING

Transition from literary/academic/political concerns to study of West African musical traditions: specifically, the drums of the Malinke people in Guinea, West Africa. Initially, study of these traditions under tutelage of Paul Engel and Silvie Kronewald, two Berlin-based performing artists who were then working through the UFA Fabrik Kulturzentrum in Tempelhof at a time when the now internationally acclaimed cultural center was in its nascent stages of development. In 1988, travel to Guinea, West Africa as a member of the first group of Western students to participate in workshops offered by master drummer Famoudou Konaté at his home in Guinea.

By 1990, established professional performing artist and drum instructor. Relocation from Kiel to Bonn; offered classes and performances in the drums of the Malinke people at various locations throughout Schleswig Holstein, Nordrhein-Westfalen, and in Berlin. These experiences would later figure prominently in publications, translations, programs and television appearances from the 1990s/early 2000s in the United States, a history that speaks to ongoing, decades-long commitment and contributions to international cultural exchange and to international understanding between peoples of multiple ethnicities and multiple worldviews on three continents and in three languages.

Performances include, but not limited to:

  • 1988: Walpurgis Celebration at Musikkneipe an der Untertrave in Lübeck; Walpurgis celebration at Merhaba (Turkish Kneipe and Kulturzentrum) in Kiel; International Women’s Day Celebration at Die Pumpe in Kiel.
  • 1989: Performances at Hamburger Frauenwoche, Kieler Frauenwoche, Frauenwoche Neumünster; Kieler Woche (1988–1992); Haus der Jugend-Eckernförde; as guest soloist with the Famoudou Konaté Ensemble at Die Pumpe in Kiel.
  • 1989–1992: Courses in the drum traditions of the Malinke people offered at: Frauenbildungsstätte Bonn; Kulturfabrik and Brotfabrik, Bonn; die Börse and Wuppertaler Werkstatt, Wuppertal; Frauennetzwerk zur Arbeitssituation, Kiel; UFA Kulturfabrik, Berlin; Bonn Tannenbusch Community Center (courses for Turkish youth, and for the general public); Hamburger Frauenwoche; Kieler Frauenwoche.
  • 1990: ARKA Gallery in Essen; Waldbühne, Pentaton-Percussion, and Die Börse in Wuppertal.
  • 1991: Performances at Babanussa (African Kneipe), Berlin; UFA Fabrik Kulturzentrum, Berlin; Frauenmuseum in Wiesbaden; First Annual Lesbian Week in Bologna, Italy in conjunction with seminars/lectures offered by Mary Daly;[1] guest appearances with Famoudou Konaté Ensemble at Syndicate (internationally acclaimed jazz venue), Bonn, and at the Forum, Wuppertal.
  • 1992: Musikkneipe an der Untertrave, Lübeck; Die Börse, Wuppertal.
  • 1992: SAVE THE UNIVERSE at “Bücherladen” and at Urania Frauenzentrum, Wuppertal; at “Lila Backstube”, Frauenmuseum Bonn; at various locations in (former West and former East) Berlin.

1992—2000: Return to the United States: Drums of the Malinke People

1992 was a watershed year that would impact my careers as writer/translator/scholar and as professional performing artist in ways I never could have imagined. My multi-media, multi-lingual, multi-cultural one-woman shows, “Save the Universe” were well-received by audiences in Europe. I was planning to relocate from NRW to the freshly-minted, soon to be “reunified” Berlin, where I intended to take my career as a multi-media performing artist to the next level. But my great-grandmother, a Native American/Ojibwe woman who had figured prominently in my early childhood, was 105 years old at the time. She was living alone in a nursing home, with no one in the immediate family to care for her. Forced to choose between my own career advancement in Europe and re-connecting with the oldest surviving member of my biological family, I opted for those kinship bonds American Indian heritage and returned to the United States in May, 1992.

I was catapulted into a state of culture shock from which I have yet to recover fully. A series of original publications from this time period comment on some factors contributing to that state of shock:

  • Lilian M. Friedberg, “Djembe: Drum with a Thousand Faces.” In: Percussive Notes: Official Journal of the Percussive Arts Society 31.8 (1993): 35–36.
  • Lilian M. Friedberg, “ORTE: A Place for Public Art.” In: Public Art Review 10.5.2 (1993): 37.
  • Lilian M. Friedberg, “Sisterly Love: American Style.” In: Lesbian Contradiction: A Journal of Irreverent Feminism 43 (1993): 12–14.
  • Lilian M. Friedberg, “Getting It: A Comment on What the Dominant Male Is and Is Not Getting.” In: Lesbian Contradiction: A Journal of Irreverent Feminism 44 (1993): 14–15.
  • Lilian M. Friedberg, “Running in Vicious Circles: Racism and the African Drum.” In: Race Traitor 5 (1996): 56–68; excerpt reprinted in Colors Magazine (June 1997): 20–23.
  • Lilian M. Friedberg, “Drumming for Dollars: The Bottom Line between Appreciation and Appropriation,” accepted for publication in: Bearing Witness, Reading Lives: Imagination, Creativity and Cultural Change.
  • Lilian M. Friedberg, “Illegal Alien: A Homecoming Address.” In: Race Traitor 6 (1996): 43-51.
  • Lilian M. Friedberg, “Eternal Exile.” A poem. In: News from Indian Country (Summer) 1996.
  • Lilian M. Friedberg, “An American Nightmare.” In: Race Traitor 11 (2000): 55–59.
  • Lilian M. Friedberg, “Manger Malade: ‘Eating Disorders’ and the North American Drum Community.” In: American Philosophical Association Newsletter on Native Americans in Philosophy 3.1 (Fall 2003): 5-9.

The cultural, political and socio-economic climate of the United States was not conducive to my career as an independent performing artist in the field of African drumming. It was immediately apparent, however, that I was in possession of powerful tools that could be put to work in transforming some of the very dynamics I found “shocking” about post-Reaganite US-American culture. Drawing on insights and experiences gleaned from non-profit organizations in Germany (for example, Frauennetzwerk zur Arbeitssituation, e.V. in Kiel and UFA Fabrik Kulturzentrum, e.V. in Berlin) as models for cooperative socio-cultural-economics, I founded a non-profit corporation to support my work with African American youth in economically disadvantaged communities, training them as performers and providing academic enrichment (in the form of reading and writing skills), initially in Minneapolis, MN (The Sojourner Truth Center for Ethnic Diversity, Inc.) and subsequently in Chicago, IL (Hooked on Drums).

These programs were sponsored in part by the following grantmaking institutions:

1993–1996 in Minneapolis, MN (grants awarded to The Sojourner Truth Center for Ethnic Diversity, Inc.): Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, Minneapolis Arts Commission, Minnesota State Arts Board Folk Arts Directory, Arts in Education Roster and Artistic Residency.

1996–2010 in Chicago, IL (grants awarded to Hooked on Drums in partnership with the Chicago Djembe Project): MacArthur Foundation, Chicago Community Trust, Wal-Mart, Local Initiatives Support Corporation.

The following article, published in 1996 by the Percussive Arts Society, captures the spirit of those programs:

A partial record of this work remains available at the following websites (includes audio, visual and written documentation):

Publications from this period include:

  • Lilian M. Friedberg, “Nothing Borrowed, Nothing Blue: A Review of Famoudou Konaté’s CD Rhythms of the Malinke.” In: African Studies Quarterly 4 (Summer) 2000.
  • Hamana Föli Kan. Budamusique CD Famoudou Konaté, liner notes translated by Lilian M. Friedberg, March 2000.
  • Rare German Radio Interviews with Famoudou Konaté,” transl. and with an introduction by Lilian M. Friedberg. In: Percussive Notes 39.6 (2001): 26–30.

Television and movie appearances include:

  • March 24, 1996: “A Different Drum,” on FOX 29, Minneapolis, MN. Available for viewing here:
  • August 2007, featured artist on Emmy-nominated documentary of Chicago artists, Artsiders.
  • July 2009, Harry Porterfield, “Someone You Should Know,” Chicago, IL.
  • July 2010: Africa Channel, Soundtracks at the Red Kiva, with Billy Nankouma Konaté. 

The notion that women are forbidden from participating in this drum tradition was (and remains) widespread in the United States. This is well-documented in print and in practice. It was one obstacle thwarting the pursuit of my career as a djembe drummer. I confronted the issue head-on in an article which never went to press because the issues it addressed were too controversial. There is no surviving record of that document. However, the article was acknowledged with an award from the Barbara Deming Memorial Fund.


In 1993, with no prior knowledge of existing translations of Ingeborg Bachmann—indeed, with little knowledge of the author, her stature, her history—acting solely on the power of language in one text, the 1961 short story “Undine geht”—I translated this piece into English under the title “Undine’s Valediction” and submitted it for publication to Trivia: A Journal of Ideas. The editors responded by saying: “We’ve never seen anything like this, but we would like to publish it. Would you consider writing a commentary on the process behind your translation?” In the current volume (Last Living Words), the story’s title has been changed to “Undine Quits,” but the translation itself has seen little or no emendation since its original publication in 1995.

Because this translation was the catalyst for the volume Last Living Words: The Ingeborg Bachmann Reader, and in the interest of better overview, I have outlined here the history of publications, presentations, and productions surrounding this text.

  • Ingeborg Bachmann, “Undine’s Valediction,” transl. by Lilian M. Friedberg. In: Trivia: A Journal of Rejected Ideas, 22 (1995): 103-11.
  • Lilian M. Friedberg, “A Liberal Translation of Bachmann’s ‘Undine geht’: Transposing Literature in the Spirit of a Common Language.” In: Trivia: A Journal of Rejected Ideas 22 (1995): 112–119.
  • Erich Fried, “Wherever Extinguished.” Poem, transl. by Lilian M. Friedberg. In: Trivia: A Journal of Rejected Ideas 22 (1995): 122.
  • Lilian M. Friedberg, “When We had the Word.” Lecture presented at the Ingeborg Bachmann Symposium, “If We had the Word,” Binghamton University, October 1996.
  • Ingeborg Bachmann, “Undine Quits” and “Among Murderers and Madmen,” transl. by Lilian M. Friedberg and adapted for the stage by Michael Hammond. World Premiere: Shakespeare & Company, Boston Playwrights’ Theatre, Boston, MA, October 8th-17th, 2002.
  • Reading from “Undine Quits,” American Literary Translators’ Association (ALTA) Annual Convention, Chicago, IL, October 2002.
  • Readings from “Undine Quits,” Society for Contemporary American Literature in German, Baltimore, MD, May 2004.
  • Readings from poetry and prose by Ingeborg Bachmann, PushPush Theater, Atlanta, GA, November 2006.

Additional publications, presentations and awards specifically related to Ingeborg Bachmann and/or problems in translation of Ingeborg Bachmann include:


  • Ingeborg Bachmann, “Night Flight” and “In Twilight.” Two poems, transl. by Lilian M. Friedberg. In: Denver Quarterly 32 (1997): 7-9.
  • Ingeborg Bachmann, Three Radio Plays. Transl. by Lilian M. Friedberg. 223 pages. Riverside, CA: Ariadne Press, 1999.
  • Ingeborg Bachmann, “The Ferry” and “In Heaven and on Earth.” Short stories, transl. by Lilian M. Friedberg. In: Chicago Review 46.1 (2000): 116-24.
  • Ingeborg Bachmann, “To Die for Berlin,” transl. by Lilian M. Friedberg. In: “If We had the Word.” Ingeborg Bachmann. Views and Reviews. Ed. by Gisela Brinker-Gabler and Markus Zisselberger. Riverside, CA: Ariadne Press, 2004, 7–16.
  • Ingeborg Bachmann, Last Living Words: The Ingeborg Bachmann Reader. Transl. and ed. by Lilian M. Friedberg, with an introduction by Dagmar C.G. Lorenz. 363 pages. Los Angeles: Green Integer, 2005.

Articles in Peer-Reviewed Journals:

  • Karen Achberger, “‘Bösartig liebevoll den Menschen zugetan’: Humor in Ingeborg Bachmanns Todesarten-Projekt,” transl. into German by Lilian M. Friedberg. In: “Über die Zeit schreiben.” Literatur- und kulturwissenschaftliche Essays zu Ingeborg Bachmann. Ed. by Monika Albrecht and Dirk Göttsche. Würzburg: Königshausen, 1998, 227–243.
  • Lilian M. Friedberg, “Understanding Ingeborg Bachmann: A Step in the Right Direction.” Review of Karen Achberger’s Understanding Ingeborg Bachmann. In: Women in German Newsletter (Fall 1998): 20–21.
  • Monika Albrecht, “Colonization and Magical World View in Ingeborg Bachmann’s Fragment of a Novel Das Buch Franza,” transl. by Lilian M. Friedberg. In: Glossen, Heft 7 (2000).
  • Lilian M. Friedberg, “‘A time yet to come…’: Translation and Historical Representation in Ingeborg Bachmann’s ‘Nachtflug‘.” In: German Quarterly 74.2 (2001): 148–63.
  • Lilian M. Friedberg, “‘Verbrechen, die ich meine…’: Manners of Death as Thickly Descriptive Translation of Ingeborg Bachmann’s Todesarten.” In: Monatshefte 94.2 (2002): 189–208.


  • Lilian M. Friedberg, “The Other Side of Jordan: An Exercise in Cross-Cultural Collaboration—Readings from New Translations of Ingeborg Bachmann’s Book of Franza.” Presented at 13th Annual Symposium on Austrian Literature and Culture: “Austrian Literature in Transition,”University of California Riverside, April 1998.
  • Lilian M. Friedberg, “‘A time yet to come…’:Translation and Historical Representation in Ingeborg Bachmann’s ‘Night Flight’,” presented at 1999 MLA Convention in Chicago, December, 1999; also presented at the Midwest Graduate Seminar in German Studies, University of Chicago, April, 2001.
  • Lilian M. Friedberg, “Translation als Todesart: Stätte ohne Gewähr—Problems in Translation of Ingeborg Bachmann,” Feministische Übersetzungstagung, University of Graz, Austria, June 2000.
  • Reading from Ingeborg Bachmann’s “The Thirtieth Year,” presented at American Literary Translators’ Association Annual Convention, Boston, November 2003.
  • Lilian M. Friedberg, Ingeborg Bachmann: The Legend, the Literature and the Legacy. Graduate seminar German 318taught at University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), 2006.
  • Readings from poems by Ingeborg Bachmann, presented at American Literary Translators’ Association Annual Convention, Seattle, WA, November 2006.
  • Lilian M. Friedberg, “Re-translating Classical Literature: Albert Einstein, Adolf Hitler, Ingeborg Bachmann,” presented at American Literary Translators’ Association Annual Convention, Seattle, WA, November 2006.
  • Readings from Last Living Words, presented at Broome Community College and Binghamton University, Binghamton, NY, Fall 2007.



  • Elfriede Jelinek, “Rosamunde,” transl. by Lilian M. Friedberg, for: The Power of Language. Museum Exhibition. New York: Austrian Cultural Forum, 2005. Excerpt publ. on Elfriede Jelinek website.
  • Elfriede Jelinek, “Music and Fear: Some Thoughts on Olga Neuwirth’s ‘Islands’,” transl. by Lilian M. Friedberg, for: The Power of Language. Museum Exhibition. New York: Austrian Cultural Forum, 2005.
  • Elfriede Jelinek, “Slicing Her Own Slit in Space: On Valie Export’s Video Installations,” transl. by Lilian M. Friedberg, for: The Power of Language. Museum Exhibition. New York: Austrian Cultural Forum, 2005.
  • Elfriede Jelinek, The Wall. Excerpt transl. by Lilian M. Friedberg, commissioned by Rowohlt Theater Verlag and Elfriede Jelinek. 2005. Published on Elfriede Jelinek website,
  • Elfriede Jelinek, Bambiland, transl. by Lilian M. Friedberg. In: Theater 39.3 (2009): 111-43. Also published on Elfriede Jelinek website.
  • Elfriede Jelinek, Sport Chorus. Transl. by Lilian M. Friedberg, commissioned by Museum of Contemporary Art in Kraków (MOCAK). Kraków, 2012.



Articles in Peer-Reviewed Journals:

Edited Volume:




  • Heide Goettner-Abendroth, The Goddess and her Heros. Transl. by Lilian M. Friedberg. Stow, MA: Anthony Publishing, 1995.
  • The Third Reich Sourcebook. Transl. by Lilian M. Friedberg. Introd., annot. and ed. by Sander L. Gilman and Anson Rabinbach. 991 pages. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2013.

Articles, Exhibition Catalogues, Conference Papers, Miscellany:

  • Stefanie von Schnurbein, “The Function of Loki in Snorri Sturluson’s Edda,” transl. by Lilian M. Friedberg. In: History of Religions Journal: An International Journal for Comparative Historical Studies 40.2 (2000): 109–24.
  • Henryk Broder, “We Invented the Holocaust!” Transl. by Lilian M. Friedberg. In: Transition: An International Review 89.11.1 (2001): 74–87.
  • Emine Sevgi Özdamar, “My Berlin,” transl. by Lilian M. Friedberg. In: Chicago Review 48.2/3 (2002): 226–30.
  • Henryk Broder, “The Germanization of the Holocaust,” transl. by Lilian M. Friedberg. In: A Jew in the New Germany—Selected Writings by Henryk Broder. Ed. by Sander L. Gilman and Lilian M. Friedberg. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press, 2003, 102–112.
  • Henryk Broder, “Tagar and the Teepee Family,” transl. by Lilian M. Friedberg. In: A Jew in the New Germany—Selected Writings by Henryk Broder. Ed. by Sander L. Gilman and Lilian M. Friedberg. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press, 2003, 122–129.
  • Henryk Broder, “Just in Time: A Catholic Casuist on the Front in the War on Terror,” transl. by Lilian M. Friedberg. In: A Jew in the New Germany—Selected Writings by Henryk Broder. Ed. by Sander L. Gilman and Lilian M. Friedberg. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press, 2003, 139–145.
  • Timetables of History. 4th edition. 2000—2004 period transl. by Lilian M. Friedberg et al. literEd. byBernard Grun. 848 pages. New York: Simon & Schuster/Touchstone, 2005.
  • Najem Wali, “The Iraqi Literary Scene before and after April 9, 2003,” transl. by Lilian M. Friedberg. In: Literature from the Axis of Evil: Writing from Iran, Iraq, North Korea and Other Enemy Nations. Words Without Borders, ed. New York: The New Press, 2006, 51–54.
  • Dietmut Niedecken, “Work which is not to be seen. The institutional countertransference in dreams,” transl. by Lilian M. Friedberg. In: The countertransferential dream in psychoanalytic theory and practice. Ed. by Helmwardt Hierdeis, Göttingen, 2010.
  • Uta Karacaoğlan, “Tattoo and Taboo: On the Meaning of Tattoos in the Analytic Process,” transl. by Lilian M. Friedberg. In: International Journal of Psycho-Analysis 93.1 (2012): 5–28.
  • Edelbert Köb, “The Artist Who Swallowed the World When It Was Still a Disc: Reflections on the Work of Erwin Wurm in the Austrian and International Context,” transl. by Lilian M. Friedberg. In: Erwin Wurm: Good Boy, Exhibition Catalogue, Museum of Contemporary Art in Kraków (MOCAK). Kraków, 2013, 20–40.
  • Claudia Slanar, “Compelling Logic: On Josef Dabernig’s Films,” transl. by Lilian M. Friedberg. In: Josef Dabernig: 14 Films, Exhibition Catalogue, Museum of Contemporary Art in Kraków (MOCAK). Kraków, 2013, 161–64.
  • Angela Mauss-Hanke, “‘To hear significance is to translate’ (George Steiner) – psychoanalytic considerations about capabilities and limitations of translation processes in literal and clinical work,” transl. by Lilian M. Friedberg. Presentation at the International Psychoanalytic Association in Prague, 2013.
  • Angela Mauss-Hanke, “Psychoanalytic Considerations about the Anti-Oedipal Condition in Heinrich von Kleist’s Penthesilea and in the Analysis of Miss M.,” transl. by Lilian M. Friedberg. In: International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 94 (2013): 477–499.
  • Angelika Nollert, “Jirí Kolár and Nuremberg,” transl. by Lilian M. Friedberg. In: Jirí Kolár: Collage with an Ermine, Exhibition Catalogue, Museum of Contemporary Art in Kraków (MOCAK). Kraków, 2013, 8–12.
  • Jürgen Kaumkötter, “Their Livers Pecked to Pieces,” transl. by Lilian M. Friedberg. In: Medicine in Art, Exhibition Catalogue, Museum of Contemporary Art in Kraków (MOCAK). Kraków, 2016, 39–63.
  • Axel Hinrich Murken, “Medicine and the Healing Arts in the Work of Joseph Beuys,” transl. by Lilian M. Friedberg. In: Medicine in Art, Exhibition Catalogue, Museum of Contemporary Art in Kraków (MOCAK). Kraków, 2016, 87–103.
  • Tex Rubinowitz, “Melancholy of the Moment,” transl. by Lilian M. Friedberg. In: Daniel Spoerri: Art Taken Out of the Ordinary, Exhibition Catalogue, Museum of Contemporary Art in Kraków (MOCAK). Kraków, 2016.
  • Laura Viviana Strauss, “From pilot fish to analyst: Finding a path between autistic and symbiotic defences,” transl. by Lilian M. Friedberg. In: International Journal of Psycho-Analysis 97.6 (2016): 1521–1545.
  • Elisabeth Imhorst, “Experiences of and with homosexual applicants, candidates and colleagues in the Cologne-Düsseldorf Working Group of the DPV / IPA since 1995,” transl. by Lilian M. Friedberg. Lecture presented at the European Psychoanalytical Federation (EPF) Symposium “Homosexuality: the practice of psychoanalytical societies in Europe and the experience of psychoanalysts in their daily practice.” Brussels, March 3–5, 2017.

Curricular Material:

  • Lilian M. Friedberg, SparkNotes German Grammar Chart. New York: Barnes & Noble, 2000.


  • Uta Karacaoğlan and Riccardo Lombardi, “Microprocesses at the Body-Mind Border in the Psychoanalysis of Psychosis,” publication forthcoming in International Journal of Psycho-Analysis.


2018–Present: Forced “retirement” resulting from permanent disability (stage IV lung cancer)

2000—2018: Freelance editing and translation—includes translation from German and providing editing services to academic professionals throughout the United States and abroad; preparing articles and book-length manuscripts for publication in academic journals, anthologies, and edited volumes for publishing houses such as Princeton University Press, Camden House, Yale University Press, University of California Press, Austrian Cultural Forum (NY), Foundation EVZ (Berlin), Words without Borders, International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, Museum of Contemporary Art in Kraków, Poland, and others.

2014–2015: Adjunct professor, North Central College, Naperville, IL, Department of Modern and Classical Literature:

  • Topics in Language and Culture: Sherman Alexie: Urban Indian Identity—Unleashing the Limits of Language
  • Introduction to Classical Mythology
  • Topics in Language and Culture: Polycultural/Multilingual Literature and Film (Special Focus on Native American Literature)

2011–2015: Adjunct professor, City Colleges of Chicago, Department of Humanities:

  • Literary and Visual Arts
    • Philosophy, Music and Drama
    • Urban Black Culture
    • World Literature

2010: Adjunct professor, East-West University, Chicago, IL, Department of English:

  • English Rhetoric and Style

2004–2006: Visiting Assistant professor, University of Illinois-Chicago:

  • Third/fourth semester German language, using Kontakte: A Communicative Approach
  • Introduction to Germanic Cultures and Literatures
  • Special Topics:

                        Translation Studies

                        German Literature in Translation

                        Ingeborg Bachmann: The Legend, the Literature, and the Legacy

2000—2003: Assistant Editor, Germany Quarterly


  • 8 years’ residence, work as grant writer, translator/technical writer in Germany 1984-1993
  • study travel to West Africa 1989, 1991, 2000, 2001; extensive experience with Afro-European and West African cultures
  • travel to Germany 1994/95/96/99/2000/02/06
  • travel to Austria 2000/2006


  • (American) English native speaker
  • native proficiency in German
  • reading knowledge of French
  • some knowledge of Ojibwe (Anishinaabemowin)

Writings Under Penname “Grumpelstillchen” (DailyKos)

When you’ve been around as long as I, and you’re “on your way out” anyway, there’s little reason to hide behind a penname. So here goes. Some writings I still think have something valuable to say:

Surviving Suicide: An Old Post Revisited

Memo from the Department of Homeland Insecurity: Can We Quit the Blame Game and Talk about Healing

* Publications, education and employment history through 2011 under the name Lilian M. Friedberg.

[1] Mary Daly’s Outercourse: The Be-Dazzling Voyage (San Francisco: Harper San Francisco, 1992) acknowledges my contributions as a drummer and my ‘be-dazzling’ presence at these events without making mention of my contributions as a translator, interpreter, or scholar (see Outercourse, 307, 382, 404, 441, 465).

[2] “Save the Universe” is the title of one-woman shows I produced and performed at various locations in Germany (later in the United States). These bi-lingual (German/English) performances combined literary elements (prose/poetry by Ingeborg Bachmann, Sylvia Plath, music by The Roches [New York-based, US-American all-female vocal group], stories/legends from the American Indian [Ojibwe] tradition, original narratives, etc.) with the drum traditions of the Malinke people, as well as original musical compositions.

[3] In the years preceding her untimely death in 2004, renowned Latina/Mestiza/Feminist scholar Gloria E. Anzaldúa was compiling an anthology entitled Bearing Witness, Reading Lives: Imagination, Creativity and Cultural Change.” Running in Vicious Circles” was revised and slated for publication in that volume. The anthology never went to press due to Anzaldúa’s deteriorating health and eventual death. The final, revised version of the article is available on the Chicago Djembe Project website at address provided above.

[4] The Hooked on Drums blog includes an entry outlining in greater detail the history of djembe drumming in Germany, and the way this relates to the insurmountable obstacles which ultimately led to my cessation of these professional activities in 2010.


[5] This article was later revised and included in my PhD dissertation under the chapter title “’Undine’s Valediction’: Undine geht in die Fremde! Or A Liberal Translation of Bachmann’s ‘Undine geht’.” In: Lilian M. Friedberg, “’Had We but the Word…’: A Critical Commentary on Thickly Descriptive Translations of Ingeborg Bachmann” (PhD thesis, UIC, 2004), 42–87.

[6] This represents the only English-language print version of Jelinek’s Bambiland.