March 1984 Newsletter


March 1984 Newsletter


Congresses; Feminism; Germanists




MARCH 1984

The Coalition of Women in German, an allied organization of the MLA, invites students, teachers and all others interested in feminism and German Studies to 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)
   Fundraising coordinator

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)
   Fundraising coordinator

Edith Waldstein, M.l.T. (1983-86)
   Conference coordinator, 1983, 1984
   Co-editor, Women in German Yearbook (1982-)

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, Dept. of Modern Foreign Languages, Indiana U.-Purdue U., Fort Wayne, IN 46805

TABLE OF CONTENTS:                           Page #

WIG Projects... 2.

This and That... 3.

AATG 1983... 5.

MLA 1983 ... 9.

WIG 1983 ... 15.

Calls for Papers... 16.

Bielefeld Conference ... 18.

Conferences... 19.

Book Reviews... 20.

New Publications...  25.

Books...  26.

Films...  27.

Etc. ... 31.

Membership/Subscriptions ... 33.


Number 33
March 1984

Not one to beat around the bush, mince words, equivocate, hedge, stall, obfuscate, procrastinate, prevaricate, waffle or fumble, let me get right down to brass tacks, come straight to the point, and let it all hang out. WiG has a lot planned for 1984, and we need money to do it.

As you know, we've invited IRMTRAUD MORGNER and HELGA SCHÜTZ to be our guests at the 1984 WiG conference. What none of us yet knows for sure is how their trips will be financed, gulp. Martha Wallach applied to two funding agencies on WiG's behalf, IREX and the Monticello Foundation. IREX has already notified her that our pro­posal was not funded. We'll hear from the Monticello Foundation by May— however, there is obviously no guarantee that we'll get the funding we asked for. So—take a deep breath—we have to look to ourselves, the members of WiG, to raise money to finance the Morgner-Schütz venture. You probably remember that we agreed at the 1983 WiG conference to a call for voluntary donations from WiG members if necessary, suggesting $10.00 as the amount for individual donations. Please support us—any amount you can give will be gratefully accepted, acknowledged, and put in a special fund for Morgner and Schütz. If we are able to get the necessary funding from other sources, we'll decide as a group how to use the money we receive. THANK YOU in advance for your help.

A word (several, actually) about WiG's status. We have filed the necessary articles of incorporation to begin the process of acquiring tax-exempt status for WiG as a non-profit organization. However, we haven't yet filed the necessary forms with the IRS (which took over a month to reach us). This is what our attorney told me I could advise you on this subject as of March 1, 1984:

"Upon advice of counsel for the Coalition of Women in German, Inc., it is believed that all contributions to the corporation are tax deductible as charitable contributions. No formal ruling or determination has been made by the Internal Revenue Service establishing the exemption and none has been sought as of this date. Our attorney advises us that our organization is automatically exempt until such time as the gross receipts exceed $5,000 annually. In the event that such limitation is exceeded, the corporation plans to request a ruling or deter­mination of exemption." (Letter to J. Clausen from M. D. Ulmschneider, Attorney, March 1, 1984.)

If you are willing to donate money to WiG whether or not your contribution will be tax-deductible, you needn't worry about the above any further. If you are only willing to make a tax-deductible contribution, you may want to check with


me—things may have moved along somewhat by the time you receive this news­letter. And in case you were wondering, our "gross receipts" are only a couple thousand annually at this point.

You can also help by sending copies of the enclosed WiG information sheet to friends who haven't yet become WiG members and urging them to join.


1. Syllabi collection. The WiG collection of course syllabi, edited by Sidonie Cassirer and Bunny Weiss, has been very well received, based on .comments that have come to me. The majority of requests for it have been from individuals, but some German departments, libraries and women's studies programs have ordered it too. Joan Moessner (U. Alaska) sent special thanks—as the only German faculty member and the only feminist in her department, she found the collection particularly useful! Many others have also written to express their appreciation and admiration for this collec­tion—the kind of "reader response" that is always welcome! —There are still over 200 copies of the booklet available (from 700-plus that we started out with), and the cost is a mere $2.00 for postage and handling.

2. Textbook reviews—round two. The first collection of textbook reviews by WiG members, published last spring, was very enthusiastically received, and has been influential with publishers as well as in individual departments. We would like to follow up with a second round, and we'd like to have it ready to distribute at the October 1984 WiG conference. If you are interested in reviewing one of the textbooks you are using, contact BARBARA WRIGHT (U. Conn., Storrs), and she will send you a set of guidelines for doing the review. We would like to see reviews of textbooks for high school and other grade levels as well as of college-level texts for first and second year.
(The texts reviewed in last spring's collection were: Feld/Nardroff, Zielsprache Deutsch (1981); Goedsche et al., Deutsch fur Amerikaner (4th ed., 1979); Helbling et al., First-Year German (3rd ed., 1983); Lohnes/Strothman, German: A Structural Approach (3rd ed., 1980); Moeller/Liedloff, Deutsch heute (2nd ed. , 1979); Neuner et al., Deutsch aktiv 1 and 2 (1979); Schulz et al., Lesen, Lachen, Lernen (2nd ed., 1982); Vail/Sparks, Der Weg zum Lesen (2nd ed., 1974); von Hofe et al., Perspektiven zu aktuellen Fragen (1978). Obviously, we are most interested in hearing from those of you teaching from texts other than these, or from more recent editions, if they are available.) —Barbara Wright, U-181, U. Conn., Storrs, CT 06268.

3. Translation.

Reminders: Nancy Lukens and Dorothy Rosenberg are planning a two-volume collection (one GDR, one FRG) of poetry and prose by contemporary German women writers in translation. The collection will be organized around 3 topics: women and work, women and family, women and self-image. Nancy and Dorothy invite suggestions as to texts you'd like to see included; you can also write them to volunteer help as a translator. Nancy Lukens, Dept. of German, College of Wooster, Wooster, OH 44691, and Dorothy Rosenberg, Dept. of Mod. For. Lang., Colby College, Waterville, ME 04901.



3. Translation. (continued)

Also, Bunny Weiss is collecting ideas, unpublished translations, pipe-dreams, etc. to generate (an)other translation project(s). What are your priorities for texts in translation, other than Nancy's and Dorothy's project men­tioned above? Write to Bunny Weiss, [redacted], Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, NY 21601.



Karen Achberger (St. Olaf Coll.) was awarded the MLA-ACLS Fellowship in literature for 1984-85 to pursue her study of the significance of music in Ingeborg Bachmann's prose! Congratulations to Karen, and all the best to her in her work on this exciting project.

Renny Harrigan is employed full-time as a women's studies specialist at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Plans are to build the WS office from a cross-listing of courses under the vice-chancellor to a research center based in the graduate school, while continuing with a certificate program for under­graduates. Renny writes: "So, when all is said and done, I can really get behind the job . . ." —Well said, Renny—I think we'd all share that senti­ment!

Lyndel Butler has a job at Sharpstown Middle School in Houston teaching German to grades 6, 7 and 8. Lyn's note reminds us that there really are WiG members working "at all educational levels" (as we state in the goals of our organiza­tion), even though they may be less visible than our university-based members. We'd love to hear from others teaching German at the K-12 levels, in alternative schools, in adult education centers, or any other non-university settings. WiG's place is everywhere.


Tineke Ritmeester sent some information on a new course she's teaching this spring at Washington University. Entitled "Women and Peace," the 3-credit course is cross-listed by Women's Studies and German Area Studies; there are no prerequisites. A study of the roots and development of the contemporary women's peace movement, the course examines "women and peace" as a political- cultural phenomenon that manifests itself internationally in creative and nonviolent peace actions, film, theater, literature, music and changing life­styles. There is a special focus on West Germany, Central America and the US. Readings include Pam McAllister, ed., Reweaving the Web of Life; The Women's Peace Encampment Handbook (Romulus, NY); Keeping the Peace, Piecing it Together; WIRE readings on women in El Salvador; as well as two plays by Martha Boesing, Antigone Too and Ashes, Ashes ... . Guest speakers have been



New Course — WOMEN AND PEACE (continued)

invited to present information on WILPF, the peace encampments, Central America, RAVEN (a St. Louis-based men's group for nonviolence), and other topics. Slide shows and films, including "Controlling Interests," are also being used.
Anyone wanting a copy of the syllabus is welcome to write to Tineke; she would also like to hear from others teaching courses on this topic. Tineke Ritmeester, Dept. of Germanic Languages and Literatures,  [redacted]  Washington U., St. Louis, MO 63130.

PEACE CHAIN LETTERS. Probably many of you have received or heard about the women's peace chain letter (a couple of you received it from me!). No money is involved; all you do is forward 6 copies of the letter to friends, and send a card with the message "we wish for peace on earth" to the name at the top of the list. Within two months of doing this, 1 had received 12 such cards from 5 countries. The most interesting one was from a woman in California who wrote about an organization called the "Creative Initiative Foundation." It aims to spread a message of resolving conflicts without war all over the US, hoping to create a social movement as strong as abolition or women's suffrage. If you'd like to know more about this organization, you can write to Benita Rashall, [redacted]

* * * * *


The New York WiG chapter has been meeting regularly since last September. Among the members' activities are: discussion of Christa Wolf's Kassandra (November meeting); reading their own writing to each other and discussing the writing process, the meaning of "Öffentlichkeit," etc. (December and January meetings); initiation of a project to publish a collection of their own writing, to be edited by Dagmar Stern; formation of a subcommittee to pursue a translation project (focus on poetry and prose by German-speaking women writers of the second half of the 20th century; coordinator Lola Gruenthal, [redacted]. Plans for future meetings include discussions of Margarethe von Trotta's new film Heller Wahn and discussion of works by Irmtraud Morgner and Helga Schutz. For further information about this group, contact Gesine Worm at the Goethe House Library.

* * * * *

Kay Goodman has proposed a conference tentatively entitled Women in East Germany: Fact and Fantasy. The suggested dates for the conference are Oct. 26-27, 1984 at Brown University; its purpose is to enable participants to gain a more balanced and subtle understanding of the lives of women in the GDR. For more information, contact Kay Goodman, German Dept., Brown U.


AATG 1983

Friday, 25 November 1983
2:45-6:00 pm

Helga Kraft, U. Florida and Ric Johnson, IPFW (Pedagogy)
Edith Potter, Scripps Coll, and Jorun B. Johns, Cal. State Coll., San Bernardino (Literature)

Is the Apolitical Woman at Peace?

Looking at Women in the New German Cinema

The social roles of women in war and peace are a topic of vital interest and importance in the New German Cinema. Comparing two West German feminist directors, Helma Sanders-Brahms and Helke Sander, we find that the former pro­vides an apology for the apolitical woman, whereas the latter's work exempli­fies the existence of a politicized female consciousness. The paper also demonstrates the technique of "sequence analysis," which teaches students of film to recognize how aesthetic constructs incorporate ideology.

— Barbara Hyams U. Tulsa

Women in the Military

Fifteen minutes was too short a time for a comprehensive analysis of how patriarchy, militarism, and feminism intersect in NATO, Warsaw Pact, and Third World countries, so I limited my comments to the pedagogical rationale behind the six-page collage that I distributed and to suggestions as to how it might be used to stimulate conversation in beginning, intermediate, and advanced language classes.

I have found the topic of women in the military to be effective in stimulating involved discussion and critical thinking. The students are familiar with the issue, because of the energetic recruitment of women for the US Army in the last decade and the controversy a few years ago surrounding the reinstitution of draft registration for men only, and they generally have strong and differing opinions on the subject. Feminists themselves take different sides, which makes it even more interesting. Since there has also been public discussion in both Germanies recently about the utilization of women in the armed forces, materials are available in German.

The collage is made up of excerpts from articles and letters in Spiegel, Emma, Courage, and Bunte, texts to the songs "Feminal Tango" by Schneewittchen, "Ach, wenn ich doch nur als Mann auf diese Welt gekommen war" by Bettina Wegner, and "Partizaner Lid" by Hirsch Glik, and pictures and graphs. The pages can be used individually or as a packet. Each is laid out as provocative 1y as possible, with related arguments for and against women in the military placed side by side. Many feminist and non-feminist perspectives are represented.
A bibliography of source materials and suggestions for further reading is included.


AATG 1983

Women in the Military (continued)

If you would like a copy of the instructional packet and a tape of the three songs, please send me a self-addressed, stamped envelope and a blank cassette.

— Kathryn Strachota
Dept. of German Studies
Stanford University
Stanford, CA 94305

Frauen für Frieden

I reported on the project FRAUEN FUR FRIEDEN, Berlin. The literary part of this project comprises a first volume of poetry and short prose entitled Frauen für Frieden: Gedichte Schilderungen Reflexionen, edited by Elisabeth Hartmann, Berlin (who plans to publish a second volume in spring 1984).
Frauen für Frieden is a 112 page volume at a cheap DM 8.00. A 13-year-old girl is the youngest poet represented here. She has thoughts about the colors in her paintbox and paints peace in pink. Birgit Berg writes a "non-lullaby" beginning "The songs are dead." Gabriele Dietrich writes about the "Friedens­vogel" and has fun with puns, reminding us that such fun can at best be had with the subject of the environment and nuclear power plants - but no longer with bombs. Elisabeth Hartmann's own poem "Diagnosis" warns of the sickness of man in an apocalyptic time. Ingeborg Drewitz contributes "Flaschenpost an meine drei Enkel" and asks: "Sind wir nicht längst entmündigt, zu lieben, zu schützen und vorzubereiten, was früher einmal Zukunft hiess?" Sophie Goll writes about fear in her poems. Dorothee Solle, who also contributed some poems to Frauen für Frieden, researched the concept of fear with Sören Kierke­gaard. Solle writes: "Der angstfreie Geistlose kann nicht glauben, weil ihn nichts dazu nötigt. Er glaubt weiterhin an Bomben und Aktien." Eva Quistorp, most recently portrayed in DIE ZEIT, wrote the "Friedensaufruf" to women.

Hartmann's volume is a valuable resource. Typically, Fritz Martini, who wrote a chapter on anti-war podms in Benno von Wiese's Die deutsche Lyrik considers only male poets, ignoring such voices as Ricarda Huch's, Bertha von Suttner's or Else Lasker-Schüler's. Yet Die deutsche Lyrik continues to be used by nearly all Departments of Germanics. The voices of women are also missing in a new volume called 's ist Krieg! 's ist Krieg!: Versuch zur deutschen Literatur über den Krieg 1914-1933, edited by Eckhardt Momber (Berlin: Arsenal, 1981). Borrowing from Ingeborg Drewitz, I would like to conclude that with the Atomic Age, men have brought about "den Eintritt des Menschen in seine selbst­verschuldete Entmündigung." Having realized this, women will work and write towards "den Austritt des Menschen aus seinem selbstverschuldeten Wahn."

At the end of the session, both men and women signed and collected signatures for a statement to the SPD and the Greens in West Germany in support of their disarmament efforts.

— Irmgard Hunt
Texas Tech. U., Lubbock


AATG 1983 (continued)

Christa Wolf: "Literatur heute muss Friedensforschung sein"

Christa Wolf's writings have always been haunted by war: the Second World War and also the possible war to come. Recently, her works have begun to confront the threat of war directly, and she has made explicit connections between war, modern industrial society, traditional literary aesthetics, and patriarchy.

Wolf claims that "literature today must be peace research" because it is uniquely suited to the task. Unlike the languages of politics and science, the language of literature does not of necessity destroy its user's relation­ship to him/herself and reality. Although literature risks reproducing our culture's distorted relationship to reality, it is the one language capable of confronting that risk and providing an alternative perspective.

Western scientific and rationalist traditions aim at mastery through the elimination of contradiction. Based on objectification, they kill all com­plexity into dualistic opposition and systematize it to make, it less threatening. It is this alienated thinking that allows men who are not "evil" to commit the atrocities of war.

The language of literature can quicken our interest in our own lives, encouraging us to see ourselves as subjects rather than objects of public discourse. It allows for a more complex and ambiguous vision—a more "realistic" vision—than the languages of politics or science. In Kassandra, the title figure reflects on this vision, which includes all that the Creeks, our cultural predecessors, exclude with their "sharp distinctions" of "truth or lie, right or wrong, victory or defeat, friend or enemy, life or death." Literature, to be peace research, must help us bring this vision forth so that it may not be said of us what Kassandra says of the Greeks: that they don't understand how to live.

— Myra Love
Purdue U.

Bertha von Suttner, Champion for Peace

"Lay down your arms. Tell that to many, many" were the dying words of Bertha von Suttner (1843-1914), writer, political journalist, founder of the Austrian Peace Society and first woman Nobel prize winner. Famous for her Tendenzroman against war and for peace, Die Waffen Nieder (Lay Down Your Arms) at the turn of the century, in the last two decades Suttner has under­gone a great revival both here and abroad with new editions of Lay Down Your Arms and the Memoirs, several biographies, journal articles and monographs including the recent volume by Gisela Brinker-Gabler subtitled Kämpferin für den Frieden with excerpted texts from her works on peace. The Nachlass is at the United Nations Library in Geneva but much material is available in the United States in the Alfred Hermann Fried collection of Suttner books and polemical pamphlets and speeches at the library of the Hoover Institute on War, Revolution, and Peace at Stanford. The Austrian pacifist Fried and Suttner were close associates: in 1891 he founded and she edited the pacifist journal Die Waffen Nieder which in 1899 became Die Friedenswarte


AATG 1983

Bertha von Suttner, Champion for Peace (continued)

with Fried as editor and Suttner contributing a monthly column "Randglossen" ("Footnotes to Contemporary Affairs 1892-1914"), and also covering her two trips to America with "Briefe aus Amerika." (The Hoover library has all the volumes of these journals.)

Of special interest in a talk on Bertha von Suttner in San Francisco is a speech she gave in San Francisco in 1912 at the national Congress of the General Federation of Women's Clubs addressing the question: "What can we do to further world peace?" In this speech she discussed the various aspects of the peace movement, seeing universal peace not as a possibility but a necessity and looking to America for help. (Xerox copies of Suttner's speech were passed out at the meeting. It has been reprinted in the Beatrix Kempf biography of Suttner: Woman for Peace. )

— Edna Huttenmaier Spitz
Stanford U.

"Make Love, not War." Else Lasker-Schülers Pazifismus.

Über den Eindruck des Exotischen, den Lasker-Schüler zweifellos vermittelte— Benn beschreibt, man konnte mit ihr nicht die Strasse überqueren, ohne dass Passanten stehenblieben und die tingelig Kostümierte anstarrten—vergassen viele Kritiker die Substanz ihres dichterischen Werks. Dieses vermittelt durch das Medium der Liebe und des Liebens das Motiv der Versöhnlichkeit und der Friedlichkeit. Nicht zuletzt setzt Lasker-Schüler die Erotik und Sinn­lichkeit auch gegen den Heroenkult ihrer Zeit ein.

Es lässt sich dabei eine Entwicklungslinie aufzeigen, wie die Friedensposition der Dichterin in einer kriegszerissenen Welt im Laufe der Zeit an Dringlichkeit zunimmt. Krieg und Töten entfremdet ihr auch geliebte Menschen, wie an der kalten Würdigung Marcs deutlich wird. ln den Dichtungen des Blauen Klaviers, geschrieben unter dem Eindruck von Exil und Vernichtung, rückt auch das Liebesmotiv in eine idealische Ferne—entweder die verlorene Kindheit, das verlorene Paradies oder die Unerreichbarkeit der Jugend. Sehnsucht lässt die Hoffnungslosigkeit der Liebesappelle deutlich werden.

Die letzte Enttäuschung trifft Lasker-Schüler in Israel, das sie von ethnischen Konflikten zerrissen sieht. Kindlich wirken ihre Vorschläge, arabische und jüdische Kinder in Jahrmarktsveranstaltungen zusammenzubringen. Gleichzeitig fällt Lasker-Schülers Systemferne auf. Es geht ihr nicht um die Politik der Männer, sondern das sinnlose Leiden der verarmten, misshandelten Frauen und Kinder. Sie zeigt auf, dass deren Unterdrückung nicht an Herkunft oder Religion gebunden ist, sondern universal auftritt. In diesem Sinne auch Lasker-Schülers Kostümierungen und Übertretungen der Konventionen: diese bedeuten ihr als Frau, die in Deutschland und Israel sich in einer marginalen Position befand, zu wenig, als dass sie sie hätte respektieren wollen. Gerade nämlich in der Hierarchie, die die Menschen voneinander trennt und sie das Vorurteil lehrt, steht dem Frieden, wie sie ihn versteht, im Wege.

— Dagmar Lorenz
Ohio State U.


AATG 1983 (continued)

(Sydna [Bunny] Weiss has not yet sent a summary of her presentation "A Teaching Module: Women and Peace." By all accounts, the above session was very well attended—according to Irmgard Hunt, "probably the best attended session at the conference." Following the presentation of papers, there was a brief business meeting chaired by Bunny Weiss. The major agenda items were announcements of WiG projects and selection of session coordinators for AATG 1984.)

MLA 1983

WOMEN MAKING LITERARY HISTORY: THE NEW GENERATION OF WOMEN WRITERS IN THE GDR Coordinators: Renate Delphendahl, U. Maine, Orono and Patricia Herminghouse, U. Rochester.

Women Taking Hold of Their Lives

My paper deals with three GDR writers who see the world through the lens of their female experience, don't like what they see, and try to suggest changes. Their heroines, like themselves, are professional women trying to create a satisfying life and in so doing they must cope with a society that is still male-oriented.

Helga Schubert's "Meine unverheirateten Freundinnen" (in Das Verbotene Zimmer, Luchterhand 1982) describes the lives of single professional women who take their responsibilities seriously, thus being integrated into society, but who also shun conformity. They change husbands and lovers continuously, unable to find the ideal man with whom they could live permanently. They themselves are still caught up in the old man-woman game: in a love affair they, the indepen dent professionals, become yielding and dependent, creating a strain on the relationship which eventually breaks it. They are unable to resolve their dilemma and do not recognize that they are really pointing towards the future by supporting and being supported by their women friends, the only constant in their lives.

Christine Wolter's "Ich habe wieder geheiratet" (in Wie ich meine Unschuld verlor, Aufbau 1976) shows another professional woman whose marriage breaks up. She, the professional equal, cannot sustain equality in her marriage; her husband starts to dominate her and leaves. She finds the ideal "marriage" in a relationship with another woman. This relationship works because her partner likes doing the things she doesn't like to do. And at the end we are not sure that this is a permanent solution when her partner goes off to spend the night with the narrator's former husband. There are too many unlikely prerequisites to make this a way of pointing to the future.

In her story "Ich werde ich," Monika Helmecke plays on the controversy body- soul, old-young. She visualizes a fusion of man and woman symbolized in the implantation of a young woman's brain into an old man's body. Contrary to expectation, it is the old body which absorbs the young brain after a fierce


MLA 1983

I=Myself. Women Taking Hold of Their Lives (continued)

struggle in which the woman tries to hold on to her identity. Finally she realizes all she can salvage of her personality is the caring and empathy she feels toward the man's wife, and consoles herself with the hope of another transplant to enable her very gradually to transmit her experience from body to body and finally, in a distant future, to achieve a true male- female fusion.

The three stories are first-person narratives, so we never learn the reactions of the other persons involved. But this intense identification with the heroine conforms to the need of women writers to express their side of the story, and is their contribution to a literature that had been dominated by men for so long.

— Elisabeth Nations
Augustana Coll.

(Summaries of "The Year 1974: Laying the Foundation for the New Generation" by Gudrun Brokoph-Mauch (St. Lawrence U.) and "The Third Wave: New Women Writers and Women's Issues in the GDR" by Dorothy Rosenberg (Colby Coll.) were not received. Jeanette Clausen (1PFW) had to cancel her attendance at MLA for health reasons, so her paper on "Abortion Experiences in Recent Fiction by GDR Women Writers" was not presented.)


Coordinator: Sieglinde Lug, U. Denver

Methodological Considerations toward a New
"Image" of Women in Literary History

In general, a feminist analysis of women characters in works by male authors involves establishing a distance between critic and text by questioning the social, psychological, and historical assumptions that shape a given text.
In this task letters and diaries of real women contemporary to the author may provide a helpful contrast to the fictional women; also, new feminist work in history and other subjects can spark new insights. Categorizations such as Earth Mother and femmes fatales are dated and of limited impact and value; it would be more profitable to concentrate on reinterpreting single literary works from the standpoint of the woman figure and her relation to text structure, plot and the remaining characters.

It should be a basic tenet of feminist criticism that sex is a social cate­gory, relations between the sexes socially conditioned, and that male and female characters should therefore be evaluated by the same standards, rather than by sex-specific standards.

Three important theories of what women signify are 1) gender complementarity, 2) identification of women with love or sexual drives, and 3) woman as nature. "Geschlechtermythologie" (1) must be exposed as a paradigm of a certain group,


Methodological Considerations toward a New "Image" of Women in Literary History (continued)

era or author rather than as a timeless norm. Love must be seen in relation to power rather than as physical or emotional need. The equation of women with nature has been unfruitful. More exciting is the analogy between women and art works. Gilbert and Gubar have pointed out that much of the suffering of women in fiction is produced by the attempt of an author or character to "kill" the woman into art (in German literature, figures of Goethe, T. Mann, Dürrenmatt immediately come to mind). What needs then to be done is to scrutinize differing concepts of nature, taking nature for what it always is in literature: a social construct, a work of art, just like so many women characters in literary history.

— Julie D. Prandi
Columbia U.

Deconstructing the Canon

This study of the German literary canon is based on a survey of graduate reading lists and book lists in survey courses at universities granting M.A.'s or Ph.D.'s in German literature. I compiled these into one central list and analysed this collective list with regard to women authors. 1 located gaps in the list in the periods of Classicism/Romanticism (1771-1840) and in the period 1840-1920's (with the exceptions of Ricarda Huch and Else Lasker- Schüler). In general women authors on the list are pre-Reformation or twentieth century, and thus are temporally peripheral to the traditional periodization of Germanistik. I speculated about the historical reasons for these omissions, and presented my own revised list of "who's who" in German women's literature. I will be submitting this for publication shortly.

— Jeannine Blackwell
Michigan State U.

(A summary of "Working Class Women Writers in Wilhelmine Germany and the Literary Canon" by Joan Reutershan (New York U.) was not received.)

WiG Business Meeting, December 28, 1:00 p.m.

A brief and, by all accounts, mildly chaotic business meeting followed the session "Feminist Re-Visions of German Literary History." The first item of discussion was the need for fundraising to finance the visits of Irmtraud Morgner and Helga Schutz to the US in fall 1984. Martha Wallach, Sandy Frieden and Karen Achberger have assumed the major responsibility for this work. Another topic discussed was the recommendation (made for the first time by Karen during the 1983 WiG conference in Boston) that German depart­ments wishing to schedule visits by the authors WiG invites to our annual conferences should be WiG members. (Since no one reported any negative response to this recommendation, I assume the consensus was that we adopt it as policy. Departmental memberships are only $25.00 per year. Urge your


WiG Business Meeting, December 28, 1:00 p.m. (continued)

department to become a member of WiG. —Ed. note.)

Concerning WiG 1984, MLA 1984 and AATG 1984, announcements of dates and dead­lines were made and other "housekeeping" details attended to. (Calls for papers for all three meetings were mailed in early February.) Other announce­ments were made, including the second conference on feminist literary criti­cism in the FRG (see announcement, p. 18 of this newsletter).

It was announced that 1985 will be the TENTH ANNIVERSARY of the annual WiG conference, an occasion which perhaps calls for a special celebration of some kind. Konstanze Baumer pointed out that 1985 is also the 200th anniversary of Bettina von Arnim's birth and suggested a focus on her life and/or work. Those present were asked for suggestions as to whom to invite as guest author for the 1985 WiG conference, which is being planned for the west coast (Kathryn Strachota, Dinah Dodds and Charlotte Smith have volunteered to locate a suitable site and help organize the conference). Some people argued in favor of inviting a woman filmmaker rather than an author for 1985 (Ulrike Ottinger and Margarethe von Trotta were suggested); other suggestions from the sign-up sheet that circulated were: Gisela Brinker-Gab1er; Brigitte Schwaiger; a Swiss woman author (if truth be told, Switzerland has gotten rather short schrift from WiG so far —Ed. note). No consensus was reached on any of the above topics, owing to lack of time and the small number of members able to stay for the meeting, which dwindled steadily as the hour grew later. The meeting, chaired by Martha Wallach, broke up/was adjourned at about 1:35 p.m.

— Summary by JC, from information reported by Martha Wallach, Barbara Wright and Jeannine Blackwell

Coordinator: Barbara D. Wright, U. Conn., Storrs.

Our session opened with Florence Howe, who asserted that women's studies [in this country] "has focused on its navel." In other words, women's studies has looked almost exclusively at the US and Britain, with sidelong glances at France—probably in large measure out of discomfort with the foreign lan­guages that would be required for a more international perspective. From her position as co-director of the Women's Studies International Network, she assured us of the vitality of women's studies in other parts of the world—as well as the palpable differences from Western feminism. She also announced that The Feminist Press will soon publish a volume entitled Feminist Poetry from the Middle Ages to the Present, which will contain French, Spanish, Italian and German lyrics in the original language with facing-page English translations.

Virginia Thordike Hules (French Dept., Wellesley Coll.) next talked about the "teacher/student (disJconnection." She called for a revaluing of passion, a


MLA 1983


new definition of power, and the reintegration of both in the classroom. In discussing passion, Virginia referred to Carol Gilligan's[1] work on male and female psychological development: while men think of themselves as separate individuals in competition with other individuals, relying on rules and rights to order the competition, women are more likely to see themselves con­nected to others, feeling a responsibility for relationship and collaboration. Virginia argued that in a feminist pedagogy passion is joined with cognition, cooperation is stressed over competition and connection replaces disconnection- both between students and teacher, and among the students themselves. In dis­cussing power, she explained that it need not be regarded as scarce or coveted but rather as something available to all for the group welfare. Power can come from a variety of sources: force, rhetoric, money or fealty, for example. Of all of these, the power that comes from fealty is the most stable, ethical and equitable. Virginia closed by calling for power to be decentralized, democratized and shared in the classroom, though she acknowledged that this is difficult in a social context where disconnection, competition and rivalry predominate. For practical suggestions she referred the audience to two books, Caring and Sharing in the Foreign Language Classroom by Gertrude Moskowitz, and Learner-Centered Language Learning by Arthur Copolia.

My own remarks focused on the work that has been done thus far in evaluating foreign language textbooks for sexism, and on a critique of the kind of lan­guage we choose to teach our students. My arguments can be read in Barbara D. Wright, "The Feminist Transformation of Foreign Language Teaching" in the Women in German Yearbook, Vol. 1 (University Press of America, forthcoming, 1984).

Our session closed with Francine Frank (Spanish and linguistics, SUNY, Albany). Surveying the last 10 or 12 years of feminist activity to eliminate sexism from foreign language teaching materials, she concludes that while much has changed, the battle continues and has in some ways become more difficult.
Sexism survives, but often in subtler forms. The guidelines for avoiding sexism and stereotyping which many publishers adopted in the late seventies were rather permissive, none of them addressed FL texts specifically, and one might say they represented "equal opportunity" rather than "affirmative action." In 1981, when the MLA Commission on the Status of Women in the Profession surveyed publishers, they expressed continuing desire to produce balanced and non-sexist materials.

However, contacts with publishers in the last year showed that some authors have resisted attempts to remove sexist stereotypes and language from their texts. Having males and females represented equally in the text creates what some males perceive as a "feminist" tone and a threat to the status quo. One editor stated that their publishing house had "gone overboard" at times and had had to "correct back." Several editors argued that the foreign cultures involved were sexist and that non-sexist material would therefore not be

*Carol Gilligan, In a Different Voice. Psychological Theory and Women's Development. (Harvard Univ. Press).


MLA 1983


authentic (none seemed to recognize that the same would hold true for our own culture). One editor did say it would be helpful to have current information about the women's movement in other countries and recent changes in lifestyle.

Finally, bringing us up to date, Francine reported that an informal telephone survey of some of the same publishers—carried out just the week before the MLA convention—revealed that the same opinions and concerns still exist. Guidelines for non-sexist usage are used by in-house editorial staffs, and the official policy is to delete derogatory of stereotypical material from new texts or old ones under revision. Above all, photographs are changed— but this remains a cosmetic change as long as the basic content of the book does not change. Editors must still be alert to sexist language, as many authors continue in their traditional ways. Secondary school textbooks seem to receive more scrutiny than college texts. As a reviewer of FL textbooks, Francine asserted that many new textbook proposals show no awareness of sex­ism on the part of the authors. Moreover, the list of questions which reviewers are asked to address does not include anything concerning sexism; apparently, editors believe they can handle this problem in-house without any outside help.

Francine closed with comments on three recent Spanish textbooks, which she assumed would be typical of texts for most of the languages commonly taught in the US. She warned, though, that this is a conservative profession and that many instructors still use older textbooks. She also noted that both students and teaching assistants at her institution are aware of the sexism in the materials currently used there, but neither group seems to regard this as a crucial issue; it is accepted as somehow in the nature of things and peripheral to the main concerns of the foreign language course.

In 1979, Francine found that women continued to be underrepresented numeri­cally in dialogues and readings. Though several books had made an attempt to portray women in an unbiased way, deeply ingrained sex stereotyping had proven resistant to change; even the books which took pains to stress a woman's intelligence still dwelled on her physical appearance to a greater extent than for men. The persistence of sexism in grammar and vocabulary further revealed how difficult it was to eradicate stereotypes or discriminatory terminology, even when the will to do so existed. Perhaps most seriously, Francine also found that many books reflected a very masculine world where only the activities and concerns of men were important. Few texts provided a context where both women and men could feel comfortable. In conclusion, Francine was able to see some signs of hope and progress, but found that similarities with the past outweigh the changes or improvements.

The panel was followed by lively informal discussion and the distribution of various hand-outs, including the WiG collection of textbook reviews, which will also be published in a forthcoming issue of Women's Studies Quarterly.

— Barbara Wright
U. Connecticut, Storrs



WIG 1983

(The following two items relating to the 1983 WiG conference in Boston were received too late to be included in the November 1983 newsletter.)

Finding a Voice in the University Administration

A 1973 survey of 3,000 Americans, my survey of books on public speaking, a survey of students in Intermediate German, my observation of women's behavior in university governance meetings, and last but not least the responses to my WiG questionnaire on public speaking provide strong evidence that many persons (not all!), and especially women fear public speaking or have ambivalent feelings about it. Since women desire greater access to all areas of public life it is necessary that the problem of public speaking and assertiveness which is closely tied to it be addressed widely and effectively. This should be done with short term as well as long term goals.

As regards short term goals, we must improve our own skills in public speaking now and encourage other women to do so. We must be aware that we present role models now for the next generation. For immediate help I handed out a "kit" containing the following: A checklist of examples of behaviors that can be sex stereotypic in nature; "Talking Tough," an article on princi­ples of "powerspeak;" a list of reasons why women have the same difficulties in public speaking as men plus; the "Public Speaker's Bill of Rights," an assertiveness test. Furthermore I recommended a recent book: Talk-Power, A Systematic Training Program, Natalie H. Rogers, Dodd, Mead, & Co., New York, 1982, $12.95 (it includes strategies on quest ion/answer periods after a presentation). As possible improvement steps I recommended accepting leadership assignments wherever possible, speaking up at every opportunity, using the classroom as rehearsal stage, taking initiative (acting instead of reacting), anticipating controversial issues and preparing for verbal confrontation, networking with other women for moral support. These are all assertiveness- and confidence-building activities that will also enhance speaking skills.

Long term goals concern the next generation: our students, daughters, other young women. They should all be encouraged to engage in the activities described above. In the classroom we should strive for a less teacher- centered climate, give plenty of opportunity for participation, debate, short and longer presentations. These efforts on the part of students should receive feedback and be included in the evaluation of the course work.

P.S. After this workshop, Charlotte Armster, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, informed me of an organized approach to improving women's public speaking skills at Dartmouth, spearheaded by Professor Marilyn Reeve, Dept. of Speech. Please contact her or Professor Reeve lor details.

— Irmgard C. Taylor
SUNY, Cortland


WiG 1983 (continued)

Thompson Island

In 1951 my first train trip in America had taken me to Massachusetts where a kindly foreign student adviser already had decided what I should study: Germanistik.

Germanistik has come to accompany me through life. Many times I tried to shake—it? her?—off. But—she—has clung to me. After 1968 she tried to shake me off. And I clung to her. In the form of Women in German.

These women, most of them Americans and some Germans, for the first time formulated for me, put into words, the feelings I long had held for this discipline, dealing with my mother tongue and literature that was beloved to my mother and my father. WiG women legitimized the anger I had long felt for the mode in which I had allowed myself to be forced to study.
WiG women for the first time read papers I found truly exciting. WiG women also made me fully aware that the Germanistik in whose arms I landed unwittingly and truly only half consciously (for that you must read the story of my journey to America) was a discipline conceived by men and for men. Conservative men. Men whom most of my ancestors at the time of con­ception of Germanistik would have considered "masters." Men who saw them­selves proudly as the elite.

Germanistik most certainly was not a child of my people. WiG women however have now adopted this child and begun the long and slow process of reeduca­ting and changing her. An arduous task, but a fascinating task. A task which to my great chagrin takes more youthful ardor than I can muster at this stage of my life.

My days on Thompson Island were filled with joy and with chagrin. The joy of watching the women making inroads in the transformation of Germanistik from a whore into a feminist—and the sorrow of being mostly a spectator rather than a participant of this process!

Thank you, WiG Women, for extricating my language and my literature from the cold-hearted, objective and cruel surgeons. Thank you for bringing joy and warmth to the study of words and giving me hope that perhaps even I will live to see a renaissance of Germanistik—and, perhaps, perhaps, perhaps even still teach HER some day!

— Marianne Landré Goldscheider
Brooklyn, NY


Detailed calls for papers for all of the following sessions were mailed in early February; this listing is meant only as a reminder. To send in a proposal, please contact the coordinators directly.

 [drawing: TOOT]


CALLS FOR PAPERS (continued)

AATG 1984, November 16-18, Chicago

1. Women and German Film (approaches to teaching films by women and/or images of women in film in any period of German cinema). Coord. Barbara Hyams, For. Lang. & Comp. Lit., U. Tulsa, Tulsa, OK 74104 and Sieglinde Lug, For. Langs. & Lits., U. Denver, Denver, CO 80210.

2. Women and Peace (literature from any of the German-speaking countries, from any period). Coord. Irmgard Hunt, Gmc & Slavic, Texas Tech U., Lubbock, TX 79409 and Irmgard C. Taylor, Int. Comm. & Culture, SUNY at Cortland, [redacted] Cortland, NY 13045.

MLA 1984, December 27-30, Washington, D.C.

1. Appropriating Faust (feminist reinterpretations of Goethe's Faust or the Faust-myth; appropriations of Faust-myth in women's literature). Coord. Gerlinde Geiger, Smith Coll., Dept. of German, Northampton, MA 01060 and Konstanze Baumer, For. Langs. & Lits., Syracuse. U. 327 H.B.C., Syracuse, NY 13210.

2. (Re)Making Myth in German Women's Writing (especially attention to formal aspects of the use of myth and ideological implications of these forms). Coord. Angelika Bammer, Dept. of German, Vanderbilt U., Nashville, TN 37235 and Karen Achberger, German Dept., St. Olaf Coll., Northfield, MN 55057.

WIG 1984, October 18-21, Thompson Island, Boston

1. What Do Feminist Germanists Want (or Need)? (Opening session—what direc tions should WiG be going in?) Coord. Gail Newman, Dept. of German, Williams Coll., Williamstown, MA 01267 and Dorothy Rosenberg, Mod. For. Lang., Colby Coll., Waterville, ME 04901.

2. Women and Humor, or: Why are These Women Laughing? (humor in German women's writing—forms, functions, etc.). Coord. Karen Achberger, Dept. of German, St. Olaf Coll., Northfield, MN 55057 and Sheila Johnson, Dept. of German, Ohio State U., Columbus, OH 43210.

3. Practical Feminist Strategies for Teaching Intermediate German (locus on language and/or literature, and teaching of German film). Coord. Marlene Heinemann, Mod. & Classical Langs., [redacted] U. Wyoming, Laramie, WY 82070; Joan Moessner, Dept. of Ling. & For. Langs., U. Alaska, Fairbanks, AK 99701; and Sandy Frieden, Dept. of German, U. Houston, Houston, TX 77004.

5. Witches and Wise Women (interdisciplinary panel; feminist reappraisals of the belief in, practice of, persecution for witchcraft in any histori­cal period). Coord. Jeanette Clausen, Mod. For. Lang., IPFW, Fort Wayne, IN 46805 and Patsy Baudoin, Schoenhof's Foreign Books, 76A Mt. Auburn St., Cambridge, MA 02138.

* * * * *

Women and Humor: There is a useful bibliography on women's humor in Women and Language News Vol. VII, No. 1, pp. 20-24. WLN is available from the University of Illinois, 244 Lincoln Hall, Urbana, IL 61801.



Die zweite Tagung von Frauen in der Literaturwissenschaft findet vom 8. bis 11. Juni 1984 in Bielefeld statt. Geplant werden folgende sieben Sektionen; es wird angenommen, dass ausser Literatur- und Sprachwissenschaftlerinnen auch Kunsthistorikerinnen, Soziologinnen, Psychologinnen, Historikerinnen, Philosophinnen, Religionswissenschaftlerinnen und Medizinhistorikerinnen teil­nehmen werden. Anregungen für ein "kulturelles Beiprogramm" (Fest, Lesungen, Rockband, Ausstellungen, Performances, etc.) werden auch gesucht. Termin für Vorschläge, Exposés, Anfragen usw. an die jeweiligen Planerinnen war der 15. January 1984. Kontaktadresse für die Vorbereitungsgruppe ist: Maria Kublitz, [redacted]



Planung: Sigrid Weigel, redacted], Ruth Schmutz, [redacted]


Planung: Susan Winnett, Friedrich-Legan-Str. [redacted], Kerstin Wilhelms, redacted]

Planung: Susanne Amrain, [redacted], Annegret Pelz, [readcted]

Planung: Inge Stephan, Literaturwissenschaftliches Seminar, U. Hamburg, Von-Melle-Park 6, 2000 Hamburg 13. [redacted] oder [redacted] Irene Guy, [redacted]

Planung: Maria Kublitz, [redacted], Ursula Geitner [redacted], Gabriele Bail, Ewaldstr. [redacted]

Planung: Regula Venske, Grossheidestr. [redacted], Gerlinde Horsch, [redacted] Annette Bley, Rellingerstr. [redacted]

Planung: Marianne Schüller, Gabriel-Seidel-Str. [redacted] Renate Berger, Literaturwissenschaftliches Seminar, U. Hamburg, Von-Melle-Park 6, 2000 Hamburg 13. [redacted]

* * * * *

"Es gibt im Wissenschaftsbetrieb so gut wie kein Geld, keine Stelle, keine Chance für Frauen und Frauenforschung. Ist auch bundesweit der Anteil der Studentinnen auf 37%, gestiegen, gibt es nur ca. 8% Hochschullehrerinnen, und die wenigsten im Frauenforschungsbereich." (from Rundbrief 1, "Frauen in der Literaturwissenschaft," November 1983).



Marianne Burkhard sent the following information about the IVG Congress to be held in Gottingen, August 25-31, 1985:

"The call for papers for the 1985 IVG Congress is out. Proposals must be submitted by April 30, 1984 to the section chairs. (I have complete info; contact me for details.) There will be a section on Frauensprache-Frauenliteratur chaired by Inge Stephan (Hamburg), myself, and an as yet not deter­mined male. Of course, interested people should also think about submitting proposals to other sections (25 in all). The IVG is attended by Germanists from many non-European countries, so it's a chance to make our ideas more widely known. To submit proposals and attend the conference, you need not become a member of IVG, but non-members must pay a higher fee (DM 250 or 300 versus DM 100 or 150; the higher rate if payment is made after March 31, 1985).
I have application forms if you want to join. A five-year membership costs DM 100, but you can apply for reduced membership fees by showing financial hardship. For application forms, information about section topics for the 1985 Congress, or any other questions, call or write me." — Marianne Burkhard, U. Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. [redacted]

* * * * *

The Eighteenth Annual Comparative Literature Symposium at Texas Tech Univer­sity, to be held January 24-26, 1985, will be an interdisciplinary conference with the topic WAR AND PEACE: PERSPECTIVES IN THE NUCLEAR AGE. There will be keynote speakers in literature, history, journalism, science, and theology. Proposals for papers must be received by May 1, 1984. Address: Irmgard Hunt, Dept. of Germanic and Slavic, Texas Tech U., Lubbock, TX 79409.

* * * * *

The Thirteenth Annual International Women's Writing Guild Conference will be held at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, NY from July 27 - August 3, 1984. The conference theme is "Aspects of Transformation II." The conference gives equal billing to writing for self-fulfillment as well as writing for publication, and is responsible for the publication of 65 books in the past 5 years by hitherto unpublished women writers. Close to 50 workshops will be offered in every genre of writing, including: word processing for writers, social biography, romances, fiction, poetry, journal writing, film and video script writing; as well as workshops on photography, storytelling, yoga, collage and kite flying. New York literary agents are always part of the event. Most evenings feature readings of work in progress by the attendees. The only prerequisite for participation is a sincere interest in the written word. Basic rates for the full week (room and board) are $365.00 double/ $405.00 single. For more information contact Hannelore Hahn, International Women's Writing Guild, Box 810 Grade Station, New York, NY 10028. Tel. (212) 737-7536.

* * * * *



Goetzinger, Germaine. Für die Selbstverwirkiichung der Frau: Louise Aston Frankfurt: Fischer TB 1280, 1983.

I like my secondary literature juicy, true, organized, pertinent, and larded with footnotes. Germaine Goetzinger has given me such a book.

For years we have been fed fleeting references to Louise Aston. She is either the German George Sand or a sexually flamboyant barricade fighter of 1848 about whom much is implied but nothing concrete reported. Those of us writing feminist dissertations read one or two of her "autobiographical” works. I, for one, was totally ahistorical and gullible in that reading.

And here Goetzinger sets us gently straight. She gives us carefully researched biographical detail (and tells us which sources are wrong), describes the ideology and history of Aston's detractors, and includes in the anthology the pertinent newspaper articles, police spy reports, diary entries, book dedications. Finally, and most important in my mind, she lets Louise Aston speak for herself. Goetzinger chooses the same excerpts I would take from Wilde Rosen, Meine Emanzipation, Verweisung und Rechtfertigung, Aus dem Leben einer Frau, Freischarler Reminscenzen, and Revolution und Contre- Revolution. It has clever illustrations, a good select bibliography, and a list of primary sources. What more could I want!

This inexpensive biography/anthology would be a) delightful reading for fatigued feminists, b) a good inclusion in a course on German women authors, c) an excellent antidote to Stifter in a 19th century course.

— Jeannine Blackwell
Michigan State U.

Joeres, Ruth-Ellen Boetcher. Die Anfänge der deutschen Frauenbewegung: Louise Otto-Peters. Frankfurt: Fischer TB 3729, 1983, 292 pp.

This book is a welcome addition to the series Die Frau in der Gesellschaft. Ruth-Ellen Boetcher Joeres is to be commended for her tenacity over the years in ferreting out both published—but inaccessible—and unpublished texts by Louise Otto. One can only deplore the decision of the publisher to shorten the manuscript by half. (see Anmerkung, p. 30) This kind of censorship in the name of "verlagstechnischen Gründen" continues to hamper the cause of feminist scholarship within German Studies. Only ready access to the full range of Louise Otto's work can lead to the kind of new assessment of nine­teenth century German feminists which is so needed.

I especially like the organization of the volume into chronological units, each containing a "Lebenstafel" and introductory remarks, followed by the selected texts, with complete bibliographical information given at the end of the book. Joeres' general introduction and conclusion are highly sugges­tive of the kind of re-vision which can only be attempted when we have bet­ter access to the primary sources. She points out mistakes of fact that have been passed down from one secondary source to another. While Joeres



Joeres, Ruth-Ellen Boetcher. Die Anfänge der deutschen Frauenbewegung : Louise Otto-Peters. (continued)

does not try to provide a comprehensive analysis of Louise Otto, I find particularly provocative her suggestion that if we were to read the texts more attentively, we would not accuse L.O. of having become increasingly more conservative in later years. One hopes that Joeres herself will now undertake such a major study and that—in the meantime—other feminist scholars will react to her tentative conclusions as to why L.O. above all others was successful in organizing German women. (see Nachwort, pp. 265­272)

In a remarkable passage from Louise Otto's Einflussreiche Frauen aus dem Volke (1869) included in the book (pp. 228-229), she emphasizes the impor­tance of women writing about other women in order to rectify "history." Joeres' book provides one more vital piece in the patchwork of "herstory" in nineteenth century Germany. But we are still left with fragments rather than the whole cloth. Gan we not individually and as a group (WiG) flood Fischer Verlag with requests that a second volume of documents—to which Joeres alludes—be published as soon as possible? 1 urge you (us) to express your (our) sisterly solidarity in the interest of excellent scholar­ship!

— Margaret E. Ward
Wellesley College

— While you're still in the mood, here is Fischer's address: [redacted]

* * * * *

The German Women's Movement. Ed. Ingeborg Drewitz; transl. Patricia Crampton Bonn: Hohwacht Verlag, 1983. 152 pp.

This collection of seven essays provides a broad overview of women's emanci­pation and the social role of women in Germany from the early nineteenth century to the present. It is divided into three sections: the period from 1815 to the March Revolution of 1848; the Bismarck era through the Weimar Republic; and post-war Germany.

The first part consists solely of Renate Möhrmann's essay, "Female Emancipa­tion in the Period Preceding the 1848 Revolution in Germany," a condensed version of her foreward to Frauenemancipation im deutschen Vormärz (Reklam, 1978). The bibliography from that volume, with entries on Anneke, Aston, Dittmar, Hahn-Hahn, Lewald, von Meysenbug, Mühlbach and Otto-Peters is included, although unchanged. It would be more useful had it been updated.

In Part II Mechthild Merfeld provides a succinct analysis of August Bebel's Woman and Socialism (1879), particularly his critique of the nuclear family



The German Women's Movement. Ed. Ingeborg Drewitz; transl. Patricia Crampton. (continued)

and middle-class sexual morality. In the longest essay in the volume (30 pages), Gisela Brinker-Gabler provides a basic introduction to both the middle-class and the proletarian women's movements in the German Empire for the general reader by focusing on the individual contributions of such key figures as Helene Lange, Hedwig Dohm, Clara Zetkin, Helene Stocker, Bertha von Suttner and Rosa Luxemburg. In her essay Renate Faerber-Husemann dis­cusses the attempted equality of women in the Weimar Republic through women's suffrage as well as the discrimination against women under the Nazi Regime, based on the "mawkish and bare-faced ideology of motherhood."

The third section summarizes the progress and problems of the contemporary women's movement in the FRG: In "Women"s Rights and Family Law since the 19th Century" Ute Gerhard sees the non-appreciation of housework as the "cardinal cause of the previous failure of all efforts in favour of equality." Ute B. Frohlich provides a comparison of the old and new women's movements in her contribution. Finally, in "The Political and Social Position of Women Today" Martina I. Kischke discusses the effects of the new Marriage and Family Act (1977) in the FRG and provides statistical information on women employed in the FRG today.

Most of the contributions in the volume are very brief and contain short bibliographies (of German works) which vary in quality. The book, which is beautifully illustrated, appeared simultaneously in German, English, French and Spanish and is geared towards a broad inter­national audience. The English translation seems forced in places and renders some terms rather imprecisely. The choice of contributions is curious: Mohrmann's essay in the first part, for example, does not hold its weight in view of the three part division. The book is, however, useful to feminists and germanists for general reference. It also contains a chronological table listing milestones in the fight for women's rights as well as an illus­trated bio-bibliography on the contributors.

— Gerlinde Geiger
Smith College

Feministische Studien. (Weinheim: Beltz Verla 186 S., DM 20,-

Feministische Studien (Weinheim: Beltz Verlag) wurde bereits in der August Nummer (31) des WIG-Newsletter vom Vorjahr angekündigt als eine neue inter­disziplinäre Zeitschrift, die zweimal im Jahr erscheint (Mai und November) und durch den Verlag Beltz & Co., Postfach 2346, Ch-4002 Basel, Switzerland, bezogen werden kann. Das Einzelhelft kostet DM 20.-, das Jahresabonnement DM 35.-zuzügl. Versandkosten.



Feministische Studien. (continued)

Nummer 1 (Mai 1983) des 2. Jahrganges widmet sich dem Thema: hiebe .ans der Sicht von Frauen. In einem einleitenden Vorwort—übertitelt "Entwirrungen"— weisen Heide Göttner-Abendroth und Lising Pagenstecher auf die herkömmlichen Vorstellungen von "Liebe" hin, die für Frauen meist immer verbunden sind mit "Pflichten," die "nie enden sollende, immer verständnisvolle, selbst­lose, aufopfernde Mutter-, Gatten- und Nächstenliebe, die tätige Liebe im Kreis der Familie. Erst später denken wir an Liebe, die mit Lust, Sinnlich­keit^ Körperlichkeit zu tun hat." (S. 3) Oder an die Vorstellung von "Hin­gabe" und "Aufgabe," die in den grossen "Liebenden" (Leidenden) wie Isolde, Julia, Gretchen ihre Verkörperung fanden. Die Herausgeberinnen des Heltes fordern auf zu "Entwirrung" von Vorstellungen, damit neue, eigene Bilder von Liebe geschaffen werden können. Der Leitgedanke ist somit die "Selbst­aneignung der Liebe" durch Frauen. Er erfordert die Blickrichtung aul sich selbst, das Erkennen der Übernahme von männlichen Vorstellungen und männ­lichem Erleben von Sexualität und die Neuformulierung von erwünschten, veränderten Beziehungen zu den Männern. Unter verschiedenen Aspekten entwickeln die Autorinnen einen eigenen, kritischen Begriff von Liebe.
Hedwig Ortmann ("Uber die Schwierigkeiten in einer patriarchalischen Gesell­schaft das Leben mit Kindern zu behaupten") und Helgard Kramer ("Lässt sich sexistisches Verhalten verbieten?") beschreiben die Widersprüche, in die Frauen bei dem Versuch sich gegen "Fremdzuschreibungen und sexuelle Über­griffe zu wehren," geraten können (S. 5). Beide Arbeiten bringen wichtige Einsichten in die gegenwärtige arbeitsmarkt-, sozial- und sexua1po1itisehe Entwicklung, die durch Appelle wie "Gemeinsinn" und "Dienst an der Gemein­schaft" schon manches mal in der Geschichte die Se Ibstverwirk1ichungsver- suche von Frauen verhindert haben. Heide Göttner-Abendroths Untersuchung zur "Erotik in matriarchalen Gesellschaften," Sieglinde Eva Tömmels Beitrag zur "Sinnlichkeit in der frühen Mutter-Tochter-Beziehung," Sylvia Kades Recherchen "Uber die alternden Frauenidole in Rosa von Praunheims Arbeiten," über die unwürdigen Greisinnen mit sinnlichen Sehnsüchten- alle drei Arbeiten bereichern die Diskussion um einen neuen Begriff von Erotik.

Wie die Beziehungen von Frauen zu Männern sich im Lichte einer von Frauen bestimmten Erotik-Diskussion und Neudefinition im Bild, d.h. in der Kunst darstellen, dazu liefert dann auch Gisela Breitling ("Der verborgene Eros. Zur Kunst von Frauen") einen neuen aufschlussreichen Beitrag. Dass der gegenwärtigen Kunst von Frauen ein "neues Bild des Mannes" noch fehlt, wird u.a. zurückgeführt auf die Tatsache, dass "Männer von sich selbst kein Bild mehr haben" (S. 9), dass auch sie beginnen müssten ein neues Muster zu suchen und entwerfen. Es gibt zuviele Beiträge, die es verdienten wenigstens durch Angabe ihrer Schwerpunkte hervorgehoben zu werden. Eins wird beim Durchlesen dieses Heftes klar, nämlich, dass es mit der simplen Kontrastierung von Frauen contra Männer nicht mehr getan sein kann. Man wird unwillkürlich erinnert an Christa Wolfs mahnenden Aufruf zum Schluss ihrer Frankfurter Poetik-Vorlesung, der betont, dass die Veränderung der Geschlechterverhält­nisse als gemeinsame Aufgabe von Frauen und Männern zu sehen sei, auf dass die Hoffnung aul mehr Humanität in der Gegenwart und Zukunft erfüllt werden möge.

Ein ausführlicher Informations-Teil und Rezensionen zu neueren Publikationen ergänzen die wichtige, neue Zeitschrift zur Frauenforschung.

— Trudis E. Goldsmith-Reber
McGill University


Mechtel, Angelika. Gott und die Liedermacherin (München: List Verlag, 1983).

This particular novel has been eagerly awaited by those of us who had the chance to meet Mechtel in 1981. Not only does it signal a new, more militant stance of the author, but it also documents the way in which a German woman artist is confronted with patriarchal values during a singing tour through the United States. Thus for an American feminist audience the novel is of interest on several levels: what aspects of American culture are targeted for attack by a German author; what form does that attack take; how is it resolved; and not least of all, alas, which German departments and which of us or our colleagues are portrayed. I was somewhat disappointed on all counts. The novel, which consists of six chapters, depicts the trial of songwriter Julia Ritter, who is being sued for defamation of the male character per se. Although the trial is held in the FRG, the roots of the problem lie in the United States. During the trial the various stages of the singing tour are presented and analyzed both from Julia's standpoint and that of the male prosecution. The offensive material, i.e. the series of Julia's revisionist stories offering an alterna­tive, gynocentric interpretation of biblical and classical myths or German fairy tales, is included as evidence in the trial, as are the poetic texts by Claudius, Heine, Gryphius and others that Julia has set to music. The stations of her tour include New York, Boston, New Haven, "State College, Pa," Cin­cinnati, Chicago, Atlanta, Salt Lake City, Los Angeles, and Austin (not Racine!).* During the tour Julia becomes progressively disillusioned in her search to find "Godfather" (Gottvater!), the ultimate personification of patriarchal and capitalist values, whom she presumes to discover in this land of Patriarchy and Capitalism, until she gives up entirely. Her one source of solace is provided in Chicago by Kit, a non-male-identified man and a super­lover. In the end, after she flees from her identity as a performer and even abandons her alter ego as a latter-day "Scheherazade" (she tells stories to keep alive!), she takes refuge in a relationship to Kit on neutral territory (San Francisco). Eventually, though, she must also leave him and their undefined relationship in order to stand trial in West Germany.

I had problems with this novel, much as I otherwise enjoy Mechtel's work. I felt that she, who is so adept at evoking nuanced meaning in her careful pre­sentation of detail in her other novels and stories, had not been able to scratch the surface of the American experience. The trip through the country is so breathless that the description of people and places remains sketchy. Some of the details are striking, but they are immediately interpreted and pressed into the service of the "defense." As I read, I found myself wishing that Mechtel had taken some of those observations and created poems out of them, like those in the "hochhausgeschichten." Even the interpolated stories, which are the most playful element of the novel, seemed somehow too direct, too one­dimensional. Therefore, while I most certainly welcome the feminist conviction Mechtel brings to her work, I would encourage her to apply it to the situation in the FRG, to the German context that she portrays so well. Göttin und die Liedermacherin know that there's still a lot of work to be done there too.

— Susan L. Cocalis
University of Massachusetts/Amherst

*The 1981 Women in German conference was held in Racine, Wisconsin.




Barbara Wright (U. Conn., Storrs) will present a paper at NEMLA on March 29, 9:00-10:30 a.m., in a panel entitled "Linguistics and Women's Studies." The title of Barbara's presentation is "The Persistence of Sex-Role Stereotyping in Language."

Karen Achberger and Angelika Banimer will present papers on Reappropriating Myth in Contemporary German Women's Writing at the National Women's Studies Association Convention, to be held June 24-28, 1984 on the Douglass College Campus of Rutgers University. Angelika's presentation on Christa Wolf and Irmtraud Morgner is called "Writing for Our Lives," and Karen's is entitled "Subverting 'Reality:' Ingeborg Bachmann's Mythic counterpoint."


Edith Hoshino Altbach, "The New German Women's Movement," forthcoming in Signs, spring 1984.

Evelyn Torton Beck, "The Motherhood That Dare Not Speak Its Name," Women's Studies Quarterly Vol. XI, No. 4 (Winter 1983), pp. 8-11. (This entire issue of WSQ is on mothering and motherhood—for ordering information, write to The Feminist Press, [redacted] Old Westbury, NY 11568, or call [redacted]

Margaret Ward called our attention to the following articles on women in the GDR, written by a sociologist:

Joan Ecklein, "Women in the German Democratic Republic: Impact of Culture and Social Policy," in Women in the Middle Years: An Agenda for Research, ed. Janet Giele, a project under the auspices of the Social Science Research Council, Wiley and Sons, 1982, pp. 151-197.

Joan Ecklein, "Women's Lives and Social Policy in East Germany and the United States," with Janet Giele, in Studies in Comparative Communism: An Inter­disciplinary Journal, Fall 1981.

Joan Ecklein, "Obstacles to Understanding the Changing Role of Women in Socialist Countries," in Insurgent Sociologist, 1982.

*RUNDBRIEF — subscribe now!*

The first issue of the new West German Rundbrief "Frauen in der Literatur­wissenschaft" appeared in November 1983. It contains a progress report on the second conference on/for women in literary studies (June 8-11, 1984 in Bielefeld—see announcement, p. 18 of this newsletter), as well as reports on other conferences, projects, etc. of interest to feminists in various disci­plines. The Rundbrief is to be published four times a year. A year's sub­scription costs DM 20.- for students and the unemployed, DM 30.- (or more) for the employed. Remit the appropriate amount to the account ol Renate Berger (Stichwort:            Rundbrief), Hamburger Sparkasse, Kontonummer 1238/446 577.
Renate Berger is also the contact person for all manner of inquiries, sugges­tions, etc.: Renate Berger, Literaturwissenschaftliches Seminar, Univ. Hamburg, Von-Me1le-Park 6, 2000 Hamburg 13. [redacted]



SCHOENHOF'S FOREIGN BOOKS has moved to new quarters. Their new address:

Schoenhof's Foreign Books, Inc.
76A Mount Auburn St.
Cambridge, MA 02138

Their telephone number is still the same: [redacted] Patsy Baudoin sent the following list of recently received books:

Reinig, Christa: Der Wolf und die Witwen (Frauenoffensive, $7.80)

Goettner-Abendroth, H.: Die tanzende GöttinPrinzipien einer matriarchen Aesthetik (Frauenoffensive, $14.95)

Goettner-Abendroth, H.: Die Göttin und ihr Heros (Frauenoffensive, $12.95)

Haller, Gret: Frauen und Männer—Die Zukunft der Gleichberechtigung (rororo, $3.90)

Frieden, Sandra: AutobiographySeif Into Form (Peter Lang Verlag, $29.95)

Wartmann, Brigitte (Hg.): Weiblich-MännlichKulturgeschichtliche Spuren einer verdrängten Weiblichkeit ($17.95)

Hilzinger, Sonja: Kassandra—Über Christa Wolf (Haag & Herchen Verlag, $6.50)

* * * * *


The proceedings of the conference FEMINISTISCHE LITERATURWISSENSCHAFT: ZUM VERHÄLTNIS VON FRAUENBILDERN UND FRAUENLITERATUR, held in May 1983 in Hamburg, are being published by Argument Verlag, and may have already appeared by the time you read this. To order, contact Argument directly or write to Sigrid Weigel, [redacted]

* * * * *


German Feminism. Readings in Politics and Literature, ed. Edith Hoshino Altbach, Jeanette Clausen, Dagmar Schultz, Naomi Stephan (SUNY Press, to appear, July 1984). — You don't believe it, right? This book has been forth­coming for so long, this announcement must be just another red herring. Not so. The galleys were read and returned to the press in January, and if all goes well the book will appear on schedule in July 1984. It contains essays by West German and American feminists grouped under such headings as "Breaking the Silence," "Body Politics," "Sisterhood," "Motherhood and Housework," "Feminist Strategy" and "Women's Studies." There are literary selections by Irmtraud Morgner, Sarah Kirsch, Elfriede Bruning, Helga Novak, Christa Wolf, Maxie Wander, Margot Schroeder, Angelika Mechtel, Christine Wolter, Judith Offenbach, Jutta Heinrich and Christa Reinig. Please mark your calendars, or tie a string around your finger, or something, so you'll remember to rush right out and buy it when it (finally) appears.


The ANNOTATED GUIDE TO WOMEN'S PERIODICALS IN THE US & CANADA lists over 250 publications from across the United States and Canada. Each publica­tion is briefly reviewed by category and indexed both alphabetically and by state. The ANNOTATED GUIDE is a 52 page, perfect bound booklet. Subscriptions are $12/ind. (2 issues), $20/inst. & lib. (2 issues), $6.50/ind. (single copy), $10/inst. (single copy). Bookstore and adver­tising rates available on request. Order from: Annotated Guide, c/o N.S.I.W.S., Box E-94, Earlham College, Richmond, IN 47374.


(Gretchen Eisner-Sommer, new WiG member and Assistant Editor of JUMPCUT magazine, offered to help us locate films by German women filmmakers. Here is her list of such films already available from sources in the US. For a future issue of the newsletter, she will draw up a list of recent films and filmmakers not yet available here, so that we can get ourselves organized to demand them—or at least be sure to see them when we get the chance abroad.)

German Cinema and Women Filmmakers

Distribution in America of films by German women filmmakers is sparse. There are many German films made by women which we, here, can only read about or— rarely—see if they happen to tour the country in packages sponsored by the Goethe Institute, or by the artist herself, who hopes to find an American distributor. However, many of these films are not picked up because American demand is not great enough to make their distribution a lucrative venture.

One then gets the impression, when looking through a film rental catalogue, that all the films of the New German Cinema are made by men, with the possible exception of Margarethe von Trotta. Instructors of courses about German film correspondingly tend to focus on films made by men, and perhaps remain oblivious to the large body of work that is being done in Germany today by women.

The following list is an initial attempt to make teachers aware of the choices that are available to them in this country. It is hoped that distributors can be convinced of the need and demand in this country for a more well- rounded view of what is going on in German film today—but first the public itself must become aware of the choices.

— Gretchen Eisner-Sommer

I. Films available from commercial distributors. (listings are alphabetical according to the director's last name).

Export, Valie. INVISIBLE ADVERSARIES. 1976. 120 minutes.

"A feminist version of INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS. Packed with more changes and visual brilliance than a three ring circus, it is funny, violent, sexual." (Amy Taubin, Soho Weekly News).



Export, Valie. INVISIBLE ADVERSARIES. (continued)
Rental...$150.00. Zanzibar Productions, c/o Public Cinema, Inc. 144 Bleecker St., New York, NY 10012. [redacted]

Ottinger, Ulrike. MADAME X - AN ABSOLUTE RULER. 1977. 147 min.

Inspired by the story of a Chinese lady pirate of the thirties, Ottinger has made a film about a pirate ship with an all female crew and captain. Madame X, the pirate queen, appeals to the women of the world to join her, offering love, gold and adventure. Rental...$175.00. Zanzibar Productions (see above).

____  TICKET OF NO RETURN. 1979. 108 min.

A study of two unusual and very different women. One is rich, eccentric; suppressing and disguising her feelings she deliberately drinks herself into death and oblivion. The other one, much poorer, drinks for the same reasons but less consciously. The film explores the effects of alcoholism on modern women. Rental...$200.00. Zanzibar Productions (see above).

Perincioli, Cristina. THE POWER OF MEN IS THE PATIENCE OF WOMEN. 1978. 80 min. This film tells the story of a woman who finally finds the courage to leave her abusive husband. Her story is a composite of the true story of the three women who act in the film. The tradi­tional narrative form is enhanced by the improvisational style and first-hand experiences of the main characters. Rental...$125.00. IRIS Films, [redacted] Berkeley, CA 94705. [redacted]

Riefenstahl, Leni. BLUE LIGHT. 1932. 70 min.

A romantic fantasy film, typical of the German mountain films of this artist falls in love with a wild mountain girl and of the glittering rock crystals of Santa Maria. Films, Inc., 733 Green Bay Road, Wilmette, IL 60091. Tel. Mary Gramley [redacted]

____________  TRIUMPH OF THE WILL. 1934-35. 110 min. Documentary.
Commissioned by Hitler, this film of the 1934 Nuremberg rallies is one of the supreme propaganda films of all time. Rental...$100.00. Films, Inc. (see above).

____________  OLYMPIA. (parts I & II) 1936-38. 119 min.; 96 min.

Skillful editing and epic photographic style transformed this sports documentary into an ode to physical endeavor. Rental...$125.00 each. Films, Inc. (see above).

Sagan, Leontine. MADCHEN IN UNIFORM. 1931. 89 min.
Based on the novel by Christine Winsloe,* this film tells the story of a sympathetic teacher and a motherless student in a girl's school.
Its subversive, anti-patriarchal themes are astonishing when one realizes that the film was shot in Germany just two years before Hitler's coming to power. Rental...$100.00. Films, Inc. (see above).

*Is this another of those errors passed on from one secondary source to another? According to Christa Reinig, Winsloe's novel (Das Mädchen Manuela) was written after the film had been made, and is actually "ein



Sagan, Leontine. MÄDCHEN IN UNIFORM. (continued)

Buch gegen den Film." See Christa Winsloe, Mädchen in Uniform (Frauenoffensive 1983); biogr. essay by Christa Reinig, pp. 241­248. (Ed. note).

von Trotta, Margarethe (films listed in chronological sequence).

THE LOST HONOR OF KATHARINA BLUM. 1975. 102 min., co-directed with
Volker Schlöndorff. Based on the novel by Heinrich Boll, this film tells the story of a young woman who is harassed by police and exploited by journalists for her brief affair with an alleged terror­ist. The sexism of these assaults and the emotional terror that they generate open up new levels of the traditional political thriller. Rental...$250.00. Films, Inc. (see above).

"Christa Klages is about friendship and the bonds of identification between women. . .it's the film that the touted GIRL FRIENDS and ONE SINGS THE OTHER DOESN'T claimed to be but never got around to."
(The Chicago Reader). "Miss von Trotta is a feminist of striking filmmaking ability. [Her film] is mostly about uncertainty and the need to make choices. In this sense, it is more profoundly political than even the outraged BLUM." (Vincent Camby, NYT). Rental...$200.00. New Line Cinema, 575 Eighth Ave., New York, NY 10018. Call station to station collect [redacted]

This film focuses on the conflict between two sisters. One sister has molded herself into the image of traditional success. The other painfully discovers that she can never fit into that mode. Rental... $200.00. ALMI Films. Contact Lee Krugman, Acct. Rep. [redacted]
ALMI LIBRA CINEMA 5, 1585 Broadway, New York, NY 10036.

MARIANNE AND JULIANE. 1981. 109 min.
Von Trotta again explores the relationship between sisters who have chosen different life styles. Burdens of the past and personal respon­sibility play important roles in this relationship which is loosely based on the story of Gudrun Ensslin. Von Trotta provides in-depth psychological analysis of her characters through gestures, glances and nuances. As in her other films, her concentration on personal relation­ships intensifies and exposes the political restraints of the world the characters occupy. Rental...$150.00. NEW YORKER FILMS, 16 West 61st Street, New York, NY 10023. [redacted]

II. Films available from the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany.
Write for complete list and rental information: Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany, 4645 Reservoir Rd., N.W., Washington, DC 20007.

Brückner, Jutta, EIN GANZ UND GAR VERWAHRLOSTES MÄDCHEN. 1977. 76 min. Documentary of a day in Rita Rischak's life. The story is true and Rita plays her own role. She talks about her hopes, her dreams, her worries, her memories. The straightforwardness throughout is impressive.



Brückner, Jutta, HUNGERJAHRE-IN EINEM REICHEN LAND. 1979. 114 min.
This film deals with the hate-love relationship of a mother and daughter in post-war Germany.

Genee, Heidi, GRETE MINDE. 1976. 107 min.
Based on Fontane's novel. Grete Minde, a girl of sixteen, of Catholic-Spanish heritage is brought up in a Lutheran part of Germany. Having always been treated as an outsider, she decides one day to act like one, with tragic consequences.

____________  EINS UND EINS GLEICH DREI. 1979. 85 min.
The story of a young actress who is expecting a baby and has to decide between two men who offer to marry her. In the end she decides against marriage altogether.

Sander, Heike. EINE ALLSEITIG REDUZIERTE PERSÖNLICHKEIT. 1977/1978. 100 min. This feminist film, as earnest, clear and chilly as its elegant black and white photography, tells the story of a free-lance photographer in West Berlin. She struggles not only to support herself and her child but also to define herself as an artist and a woman.

Sanders-Brahms, Helma. DEUTSCHLAND-BLEICHE MUTTER. 1979. 130 min.
Tells the tragic story of Germany's young women during and after the war.

Spils, May. ZUR SACHE SCHÄTZCHEN. 1967. 80 min.
This film tells the story of a typical beatnik Martin and his friends and girlfriends.

Stöckl, Ula. NEUN LEBEN HAT DIE KATZE. 1968. 91 min.
A collage about five women in Germany in one week's time. All five women are in pursuit of happiness and are sure that they are on the right track.

____________  ERIKAS LEIDENSCHAFTEN. 1976. 71 min.
Two friends meet who, four years earlier, had shared an apartment and then separated. During the course of one night, the two friends engage in a detailed discussion of why their relationship failed.

* * * * *

As others see us . . . Ricarda Schmidt, a German WiG member currently living in England, wrote not long ago: "I find the WiG newsletter very stimulating because I can always tell that there are real people behind it who share their experiences, concerns and difficulties." As editor of the newsletter, I found this comment reassuring and affirming. To me, it says that we as individuals haven't disappeared behind a slick "professional" façade. Of course, that very "professionalism" is what gets us approval from the insti­tutions we work in. I'd be interested in hearing others' reactions. — JC



CHRISTA WOLF was given an honorary doctorate in absentia at the Ohio State U. autumn quarter commencement on December 9, 1983. Wolf was awarded the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters for her contributions to literature and her critical examination of social issues. Because of her personal con­victions against the United States' deployment of nuclear missile systems in Europe, Wolf had declined to accept the honorary degree at the spring 1983 commencement when Vice President George Bush was the commencement speaker. OSU President Jennings later wrote to her extending the opportu­nity to accept the degree in absentia, and she accepted in a letter to him on September 12, 1983, explaining her position: "I would not have been able to express [my convictions] during the spring commencement with the US Vice President present, and this inability would have put me in a position that would have been intolerable to me. Your letter . . . suggests to me that you wish to confer an honorary degree upon me under conditions that are acceptable to me. I appreciate your understanding and am pleased to accept this title from Ohio State, a university with which I feel close."

— (summarized from information sent by Helen Fehervary)

* * * * *


I, Jeanette Clausen, would like to resign as editor of the WiG newsletter.
I am willing to continue as treasurer and general record-keeper (maintain the membership list, etc.) for a few more years, but doing all this and the newsletter is TOO MUCH.

Would you be interested in the job of newsletter editor? Or would you like to recommend someone for the position? It's a lot of fun, pays no salary, and gives you a chance to correspond with many wonderful WiG members while contributing to the cause of feminism in German Studies—and it only takes over your life for a few days three times a year (March, August, November).
If you're interested, please write. All serious applications and nominations will be considered by the WiG steering committee when we meet at the October 1984 WiG conference. Write to Jeanette Clausen, newsletter address.

* * * * *

Connie Munk typed, cut, pasted, assembled, and above all cared about this newsletter. Illustrations (except on p. 1) are by Erin Clausen, age ten.
Veronica Munk, age two, did her part by refraining from spilling apple juice on the pages, since she had been told her new swing set would be partly financed by the money Connie earned from the newsletter. The cats kept pretty much to themselves.




This newsworthy news item was received at the very last minute, just before the neewsletter went off to be duplicated. We wanted to share it with you--there should always be room for more good news!
Emplyee Advocate, AFSCME, UCLA, Vol. 3, No. 1, Spring 1984

University Agrees to Settlement of Almut Poole's Case

Free Speech Issue Involved in Dispute

Almut Poole, who coordinated UCLA’s rape prevention education program prior to leaving the staff to complete her Phd dissertation, has agreed to a mediation of her numerous complaints against management. The settlement, which includ­ed destroying all negative documents which had been placed in her personnel file as well as a substantial cash payment, re­solved more than, a dozen grievances which had been filed on Ms. Poole's behalf by AFSCME local stewards at UCLA.

Poole had raised the ire of her superiors by arguing for a broader approach to rape prevention, one which went beyond the crime prevention method promoted by the UC Police Depart­ment. She also won disfavor by criticizing the use of ster­eotypes of rape victims which held them partly responsible for their victimization. Such stereotypes sometimes appeared in various rape prevention programs held at UCLA.

As a progressive educator and advocate, Poole wanted to promote the viewpoint that rape is a symptom of social ills, not just a criminal abberation. Of course, she also taught specific techniques for prevention, including self defense.

Because her consistent, principled advocacy of her views angered certain highly placed UCLA administrators, her job was threatened with numerous counseling memos and warning let­ters alleging non-compliance with departmental policy. This was despite the fact that Poole had a superior reputation in the community, including awards, as a rape prevention educator.

Poole's case, involving as it did significant issues con­cerning rape prevention as well as an employee's right to free speech, received coverage both in the student press at UCLA and in the L.A. Times.

It took several months of standing up to management harassment and the stress of being distracted from the work she wanted to do before Poole was able to win the mediation which settled all of her grievances.

(information sent by Almut Poole)



Weisefrau, Uta   33
Feminist University
Utopia, USA

This is Newsletter 33. Read your label and renew when numbers match.

Renew now, today, before you forget—sending out reminders is time-consuming and expensive, not to mention boring.

A new dues structure was approved at the October 1983 WiG conference. By increasing the rates for those earning higher salaries, we hope to be able to finance more projects, while still keeping rates low for students, the unem­ployed, and the underemployed.

Please fill out the section below, detach and return with your payment in 11.S. dollars (check or money order made out to Women in German). Subscribers outside North America: Please increase the amount in your category by one- third to help defray the cost of postage. Send membership form and payment to: WOMEN IN GERMAN, Dept. of Modern Foreign Languages, Indiana U.-Purdue U., Fort Wayne, IN 46805.

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