November 1983 Newsletter
WOMEN IN GERMAN
The Coalition of Women in German, an all led organization of the MLA, invites students, teachers and all others interested in feminism and German Studies subscribe to the newsletter. See last page of newsletter for rates.
Women in German Steering Committee:
Marianne Burkhard, U. Illinois (1980-83)
Chair, Political Action Committee
Co-editor, Women in German Yearbook (1982-)
Martha Wallach, U. Wisconsin-Green Bay (1980-83)
Ritta Jo Horsley, U. Mass., Boston (1981-84)
Conference coordinator, 1983
Almut R. Poole, Los Angeles (1981-84)
Jeannine Blackwell, Michigan State U. (1982-85)
Barbara D. Wright, U. Conn., Storrs (1982-85)
Chair, Textbook Review Committee
Sandra Frieden, U. Houston (1983-86)
Edith Waldstein, M.l.T. (1983-86)
Conference coordinator, 1983, 1984
Director of Membership: Karen R. Achberger, St. Olaf College
The Women in German Newsletter is published in March, August and November of each year.
Deadlines for material to appear in the newsletter:
February 15 (March issue)
August 1 (August issue)
November 1 (November issue)
Send material to: Jeanette Clausen, Newsletter Editor
Women in German
Department of Modern Foreign Languages Indiana U.-Purdue U.
Fort Wayne, IN 46805
TABLE OF CONTENTS: Page #
AATG and MLA 1983 ... 3.
WiG 1983 ... 5.
WiG 1984 ... 25.
Call for Papers ... 26.
FORUM ... 27.
Brief aus Berlin ... 31
Research Projects ... 33.
WiG Membership List . . . 39.
Membership/Subscriptions ... 45.
WOMEN IN GERMAN
If I can't find my desk top under all the newsletter contributions, then this must be November. Many thanks to all of you who sent in summaries, reactions, announcements, etc. Most of this issue concerns the October 1983 conference, which was, as always, a very intense and rich experience. In addition to our invited guest, Austrian author Barbara Frischmuth, we were joined by Margot Schroeder and Johanna Haake from West Germany, who decided in late summer to schedule their trip to the US to coincide with our conference. And, of course there were about 80 of us Wiggies present—the largest turnout at a WiG conference yet! As you will see in reading the conference reports, we seem to be experiencing some, uh, growing pains, you might say. We are also getting a lot accomplished. Not, of course, without a great deal of hard work by many women: special thanks to Edith Waldstein (MIT) and Joey Horsley (U. Mass., Boston) for all their work organizing the conference and coordinating arrangements with Thompson Island; Sidonie Cassirer and Bunny Weiss for their work on the syllabi project; outgoing steering committee member Martha Wallach for all her work on arranging Barbara Frischmuth's visit to WiG and subsequent readings at several universities (in cooperation with the Austrian Institute)--Martha, you have done an outstanding job!--as well as to all the session coordinators and others who worked in one way or another to make WiG 1983 a success, not least among them Karen Achberger, who has become our resident expert in corresponding with authors and in getting new members (she has been named Director of Membership in recognition of this work). We also thank Patsy Baudoin of Schoenhof's Foreign Books, who again brought books to the island during the conference. Of course, we thank Marianne Burkhard (U. Illinois) and Edith Waldstein (MIT) for their ongoing work on the WiG Yearbook project. And I know everyone who attended the conference joins me in thanking Susan Cocalis for getting people together on the spot to put on a hilarious cabaret on Saturday evening (with costumes, yet!), which featured such unforgettable appearances as Jeannine Blackwell as president of the South Carolina Future Homemakers of America, Dagmar Lorenz as Hausmutti des German Hauses, Margot Schroeder in an earlier incarnation as a Hamburg housewife, Susan Cocalis in "The Princeton Incarnation," and much much more--l would tell you more about it, but you had to be there, as the saying goes. --Back to "serious business;" here are some up-to- date reports on WiG projects.
WIG SYLLABI COLLECTION
The syllabi collection, edited by Sidonie Cassirer and Bunny Weiss, was distributed to everyone who attended the conference, and was mailed to all the rest of you on November 10th. So it should reach you soon if it hasn't already (bulk mail can be so unpredictable!)--if you don't receive it soon, write to me, Jeanette Clausen, at the newsletter address. Additional copies can be ordered for $2.00 to cover postage (first class) and handling.
Co-editors Marianne Burkhard and Edith Waldstein reported that they aim to have the manuscripts for the WiG 1982 Yearbook to the University Press of America by the end of December. After UPA reviews the collection, a camera- ready manuscript must be prepared; the finished book will be ready within two months or so of camera-ready manuscript submission. So, our first yearbook should be available by late spring 1984.
At the conference, we agreed that the 1983 Yearbook would not be restricted to papers presented at WiG sessions (as was the case for the 1982 volume), but rather, open to all WiG members who wish to send a manuscript for consideration. Again, the manuscripts will be refereed by other WiG members, and the co-editors will make the final decision. All questions should be directed to the co-editors. Send manuscripts (one copy to each) to: Marianne Burkhard, [redacted] and Edith Waldstein, [redacted]
DEADLINE for receipt of manuscripts for the 1983 volume: February 1, 198A
As we have all known for years, the need for more English translations of works by women from the German-speaking countries continues to be acute. The WiG syllabi collection documents this in a very concrete way: many contributors to the syllabi collection use the one available anthology (Herrmann/Spitz, German Women Writers of the 20th Century) in their courses, and many state that they would teach more courses in translation, or teach existing ones differently, if more texts were available in translation. YOU can help by contacting the following people:
1. Nancy Lukens and Dorothy Rosenberg are planning a two-volume collection (one GDR, one FRG) of poetry and prose by contemporary women writers in translation. The collection will be organized around three topics: women and work, women and family, women and self-image. Nancy and Dorothy invite your suggestions as to texts you think most important to include. Also, let them know if you have done your own translation of a suitable work but haven't published it. Addresses: Nancy Lukens, Dept.of German, College of Wooster, Wooster, OH 44691, and Dorothy Rosenberg, Dept. of Modern Foreign Languages, Colby College, Waterville, ME 04901.
Also, please let Bunny know if you have knowledge of other translation projects currently underway. There is so much to be done that we wish to avoid duplication of effort.
P.S.: the collection German Feminism: Readings in Politics and Literature (eds. Hoshino, Clausen, Schultz, Stephan) is now (finally!) scheduled for publication by SUNY Press in summer 1984 ("if nothing goes wrong.").
By the time you read this, the San Francisco AATG will be past history; however, here is the WiG program to refresh your memory.
WOMEN AND PEACE
Friday, 25 November, 2:45-6:OO p.m.1. "Teaching About Women and Peace," coord. Kelga W. Kraft (U. Florida) and Richard Johnson (IPFW). Presenters: Barbara F. Hyams (U. Tulsa)--Images of Women and Peace in the New German Cinema; Kathryn Strachota (Stanford U.)-- Women in the Military; Sydna Stern Weiss (Hamilton Coll.)—A Teaching Module: Women and Peace.
2. "Women, Literature and Peace," coord. Edith Potter (Scripps Coll.) and Jorun B. Johns (California State Coll., San Bernardino). Presenters: Irmgard Hunt (Texas Tech. U., Lubbock)--Frauen fur Frieden: Gedichte, Schi1derungen, Reflexionen; Myra N. Love (Purdue U.)--Christa Wolf: Literatur heute muß Friedensforschung sein; Edna H. Spitz (Stanford U.)--Bertha von Suttner,Champion for Peace: "Lay Down Your Arms. Tell that to Many, Many . . .;" Dagmar Lorenz (Ohio State U.)--Else Lasker-Schuler and Her Pacifist Ideas.
A brief business meeting, chaired by Bunny Weiss, will follow. The major agenda items are selection of coordinators for next year's AATG sessions, one on film and one (again) on women and peace; and discussion of possible places to hold the WiG conference on the west coast in the future.
We hope you'll support WiG and WiG members by attending the following sessions, or, if you absolutely have to be someplace else during these times, telling other people to attend them.
#27. THE POET AND THE POEM: RACE, SEX AND LANGUAGE IN INGEBORG BACHMANN
Tuesday, 27 December, 7:00-8:15 p.m., Chelsea B. Sheraton
Presiding: Karen Achberger (St. Olaf Coll.). Presentations: 1. "'Die Weissen, sie sollen verflucht sein': Gender, Race, and History in Ingeborg Bachmann's Der Fall Franza," Sara Lennox (U. Mass., Amherst); 2. "A Terrible Euphoria: Ingeborg Bachmann and Ulrike Meinhof," Helen Fehervary (Ohio State U.); 3- "Die Utopie hinter der Wand: Die weibliche Perspektive in Ingeborg Bachmanns Prosa," Sigrid Weigel (U. Hamburg). Respondent: Renate Voris (U. Virginia).
#68. WOMEN MAKING LITERARY HISTORY: THE NEW GENERATION OF WOMEN WRITERS IN THE GDR Tuesday, 27 December, 9:00-10:15 p.m., Senate, Sheraton
Presiding: Renate Delphendahl (U. Maine, Orono) and Patricia Herminghouse (U. Rochester). Presentations: 1. "The Year 197^: Laying the Foundation for the New Generation," Gudrun Brokoph-Mauch (St. Lawrence U.); 2. "The Third Wave: New Women Writers and Women's Issues in the GDR," Dorothy Rosenberg (Colby Coll.); 3. "I = Myself: Women Taking Hold of Their Lives," Elisabeth Nations (Augustana Coll., Illinois); 4. "'Weil es nicht selbstverständlich ist': Abortion Experiences in Recent Fiction by GDR Women Writers," Jeanette Clausen (Indiana U.- Purdue U., Fort Wayne).
MLA 1983 (continued)
#189. FEMINIST RE-VISIONS OF GERMAN LITERARY HISTORY
Wednesday, 28 December, 12:00 noon - 1:15 p.m., Commonwealth, Sheraton
Presiding: Sieglinde Lug (U. Denver). Presentations: 1. "Working Class Women Writers in Wilhelmine Germany and the Literary Canon," Joan Reutershan (New York U.); 2. "Methodological Considerations toward a New 'Image' of Women in Literary History," Julie Prandi (Columbia U.); 3. "Deconstructing the Canon," Jeannine Blackwell (Michigan State U.).
The program will conclude with a brief business meeting.
#299. CASH BAR ARRANGED BY THE COALITION OF WOMEN IN GERMAN AND THE WOMEN'S CAUCUS FOR THE MODERN LANGUAGES
Wednesday, 28 December, 5:15-6:45 p.m., Nassau A, Hilton
#529. INTEGRATING WOMEN'S STUDIES INTO THE FOREIGN LANGUAGE CLASSROOM: NEW PROBLEMS, NEW SOLUTIONS
Thursday, 29 December, 3:30-4:45 p.m., Commonwealth, Sheraton
Presiding: Barbara Wright (U. Connecticut, Storrs). Presentations: 1. "Setting the Context: Integration across the Liberal Arts," Florence Howe (SUNY, Old Westbury); 2. "Linguistics' Challenge to Foreign Language Methodology," Barbara Wright (U. Connecticut, Storrs); 3- "The Teacher/Student (Disconnection," Virginia Thorndike Hules (Wellesley College); 4. "The Effects of Guidelines on Textbooks During the Last Decade," Francine Frank (SUNY, Albany).
* * * * *
WIG CHAPTER IN NEW YORK
The WiG chapter in New York, organized by Gesine Worm (Goethe House Library) and Marianne Goldscheider (Brooklyn) has been meeting once a month since September. At their first meeting they collected ideas and suggestions for a possible "Frauenliteraturtage" tentatively planned by the Goethe House for fall 1984. At the October meeting, Marianne Goldscheider reported to the group about the WiG conference in Boston. Plans for other meetings include discussion of Christa Wolf's Kassandra (November), and poetry translations done by the group members (December). Anyone wishing more information about this group should contact Gesine Worm at the Goethe House Library, 1014 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10028.
(if you are interested in starting a WiG chapter in your area, I will be happy to send you a zip-code-sorted list of current WiG members in your area to help you get started. --JC.)
In the August newsletter, Maria Wagner's book MathiIde Franziska Anneke was announced as forthcoming. This was grossly inaccurate--the book appeared in 1980 and is now out of print, erk. Maria Wagner's forthcoming book is: Gebrochene Ketten, ed. Maria Wagner. An anthology of Mathilde Anneke's slave stories, and samples of her feminist speeches. Akademischer Verlag Stuttgart.
Saturday evening BARBARA FRISCHMUTH
The largest group of participants at the conference (about 85) gathered for the evening with Barbara Frischmuth. In my introduction, I focused on Frischmuth's unmistakably female voice within the--predominantly male--genera- tion of post-1965 writers with whom she is associated. (She was the only female member of the Forum Stadtpark in Graz.) She consistently criticizes from the perspective of women and children; her works are informed by a tension between fantasy (dreams, fairy tale and mythic elements) and reality. Often the line between the two is difficult to draw. Frischmuth sees the modern poet's imagination, or that of her protagonists, as related to the more hallucinatory vision of a mystic like Hildegard von Bingen.
In the first half of the evening Frischmuth read an essay she had written especially for our meeting ("Ich dachte mir, bei einer Gruppe von Germanistinnen, so müßte man . . .") . Entitled "Eine souveräne Posaune Gottes: Gedanken zu Hildegard von Bingen und ihrem Werk," the essay will be published in its entirety in the forthcoming WiG Yearbook. After a discussion of the Catholic tradition of mysticism and Hildegard's imagery there was a short break; during the second half of the evening Frischmuth read us a recent, still unpublished story in which a certain "Greta G." encounters a puma in Vienna. Interweaving the whimsical and the prosaic, the "real" and the "surreal," humor and seriousness, the story elicited an animated and satisfying discussion.
--Karen Achberger St. Olaf College
MARGOT SCHROEDER AND JOHANNA HAAKE
As most of you recall, Margot Schroeder was WiG's guest at the 1980 conference in Racine. Several of us who attended the Hamburg conference (May 1983) renewed our acquaintance with her there--so, when Margot received a Reisestipendium for travel to the US later in the summer, she and Johanna decided to attend WiG during their stay (Oct. 7-29, 1983). They spent their first several days in New York with Miriam Frank, and Margot gave a reading at the Deutsches Haus there. She also visited both U. Mass.-Boston and M.l.T. before coming to the WiG conference; she and Johanna then left for San Francisco. Johanna Haake, a librarian by profession, is active in the West German peace movement, as is Margot. So both of them were much in demand during breaks and at meals to bring Wiggies up to date on recent peace movement activities. Their addresses are: Margot Schroeder, [redacted] Johanna Haake, [redacted] Here is a fairly complete list of Margot Schroeder's books:
Ich stehe meine Frau. Frankfurt: Fischer Tb, 1975, Roman; Die Angst ist baden gegangen. Berlin: Fi et kau, 1976, Poem; Der Schlachter empfiehlt noch immer Herz. München: Wei smann, Frauenbuchver1ag, 1976, Roman; Wiederkäuer. Hamburg, 1977, Lyrik und Kurzprosa (vergriffen); Das kannst du laut sagen, Hannes. Hamburg: rororo rotfuchs, 1978, Jugendroman; Und die Kneipe gleich nebenan. Uber Barmbeck und seine Menschen. Hamburg: M £ K Hansa-Verlag, 1980; Nichts fällt nach oben. Berlin: Fietkau, 1981 , Poem; Die Vogelspinne. Monolog einer Trinkerin. München: Weismann, Frauenbuchverlag, 1982, Roman; Ganz schön abgerissen. Hamburg: rororo rotfuchs, 1983, Jugendroman.
WiG 1983 (continued)
Thursday evening, October 13, 1983
"Auf der Suche nach einer feministischen Germanistik"
For this opening session, I gave a brief review of WiG conferences over the past eight years, borrowing Christa Wolf's words "Wie sind wir so geworden, wie wir heute sind?" (bzw. wie wir noch werden!). I mentioned our ongoing attention to feminist process and its importance for collective decision-making and a productive sharing of ideas; our concern to find ways of working together to overcome the traditional active/passive (presenters/1isteners) split; the reasons underlying the scheduling of one "women only" session each year; our commitment to grappling with "uncomfortable" issues (homophobia, racism, antisemitism, classism) that have often divided women; and some issues that had surfaced in earlier discussions as to which language we use, German or English, and how these related to the conference theme "Stimme suchen, Stimme finden." I concluded by quoting Sara Lennox' 1982 description of WiG as "eine konkrete Utopie" and what that means to me: a space where I feel supported by and support other women.
Following my presentation we counted off into small groups to get (re-)acquainted with each other. One member of my group, a woman who has attended many WiG conferences, mentioned a discrepancy between what I had said and what she was feeling: she felt anxiety over the presentation she was scheduled to give, an anxiety she hadn't felt in previous years, and which seemed to be related to the structure (more "formal") of the session. Another woman, who attended WiG for the first time this year, shared her thoughts about finding a voice: "hier brauchen wir uns nicht zu verstellen, hier kann ich mich so geben, wie ich wirklich bin--aber wie bin ich eigentlich?" She also addressed the necessity of our finding a collective voice politically. Later, another "old-timer" shared her feelings of discouragement at times during the past year, with pressures to "produce," meet deadlines and so on leading her to wonder, more or less, whether there's life after tenure.
Unfortunately, my scribbled notes don't yield any further intelligible information about the discussion in my group and I don't have reports from the other groups. As you'll see from the reports of the concluding session, the answer to the question "wie werden wir noch/wie wollen wir werden?" isn't as clear as we might wish. After much thought, and discussion with other Wiggies, about WiG 1983, I keep returning to this thought: maybe one of the most important things we do at our conferences is to continually re-create our collective "self," by struggling to understand and respect each other's concerns. To quote Christa Wolf again: "Es muß dauernd entstehen, das ist es." (Christa T.). I hope we won't be too hard on ourselves and each other when we can't always meet the many different and sometimes contradictory expectations and needs that each of us brings to the group. I also hope we can keep making good use--as we did this year--of recreation (dancing, fun, even silliness) for this process of re-creating and take pride in what we've accomplished over the past eight years.
Indiana U.-Purdue U., Fort Wayne
WiG 1983 (continued)
Friday morning, October 14
STIMME SUCHEN: FEMINIST PERSPECTIVES ON WORK FROM VARIOUS DISCIPLINES.
Moderator: Judy Jamieson, Providence College.
"Women's Public and Private Voices in the German Romantic Salon"
The aim of this paper is to explain the romantic salon's significance for women in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. In order to do this, two preliminary questions must be addressed: 1) What is meant when one talks about the private and public spheres of this time? and 2) What did the romantic salon look like? In order to answer the first question, I examine conceptual categories introduced and discussed by Jurgen Habermas, Oskar Negt, Alexander Kluge and Jean Bethke Elshtain. Reflection upon these theoreticians, combined with socio-historical information about the period, leads me to conclude that the traditional definitions of the public as being that realm in which citizens share common information and experience and the private as the realm associated with domesticity and the family do not readily apply to the society of the Romantic Period. The sharp differentiation between these two spheres is not appropriate.
A description of the romantic salon makes this observation clear. In this conversational institution, which was led entirely by women and in which women were very well represented as guests, the private and public spheres merged. Public as well as private communication took place there. In addition, one finds a strong commitment to spontaneous conversation (as compared with the very structured dialogue of the seventeenth-century French salon) and the synthesis of intellect and sensuousness through conversation. This was to provide the individuals as well as the entire atmosphere with a sense of personal freedom, on the one hand, and a feeling of community, on the other. And it was the woman who was believed to be the most successful in realizing this synthesis of public and private, of political and personal concerns. With the swell of the Romantic Movement, which furthered the subjective in response to the extreme rationality of the Enlightenment, she could integrate these so-called female qualities, which were largely the result of her experiences in the private sphere, into her cultural and more public role of salon hostess or guest.
In conclusion, I would then say that the lack of differentiation between the private and public spheres in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries provided an opportunity for bourgeois women to develop their voices for a broader audience. The salons of Caroline Schlegel-Schel1ing, Rahel Varnhagen and Bettina von Arnim represent some of the most important women's voices of the Romantic Period. What they share is the refusal to differentiate between public and private issues.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
"The Issue of Voicelessness in Grimms' Kinder- und Hausmärchen"
Although the themes of silence and retirement from the world permeate German literature, they generally connote the crowning of a life of achievement for male
"The Issue of Voicelessness in Grimms' Kinder- und Hausmärchen" (continued)
characters but a precondition for acceptable behavior for females. Modern feminist critics link language to power, understanding discourse as domination. In Grimms' Tales silence exists as a narrative element, as in a curse, enchantment, or requirement; as an actual silence, measured by the amount of direct speech allotted to each character; and in relationship to the conferral of authority by the introductory words (fragen-antworten-rufen-sagen-sprechen).
The relationship of silence to powerlessness is mediated also by means of associated imagery (hunger, spinning, being bound to the stake). Related perhaps to ancient traditions of female power over nature is the fact that conjuring of natural forces lies exclusively with young and/or beautiful female characters.
Elshtain, Jean Bethke: "Feminist Discourse and Its Discontents 'Language, Power, and Meaning." Signs, Spring 1982, pp. 603-621.
Kamuf, Peggy: Fictions of Feminine Desire. Lincoln: University of Nebraska, 1982.
Landy, Marcia: "The Silent Woman" in The Authority of Experience: Essays in Feminist Criticism. Ed. Arleyn Diamond and Lee R. Edwards. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1977, p. 16.
Miller, Nancy: The Heroine's Text. New York: Columbia University, 1980.
Ostriker, Alicia: The Thieves of Language: Women Poets and Revisionist Mythmaking." Signs, Autumn 1982, vol. 8, no. 1, pp. 68-90.
--Ruth B. Bottigheimer
"Augusta Enders Schichanowsky: Malweib, Miner, Madwoman"
Little in Augusta Enders Schichanowsky's life (1865-1936) indicated she would lead anything but the typical life of a nineteenth century middle class woman. Born in 1865 in Forchheim, Bavaria, the daughter of an army gunsmith, she attended "Das Institut der Englischen Fräulein" in Kempten from 1876-1881, where she had the subjects usual for girls of the time: religion, biblical history, reading, memory training, female handwork, music, art, and French. Augusta undoubtedly did as other girls of her time and class; she remained at home, maybe dabbled in art and music, and waited for a husband to appear. Alfred Schichanowsky, fourteen years her senior, co-owner of a bookshop, married her in 1884 in Bayreuth and took her to Varel, a small, deeply and narrowly provincial town in the heart of East Friesland. If she were seeking more personal freedom than she had known with her parents, it was not to be had in Varel. Her marriage lasted ten years. In 1895, she attempted to get a divorce but had no grounds. Because she refused to return to her husband, he was then granted a divorce and custody of their son. She went to Berlin and earned her living as a portrait painter, a "Malweib." In 1900, she was 35. After hearing and reading
"Augusta Enders Schichanowsky: Malweib, Miner, Madwoman" (continued)
about gold rushes, she must have felt that it was "Nome or never," so she took an inheritance from her mother to finance the long trip to Nome and back. She went to Nome again in 1903 planning to stay, but was arrested, charged with insanity, convicted and sent to a hospital in Oregon, where she stayed until friends sent money for her return to New York. She spent most of the rest of her life in Munich earning her living from her art. She was a woman ahead of her times, wanting to be free of the strictures of her society and class, willing to go to extremes to achieve her goal. She clearly wanted out of the accepted female role of the period but set her goals too high and lacked the endurance and imagination to find one of the few possibilities open to women.
Her desire to settle near Nome was not a rash act, for she obviously had planned her move. She correctly expected frontier society to be freer, more liberal and generous than her own; but she forgot that even adventurers, gold seekers, and camp followers take their society's prejudices and conventions with them. An "eccentric" German artist seeking gold to finance polar exploration was beyond their comprehension and simply had to be insane.
A study of Schichanowsky's life leads one into the little explored topic of Künstlerinnenvereine and women's art education at the turn of the century, of women adventurers, and insanity.
--V. Joan Moessner
U. Alaska, Fairbanks
"Aspects of the 'Maternal Feminine' in Modersohn-Becker, Zille, and Kollwitz"
Thesis I: The feminine form, in and for itself, speaks of attitudes, directions, intuitions not to be understood as like or similar to the masculine. Woman, especially in her maternal designation, focuses in metaphysical terms on creativity, essences, and a profound knowing of things perhaps not verbally accessible. Question----► does modern feminism align itself, or discard, or juxtapose its voice of independence with this 'maternal feminine'?
Thesis II: A number of German artists, creating prior to the modern feminist upsurge, evidence in strong fashion (a) the form of the feminine ". . .von innen her getrieben in die Formen ihres Daseins.", and (b) delineate a tremendous strength in this form, so much so that the viewer must acknowledge, without overt instruction, the voice of stability, care, creativity, intelligence, and humor, all so apparent as a continuing theme for the artists. Question --- ► was this voice, speaking to issues of feminine strength and independent quality, a deliberate presentation by the artists, or does the viewer, in hindsight, re-interpret the artist and 'hear' a now- pertinent and supportive theme?
Friday afternoon, October 14
FINDING A VOICE IN THE PROFESSION. Moderator: Jeannine Blackwell, Michigan State U.
"On Teaching the German Letter 'G', retitled "Feminist Teaching Strategies"
This talk was intended to cover both anti-sexist and anti-homophobic teaching strategies. Due to the shorter-than-expected format of the session, it focused mainly on feminist teaching strategies.
Feminist pedagogy has three main elements, at least in its ideal state: a) content about women and sexism, together with other "isms" such as racism, antisemitism, classism; b) content about homosexuality and homophobia, because homophobia is used to reinforce traditional sex roles; c) the creation of a special relationship between teacher and students which makes possible mutual empowering, self disclosure, and valuing of personal experience. This relationship can be promoted in the traditional foreign language classroom by means of the following suggestions: 1) avoidance of political speeches; 2) the use of gestural representation and role modelling; 3) the taking of risks, for instance in self disclosure or explaining the process of the course; 4) accepting traditional views in order to avoid teacher-pleasing statements and excessive hostility; 5) exposing students to feminist views based on personal experience where possible, and accepting the reality of the long process involved in consciousness raising; 6) choosing a text which corresponds to the students' language abilities, so that unrealistic expectations do not create oppressive conditions.
Two valuable articles on teaching about homophobia include Leonore Gordon's "What Do We Say When We Hear 'Faggot'?" (interracial Books for Children Bulletin, Vol. 14, Nos. 3-4) and Elly Bulkin's "Heterosexism and Women's Studies," Radical Teacher, November 1980. Gordon describes consciousness raising exercises for elementary and junior high pupils: they are asked to think up labels or put downs for various groups, state how they would feel if they were the recipients of these labels, and comebacks they could use. Bulkin describes the heterosexism in Women's Studies and provides CR guidelines created by a group of interracial lesbians for heterosexual female teachers who wish to deal with their own homophobia and heterosexism. I would recommend these guidelines for small group discussions at a future WiG meeting, along with strategies for surviving as a teacher or professor if one deals with homophobia in class.
"Finding a Voice in Germany -- Thoughts on the Hamburg Conference"
The meeting of European feminists in Hamburg was very different from WiG in Wisconsin or Boston: it proudly called itself feministisch and wissenschaftlich, where American women scholars tremble at the words. There was a capacity crowd, with people turned away at the doors. Political protests about its location in the Amerika-Haus and aggressive denial of institutional support threatened it from the beginning. Inge Stephan and Sigrid Weigel, the organizers, could call on several years of feminist organizations — Frauenseminare, feminist presses
"Finding a Voice in Germany -- Thoughts on the Hamburg Conference" (continued)
and periodicals, and Frauenuni, as well as Women in German -- as a pool of experience. They learned by doing, as does every feminist activist. The conference faced different challenges, because it entered the fray at a later stage in feminism than did WiG: after much theory had been worked through, after the naivete of the early women's movement was replaced with a certain grim cynicism, after there were really feminist "experts."
Hierarchy based on "expertise" was a problem in Hamburg; the size of the conference (c. 300) forced its division into active speech givers and passive listeners. There was, however, a healthy feminist reaction from the "passive public," as students grouped to voice their complaints. By the last day of the conference there was a productive consensus about continuing the group. The last meeting brought in many participants and volunteers.
Issues and opinions: true or false?
The defensive stance of struggling feminist scholars in Hamburg was more pronounced than among American feminist scholars because
*** in America earlier social movements such as the civil rights movement have cleared some legal and emotional paths for women's participation in academe (Affirmative Action, regulation of tenure decisions, increase in the percentage of women, faster tenure), which is not the case in West Germany.
*** there is no institutional support in West Germany for feminist scholarship, not even symbolic, superficial, or hypocritical, and therefore it is almost impossible for women scholars to enter the debate, except on the terms of the hierarchical male establishment.
*** in America there are already some women in place as role models in academe, who feel a responsibility to support younger women scholars. This is not the case to a great extent in West Germany.
*** the male scholarly tradition in West Germany is more didactically science- oriented, shaped into outline form, and more dominated by the sarcastic put- down than its American counterpart, and thus is harder for women scholars to reject and/or overcome. The sexist agenda in American academe is more subtle.
*** the argumentative stance of leftist political discourse in Europe has been passed on to European feminism and is both better and worse than American feminist dialogue: better because it cuts through the hogwash, phrases, and compromises down to real differences and gut feelings, worse because it divides women into camps when it is not necessary, separates the "experts" from the public, and reinforces many women's view of themselves as weak, inarticulate, or constantly wrong.
Michigan State U.
WiG 1983 (continued)
Tagung vom 24. bis 27.5-1983 in Hamburg zum Thema
Feministische Literaturwissenschaft: zum Verhältnis von Frauenbildern und Frauenliteratur
Zusammenfassung der Thesen zur Feministischen Wissenschaft, die von Inge Stephan und Sigrid Weigel, Universität Hamburg, erarbeitet wurden:
1) Feministische Wissenschaft wird in der BRD am Rande und ausserhalb der akademischen Institutionen betrieben, sie beruht auf unbezahlter Frauenarbeit.
2) Es gibt Inseln femin. Wissenschaft: Es wird dabei Klarheit über die soziale, psychische und kulturelle Lage der Frau in der Geschichte gesucht.
3) An den Universitäten herrscht starker und militanter Antifeminismus. Oft sind etablierte und Erfolgreiche akadem. Frauen die schärfsten Gegnerinnen von Feministinnen.
4) Der heutige Stand feministischer Wissenschaft ist wegen mangelnder Institutionalisierung und materieller Abhängigkeit der Frauen gefährdet.
5) Alternativen, d.h. radikalfeministisehe Lern- und Arbeitsformen werden in der BRD wegen Stellenknappheit und Qualifikationsdruck kaum gewagt.
6) Ausseruniversitäre Frauenprojekte stellen für die fem. Wissenschaft einen notwendigen Austausch dar, findet in der BRD doch kaum statt.
7) "Frauenthemen" werden oft von Männern als konjunkturverdächtige "Modethemen" übernommen, entschärft und verwaltet.
8) Es gibt fast nur "Ausnahmefrauen" (token women) an Institutionen, und unter diesen Frauen gibt es viele Macht- und Autoritätsprobleme.
9) Es besteht eine Angst unter Frauen, ihren eigenen Anteil an ihrer Unterdrückung zu untersuchen.
10) Frauen neigen dazu, sich zu unterfordern, sich zu schnell zufrieden zu geben.
11) Jedoch hat man grosse Fortschritte in der Rekonstruktion weiblicher Kulturgeschichte und in Bezug auf die Ursachen und Funktionsweisen des Patriarchats gemacht.
12) Noch unterentwickelt sind: feministische Methoden, Arbeitsweisen, Skepsis gegenüber Quellen und Deutungen.
13) Abträgig ist die Abhängigkeit der feministischen Wissenschaft von Marktgesetzen, Verlagswesen und strukturellen Zensurmassnahmen.
14) Auswege sind lediglich in Ansätzen vorhanden (z.B. Teamarbeit, kollektive inner- und ausseruniversitäre Forschungs- und Lernprojekte, Organisation von Frauen auf fachspezifischer Ebene).
U. Florida, Gainesville
"Eindrücke über die Konferenz "Feministische Literaturwissenschaft"
Die Bedeutung der Konferenz für Germanistinnen in Deutschland kann nicht überschätzt werden. Es wurde eine grosse Anzahl von Arbeiten vorgelegt, die entweder vorgetragen oder in kleineren Gruppen diskutiert wurden. Das Panorama reichte
"Eindrücke über die Konferenz . . ." (continued)
von feministischer Aesthetik über Cinematographik bis zu der Untersuchung von Frauenrollen in der Literatur. Der Beobachterin aus den USA konnte Folgendes auffallen: Hatte die Konferenz traditionell begonnen wie mancher Germanistenkongress, so wurde sie langsam "revolutionär" unterwandert. Gruppen, die üblicherweise in Deutschland wenig zu Wort kommen, meldeten ihre Interessen an, so die Studentinnen, die gegen Ende gegen ihre auferlegte und verinnerlichte Sprachlosigkeit protestierten. Die Diskussionen zwischen den Sitzungen waren ebenso interessant wie die während derselben. Die Soziologie der deutschen Germanistinnen wurde sichtbar: wenige fest Angestellte, kaum im Hochschuldienst; viele Studentinnen, die studieren trotz schlechter Berufsaussichten; Arbeitslose. Prominente Germanistinnen fehlten z.T. auf der Konferenz, Indiz für die noch immer defensive Rolle, die Feministinnen einzunehmen gezwungen sind. Daher auch der in Inhalt und Stil offensichtliche Drang, sich zu 1 egitimisieren, auch Wissenschaft zu betreiben, selbst unter feministischem Vorzeichen. Die defensive Einstellung dem eigenen Tun gegenüber führte oft zu einer Imitation der traditionellen, patriarchalisch strukturierten und männlich beherrschten Germanistik und ihrem Gestus.
Letzteres war sicherlich nicht zuletzt der Grund, weshalb wiederholt diskutiert wurde, was eine feministische Literaturwissenschaft leisten könne, ob es sie überhaupt gebe--ob Germanistik an sich mit ihren herkömmlichen Prämissen unter die Wissenschaften zu rechnen zu sei. Die Konferenz eröffnete die Diskussion unter Germanistinnen in Deutschland. Hoffentlich wird sie fortgesetzt.
Ohio State U.
"Thoughts on the Hamburg Conference: Language, Feminism and Scholarship"
To begin to clarify the relationship between feminism and scholarship, the concept "feminist criticism" and the use of traditional research methods for feminists, I proposed that we consider the implications of how we name ourselves and what we do. When we defend our feminist work as "scholarly," are we somehow claiming to be both feminist and "objective" at the same time? Are we implicitly denying or minimizing the importance of our feminist ideology for radically transforming scholarship?
My observations from the Hamburg conference concerned the forms in which scholarly work is presented and discussed, and how these forms reproduce structures that divide us and/or divert our attention from the questions most important to us as feminists. The reading of lengthy prepared texts reproduces the active/ passive, expert/layperson split of traditional scholarship; argumentation techniques for defending or "proving" one's own thesis often force an unproductive either/or polarization of ideas and people. Some examples are: 1) reducing other people's conclusions to one (or a few) common denominator(s), rather than acknowledging and exploring difference and complexity; 2) separating theory and experience, presenting theory as more "important" than experience, rather than seeing experience as a valid basis for analysis and criticism; 3) disguising disagreement or lack of knowledge as something else (often as a concern for "method"), rather than acknowledging personal and political grounds for disagreement.
"Thoughts on the Hamburg Conference: . . ." (continued)
Questions I proposed for group reflection and distussion were: How can we discuss strongly-felt differences without creating hostility? What interaction patterns are available to us for this, what is the role of language (technical, scholarly, conversational, etc.)? How can we achieve the often-stated feminist goal of allowing theory to emerge from practice? What do we think theory is? How would our perspective on our work, and on ourselves, change if we called what we do "feminism" rather than "scholarship"?
Indiana U.-Purdue U., Fort Wayne
(Ed. note: A summary of Irmgard Taylor's excellent discussion of public speaking, also presented in the session on "Finding a Voice," wasn't available in time for this newsletter.)
Friday evening, October 14
"Rape -- Deny It a Future: A New Approach to Rape Prevention Education"
OutlineI. Definitions of rape and sexual assault/sexua1 violence:
a. scope and extent
3. from a victim's/survivor's perspective
II. Solutions (?)
2. prevention models
a. primary: elimination of causes
b. secondary: protection/avoidance vs. empowerment/education
3. tertiary: service and rehabi1itation/punishment
III. Main points:
1. The issue of sexual violence is huge and complex.
2. There is no direct connection between the motivation for sexual desire and sexual violence, but a connection between sexuality (as widely understood and practiced in our culture) and power (misuse of power) seems to be evident. We need to re-think the slogan of the early antirape movement: "Rape is violence - not sex" (as if the two have nothing in common).
3. Because of 1., there are no easy, fast solutions.
4. Women cannot prevent (in the sense of primary prevention) rape and sexual assault. "We can't prevent it since we are not doing it."
5. Traditional rape prevention strategies (avoidance/protection model) can do more harm than good.
6. A feminist empowerment model has a chance of changing our rape-prone culture into a rape-free society - but also encounters the greatest res¡stance.
7. Rape Prevention Education belongs in the academic curriculum of universities
--Almut R. Poole
WiG 1983 (continued)
Saturday morning, October 15
FICTION, FANTASY AND FREEDOM: TESTING THE LIMITS IN POST-WAR LITERATURE. Moderator: Barbara D. Wright, U. Connecticut.
"Fantasy as a Weapon: Irmtraud Morgner's Amanda: Ein Hexenroman"
Irmtraud Morgner's humor and optimism have darkened in the past decade, however, her fantasy has developed. In Amanda: Ein Hexenroman she has honed this unique fantasy and turned it into a literary weapon—wielded to help bring about radical change in the trajectory of history. She presents her strategies in powerful, carefully worked out metaphor.
Ohio State U.
Christa Reinig's recent texts--her novel Entmannung (1976), her collection of short stories and essays, Der Wolf und die Witwen (1979), and her poetry cycle, Müssiggang ist aller Liebe~Anfang (1979)—are written from a conscious and explicit feminist perspective. The questions they raise are basic: why are women oppressed and, above all, what are we going to do about it? All three texts set out from two premises: 1. that radical change is necessary, and 2. that it is possible. The prose texts are written from the perspective of a woman living and writing in a world controlled and ruled by men. Müssiggang, on the other hand, a set of 365 poems which record, in calendar form, the daily events in one year of the poet's life with her woman lover, is written from a "gynocentric" perspective. The shift in tone and mode of these texts, from the aggressive satire of the fictional voice to the lyrical simplicity and vulnerability of the poetic voice, reflects this shift in perspective. Seen together, they represent different attempts to create a space in which women can begin to become what we have the potential to be by going beyond the boundaries of what has been declared doable, thinkable, or even imaginable.
Observing the ubiquitous daily violence against women, Reinig concludes that the oppression of women at the hands of men can have only one logical explanation: they must, she argues, be different species. The female, she suggests, comes from the Cromagnon people, while the male is genetically Neanderthal.
The historical struggle between them, she concludes, is the struggle for survival of two similar, but essentially different species in competition for Lebensraum for themselves and their offspring. On the basis of these premises, Reinig proceeds to develop her vision, at once tongue-in-cheek satirical and grimly serious, of ultimate and deadly warfare between the sexes. In a war against opponents who will destroy us if we do not destroy them first, she insists, we must confront the need for violence.
In the context of a "New Femininity" within the German women's movement, Reinig's reminder that liberation is a power struggle with very real dangers and tangible consequences rather than a celebration of who we already are, is particularly important. However, her species argument is also quite problematic. For since it can too easily be misunderstood as mere ahistorical essentialism, it has a
“Grenz(über)gänge (Transgressions)” (continued)
dangerous reactionary potential. Of course, the satiric mode in which her argument is case defies us to take her “solution” seriously. By using satire to radically defamiliarize established ways of thinking about what has been and might yet be possible, she challenges us to rethink the analyses oh history and strategies for change that have thus far formed the basis for feminist theory and practice.
Satire, however, is a difficult weapon to weild effectively; it is not altogether safe, for it cuts two ways. Continuously transgressing the boundaries between the serious and the fantastic, deliberately blurring the distinction between what is said and what is meant, it leaves us—-readers--to think our own way through the problems raised in and by the texts. In contrast to other contemporary German feminist writers who provide their women readers with comforting, and comfortable, “Identifikationsliteratur,” Reinig refuses to do the thinking for us. She aims to provoke and disturb and that she does. What conclusions we come to, and what we decide to do about it, she leaves up to us.
“Ingeborg Bachmann, Joseph Roth and the ‘Hapsburg Myth’”
An important aspect of Ingeborg Bachmann’s prose fiction that has not been the focus of the recent excellent feminist criticism devoted to her work is its place within and its reaction to the mainstream of Austrian literature. Given the convincing claims for her exemplary anticipation of feminist issues and concerns, her apparent attraction to conservative tendencies within the Austrian literary tradition, manifestations of the so-called "Hapsburg Myth," demands scrutiny and explanation. This crucial matter can be examined in nuce in Drei Wege zum See, the story that concludes the volume Simultan. This narrative ostensibly describes a homecoming. Elisabeth Matrei, a successful photojournal ist, returns to Klagenfurt for a visit with her father. Yet during her brief stay her thoughts consistently return to a man she knew twenty years earlier: Franz Joseph Eugen Trotta. Trotta, as his name suggests, cannot be understood fully on the primary fictional level of the text. His origins lie in another fiction, in Joseph Roth's Die Kapuzinergruft, where he is mentioned briefly as the young son of the protagonist. By continuing the biography of this character and giving him a crucial role in the life of her heroine, Bachmann is not indulging in the Hapsburg nostalgia that permeates Roth's novel. Instead, her literary borrowing follows a more unconventional path and establishes dialogues on several levels of the text, dialogues between men and women, between tradition and innovation, between exile and home, and between literary history and personal history.
--Leo A. Lensing
[drawing: WARUM STEHT DIES ALLES NICHT
AUF UNSEREM LEHRPLAN?!]
WîG 1983 (continued)
"Negation und Utopie in Christa Wolfs Kein Ort. Nirgends"
In my analysis of the narrative technique in Christa Wolf's Kein Ort. Nirgends, I come to the conclusion that the voices of the characters and that of the narrator tend to converge and merge when social issues (e.g. the individual's alienation from society, the idea of progress) are being discussed. The text voices which alternate in presenting, modifying and This stylistic organization fulfills two purposes: address, indirectly, the issue of the individual's reduction to a function within the whole of society, and it suggests a new model of communication which the narrative presents as a utopistic alternative to existing rigid patterns of interaction.
--Sigrun D. Leonhard
Carleton Col 1ege
Einbildungskraft hat von vornherein in Frischmuths Werken eine wichtige Stelle eingenommen. Freilich hat sich im Laufe der Zeit die Rolle und Funktion der Imagination in Frischmuths Fiktion verändert. In ihren früheren Werken findet der imaginative Prozess in der Protagonistin selbst statt und ist oft nur eine Flucht vor der Wirklichkeit. Später finden wir eine kreative Imagination, die von der Erzählerin ausgeht, aber auch in verschiedenen Charakteren lokalisiert ist. Alltagsleben, Phantasie, das Übernatürliche, Intellekt, und utopische Vision werden auf diese Weise vereint. Diese Einbildungskraft hat sowohl einen visionären Charakter wie einen gesellschaftskritischen, indem sie die gedanklichen Normen der gegenwärtigen Gesellschaft angreift und ihre intellektuellen Äußerungen infrage stellt. Es ist eine befreiende und emanzipierende Imagination. Während die Welt des Mannes krank und abgewirtschaftet erscheint, sind Kinder und Frauen Träger dieser kreativen Einbildungskraft.
Ohio State U.
Sunday morning, October 16
"Lost Voices - New Voices:
Women's Popular Literature and the Literary Canon."
Moderators: Resa Dudovitz (U. Illinois) and Dorothy Rosenberg (Colby College)
In this session we posed four questions:
1) What need does popular literature fill?
2) What are the ideological functions of women's popular
3) What are the relationships between popular literature and the "canon"
4) Why have scholars been reluctant to look seriously at women's literature, past and present?
During the discussion we considered the fact that this literature composes the vast bulk of what is read, by anyone who reads at all, including ourselves. It provides an extremely important example of the social function of culture,
"Lost Voices - New Voices: . . ." (continued)
providing models of behavior for both sexes and reinforcing conservative social values. We discussed the need for us, both as feminists and as scholars, of understanding what this literature is and what it does as a first step toward reevaluating and reconstructing models of women in society.
Sunday morning, October 16
Concluding session, "Viele Stimmen," chaired by Edith Waldstein (M.l.T.) and Barbara D. Wright (U. Connecticut).
I started out with an outline of what Edie and I had identified as major themes of the conference: the public/private split and a variety of ways that values from the private sphere can be introduced into the public sphere; speech, silence and the difficulty that women can have finding a voice, particularly in the public sphere; anger, our discomfort and embarrassment with anger, and the necessity to transform anger from a paralyzing and destructive force into a positive one, especially in self-defense, in our institutions, and in our politics, particularly the peace movement; and the potential both of tradition and fantasy to provide liberating alternatives. ... I said that we had perhaps avoided some "unspeakable" topics at this conference . . . and I suggested we not get too comfortable in our treatment of the themes and issues the conference had raised.
When we opened the session to discussion, talk immediately turned from the specific themes I had raised to our process. [Some] argued that we had gotten too formal, too much like MLA . . . [while others] argued that the conference could also provide practice for MLA-style sessions in a supportive atmosphere while allowing for dialogue and informal exchanges, too. . . . [Speaking the unspeakable] happened for us this year when we began to confess to one another, at the very end, that many of us felt like "outsiders" despite years of membership or even positions on the steering committee. . . . One of the things I tried to start discussion on was just what we mean by "feminism". . . . We do have a responsibility ... to provoke, confront, raise uncomfortable questions.
We have a responsibility to keep the endeavor political. I don't know that it's just a question of scheduling more small groups, though. ... I think small group discussions can be just as useless as big formal lectures, if people in the group aren't working together or don't know what is expected of them.
Maybe what we need is to get someone with experience to do consciousness-raising exercises with us . . . small groups, but with structure.
Summary of the "Viele Stimmen" discussion:
This session provided a forum for WiG members to express diverging perceptions and experiences. Concerns voiced were:
Summary of the "Viele Stimmen" discussion: (continued)1. The structure and content of the October conference, and of WiG as an organization:
--concern about WiG's possible "bourgeoisification;" concern that WiG not become simply a "credentialing organization" where one gives/publishes (yearbook) papers, as in many other forums;
--focus on WiG as a feminist organization; concern about attempts to avoid using the patriarchal model of having longish papers delivered from a podium, and then lacking time for a small-group interchange with a rotating chair; showing respect for each other by respecting WiG deadlines (supporting session chairs). (Ed. note: hear, hear!).
2. Tensions within WiG
--the way in which WiG members feel pressure because they perceive themselves as outsiders or insiders, or think they are so perceived; the degree to which it can be difficult to join a meeting in which most people appear to know each other already;
--the concern participants may feel as to whether their feminism is "correct" enough when they speak;
--tensions arising from differing perceptions of WiG's "mission," with some members committed to specific political positions and a desire to transform not only WiG and the profession, but the world.
3. Concern that we not silence the voices addressing homophobia, classism, racism, antisemitism and the voice of anger.
Out of this passionate and deeply honest discussion grew the proposal to devote the Thursday evening session of WiG 1984 to the question "What do we want WiG to be?" (chaired by Dorothy Rosenberg and Gail Newman), perhaps opening with a panel whose members address the question of what WiG means to them. The hope is that people will speak about personal and emotional issues, perhaps introducing subjects on which they feel vulnerable; and that this (potentially) difficult session will have a liberating and unifying effect--on the order of the session "Viele Stimmen."
At WiG 1984 several people will meet at meals with people arriving during the conference to fill them in on what has happened prior to their arrival. We hope in this way to overcome tension based on how often one has attended WiG or on when one arrives at the conference.
Evaluation: The final "wrap-up" session is, I believe, an absolutely vital forum for evaluating the conference and sharing both emotional and intellectual concerns regarding WiG and our individual relationship to it.
--Bunny Weiss Vassar College
[drawing: Oh, Frau, ob die mich wohl mitmachen lassen?]
WiG 1983 (continued)
A comment on WiG 1983 by a "first-timer" . . .
Thoughts on my first WIG conference
As a graduate student whose financial situation made attending previous conferences impossible and having had only different versions of "the great WIG myth" to go on, I'd like to share my impressions on what it was like to finally be there.
In general, I was not at all disappointed: I can say without qualification that this is the only conference I ever attended which provided a space in which I felt totally comfortable and which revitalized me instead of draining me of all resources.
I found the papers given in the Saturday morning session especially stimulating-- it made me feel that we are all pulling in the same direction, even if we can't put our finger on exactly what we're doing (theory ???) . After this session I did however wish for more discussion on the issues raised in the papers. I appropriated this space for myself by talking to Angelika and Sheila privately since the public space was not appropriate (for me), though I would have liked to open our exchange to others. It was explicitly this point which was a basic problem for me throughout: expanding the borders of private discussions, i.e. integrating the private and the public into the space inbetween. Perhaps this could be found by determining small interest groups in the general discussion and breaking up into these afterwards. Counting off by numbers did not seem to sufficiently meet everyone's needs. I would encourage us to look for this space inbetween at next year's conference, to leave some room for improvisation, though it will be especially difficult since our agenda is already crowded with so many exciting topics, to which we can hardly do justice in the time allotted.
I wonder if less wouldn't give us more space inbetween.
Having experienced the frustrating pitfalls of large conferences whose very size gives way to hierarchical structures, I also want to make a case for watching for the danger signals of potential domination as WIG increases in size, which would split us into "they" (presenters/organizers/guest authors) and the passive masses. Even a rotating "they" is not something to be desired. Now that we know about the process of getting there, maybe we should devote some time to thinking about where we want to go, without getting bogged down in the nostalgia of "the way we were".
And a thank-you from Patsy:
On behalf of the Schoenhof's Foreign Books staff, I would like to thank you all for your interest, enthusiasm, encouragement and--yes, of course--your business. We hope that the information we bring you as well as the new titles we display are helpful to you and your students. Special thanks must be extended to Joey and Edith this year for the smoothness with which everything was organized and run. We look forward to attending future WIG conferences. Meanwhile, please let us know if we can serve you,your bookstores and your libraries better or more efficiently. See you all next year.
--Patsy Baudoin, Schoenhof's Foreign Books
WiG 1983 (continued)
Summary of WiG business and planning meeting
Saturday afternoon, October 16
Meeting chaired by Jeannine Blackwell
Four of the papers were still out at the time of the October conference. The manuscripts will be sent to the University Press of America by the end of the year. For this first volume, the contributors will bear the cost of preparing the camera-ready manuscript.
After discussion of how the yearbook might be done in the future, we agreed on the following: 1) to open the yearbook up to submissions from the WiG membership at large as well as to papers presented at WiG sessions, since members doing important feminist work might not be able to attend conferences; 2) to keep the topic open (rather than to announce a special focus or theme) so as not to limit ourselves for the present; 3) to make a policy of asking the guest authors if they want to contribute something to the yearbook (a short text, or an account of their experience at WiG); 4) Marianne and Edie will continue as co-editors for at least two years, so there will be continuity. The deadline for receipt of manuscripts for the 1983 volume is 1 February 1984.2. Report on the syllabi project (Sidonie Cassirer and Bunny Weiss). Bunny reported that they had sent out about 650 letters to WiG members and MLA-listed Women's Studies programs requesting contributions to the syllabi booklet.
They received financial support for the mailing and printing, etc. from Hamilton College and the Kirkland Endowment (a fund which supports projects for women's education).
It was agreed that everyone who picked up their syllabi booklets during the conference would pay $1.00. It was also agreed that the booklets would be sent to all other WiG members without charge; and that non-members would be asked to pay $2.00 to cover postage (first class) and handling to receive the booklet. Women's Studies programs are to be notified by postcard that the booklet is available, and announcements should be placed in appropriate journals and newsletters. (N.B.: we already did this--Erin, Connie and Jeanette). Also, the booklet should be shown at other conferences (you can do this--and we hope you will!).3. Finances. Jeanette Clausen gave a financial report, the gist of which was that while we are taking in more money than last year, we are also spending more. We are doing more mailings (in 1983: textbook reviews and syllabi in addition to 3 newsletter issues, plus a set of calls for papers in January). Newsletters keep getting longer and hence more expensive to duplicate and mail. Also, WiG had to pay for Barbara Frischmuth's overseas flight (the Austrian Institute paid her travel within the US), and we will almost certainly have to pay for one plane ticket next year, possibly two. And, money is needed to support special projects. A request from Marianne Burkhard for about $150.00 to pay a student assistant to help finish her project for WiG, a statistical report on women in rank in 120 German departments from 1965 on, was approved.
Summary of WiG business and planning meeting (continued)
After considerable discussion, those present voted to approve a new dues structure to take effect January 1, 1983. Note that this new structure represents an increase only for those earning higher salaries, not for students, the unemployed, or the severely under-employed. It is comparable to the dues structure of WCML, also an allied organization of the MLA.
A student, unemployed
B annual salary $10,000. to 15,000.
C $15,001. to 20,000.
D $20,001. to 25,000.
E $25,001. and up
F supporting individuals
G supporting departments --$25.00 per year
For one year
For two years
Edie Waldstein (M.l.T.) will again serve as general coordinator of the WiG conference. Judy Jamieson (Providence College) will coordinate registration and arrangements with the conference center on Thompson Island. The conference date was also discussed; and we agreed on the first weekend after October 15 of each year (to get lower plane fares available after Oct. 15). So, the dates of the next conference are October 18-21, 1984.6. Election of new steering committee members. (Outgoing members are Martha Wallach and Marianne Burkhard). Nominated were: Angelika Bammer, Marianne Burkhard, Sandy Frieden, Dorothy Rosenberg, Edith Waldstein. Ballots were distributed to everyone present. The two members elected are Sandy Frieden (U. Houston) and Edith Waldstein (M.l.T.). Karen Achberger (St. Olaf College) was appointed Director of Membership in recognition of the excellent work she's done in getting new WiG members and to encourage her to keep on doing this. Concerning specific positions on the steering committee, Barbara Wright (U. Connecticut) will be the new coordinator of textbook reviewing, and Sandy Frieden (U. Houston) will take over the position of fund-raising coordinator.
Summary of WiG business and planning meeting (continued)7. Topics for WiG 1984. Many topics were suggested and there was much discussion, which I can't do justice to in a report. Here are the topics as agreed on during the meeting, bzw. as adjusted during the Sunday morning session.
Thursday, Oct. 18: "What do feminist Germanists want (or need)?" What do we want WiG to be? Coord. Dorothy Rosenberg (Colby Coll.) and Gail Newman (Williams Coll.).
Friday morning, Oct. 19: Women and Humor. Coord. Karen Achberger (St. Olaf Coll.) and Sheila Johnson (OSU).
Friday afternoon, Oct. 19: Feminist Pedagogy, to focus on three areas: the teaching of language, the teaching of literature, and the teaching of film.
Coord. Marlene Heinemann (U. Wyoming) and Joan Moessner (U. Alaska).
Friday evening, Oct. 19: Helga Schütz, reading and discussion. Coord. Pat Herminghouse (Rochester U.).
Saturday morning, Oct. 20: Witches and Wise Women. Coord. Jeannine Blackwell (Michigan State), Patsy Baudoin (Schoenhof1s), and Jeanette Clausen (IPFW).
Saturday afternoon, Oct. 20: Business and Planning Meeting, starring the WiG steering committee.
Saturday evening, Oct. 20: Irmtraud Morgner, reading and discussion. Coord. Christiane Zehl Romero (Tufts U.).
Sunday morning, Oct. 21: concluding session, still untitled. Coord. Sandy Frieden (U. Houston) and Margaret Ward (Wellesley Coll.).
There was also discussion of what we should do if one or both of our GDR guests should be unable to come to the conference. Sandy Frieden agreed to be responsible for finding a film to show on one of the evenings if this should be the case.
(Ed. note: The issue of an evening's entertainment wasn't discussed at the business meeting, but some of us had fun thinking of possibi1ities--having a Hexensabbat, for example, or maybe a witch trial in reverse (the witches interrogate the inquisitors), or having people show up in costume, representing their favorite German "wise woman." If you have ideas for an entertaining evening, keep it in mind, or tell someone, or something--no need to be formal about it, just imaginative.) .8. MLA and AATG 1984. We ran out of time during this discussion, so Barbara and Joey quickly drew up a ballot listing all the topics that had been suggested; these were distributed Saturday evening and the results announced on Sunday morning. They are:
AATG 1984, to be held in Chicago. 1. Pedagogical session on German film. No coordinators yet. Kathryn Strachota's name was volunteered, but she wasn't present so this is not definite. 2. Literary session on women and peace. Irmgard Taylor (SUNY, Cortland) volunteered as coordinator; a second coordinator is still to be found.
Summary of WiG business and planning meeting (continued)
MLA 1984, to be held in Washington, D.C. 1. "Remaking Myth," coord. Karen Achberger (St. Olaf Coll.) and Angelika Bammer (Vanderbilt U.); and 2. "Appropriating Faust," coord. Gerlinde Geiger (Smith Coll.) and Konstanze Bäumer (Syracuse U.).
That's about it. Grateful thanks to Jeannine for chairing this marathon, and to Barbara, Joey, and others for quick thinking to solve problems when we ran out of time.
At various points during the conference, people objected to having the business meeting on Saturday afternoon--some felt bummed out by having to shift gears from thinking about literature and feminist criticism in the morning to trying to make decisions under pressure of time in the afternoon. Most of us felt that we can't have the business meeting earlier than Saturday afternoon, because our decisions about the following year grow out of what happens during the current year's conference. And most agree that having the business meeting on Sunday morning isn't good either, because (a) we're even more pressed for time, and (b) too many people are unable to stay for all of Sunday morning. Unlösbares Problem? Habt ihr eine Meinung?
--summary and editorial commentary
by Jeanette Clausen, IPFW
* * * * *
[image: Frau überläßt die Privatsphäre dem Mann.]
Thursday evening, October 18
"What do Feminist Germanists Want (or Need)?" Coord. Dorothy Rosenberg (Colby Coll.) and Gail Newman (Williams Coll.).
What directions should WiG be going in? We would like to solicit papers from specifically lesbian, gay, jewish and other perspectives reflecting the diversity of WiG's constituency. After a panel presentation, panel participants (and others ) will act as coordinators for small group discussion of all the issues raised at the first evening's session. They will continue to be available at mealtimes on Friday and Saturday to welcome new arrivals and all others who wish to continue the discussion.
We hope to use this structure to help bring out the issues which divide us and which unite us.
Send proposals or inquiries to both: Gail Newman, Dept. of German, Williams College, Williamstown, MA 01267 and Dorothy Rosenberg, Dept. of Modern Foreign Languages, Colby College, Waterville, ME 04901.
* * * * *
Saturday morning, October 20
"Witches and Wise Women." Coord. Jeannine Blackwell (Michigan State U.), Patsy Baudoin (Schoenhof's Foreign Books) and Jeanette Clausen (IPFW).
We haven't formulated a call for papers yet, but are still mulling over ideas, and would welcome any suggestions you have. Perspectives from other disciplines, especially history, sociology, philosophy, anthropology and religion would be appropriate, as well as literary treatments of witches, women healers, midwives, and other "wise women." For those who would like to do some background reading we suggest the following:
Barbara Ehren re ich and De id re English, Witches, Midwives and Nurses. A History of Women Healers, 2nd ed. (The Feminist Press, 1972).
Becker, Bovenschen, Brackert et al. Aus der Zeit der Verzweiflung. Zur Genese und Aktualität des Hexenbildes (edit ion suhrkamp 840).
* * * * *
Calls for papers for all the WiG 198A sessions will be announced at a later date.
* * * * *
Die Philosophen haben die Welt bisher nur männlich interpretiert. Es kommt aber darauf an, sie auch weiblich zu interpretieren, um sie menschlich verändern zu können. --Irmtraud Morgner (Amanda, 1983). (quote sent by Gisela Brude-Firnau, U. Waterloo).
CALL FOR PAPERS
Tenth New Hampshire Symposium
on the German Democratic Republic
June 22-29, 1984
World Fellowship Center
The 1984 New Hampshire Symposium on the GDR has been scheduled for the week of June 22-29. As in the past years, thg Symposium will be interdisciplinary in approach. Economists, historians, political scientists, sociologists, etc., as well as Germanists are invited to participate. Papers are being solicited for the following seminars:
SEMINAR I: Economic, Social, and Political Issues in the GDR - Christiane Lemke, Center for European Studies, Harvard University, 5 Bryant St., Cambridge, MA 02138; Arthur A. Stahnke, Zentralinstitut für sozialwissenschaftliche Forschung, FU Berlin, Babelsbergerstr. 14-16, D-1000 Berlin 31.
SEMINAR II: East-West Relations - Volker Gransow, Fachbereich II, Universität Bielefeld, D-4800 Bielefeld.
SEMINAR III: The Function of the Arts and Media in GDR Society Duncan Smith, (Literature, Music, Art, Film, etc.) - Dept. of German, Brown University, Providence, RI 02912.
SEMINAR IV: Popular Culture in the GDR - Wolfgang Buscher, Yorckstr. 84A, D-1000 Berlin 61.
SEMINAR V: Language and Linguistics in the GDR - H. Jochen Hoffmann, Council for International Exchange of Scholars, 11 Dupont Circle, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20036; James Copeland, Dept. of Linguistics and Semiotics, [redacted] Rice University, Houston, TX 77251.
SEMINAR VI: Translation (of GDR writings into other languages, of non-GDR writings into German in the GDR) - Fritz H. König, Dept. of Modern Languages, Univ. of No. Iowa, Cedar Falls, IA 50613.
SEMINAR VII: Cultural Heritage and Tradition in the GDR: Art, Architecture, Literature, Music, Restoration - Nancy A. Lauckner, Dept. of Germanic and Slavic Languages, Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37916; James Knowlton, Dept. of German, Rutgers University, Camden, N.J. 08102.
SEMINAR VIII: Lyric Poetry in the GDR - Christine Cosentino, Dept. of German, Rutgers University, Camden, N.J. 08102; Wolfgang Ertl, Dept. of German, Univ. of Iowa, Iowa City, IA 52242.
SEMINAR IX: The Writer/Artist as Subject in GDR Literature - Wolfgang Muller, Dept. of German, Dickinson College, Carlisle, PA 17013.
SEMINAR X: GDR Writers Living in the West: An Update - Margy Gerber, Munchenerstr. 9, D-1000 Berlin 30.
SEMINAR XI: Recent Developments in GDR Literature and Aesthetic Theory - Christiane Zehl Romero, Dept. of German and Russian, Tufts University, Medford, MA 02155.
SEMINAR XII: The State of the Art: Trends and Developments in the Study of the GDR - Joan E. Holmes, Soviet and East European Studies, Univ. of Kansas, Lawrence, KS 66045.
Proposals of topics not fitting into one of the above seminars are welcome and should be submitted to Margy Gerber (See Seminar X above).
Detailed proposals (title plus 2-3 pages) should be submitted to the appropriate seminar organizer(s) — in case of co-organizers, two copies — by Feb. 1, 1984; completed papers must be submitted no later than April 15. Papers should not exceed 30 minutes; the preferred language is English. Selected papers from the Symposium will be published in the series Studies in GDR Culture and Society. For more information on the Symposium, contact IV. Christoph Schmauch, World Fellowship Center, Conway, NH 03818 telephone [redacted]
Registration fee, Room and Board for the whole week, all-inclusive: $180
(This fee includes a $10 charge for a GDR participant's travel fund.)
(In order to encourage attendance for the duration of the Symposium, part-time participants will be charged a $20 registration fee, and $30 daily rate, which includes 3 meals and an overnight.)
Children under 12: $80 for the week.
Students to age 21: $100 for the week.
[drawing: ASU UNSEREM BRIEFKASTEN]
(The Women in German textbook reviews were sent out in May to all WiG members, and to the publishers and authors of the texts reviewed. The following letter from Renate Schulz is the only response from a textbook author received so far. Professor Schulz' letter is printed in full, followed by Dagmar Lorenz' reply.)
I was happy to see the recent efforts of WIG (Women in German Reviews of Selected Elementary and Intermediate Textbooks, April 11, 1983), reviewing selected instructional materials from a feminist perspective. Such reviews can indeed be helpful in sensitizing teachers, publishers, and textbook authors to recognize and avoid overt and covert sexism as well as class and age stereotyping in pedagogical texts.
As an author of one of the texts reviewed, I realize that any comment I make might be suspect. I feel nevertheless obligated to respond to Dagmar C. G. Lorenz' review of Lesen, lachen, lernen (pp. 8-10 in your "Reviews"), since several inaccuracies and outright misrepresentations in the review lead me to suspect the objectivity of the reviewer. I hope you will find room for this letter in one of the future WIG publications.
Just for the record, Lesen, lachen, lernen is a supplementary reader with communicative exercises for elementary high school or col 1ege instruction. The book contains no Grammatik-Sektionen, as implied by Professor Lorenz (p. 9).
The reviewer has done an exemplary job of selectively citing those examples which met her apparently predetermined purpose. For instance, we are told that the first illustrations depict seven males vs. three females. We are not told that the cover page shows two females vs. one male, nor that other introductory illustrations (appearing before those singled out for criticism) show six females vs. four males. Nor are we informed that none of the illustrations show women in what could be termed traditionally stereotypical roles. Unfortunately, some of the photos depict all-male groups, since the "Astronautenkandidaten" of the BRD are all males (p. 69), as are most of the famous names associated with intellectual or artistic movements of the Weimar Republic (pp. 199-200).
The statement that "in den Übungen finden sich männliche Elemente gegenüber weiblichen in einem Verhältnis 4:1" is not true. By what mathematical formula did Professor Lorenz calculate the ratio cited?
The text is criticized for listing only leisure time activities for the rich, e.g., "Ich mache gern Ferien in Kanada" (p. 11). Professor Lorenz does not mention that the same exercise (p. 11) gives the options of "Ich mache gern zu Hause / weit von der Autobahn / im Wald, etc. Ferien." Also, according to Professor Lorenz, sports mentioned are limited to "Skilaufen, Flugreise, Segelfliegen, Wasserschi, Wellenreiten, etc." Does she purposely overlook the apparently more "proletarian" activities such as Fußball, Turnen, Leicht- atlethik, Wandern, Radfahren, etc. (pp. 11, 42-43, 46, 174, etc.)?
The reviewer did not mention that a considerable number of exercises deals precisely with uncovering and discussing stereotypical attitudes toward the
sexes as well as toward foreign nationalities and people of different age groups, (e.g., pp. 27, 38, 99, 107, 109, 169, 181, 182, 183, 184, 185, 186, 191 , 192, 193, 194). A further selective omission is that--with very few exceptions--professions, nationalities, etc. are given with their male as well as female equivalents.
To imply, as Professor Lorenz has done, that inclusion of words such as Nutte, Zuhälter, glotzen, blöd, Schmäh, Sittlichkeitsverbrecher, or Schwangerschaft would in themselves contribute to the pedagogical quality or usefulness of this or any other elementary text for college or high school students borders on the absurd, (incidentally, the review does not mention that words such as Busen, Hintern (p. 11.0); Eifersucht (p. 95); blau sein, spinnen (p. 92); Scheidung (p. 180); Schwein haben, Schnauze, Kneipe (p. 123) ; Haschisch (p. 68); Kerl (p. 68); etc.--for whatever they are worth..., are included in the text.)
Whether seen from a feminist or any other perspective, scholarly convention dictates that a good textbook review should be accurate, objective, and keep in mind the text's purpose(s) and target audience(s). Professor Lorenz' review shows none of these qualities.
Renate A. Schulz
Professor, U. Arizona
(Dagmar Lorenz replies:)
Mit Interesse habe ich Prof. Renate Schulz' Reaktion auf meine Rezension des Textes Lesen, Lachen, Lernen zur Kenntnis genommen. Ich finde es durchaus fair, wenn WIG, wie Prof. Schulz' anregt, ihren Brief abdruckt. Genau so gern schreibe ich, wie Du vorschlägst, ein paar Anmerkungen meinerseits, 'the response to the response.'
Renate Schulz hat Recht, wenn sie den Verdacht hegt, daß meine Analyse des Textes . . . darauf ausging, etwas zu belegen, was für mich nach praktischen Erfahrungen mit dem Text eigentlich von vornherein feststand, ohne daß ich mir bisher im Detail darüber Rechenschaft abgelegt hätte, wieso: daß nämlich Lesen, Lachen, Lernen für einen informativen und intellektuell stimulierenden Unterricht nicht brauchbar ist -- zumindest nicht für mich.
Nicht nur einmal, mehrere Male, hat Lesen, Lachen, Lernen die Ausgangsbasis für einen von mir unterrichteten Konversationskurs bi Iden sollen. ... Da der Text fester Bestandteil des Kurses war, stand es mir nicht frei, wie ich es nach der ersten negativen Erfahrung damit gern getan hätte, ihn abzubestellen noch den Studenten die Ausgaben für alternatives Material zuzumuten. Ich benutze absichtlich letzteren Ausdruck, denn es ist mir deutlich, daß die meisten zugänglichen Konversationsbücher sowohl vom Inhalt wie vom Aufbau her nichts taugen. Das jedoch hat für mich keine Motivation sein sollen, einem Buch, das in einigen Aspekten vielleicht weniger schlecht ist als viele, das Wort reden zu wollen.
Wie Schulz darlegt, ist Lesen, Lachen, Lernen durchaus ein elementarer Konversationstext. Muß das aber heißen, daß ein solcher Text ganze, und, wie ich noch
einmal festhalten möchte, spezifisch weibliche Lebensbereiche ausklammert?
Das Argument, der Text richte sich auch an High School Students oder Anfänger am College und es sei daher absurd, Themenkreise wie Schwangerschaft, Prostitution udgl. verbal und inhaltlich zu erfassen, geht ganz an der Realität vorbei, besonders wenn der Text Reizworte wie Busen oder Hintern anbietet.
Ganz im Gegenteil ist die Thematik Sexualität im gesellschaftlichen Kontext besonders relevant für Studenten, aber besonders Studentinnen im High-School und College-Alter, und ich meine damit nicht etwa nur die Erwähnung derartiger Komplexe um des Erwähnens willen. . . .
Übrigens möchte ich zu meiner "Vokabelkritik" hinzusetzen, daß diese weniger aus der Luft gegriffen ist, als es Prof. Schulz scheinen mag, sondern Vokabular einer der Gesichtspunkte war, nach denen die WiG Rezensentinnen angehalten worden waren, die Textbücher zu analysieren.
Statt auf alle Einzelheiten in Prof. Schulz' Brief einzugehen -- sie läßt ja auch die entscheidenden Gesichtspunkte meiner Rezension beiseite -- möchte ich ein paar Gesichtspunkte herausstellen, die ich an die Rezension dieses Textes herangetragen habe. Ich betrachte übrigens von diesen Kriterien her jedes Textbuch, Lesen, Lachen, Lernen ist keine Ausnahme.1. Generell hege ich großes Unbehagen darüber, wie in den meisten Textbüchern, dieses hier ist eines davon, die Komplexe deutsche Kultur und Zivilisation auf eine trivialisierende Art und Weise miteinbringen, so daß Information, die auch auf der elementaren Stufe möglich ist, zu einer harmonisierenden, Problemen ausweichenden Anekdoterei wird: Briefe von Austauschstudenten, fingierten Freunden, bedeutungsloses Geplauder
2. Aufgrund von uns allen bekannten Faktoren herrscht ein meiner Ansicht nach beklagenswerter Drang unter Sprachlehrern, populär zu sein und Materialien anzubieten, die im Klassenraum die Atmosphäre von "fun" verbreiten. Gern lernen, damit es Spaß macht und nett in die Verrichtungen des restlichen Tages paßt, ja, beinahe selbst wie eine Freizeitbeschäftigung wirkt, lernen, als ob es wie von selber ginge — solche Vorstellungen umreißen etwa das Phänomen, von dem ich rede. Sich jedoch ernsthaft solchen Zielvorstel1ungen hinzugeben, heißt, m. M. n., sich selber das Wasser abgraben, denn Spaßmacher werden auf die Dauer nicht ernstgenommen; was sie zu bieten haben, ist letztlich keine Konkurrenz für ein fundiertes akademisches Wissen, für kritische Auseinandersetzung. Leider aber unterstützen Lehrbücher die fun-and-games Mentalität bis ins College, besonders Sprachtexte, indem ihr Angebot oft den Charakter eines Varieteprogramms hat. . . .
3. Das scheinbar Unideologische und universal Anwendbare solcher Texte verschleiert das Faktum, das sehr wohl Haltungen der eigenen wie auch der fremden Kultur gegenüber in ihnen impliziert sind. Durch den dargebotenen Mischmasch erlauben sie nicht, daß eine faktische, relevante Information durchdringt, in ihrer eklektischen, "wertfreien" (wertlosen?) Vielfalt ersticken sie kritische Gedanken schon im Keim und damit auch eine intellektuell stimulierende Klassendiskussion. Dadurch, daß die Besprechung von Unbedeutendem breit aufgezogen ist (etwa: obskure deutsche Idiosynkrasien, welches Glas paßt wozu, udgl.) wird potentiell Brisantem der Raum und die Möglichkeit genommen. Dadurch, daß wirkliche Probleme, wie sie in L,L,L in Tuchfühlung auftreten mit Texten, die sie gleich zurücknehmen oder neutralisieren (Alkoholismus Arm in Arm mit den guten deutschen Spirituosen), wird ihre Nennung an sich schon zum Hohn.
5. Indem Textbücher in ihrem Weltentwurf gesamte Lebensbereiche, Personengruppen, Daseinsmöglichkeiten und zeitgenössische Probleme ausklammern, pflegen sie eine Realität darzustellen, die es weder in den USA noch in Deutschland gibt, eine, von der das 'target audience' -- i.e. unsere Studenten, aber auch Unterrichtende -- sich grundlegend entfremdet fühlt. Das trifft auf mich zu im Falle von L,L,L. Weder bin ich als Unterrichtende imstande, mit Hilfe dieses Textes sprachliche oder kulturelle Inhalte zu vermitteln, noch fand ich Studenten bereit, diese vom Text her aufzunehmen. Ein Textbuch jedoch, finde ich, müßte auch anders, d.h. nicht nur als Karikatur, zu verwenden sein.
5. Ein Blick auf unser 'target audience', High School und College, junge Erwachsene oder Jugendliche, weiblich und männlich, denen, besonders solchen an State Universities, Komplexe wie Arbeit und Arbeitslosigkeit vertraut und, studieren sie in den Humanities, wichtige Fragen sind. L, L, L geht mit der Freizeitemphase an ihnen vorbei, wie auch an ebenfalls schon für junge Leute höchst interessanten Problemkreisen der Sexualität im privaten wie sozialen Kontext, der Kriminalität, im Zusammenhang damit etwa der Gewalt, des Militarismus, der Rollen und Stellung der Geschlechter zueinander, Minderheiten, Rassismus, um nur einiges zu nennen, was um der Bequemlichkeit halber in Textbüchern nicht vorhanden ist oder so leger angeschnitten wird, daß man von einem 'tokenismus' sprechen kann, der sich in der bloßen Nennung erschöpft.
Noch eine Anmerkung zum Brief. In dem ersten Drittel dieses Jahrhunderts gäbe es keine deutschen Frauen von genügend Statur, daß sie in die angesprochene Übung paßten (Rosa Luxemburg, Bertha v. Suttner, Else Lasker-Schüler, Erika Mann u.a.)? Wenn die von mir Genannten dem Durchschnittsstudenten nicht so verfügbar sind wie andere Namen, wäre eine Einführung von ein bis zwei Sätzen doch durchaus machbar. Frage: was ist am Turnen, Leichtatlethik, Wandern, Radfahren oder Fußball denn so spezifisch proletarisch?
Damit will ich's aber bewenden lassen, so daß dieser Brief nicht ins Uferlose geht. Ich freue mich auf eine lebhafte Diskussion,
mit besten Grüßen,
Ohio State U.
[drawing: ALSO, WO BLEIBT DENN
DAS GELD FÜR UNSERE FRAUENPROJEKTE?!]
BEARS REEATING DEPARTMENT
Women account for half the world's population; two-thirds of the world's work hours; one-tenth of the world's income and less than a hundredth of the world's property. Fewer than one-third of all women are literate and in many African and Asian countries only one in ten females even enters school. "Feminization of poverty" is a structural feature of the world political economy.
BRIEF AUS BERLIN
The following "open letter" was received in late summer 1983.
Amerikanische Frauen - Deutsche Frauen ein Austausch
Wir wollen nicht schielen. Wir wollen sehen, erleben, erfahren, suchen, Ideen tauschen, beobachten und eintauchen.
Was geht da vor - an anderen Ufern?
Wo ist die Ferne, wo die Nähe?
Wir wollen ein Austauschseminar für deutsche und amerikanische Frauen in den USA anregen und vorbereiten und suchen Frauen, die die Vorbereitung in den USA übernehmen.
Wir sind eine Gruppe Berliner Frauen, die in der Erwachsenenbildung tätig sind und die sich insbesondere mit Themen und Fragen der Frauenbewegung befassen.
Zum Programm des Seminars schlagen wir zunächst ein breites Spektrum von Themen vor, über dessen Eingrenzung und Konkretisierung wir uns im Verlauf der Vorbereitung verständigen können. Diesen Themen könnten sich die Frauen in Arbeitsgruppen zuordnen und so einen themenspezifischen, sehr viel intensiveren Austausch und gleichzeitig auch persönlichen Kontakt herstellen. Wir würden gerne Treffen mit verschiedenen Frauengruppen und -projekten verabreden, um so direkt miteinander diskutieren zu können und durch die teils verschiedenen Erfahrungen gegenseitige Anregungen zu erhalten bzw. die jeweilige Situation näher kennenzulernen.
Mögliche thematische Schwerpunkte:
- Rassismus und Sexismus; Kämpfe schwarzer Frauen, ihr Einfluß in der Frauenbewegung, struktureller Zusammenhang, Unterschiede zu weißen Frauen.
- Frauenkultur; Theater, Film, Experimente mit Video, Medien, z.B. Frauenzeitungen, neuere Entwicklungen feministischer Literatur.
- Frauen und Politik; Frauenrechtsbewegung, ERA, Einmischungen in Politik: Friedenspolitik, Sozialpolitik, Gesundheits- und Sexua1 politik; Verhältnis organisierte Frauen - autonome Frauen.
- Gewerkschaftliche Frauenkämpfe; Arbeitssituation von Frauen, betriebliche Probleme und Forderungen, Frauenstreiks, Haltung der Gewerkschaften gegenüber Frauenforderungen und -kämpfen, Versuche, eigene gewerkschaftliche Strukturen aufzubauen und die Schwierigkeiten (z.B. CLUW).
- Autonome Frauenbewegung als politische Bewegung; aktuelle Kontroversen der verschiedenen Strömungen, z.B. Autonomie - Separatismus, Situation lesbischer Frauen, ihre Position in der autonomen Frauenbewegung.
- Feministische Theorie; feministische Forschung, Erkenntnisse patriarchalischer Herrschaftsstrukturen und -mechanismen, feministische Strategien, Geschichtsforschung.
Außerhalb dieses Austauschs in den Arbeitsgruppen könnten wir über die deutsche Frauenbewegung berichten und Referate vorbereiten.
Die Gruppe der deutschen Teilnehmerinnen soll aus 20 bis 25 Frauen bestehen, die verschiedene Interessengebiete haben und in der Frauenbewegung engagiert sind.
Brief aus Berlin (cont inued)
Das Seminar sollte möglichst Frühjahr/Sommer 198A stattfinden und zwei bis drei Wochen dauern. Der Ort sollte sich nach euren Möglichkeiten richten, und es sollte dort ein vielfältiges Spektrum der amerikanischen Frauenbewegung vorhanden sein (z.B. New York).
Um einen Fahrtkostenzuschuß zu erhalten, müßte von Eurer Seite eine Gruppe formal als amerikanischer Träger des Seminars auftreten. Aus finanziellen Gründen, aber auch wegen des intensiveren persönlichen Kontakts möchten wir gerne privat wohnen.
Als Gegenbesuch möchten wir eine Gruppe amerikanischer Frauen nach Berlin einladen und werden die Vorbereitung übernehmen.
Wir würden uns freuen, wenn Ihr Interesse daran hättet und uns möglichst bald antwortet.
Mit iebem Gruß,
Elke König, Monika Schmidt, Regine Steinhauer
Post bitte an: Monika Schmidt [redacted]
(--If any of you are interested in trying to organize an exchange along the lines outlined by the Berlin women, please contact Monika Schmidt directly.)
* * * * *
The Delphi is a newsletter for practitioners and researchers in the field of sexual assault treatment and prevention. It is published on a quarterly basis and is distributed to mental health, social welfare, health, law enforcement, criminal justice, rape crisis and research agencies. The newsletter is also available to community organizations.
In ancient Greece, the Delphi was known as the place where gods gathered to confer, share information, and influence the future. The Delphi newsletter functions in a similar way. That is, this newsletter encourages an exchange of information that will help shape the future of sexual assault prevention and treatment work in a positive way. The main purpose of The Delphi is to provide current information to readers about sexual assau1t-related research, legislation, materials, activities and services. Other goals of The Delphi are:
--to encourage readers to share and make use of sexual assault-related resources and information not regularly used. Abstracts, resource information, announcements of services and other items are included in every issue to meet this goal.
--to assist in the identification of gaps in sexual assault-related theory, research and service, especially within Southern California. The Delphi reports on the development of research, materials and programs. Certain features as well as special articles are included in each issue for this purpose. To subscribe to The Delphi (1 year, 4 issues), send a check for $8.00 to: The Delphi, Almut R. Poole, [redacted]
The following list of research projects, work in progress and dissertations was collected at the October conference. All members of Women In German are invited to send information about their research projects to the newsletter.
Bunny Weiss (Vassar Coll., 1983-84)--women and aging.
Sheila K. Johnson (OSU, 1983-84)—women and humor (Männer nicht ausgeschlossen); modern drama.
Marianne Burkhard (U. Illinois, Urbana)—Swiss women authors.
Jeannine Blackwell (Michigan State U)--revising the literary canon; female Bildungsroman; German film; issues of science and technology in German literature,
Sandy Frieden (U. Houston)--women and autobiography (1970's), published, Peter Lang 1983; articles on women's autobiographical writings; Christa Wolf; Peter Handke; film—Ulrike Ottinger.
Gerlinde Geiger (Smith Coll.)—"Die befreite Psyche"--lda Hahn-Hahn (diss.); and other 19th century women novelists; weibliche Aesthetik; experimental theatre; Ingeborg Bachmann.
Sara Lennox (U. Mass., Amherst)—Ingeborg Bachmann; feminism and racism (trying to learn American History!).
Karen Achberger (St. Olaf Coll.)—myth and music in Ingeborg Bachmann's prose; intro, to new edition of Bachmann's prose in English translation.
Diane St. Croix (U. Florida)—Deutsche Autorinnen entdecken Ibsen: Gabriele Wohmann und Elfriede Jelinek.
Elisabeth Nations (Augustana Coll.)—translating GDR short stories by women.
Marlene Heinemann (U. Wyoming)—Women Prose Writers of the Holocaust (working on publication); female bonding--survival value; the Third Reich; feminist pedagogy.
Renate Delphendahl (U. Maine, Orono)—Ingeborg Bachmann; women in Kafka's fiction; women writers of the Vormärz; Alienation (dictionary entry); Novalis and bis influence on H. Hesse.
Petra Visscher (U. Florida)—Die Politisierung der Liebe in Werken deutschsprachiger Autorinnen (Jelinek, Stefan, Wolf, Schwaiger) (und wer noch mehr?).
Angelika Bammer (Vanderbilt U.)--working on an anthology of feminist literary criticism (and some theory) with Evelyn Beck; interested in translating Christa Wolf's feminist essays and Christa Reinig's poetry (these projects have just begun).
Irmgard Taylor (SUNY-Cortland)--course in world literature (non-western); Women's Studies minor (international approach); women and public speaking.
Research Projects (continued)
Julie Klassen (Carleton Coll.)--working on an article regarding the "Versöhnung der Gegensätze" in G. Keller's "Fähnlein der sieben Aufrechten;" article on U. Plenzdorf, Die neuen Leiden, in progress.
Sigi Leonhard (Northfield, MN)--working on Christa Wolf ("Aesthetik und Authentizität"); preparing a film course; would like to do something on the contemporary German novel (female and male authors); began writing poetry.
Beate Franzen (Colby Coll.)--der "Bref"—eine spezifische Form literarischer Produktivität? Dargestellt an Bettina von Arnim's "Die Günderode."
Dorothy Rosenberg (Colby Coli.)—working on articles on GDR women writers born since 1940 (comparing to earlier generations); women's autobiographies 1880's to present (self-image; public vs. private in autobio's of politically/socially active women); translations of GDR women writers/comparative popular literature.
Helga Kraft (U. Florida)--Mutter-Tochter Thema; im Moment: Elfriede Jelinek's Die Klavierlehrerin; first year college German text, "Deutsch zur Kommunikation;" Elisabeth Plessen, "Two Historical Novels of the 70's."
Resa Dudovitz (U. Illinois)--Finishing dissertation which deals (in part) with A. Döblin and B. Traven; working on ideological function of popular women's fiction--hope to expand the project to include lit. written for women published in North Africa.
Barbara Wright (U. Conn., Storrs)--Monograph on interaction between German Expressionist activists and first wave of German feminism (in progress); textbook on theory and techniques of translation, German-English; feminist language pedagogy.
Sue Bottigheimer (Princeton 11.)--Grimms' Kinder- und Hausmärchen.
Marianne Landré Goldscheider (Brooklyn, NY)--working on my mother's 2000-page handwritten memoirs (in German), my own writing (autobiographical fiction - in English).
Victoria Joan Moessner (U. Alaska)--women's art education at turn of century; Thomas Bernhard; East-West German lexicography.
Gail Newman (Williams Coll.)--diss. on women and female sphere in Novalis (working title); preparing course on female and male images and roles in the Goethezeit for spring semester.
Hildegard Pietsch (Washington U.)--planning to write my dissertation on "Die Figur der Schwarzseherin" (Arbeitstitel).
Karin Obermeier (U. Mass., Amherst)--currently working on Karol ine von Günderode: "Tod als Metapher des Lebens."
Monika Shafi (U. Maryland)--working on an article comparing Böhlau's "Das Halbtier" and Fontane's "Jenny Treibei." Thinking about a dissertation topic (utopia in women's lit.).
Research Projects (continued)
Uta Peterson (U. Maryland)—Essayistik of Heinrich Mann (Ph.D. candidate).
Yvonne Poser (U. Maryland)--dissertation on foreign language reading instruction with focus on psycho 1ogical/emotional/cultural components of FL reading comprehension; interested in women's literature which focuses on the contrast between a feminine/masculine Erzahlperspektive for article.
Anna Kuhn (U. Pennsylvania)--book in progress, Christa Wolf: A Critical Study.
Linda Frisch (Allston, MA)--dissertation on women in the Middle High German Maere (Stanford U.).
Denis Sweet (German Dept., UNH)—origins of ideology of fascism; anthology of essays on sexual politics (contributions invited).
Margaret Brearley (Lewiston, ME) — Diss. (Dec. 1982): The Image of Childhood in the Novels of Elisabeth Langgasser; exploring topics in GDR literature.
Gerda Neu-Sokol (Bates Coll.)--translation: Jurek Becker, Liber den Verfal 1 der Kultur in unserer Zeit. Poems and short stories.
Almut R. Poole (Los Angeles)--research on language and gender; linguistic analysis of (some) modern feminist writers.
Margaret E. Ward (Wellesley Coll.)--in progress (NEH grant this year)—critical biography of Fanny Lewald. Working currently on chapters having to do with her emancipatory writings, her coming to authorship and problem of Goethe as literary "paternity" figure.
Martha K. Wallach (U. Wisconsin, Green Bay) — in progress: German-American women writers 1848-1918; translations into English of contemporary German-language women authors (would like to work with others).
Ric Johnson (IPFW)--nonviolence in literature (esp. Christa Wolf); male dominance/feminist nonviolence in West German peace movement (recent paper).
Christiane Zehl Romero (Tufts U.)--rororo monograph on Anna Seghers; article on "Weibliches Schreiben—Christa Wolf's Kassandra" (to appear in GDR Studies and Argumente); "Establishing a Female Tradition: (Seghers-Wolf) for volume on Wolf (ed. Fries).
Ingrid Horst (E. Bridgewater, MA)--two mss in progress. "Touching our World"-- unusual travel accounts; "I Grew up under Hitler," a German childhood. Published: some non-academic articles in newspapers and periodicals. Member of English dept.
Helene Scher (Amherst, MA)--Christa Wolf, "Neue Lebensansichten eines Katers" and other works commenting, usually negatively, on idea of scientific progress (work in progress).
Charlotte Armster (Dartmouth Coll.)--work in progress: monograph on Anna Seghers interested also in her role as mentor to Christa Wolf; newer GDR women writers (e.g. Christine Wolter and others).
Research Projects (continued)
Edith Waldstein (M.I.T.)--work in progress: reworking of dissertation (Bettina von Arnim and the German literary salon) into book; 3 papers which I hope will appear as articles: 1) Public and Private Voices in the German Romantic Salon; 2) Conversation in Bettina von Arnim's novels; 3) Bertha von Suttner: Fiction, Autobiography and Politics. Appeared in spring 1983: review essay oh Christa Wolf's Kein Ort. Nirgends (in OSU Women's Studies Review).
Margrit Lichterfeld (GSAS Harvard U.)--Diss.: Lessing und das Bild der Frau im 18. Jahrhundert.
Judy Jamieson (Providence Coll.)—translation of Speser's Pia Deseridia for: Religious Studies in Modern Western Civilization by Alexander & Dimoch; paper published and given at post-performance session of Dreigroschenoper by Cabot St. Playhouse; grant from Rl council on Humanities.
Lynne Layton (Boston)--reworking diss.: Fontane and Flaubert: Defeat of Subjectivity; book ms.: Narcissism and the Text: Literature and Issues in Self Psychology.
Kay Goodman (Brown U.)--women's movement at the turn of the century.
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Trudis Goldsmith-Reber is preparing a publication, "Literatur im Faschismus: Weiblichkeitsbilder in der völkischen Literatur." She would be pleased to supply information or review literature related to this topic, and to be contacted by people sharing a similar interest. Trudis Goldsmith-Reber, Dept. of German, McGill University, S. Bronfman Bldg. [redacted] Montreal, P. Quebec Canada H3A 1G5-
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ANNOUNCEMENT: AWARD FOR BEST UNPUBLISHED BOOK-LENGTH MANUSCRIPT IN WOMEN'S STUDIES
Fairleigh Dickinson University Press announces a manuscript prize of $2,500 in . the field of women's studies. The winning book length manuscript will be published by Fairleigh Dickinson University Press.
The manuscript may be a contribution to the scholarship or study of any discipline or interdisciplinary area: e.g., sociology, psychology, history, biography, literary criticism, philosophy, linguistics, etc.
Contest deadline is October 15, 198A. Authors should write for a copy of contest rules and an entry form to: Chairperson, Editorial Committee, Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 285 Madison Avenue, Madison, New Jersey 07940.
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A Conference Fairy Tales and Society: Illusion, Allusion and Paradigm, will take place at Princeton March 2-3, 1984 beginning at 4:30 on Friday and finishing at approximately the same time on Saturday. Associated with it will be an exhibit of illustrated childrens literature, not yet titled, with a large component being fairy tale illustrations. For information, contact Ruth B. Bottigheimer, Princeton Univ.
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Pubiications/Resources 1983 Index/Directory of Women's Media. This new directory contains 379 women's periodica1s (over 100 outside the U.S.), 92 women's presses and publishers, 74 women's bookstores, 37 women's music groups, and much more. Along with the Directory is an Index to Media Report to Women. This annotated index of women's media activities and research provides a history of the women's media movement. To order a copy, send $8 to WIFP, 3306 Ross Place, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20008.
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Second International Interdisciplinary Congress on Women, University of Groningen, 17-21 April 1984.
The congress is intended to provide a forum for those concerned with the question: How can we build strategies for empowerment of women? The program will be appropriate to those who have long been associated with the women's movement as well as to newcomers: to academics and practitioners and to men and women alike.
Keynote speakers will address the theme of the conference. Workshops, panels, symposia and other activities are designed to maximize the participation of the delegates.
REGISTRATION FEE IS Hfl. 400,-. Registration must be received in Groningen no later than January 15, 1984 or late fee will be charged. This fee includes participation in all sessions, social functions, lunches, program, volume of abstracts and directory, plus shuttle bus service. ADDRESS: Congress Secretariat, Sociologisch Instituut, Grote Markt 23, 9712 HR GRONINGEN, The Netherlands.
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MANY THANKS. . .
Connie Munk typed, cut, pasted, assembled, and above all cared about this newsletter. Bill Klemme lent his typewriter so Connie could work at home. Erin Clausen took care of Veronica Munk (age two) so Connie could type without quite so many interruptions. Please remember them when you read this newsletter.
Erin Clausen drew the cartoon of Jeannine Blackwell on p. 24 and the drawings on pages 38 and 45.
Miscellaneous Announcements (continued)
Feministische Wissenschaft Schweiz - Association Suisse Femmes, Féminisme Recherche
Founded in May 1983 the Swiss Association for Feminist Research/Women's Studies aims at furthering feminist teaching and research in connection with the principles and aims of the women's movement. For further information contact Brigitte Schnegg, [redacted]
Proceedings from the Association's first conference 'Frauen und Wissenschaft: "Stärke weiblicher Schwächen or Schwäche weiblicher Stärken?"' (Women and Science: strength of female weaknesses or weakness of female strengths?) available for SFr 5.00 from Käthi Belser, [redacted]
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Frauenforschung in den Erziehungs Wissenschaften (Feminist Research/Women's Studies within Education) Annua 1 Congress of the German Educational Association - DGfE, at Kiel, March 25-28, 1984. The working title of the feminist research section is 'Ausgelernt und Angeschmiert' (something like 'Life after the degree: feeling cheated'): Frauenarbeit - Frauenbildung - Frauenerwerbslosigkeit (Women's work - women's education - women's unemployment). For further information write to Monika Oubaid, Langestrasse 25, Bielefeld 1, FRG, as soon as possible.
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Historikerinnentreffen Wien, April 16-19 to discuss feminist research and methodology with a focus on women's history. For further information write to Historikerinnentreffen 1984 c/o Uni Frauenzeitung, Berggasse 5-25, Vienna, Austria.
Miss WiG 1983
Rikki from Fort Wayne
Weisefrau, Uta 32
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Women in German Newsletter
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