Anne Fagerburg has lived in Belgium since she was six years old. She says
she developed an interest in the classics and creative writing early. Living
in Belgium, she was exposed to many languages. She purports that she
writes better in French. Her pursuits to learn another romance language
lead her to choosing Spanish as her major at Knox College.
While in Belgium, Fagerburg says she told her father that she wanted to attend college in the United States. Her father, Ted Fagerburg '71, introduced her to several liberal arts colleges in the States. "We visited Knox first, of course, since my dad went here. The visit clinched it."
Although Fagerburg admits to having a hard time writing at length, she embarked on an Honor's project her senior year, "La Malinche: Enigma de Mexico". In it, Fagerburg examined the life and times of Dona Marina or La Malinche as history would call her.
La Malinche was at the least, an interpreter for conquistador Hernando Cortez in the Conquest of the New World during the 16th century. "There aren't many records about her, and I found her very mysterious. Everyone seemed to take what they wanted from her personality as a historical being, but they never took her as a whole person."
La Malinche's very name (which translates to 'the captain's woman') still stirs up controversy. Many Mexicans continue to condemn the woman, labeling her a traitor and harlot for her role as the alter-ego of Cortes as he conquered Mexico. "She is also considered the mother of the mixed race people in Mexico. But, there is a lot of untrue information about her."
Fagerburg, herself, is interested in becoming a translator. She estimates that 75% of her research was in Spanish. But, she says her main goal was to demystify La Malinche. "Everything I came across was interesting and I worked with a lot of historians. I am considering continuing my research during my graduate studies."
The people of modern Mexico viewed her as a betrayer, and a despised villain; conversely, the people of Spain viewed her as a hero. "I didn't find the popular images of her," she says.
Fagerburg is involved in Delta/Delta/Delta sorority, International Club, a member of Senior Challenge and tutors students in Spanish. She also studied abroad in Barcelona through Knox's student abroad program. "That was a great opportunity, and because my family was in Belgium, I had a chance to see them."
She is planning on working in Belgium after graduation. While thinking about returning home, she reflects, "I will miss everything about Knox. It has been great. I really flourished a lot here."