March 1983 Newsletter


March 1983 Newsletter


Congresses; Feminism; Germanists


Coalition of


Number 30                                                      March 1983


Why begin the newsletter with this question? Because WiG needs money to carry out all our projects, quite a few of which are described in this newsletter.

And because sending out renewal notices is time-consuming and expensive. Please check your mailing label now, and renew if your number is 30 (this issue) or below. Thanks!


As most of you already know, Barbara Frischmuth has agreed to be WiG's guest at the 1983 conference, Oct. 13-16, at Thompson Island, Boston. Martha Wallach is working with the Austrian Institute to arrange Frischmuth’s visit, which will probably include two or three readings at university campuses besides her par­ticipation in the WiG conference. At this writing it still isn't clear how much money WiG will have to contribute toward Frischmuth’s travel and/or honorarium, but it is quite likely to be more than last year (as you may recall, last year we paid only the honorarium for Luise Rinser—which she donated back to us—and the Goethe Institute paid the rest).


Irmtraud Morgner wrote that she and Helga Schütz would be happy to be WiG's guests in 1984! This is an exciting possibility—as Karen Achberger said, two are more than twice as much as one! We have only just begun to investigate possible sources of funding to finance their trip, but again, we must be pre­pared to contribute a considerable amount—at the very least, the price of one round-trip plane ticket. Assuming that our membership supports the idea of bringing these two authors to our conference, the steering committee has dis­cussed the advisability of holding the WiG conference on the East Coast again in 1984—since travel to the West Coast would drastically increase the expenses of the guest authors. What are your opinions on this? Also, if you have any good ideas for fund-raising, please write to the newsletter, or to Martha Wallach (U. of Wisconsin, Green Bay).


As agreed at the WiG business meeting at MLA, the steering committee is moving ahead with plans to produce a WiG 1982 yearbook. As you probably remember, this project was first proposed at the WiG conference in Boston. The yearbook will be a collection of papers selected from those sent in by the presenters at WiG 1982, WiG/AATG 1982, and WiG MLA 1982. All presenters have been sent a memo inviting them to send in their papers to be considered for inclusion in this volume by 1 May 1983.

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(WIG yearbook, cont.)

Editors and referees

The steering committee members recommend that the yearbook be co-edited by two WiG members, we also think the yearbook should be a refereed publication, since most institutions discount unrefereed publications in tenure and promotion decisions.

Marianne Burkhard (U. Illinois), who edited the Amsterdamer Beiträge 1980 special issue on Women and German Literature (Gestaltet und Gestaltend: Frauen in der deutschen Literatur), is willing to be one of the co-editors, provided that WiG members have no objection, we would welcome volunteers or nominations for the other co-editor. If we don't receive any, the steering committee will find someone willing so that the necessary work will get done.

Concerning referees, we think that each paper sent in should be reviewed by a WiG member (after all, who is better qualified to evaluate feminist research in Germanistik than we are?). The referee would provide written comments on the paper she reviews, recommending either: a) that the paper be published as sent; b) that the paper be revised according to specific suggestions before being published; or c) that the paper not be included in the yearbook. The co-editors would make the final decision. The author of the paper will receive a copy of the referee's comments.

WE ARE ASKING YOU, the members of WiG, to volunteer to review papers for the yearbook (except, of course, those planning to send in papers themselves). It would make it much easier for the co-editors if they had a list of willing folks to choose from. Send Marianne a copy of your CV and say what areas of research you feel most competent to review. Do this by 1 May 1983. It would also be good to tell Marianne your summer travel plans. Address: Marianne Burkhard, [blackened out]


Marianne contacted the University Press of America. According to their brochure, and what we learned from participants in the Annual GDR Symposium (whose pro­ceedings are published by UPA), they offer organizations the opportunity to publish "on a timely basis and at a reasonable cost." The finished book is said to be available within 8 to 10 weeks of "camera-ready" manuscript submission.

The "reasonable cost" is as follows; the organization (i.e., us) must place a minimum order for 85 paperback copies at a 10% discount. (No other subvention is required). We think selling 85 copies in an organization of almost 300 members shouldn't be too difficult!

We see this first WiG yearbook as a pilot project, and plan to review and evaluate our procedures at the October 1983 WIG conference. In the meantime, let us know if you have comments, questions, etc.


Linda Pickle writes that she has received most of the textbook reviews that were promised her, and expects the others soon. Since there are too many reviews to publish in one issue of the newsletter, we have decided to publish them all

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(textbook committee, coat.)

together. They will be mailed to all of you as a sort of supplement to the newsletter later this semester.


Sydna (Bunny) Weiss and Sidonie Cassirer volunteered to collect syllabi from feminist courses WiG members have taught. Bunny wrote that she had applied for, and was granted, financial support from the Kirkland Endowment to fund the first part of the project—mailing the survey to all WiG members and to WS programs in the U.S. Also, there is a good chance that Hamilton College will help WiG fund publication of the results! Please respond promptly to the sur­vey when you receive it. (Note to new WiG members; if you joined WiG later than Nov. 1982, your name and address aren't on the mailing list Bunny has.

Her address: German Dept., Hamilton college, Clinton, NY 13323).


Encouraged by the WiG steering committee and sundry others, Jeanette is going to file an application to incorporate WiG as a not-for-profit organization.

The major advantage of that status for us seems to be financial: we'll be eligible for a lower bulk mail rate, we'll have tax-exempt status, and we'll also be eligible for certain grants and the like that aren't available to other organizations or to individuals. To get this status, of course, we have to invest a little money: a $26. filing fee and the attorney's fee (about $125.).


(Jan. - Dec. 1982) — from Jeanette Clausen

I thought you'd be interested in seeing where our money goes, so I've prepared a report for the calendar year 1982. since I've only been handling the money since August 1981, I can't say whether 1982 was a "typical" year.

During 1982 we spent $1508.90, almost exactly the amount received in membership/ subscription income ($1512.50).

A big expense is typing, duplicating and postage for the newsletter and other mailings (e.g. calls for papers; the announcement of the Christa Wolf meeting mailed in Nov. 1982; outreach mailings). It may be possible to cut down these expenses somewhat, but keeping WiG members informed will continue to be a first priority. I made a decision to send all mailings involving a deadline (such as the August newsletter, which includes the conference program and registration form) by first class mail. Bulk mail is too slow and too unpredictable (can take 6 weeks or more for some members) when a deadline is involved. By next fall, I should have access to a word processor, and will try to develop a space-saving format for the newsletter, to reduce duplicating costs.

Concerning other expenses, I've asked the steering committee for advice and will be glad to receive suggestions from anyone else. So far, the only thing we (steering committee) have agreed on is not to have a separate cash bar at MLA again (cost was $100.21 for 1982), but rather to see if WiG can co-sponsor one with another organization, perhaps the Women's Caucus.

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(financial report, cont.)

This report doesn't include income or expenses for the 1982 WLG conference in Boston, except that the money left over from WIG 1981 ($268.38, received Oct. 1982) was turned over to Joey Horsley to add to the travel reimbursement fund (for those who had to travel long distances to the 1982 conference and weren't eligible for travel money from their institution). All conference expenses, and Luise Rinser's honorarium, were paid for with income from conference registration fees.

Money Received

  1. membership/subscription income
  2. balance from WIG conference 1981
  3. interest earned on WIG account





Money Paid Out



bulk mail imprint and permit for 1982, and renewal (12/82) for 1983

$ 120.00


typing, duplicating, postage for mailings to all WiGs (Feb., Mar., Aug., Nov.)






phone calls, postage for ongoing correspondence, misc. supplies and expense



xeroxing and/or mailing of handouts, papers for




reimbursement to s.c. members



cash bar, MLA 1982



 268.38 (money from WiG 1981 to travel fund for WiG 1982)


The balance in the WiG account as of 31 December 1982 was $1190.63.


I also tried to do a breakdown by membership categories of the membership/ subscription income received during 1982. For various reasons, my records aren't complete. Sometimes I forget to record when I deposited someone's check, or I neglect to write down how much someone paid. Other reasons why totals don't come out as expected are charges deducted by the credit union for handling a non-U.S. check, and checks received for amounts other than those specified for the various membership categories. The information I'm reasonably sure of is:

1. New members during 1982
11 who sent $ 3.00 $ 33.0
14                  5.00    70.0
14                  7.00    98.00
17                 12.00   204.00
3                   15.00     45.00

59                            $450.00

2. Renewing members in 1982
13 who sent $ 3.00   $39.00
16                  5.00     80.00
36                  7.00    252.00
42                 12.00   504.00
11                 15.00   165.00


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(financial report, cont.)

This adds up to 177 payments totalling $1490.00, which accounts for most of the membership/subscription income received in 1982. Again, I can't say how "typical" a year this was.

I also have records of 40 subscribers who were dropped from the mailing list during 1982, either because their mail was returned to us or because they didn't respond to renewal notices.


Remember the new membership category "departmental sponsors" introduced last November? So far, WiG has two such sponsors; the German Department at Ohio State University, Columbus; and (surprise) the Department of Modern Foreign Languages at Indiana-Purdue, Fort Wayne. See the membership form at the end of the newsletter.


Occasionally new subscribers (or even renewing ones) express an interest in receiving back issues of the newsletter. Most back issues are available in varying quantities, or copies can be made if the supply runs out. For some reason, though, I have no copy of issue 18 (Feb. or March 1979), and I'd very much appreciate it if someone who has a complete set would xerox that one and send it to me.

i'll be happy to send back issues to anyone who requests them and is willing to pay the postage. To give you an idea, it would cost about a dollar to mail the three 1982 issues (Nos. 27, 28, 29). The earliest issues, from 1975, are very interesting to anyone wanting to know more about WiG's beginnings. —So, if you want back issues, write to me, Jeanette Clausen, at the newsletter address. Be sure to state how many you want (give issue numbers if you can).


As many of you already know, Christa Wolf will not be at OSU for the entire spring quarter, as originally planned. The April 9 meeting with her is can­celled; she will not be present at the conference on women, fascism, every­day life in Germany (April 28-30, 1983), which will take place as planned except for her participation. She will be at OSU in May, but will do no speaking engagements. So ist es eben. Ich wüsste nicht, was da noch zu sagen wäre.


By all accounts, the WiG sessions at MLA were well attended—too well, since over 200 people came to the film (Margareta von Trotta's Die blelerne Zeit) and the room had to be changed to accommodate them all; as a result, the session for presentation of papers was delayed, and the discussion didn't end until 11:30 p.m. Moral of the story: ask for a BIG room when scheduling a film showing. Marjorie Tussing prepared a useful handout with summaries of the 

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(conference reports, cont.)

papers and a filmography on von Trotta, which was distributed at the session.

Sorry, the handout isn’t available for inclusion In this newsletter but you might write to Marjorie for a copy if you need one (Dept. of Foreign Lang, and Lit., California State U. at Fullerton, Fullerton, CA 92634). Marjorie also wrote that Film Quarterly had asked for a short write-up of the session, which she sent them in February. Thanks to Marjorie for all her work in organizing the program; thanks are also due to the Consulate of the Federal Republic of Germany, Los Angeles and the Goethe Institute, San Francisco for their support.

AATG 1982

FAIRY TALES IN THE CLASSROOM, chaired by Bunny Weiss (Hamilton College) and Wilma Iggers (Canisius College).

Bunny writes that the session, held on Thanksgiving evening, attracted about 40 people and the papers sparked a very lively discussion. The presentations were:

1. Jane Barry (SUNY, Buffalo), "Female Archetypes in Märchen and the Classroom."
Images such as the witch, the seductress and the waif appear so frequently that it is important for both male and female students to understand what these images of women represent psychologically to the reader as well as to the writer and the culture as a whole. The archetypes are examined from a psychological point of view, and ways of dealing with them in the classroom are discussed.

2. Maria M. Tatar (Harvard U.), "From Nags to Witches: The Stepmother in Fairy Tales." The witch in the woods who habitually menaces the protagonists of fairy tales often figures as a distorted mirror image of the stepmother at home. The paper explores the various transformations of the (step)mother in fairy tales and analyzes her dual role as witch and as enchantress. It attempts to show how the stepmother motif can serve as a point of departure for classroom dis­cussion of family structures in fairy tales.

3. Cora Lee Nollendorfs (U. Wisconsin, Madison), "Fairy Tales as Ways of Learning: Approaches and Methods." The paper discusses the use of fairy tales in German classes at three levels, elementary language instruction; intermediate language Instruction; introduction to literary analysis. It outlines advantages to the use of fairy tales over other types of texts, and points out problems with the language of fairy tales and with their subject matter, especially stereotyped figures, it presents as examples ways in which several of the Grimm Märchen can be used.


1. Sue Bottigheimer (Princeton University), summation. In each of the papers, a fantasy world functions as a second, true reality. Most female figures appear to represent autonomous figures. Umfunktlonlerung of traditional fairy tale figures reveals shifting perceptions of these figures, and finally, such revisionist efforts are part of an ongoing tradition in fairy tale studies in general, not only by feminists, but also by Marxists, Freudians, Jungians, and social historians.

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(conference reports, cont.)

2. Liselotte Weingant (Lake Forest College), "Barabara Frischmuths Soziale Zaubergeschichten." in the trilogy Die Mystifikation der Sophie Silber (1976), Amy oder die Metamorphose (1978), and Kai oder die Liebe zu den Modellen (1979), Frischmuth utilizes elements from the fantasy world of fairy tales, especially by peopling her novel with characters from the fairy realm, as a descriptive medium for feminine reality. To help earthlings (die Enterischen), fairies take on human form and slowly lose touch with the harmonious world from which they came. The author's intention is to sharpen the reader's awareness of his/her own world, and prepare him/her to create it anew.

3. Renate Delphendahl (University of Maine), "The Alienated Self in 'Undine Geht'." Growing out of the long tradition of Undine-Melusine figures, Bachmann's Undine represents the transfiguration and disappearance of the old figure. Her alienation in the world of loneliness and anguish parallels woman's alienation in a world of men. Furthermore, Undine rejects the language of men; her silence may be interpreted as Bachmann's verdict that women have no voice within the system.

4. Karen Achberger (Saint Olaf College), "Beyond Language: Ingeborg Bachmann and Fairytales." While Bachmann's works often appear dark on the surface, at the level of realistic plot, for example, the actual utopian thrust of her prose lies beneath the surface in a mythical, musical, dream-drenched sub­structure of poetic allusions, often to fairytale characters, events, and relationships. Within her work one finds examples of fairytale motifs taken over unaltered, of role reversals, and total reworkings (Umfunktionierungen) of fairytales, as well as "home-made" (mythopoetic) fantasies which Bachmann has created herself. Decoding these allusions to fairytales is crucial to understanding Bachmann's prose, which is informed by a tension between surface and subtext, that is between reality and a utopian vision beneath the surface of her prose.

5. Joanna Ratych (Rutgers University), "Ilse Aichingers inquisitive Dwarfs." A large number of traditional fairy tale elements--dwarfs, seclusion in hermetically sealed places—appear in Aichinger's Dialogs. She uses these to integrate the phenomena of the everyday world with those of the world of magic, achieving the effect of distancing the phenomena of the everyday world in the eyes of the reader. Furthermore these fairy tale motifs function to reveal the problematic conditions in which growth and maturing take place.



(One-day pre-conference workshop, Nov. 1982)

Barbara D. Wright (U. Conn., Storrs)

The purposes of the workshop, which Betty Schmitz (Bozeman, Montana) and I organized, were: 1) to review progress made in removing sexism from teaching materials since the mid-1970's; (2) to identify problems that still exist; and (3) to propose new approaches and solutions based on recent research in Women's Studies. The morning session consisted of a keynote address by Peggy McIntosh 

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(conference reports, cont.)

(Director of Faculty Development, Wellesley Center for Research on Women), and presentations by Betty and myself. The afternoon was spent evaluating indi­vidual textbooks according to the guidelines of an evaluative instrument devel­oped by Betty.

WS and the Liberal Arts Curriculum

Peggy McIntosh emphasized that WS is profoundly altering our conception of liberal arts by asking how every academic discipline would change if it reflected the fact that women are half the world's population, and by investi­gating areas of human endeavor that have remained "invisible" up to now. She outlined the ways disciplines change when a WS perspective is applied, giving examples from history (focus not just on changes associated with "great" men, but also on unchanging fabric of everyday life); political science (attention to informal structures of smaller social and political units rather than to men in formal power structures); art history (homecrafts, interior decorating, etc. rather than only a canon of "masterpieces"); and literature (besides necessary attention to "notable" women authors, also works in "pre-" or "sub-"literary genres, which may provide an alternative to the prevailing--male—world view); Peggy's remarks made clear that current FL textbooks, whether they emphasize "notables" and "masterpieces" or everyday life and social customs, don't even come close to taking into account the presence or contribution of women as 50% of a given society. WS gives us both the conceptual tools and the factual information for publishers and authors to draw on in order to create a more balanced, accurate picture. Also, publishers, authors and teachers must be open to ongoing re-evaluation and change, since a bias that has persisted so long can't be corrected in the course of one or two new editions.

Convincing the Unbelievers

My talk began by following up on what Peggy had said concerning the teaching of culture. I have encountered many objections to teaching culture as she recommends that it be done. The four categories of objections and my responses to them are:

1)   "But that's the way it really is." (our obligation to students to portray a given culture as it "really" is, not as we would like to have it). To this, I respond that, first, our texts must present an accurate picture of what women in that culture really think and do, not what they are commonly believed to think or do. Second, when portraying women in "traditional" roles, we must communicate the value of the labor and services they provide—the homemaker or mother must not become the object of trivialization, humor or criticism, as has happened in the past. Third, when we encounter a seemingly undeniable cultural stereotype, we must still ask to what extent it reflects only a male perspective.

2)   The "good PR" argument: it's essential for FL to "win" students by presenting an attractive picture of country, culture and people (by implication, showing too much poverty or social inequity is "bad" PR). I believe this argument is ultimately self-defeating: students sense the inauthenticity of many of our texts and react with boredom or disinterest. We can't deliberately mislead them on the one hand, then expect them to trust us when we speak of the aspects of a culture that we admire. 3) "But it's good pedagogy for students to be able to identify with the people or subject matter they study." (hence, pre­sumably, the preponderance in FL textbooks of young, healthy, attractive, white, middle-class professionals-to-be). Here, we must ask "good for whom?" FL classes generally have more female than male students, yet male characters 

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(conference reports, cont.)

consistently outnumber females in textbooks. Also, student populations are becoming more varied—and older—each year. We can no longer assume (if we ever could) that all FL learners will "identify" with the insipid post-adolescent concerns of so many textbook characters. 4) The "simplicity" argument: learning a FL and getting acquainted with a foreign culture are challenging enough without adding extra difficulties. Here, I think it is important to distinguish between legitimate simplification and irresponsible distortion. To leave unchallenged the stereotype of the German nuclear-family Hausfrau is no more defensible than letting students think all German men run around in Lederhosen. By incorporating the richness and vigor of WS research into the cultural component of our FL textbooks, we will have an intellectually stimu­lating, pedagogically responsible alternative to the predictable "explicit" cultural messages of FL texts, and a powerful antidote to their extraordinarily impoverished implicit cultural messages as well.

Cultural and Linguistic Connections

I then turned to the connection I see between FL teaching and recent research by feminist linguists in discourse analysis, which has led to a better understanding of the differences between women's and men's speech. FL textbooks reflect an overwhelmingly "male" use of language, with emphasis on transmission of infor­mation and problem solving, and neglect of other uses. Yet McConnell-Ginet writes (in Women and Language in Literature and Society) that transfer of infor­mation is probably not the predominant use of language even outside literary contexts. She suggests, rather, that we talk above all to relate ourselves to others. When we look from McConnell-Ginet’s point of view at language as it is taught in current FL textbooks, we register the absence of countless phenomena of everyday speech: hedges and tag questions, "empty" adjectives, fillers, vocalized pauses. Dialogues students are expected to memorize contain almost nothing of the conversational dynamics that linguists have documented: topic initiation, interruption or switch of topic; conversation as a model for competitive or collaborative activity; and the sustaining of conversation by means of gambits, mediations, leading questions, interjections and the like (work, incidentally, which is shared in single-sex groups but which falls overwhelmingly to women in mixed-sex groups). Little attention is paid in most texts to the expression of strong emotion, to the subtleties and indirectness which characterize the speech of many women, or to the vast range of styles within a language: the language of intimacy, of newstelling or gossip, of irony, bawdy humor, storytelling and so on. As a result, students learn a bloodless and impoverished language, and gain no insight into the style they use in their native language, or into the conversational dynamics in which they themselves participate daily. If study of FL can teach students something of this, then they will have learned a powerful lesson indeed.

Evaluating Available Materials

Betty Schmitz explained that though progress has been made in the last decade in improving the image of women and minorities in teaching materials, the prob­lem is far from gone. She identified four aspects: 1) publishers' guidelines have not been systematically or consistently applied; 2) the new material on women added to textbooks has not been effectively integrated throughout the book; 3) a new generation of authors and editors is emerging with no knowledge

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(conference reports, cont.)

or consciousness of bias in textbooks, or with the perception that recent textbook revisions have distorted the reality of the target culture; and 4) the more subtle and pervasive forms of bias in language and culture have not been addressed. She identified six forms of bias in curricular materials: 1) exclusion, 2) stereotyping, 3) linguistic bias, 4) fragmentation or isolation, 5) unreality, and 6) historical inaccuracy or incompleteness. The first four of these are relatively easy for most of us to identify. Analysis for realism and historical accuracy would require specific expertise and a considerable time investment.

During the afternoon session, participants used Betty's evaluative instrument to examine individual textbooks in French, German, Italian and Spanish, and concluded with a discussion of what we had found and how the texts could be improved. The wrap-up discussion was chaired by Michel Grimaud (French, Wellesley College). Though enrollment was not all we had hoped for, we were very pleased to have representatives from two publishing companies with us; Houghton Mifflin and Scott Foreman. Participants praised the workshop for the quality of the presentations and for the wealth of new insights it had given them. Just recently, Madeline Gutwirth of the MLA Commission on the Status of Women in the Profession asked us whether we would be willing to repeat the workshop at the 1983 convention in New York, and the commission is now considering whether to sponsor us.

WIG 1982

(The following reaction to the Boston conference was received too late for the November newsletter)

Some reactions of an old-timer, who hasn't been for awhile...

So many conferences, however stimulating, deplete and exhaust one's energy. However tired I was after our 4-day Thompson Island conference, I was not depleted, nor exhausted. After a couple years' absence from our meetings, I was grateful to learn firsthand that we have managed to keep our original goals intact. We had, so long ago, at the MLA in S.F., 1975, decided to always con­vene in an informal atmosphere, one that would allow us to be supportive as we exchanged ideas and experiences—and Thompson Island was just such a setting. More than that, though, I could see that though we have grown considerably and though we now have a fairly large steering committee, WIG still retains and maintains its original intent. The organizational structure of the steering committee encourages an impressive openness, never becoming a cumbersome burden overshadowing our aims.

The impressions that remain with me are varied and mostly encouraging. Aside from the numerous personal contacts I renewed, and the energy and encouragement I gained from the many diverse papers and presentations, I felt a particular pleasure in being able to bring along my daughter Alyssa (her first WIG was in Ohio at 4 months of age). Having her along really meant combining those often at odds characters of mother and professional; it meant, too, the unex­pected pleasure of sharing with those women, whom I had known professionally a long time, what they, too, experience as mothers. It was a sort of "coming out". Joey Horsley and Barbara Wright deserve all our thanks for their

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(some reactions...cont.)

tremendous talents in organizing everything—not the least, for me, was day­care. It enabled me to listen to papers, enter discussions, exchange ideas and information and also to enjoy myself. My grateful thanks to WIG for pro­viding child care. Having Alyssa along let me integrate my work with my life in a way that I've not been able to do before and many of my colleagues in various departments where I teach have expressed great enthusiasm for what WIG continues to do in a ground-breaking way. Although I think we can pat ourselves on our backs for this, there remain, nonetheless, some unspoken dilemmas. For the parent it frequently means a feeling of isolation as others naturally are preoccupied with the business at hand.

Our conference was so full that I've already exceeded my space limit without mentioning everything I wanted to. Let me then be brief in my conclusion: our ongoing effort to include inter-disciplinary views by inviting non-German speaking participants, as well as those professionally active in Germany, continues to be stimulating and exciting; our lengthy discussion on which language to use seemed unnecessarily divisive and I was glad to see us resolve it in an open manner (it seems to have been an "unspeakable"?!); did we realize the tremendous effort Patsy Baudoin (of Schoenhof's bookstore)--herself a Ph.D. candidate in Comp. Lit.—made in hauling all those great books to the island?!

What more can I say? —Plenty, mostly thanks to all those of you who have done ail the nitty-gritty work these past years.

—Charlotte Ärmster, Dartmouth College


WIG 1983

Oct. 13-16, 1983

Thompson Island, Boston

The overall theme, "Stimme suchen, Stimme finden," is meant to encompass a wide spectrum of issues, ranging from being able to speak loudly enough to be heard, to speaking the "unspeakable," finding an authentic personal/professional voice in speaking and writing, and contributions from contemporary critical and theo­retical work on gender, voice, Öffentlichkeit, etc. to feminist work.

Oct. 14, morning. Interdisciplinary Panel, "Stimme suchen." Feminist Perspec­tives on Work from Other Disciplines. Presentations in English. Inquiries or proposals to both: Helen Fehervary, German Dept., OSU, Columbus, OH 43210 and Judith Jamieson, Providence College, Providence, RI 02918, by 1 April 1983.

Oct. 14, afternoon. "Fiction, Fantasy and Freedom: Testing the Limits in Post-War Women's Literature." Presentations in German. Three-page abstract or

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(calls for papers cont.)

detailed outline to both: Dagmar Lorenz, German Dept., OSU, Columbus, OH 43210, and Barbara D. Wright, Dept. of Germanic and Slavic, U. Connecticut, Storrs, CT 06268, by 15 May 1983.

Oct. 14, evening. Consciousness-Raising session. Topic; Rape and Sexual Assault. Inquiries to: Almut Poole, [blackened out]

Oct. 15, morning. "Stimme finden.” (1) Ten-minute presentations in German or English on practical strategies for success in finding a voice in the classroom and the university. (2) Role-playing of solutions to problems in classroom and university. Abstracts for (1) or/and descriptions of problem situations for (2) to both: Irmgard Taylor,  [blackened out]                and Jeannine Blackwell, [blackened out] by 15 March 1983.

Oct. 15, evening. Reading by Barbara Frischmuth, followed by discussion. Coordinator: Karen Achberger, St. Olaf College, Northfield, MN 55057.

Oct. 16, morning. "Lost Voices, New voices." the "canon." Inquiries or proposals to both; Dorothy Rosenberg, [blackened out] and Resa Dudovitz, [blackened out]


For more detailed information, see the November issue of the WiG newsletter or contact the respective session organizers.


AATG 1983

Thanksgiving Weekend, San Francisco, CA

1. (Literary). "Women and Peace." Edith Potter, Dept. of German, Scripps College, Claremont, CA 91711, and Jorun B. Johns, Dept. of Foreign Languages, California State college, San Bernardino, CA 92407. Deadline for proposals was 1 March 1983.

2. (Pedagogical). "Teaching About Women and Peace." Helga Kraft, Dept. of Germanic and Slavic, U. Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611, and Ric Johnson, Dept. of Mod. For. Lang., Indiana U.-Purdue U., FW, Fort Wayne, IN 46805. Deadline for proposals was 1 March 1983.


MLA 1983

December 27-30, 1983
New York, NY

1. "Women Making Literary History: The New Generation of Women Writers in the German Democratic Republic." Patricia Herminghouse, Dept. of Germanic

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(calls for papers cont.)

Languages and Literatures, Washington U., St. Louis, MO 63130, and Renate Delphendahi, Dept. of Foreign Langs, and Classics, U. Maine, Orono, ME 04473. Deadline was 1 March 1983.

2. "Feminist Re-Visions of Literary History." Treatment of women authors by literary historians, women and the literary canon, traditional periodization and women writers, etc. Paper or abstracts to both: Bärbel Becker-Cantarino, Dept. of Germanic Langs., [blackened out]  U. Texas, Austin, TX 78712, and Sieglinde Lug, Dept. of For. Langs, and Lits., U. Denver, Denver, CO 80208, by 1 May 1983.

Other programs planned for MLA 1983:           

"Critical Perspectives on Ingeborg Bachmann." A Special Session Conmemorating the Tenth Anniversary of Her Death. Though Bachmann's name comes up during almost every discussion at WiG meetings, there has not yet been a session de­voted entirely to her life and work. This MLA special session, long overdue, will include an overview of Bachmann scholarship and feminist (re-)appraisals of her work. Abstracts to; Karen Achberger, Dept. of German, St. Olaf College, Northfield, MN 55057, by 20 March 1983.

"Brecht and Women," program planned by the International Brecht Society for MLA 1983. A continuation of the discussion at MLA 1982, the topic Brecht and women will also be the subject of a special issue of the Brecht Yearbook. For 1983, we are especially (but not exclusively) interested in a focus on the mother figure in Brecht's work. Preferred language is English. Graduate students, actors, directors and political activists are encouraged to participate. It would be wise to write a short version (10-20 min.) for oral delivery and a longer version, if youwishjforpossiblepublication. Abstracts to both: Patty Lee Parmalee, [redacted] and Janelle Reinelt, [redacted] by 15 May 1983. Deadline for final copy is 1 September 1983.

Please Remember; potential speakers for the 1983 convention must be listed on the MLA membership rolls by 1 April 1983.


IVG 1985, in Göttingen

Message from Marianne Burkhard.

The Internationale Vereinigung für germanische Sprach- und Literaturwissenschaft (IVG) will hold its 7th Congress from August 25-31, 1985, in Göttingen. Prep­arations for the program are already underway. IVG has about 1000 members from all over the world, and holds a congress every 5 years presenting a cross-section of the "state of the art." Since participation by women panelists in 1980 left something to be desired and presentation of feminist perspectives was almost absent, WiG should make a concerted effort to change this for 1985. There are several things we can do:

1. Become members of IVG; dues are DM 100.- for 5 years, not an exorbitant sum when considering MLA dues for one year. Members will pay a substantially reduced conference registration in Göttingen. Applications for Beitragsermässigung oder -erlass are being accepted; whether they are easily granted I don't know.

Page 14

(IVG 1985, in Göttingen cont.)

2. Propose topics for a) entire sections, and b) individual papers. At this point, the general topic is known: Kontroversen, alte und neue. This summer there will be a sort of seminar in which the specific sections or fora will be further delineated. At the end of 1983 the Vorankündigung will be mailed to members.

3. Propose names of women who could be tapped for the (probably) 6-8 Plenarvorträge, for chairing sections, etc.

I propose the following things for now; please send me your ideas for specific sections by April 25. I will then condense them and send a letter to IVG pro­posing that these topics be considered this summer.

Also send me names of people for chairing them as well as for Plenarvorträge. Probably we should suggest that one Plenarvortag be a feminist statement, i.e. present a feminist view of either a particular field or discuss feminist con­tributions on a larger scale. Of course, we don't know the general topics of these Plenarvorträge yet, but it would be good to offer topics and people. Next winter it will be up to all of us to send in proposals for papers.

Let me hear from you—it is time that we appear on this international scene as a new generation offering new and exciting perspectives! MY address: [redacted]

Address of IVG: IVG, Sekretariat, Nikolausberger Weg 15, D - 3400 Göttingen. (I will get a supply of registration forms so you can also get them from me in some weeks.)


THIRD WORLD WOMEN AND FEMINIST PERSPECTIVES, April 9-13, 1983, U. Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. For information: Conference Coordinators, Office for Women's Resources and Services, [redacted]

CONDITION AND CONSCIOUSNESS. An International Conference on German Women in the 18th and 19th Centuries, April 15-17, 1983, Nolte Center for Continuing Education, U. Minn., Minneapolis. For information; Leslie A. Denny, Program Coordinator, Dept. of Conferences, [redacted]

WOMEN IN GERMAN at NEMLA, April 14-16, 1983, in Erie, PA. Program on "Literary Representations of the Woman Revolutionary in the Literature of the FRG," Friday, April 15, 8:30-10:00 am. Chaired by Liselotte Kuntz, U. Georgia, Dept. of Germanic and Slavic, Athens, GA 30602.

WOMEN, FASCISM, EVERYDAY LIFE IN GERMANY, April 28-3049834 Ohio State U. For information: Helen Fehervary, Dept. of German, [redacted] OSU, Columbus, OH 43210.

Page 15

(conferences cont.)

FEMINISTISCHE LITERATURWISSENSCHAFT: ZUM VERHÄLTNIS VON FRAUENBILDERN UND FRAUENLITERATUR, May 24-28, 1983, in Hamburg. For information: Inge Stephan/ Sigrid Weigel, Literaturwissenschaftliches Seminar, 2 Hamburg 13, Von Melle Park 6, FRG.

CHANGING PERSPECTIVES ON WOMEN IN THE RENAISSANCE, The Newberry Library, May 20-21, 1983. For information: Mary Beth Rose, Center for Renaissance Studies, rhe Newberry Library, 60 W. Walton St., Chicago, IL 60610. [redacted]

FEMINIST EDUCATION: QUALITY AND EQUALITY. Fifth Annual National Women’s Studies Association Convention, June 26-30, 1983, in Columbus, OH. For more detailed information see Women’s Studies Quarterly, Vol. X, No. 4 (Winter 1982), p. 40. For conference information and registration: Marie Longenecker and Suzanne Hyers, Convention Coordinators, Center for Women’s Studies, [redacted] OSU, 230 West 17th Ave., Columbus, OH 43210.


Women's Studies International Forum, Vol. 5, #6 (1982), Special Issue, "Reassessments of 'First Wave’ Feminism,” contains several articles on women and feminism in Germany:

Ute Gerhard, "A hidden and complex heritage: reflections on the history of Germany's women's movements,” pp. 561-567.

Christel Wickert, Brigitte Hamburger and Marie Lienau, "Helen Stocker and the Bund fur Matterschutz," pp. 611-18.

Marion Kaplan, "Prostitution, morality crusades and feminism: German-Jewish feminists and the campaign against white slavery," pp. 619-627.

Renate Duelli-Klein, "Accounts of 'first wave' feminism in Germany by German feminists," pp. 691-696.

The publishing offices of WSIF are: (for North America) Pergamon Press, Inc., [redacted] (for the rest of the world)

Pergamon Press Ltd., Headington Hill Hall, Oxford, OX3 OBW, U.K.


Recent German articles in English translation in off our backs;

"Down With Social Work; German Feminists Criticize the Politics of Shelters," oob Nov. 1982, pp. 18-19. (first appeared in Courage, July 1982).

Interview, "A Jewish Feminist in Germany: Many Reasons to Leave, But Many Reasons to Stay," oob Jan. 1983, pp. 12-13.


Page 16

(recent articles cont.)

A forthcoming issue of New German Critique will contain an English translation interview with Christa Wolf, "Kultur ist, was gelebt wird," in which she dis­cusses Rein Ort. Nirgends. The interview first appeared in Alternative.


FORTHCOMING: third, revised edition of The Annotated Guide to Women’s Periodicals in the U.S, and Canada. For ordering information, write to T. Mehlman, [redacted]



Mail for the following people has been returned marked "undeliverable." Information as to whether they still wish to receive the newsletter would be appre­ciated. Thanks.

Anneliese M. Duncan                 Susan Cocalis

[redacted]                                [redacted]


Report of WiG 1982 from Courage, December 1982.

Germanistinnen unter sich

Thompson Island, eine grüne Insel, gelegen im Hafen von Bo­ston, rundum die Stadtsilhouette. Ich sitze in einem Raum mit 50 bis 60 Frauen; wir diskutieren Fragen feministischer Wissen­schaft und Erfahrungen aus dem Alltag von Frauen, die als Germa­nistinnen an Colleges und Univer­sitäten der USA lehren (oder stu­dieren). Anlaß ist die 7. Jahresta­gung von „Women in German". Dieser Verband ist ein Forum zum Austausch von Erfahrungen und Arbeitsergebnissen.

Trotz der idyllischen Lage und .der außergewöhnlichen Zusam­menkunft entsteht kein Insel-Ge­fühl, wie es mich oft bei Frauen- Wochenendseminaren oder Frauenwochen beschleicht — in der Vorahnung des „Realitätsschocks" bei der Rückkehr in den patriar­chalischen Arbeitstag. Es sind nicht die durchs Fenster sichtba­ren Wolkenkratzer, die an die Wirklichkeit erinnern: Es ist das Selbstbewußtsein, die Selbstver­ständlichkeit, z.T. auch der Prag­matismus der Beteiligten, denen man anmerkt, daß sie ihre Arbeit weniger außerhalb bzw. am Rande der Institutionen machen als die Frauen in der BRD. Es ist auch ei­ne Atmosphäre der Sicherheit, die aus der Geschichte des Verbandes kommt, der inzwischen ein recht gutes Kommunikationsnetz hat und an die wichtigsten akademi­schen und Fachorganisationen an­geschlossen ist.

Vor sieben Jahren ist „Women in German" gegründet worden, in­zwischen hat der Verband ca.280 Mitglieder, überwiegend Frauen, einige wenige Männer, die sich mit Frauenliteratur beschäftigen. Das Ziel ist die Institutionalisierung und das Bemühen, Positionen an den Universitäten, aber auch in Fachzeitschriften und -verbänden zu erlangen, um Women’s Studies, feministische Forschungiund auch einzelne Frauen fördern zu kön­nen. Inzwischen sind etliche Mit­glieder Professorinnen oder sitzen an Stellen, wo sie wissenschafts­politische Entscheidungen beein­flussen können. Mit 10% Frauen unter den Lehrenden an Colleges und Universitäten ist die Situation um einiges besser als in der BRD (3% in der Prof.-Gruppe).

Auf dieser Jahrestagung ging es um folgende Themen: Femini­stische Wissenschaft, Randbewe- gungen im deutschen Sprachraum, gibt es eine 'weibliche Germani­stik'? Aussprechen des Unaus­sprechlichen. Als Gast-Autorin war Luise Rinser eingeladen. Durch dieses Programm konnten theoretische, methodische, politische und persönliche Fragen des Feminismus in den Debatten und Vorträge zusammengeführt werden.

Für mich war der für deutsche Verhältnisse auffallend .pluralisti­sche’ Umgang mit Differenzen be­fremdend: faszinierend und ange­nehm, wie tolerant und ohne Drang zur Selbstdarstellung dis­kutiert wurde und wie sachlich und unbürokratisch gemeinsame Entscheidungen in einem großen Plenum gelangen; schön auch zu sehen, wie offen für die Interessen anderer sich die meisten zeigten, unverständlich aber auch, wie schnell einzelne von ihren Vorschlägen abließen.

Sigrid Weigel

P.S. Ein ähnlicher Kongreß soll vom 24.-28. Mai 83 in Hamburg stattfinden mit dem Thema: „Fe­ministische Literaturwissenschaft zum Verhältnis von Frauenbildern und Frauenliteratur".

Kontakt: Inge Stephan/Sigrid Weigel, Literaturwissenschaftliches Seminar, 2 Hamburg 13, Von Melle Park 6

Page 17



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Page 18

BOOK ANNOUNCEMENTS from Emma, November 1982.


Kommt ein neues Buch aus der amerikanischen Frauenbewe­gung auf den Markt, wird es meist erst dann gelesen, wenn eine deut­sche Übersetzung vorliegt. Der Blick ins Lexikon macht das Lesen be­schwerlich.

Diese Sammlung von Erfahrungsbe­richten lesbischer Jüdinnen aus Amerika habe ich allerdings sofort gelesen. Denn dieses Buch hätte in Deutschland nicht geschrieben wer­den können, und es ist sicher auch kein Zufall, daß es bislang nicht übersetzt worden ist. Die physische und kulturelle Ausrottung von Jü­dinnen und Juden während des Nationalsozialsmus hat sich auch unter bundesrepublikanischen Verhältnis­sen soweit fortgesetzt, daß noch die jüngeren Generationen betroffen sind. Deutschland ist eben auch heutzutage kein Land, in dem Jüdin­nen eine eigene lesbische und femi­nistische Kultur entwickeln könnten. Und die deutsche Frauenbewegung ist kein Ort, wo Lesben und andere Frauen sich als Jüdinnen zusammen­finden. Es muß ganz kraß gesagt werden: Man kann in der bundes­deutschen Frauenbewegung Mutter sein, alleinstehend, kinderlos oder bärtig, asexuell, heterosexuell, behindet und lesbisch, verheiratet, geschlagen, vergewaltigt, Karrierefrau, Hausfrau, Hausbesetzerin, grün oder Sozialdemokratin, aber Jüdin kann man dort eigentlich nicht sein. Betretenes Schweigen, ratlose Gesichter, Pein­lichkeit.

„We don’t exist“, schreibt Evelyn Torton Beck in der Einleitung dieses Buches. Dennoch gibt es in den USA lesbische Jüdinnen, die über sich schreiben, die offensiv und ironisch sagen: „That’s funny, you don’t look like a jewish lesbian.“ Diese Frauen, Minderheit in der Frauenbewegung, Minderheit in der Lesbenbewegung und Minderheit in der jüdischen Gemeinschaft, konnten sich soweit zusammenfinden, daß sie selbst­bewußt über sich schreiben: Jüdische und lesbische Identität, Was bin ich für mich selbst?, Briefe aus Jerusa­lem, Juden im Patriarchat, Anti-Se-mitismus in der feministischen Be­wegung, schöne jüdische Frauen. „Nice Jewish Girls“ ist sicher kein brillantes Buch. Es bringt keine sen­sationellen Strategien und utopi­schen Wagnisse, aber viele Berichte sind voller Empfindsamkeit und Witz, Klugheit und Stolz. Es sollte auch hier möglichst bald erscheinen, damit die Diskussion beginnt.


Nice Jewish Girls

Evelyn Torton, Persephone Press

Auf der Suche nach unseren Müttern

Hrsg. von Sara Lennox
Luchterhand, 16,80 Mark
Feministische Kulturkritik hat in Ame­rika nicht nur Tradition, sondern durch­aus Aktualität und Zukunft. Einen Überblick über die wichtigsten Tenden­zen der 70er Jahre bietet dieser Band, der, egal ob aus Zustimmung oder Kritik, die eingeschlafene Diskussion hierzu­lande wieder beleben könnte.



1 May 1983: Papers for possible publication in WiG Yearbook to Marianne Burkhard, [redacted]

1 June 1983 (or sooner!): WiG 1983 session organizers provide information (title of session, participants, description; equipment needed, if any to Edith Waldstein, [redacted]

1 August 1983: absolute final deadline for information to be included in August 1983 WiG newsletter. Newsletter address: WiG, Modern Foreign Languanges, Indiana Univ.-Purdue Univ., Fort Wayne, IN 46805.

* * * * * *

This newsletter was typed by Janice Guiff and Connie Munk.

Page 19


This is Newsletter 30. Read your label and renew when numbers match.

WiG sister, Jane 30
Feminist University
Everywhere, USA

Unlike most professional organizations, WOMEN IN GERMAN has not raised its rates in the past three years. We are able to keep rates low for students and the unemployed in part because of individual members who voluntarily pay the supporting membership rates (see dues structure below). Membership/subscription money is used to finance the publication of the WiG newsletter (three issues per year, March, August, November) and to partially cover expenses for the annual WiG conference and other events.

As part of our efforts to generate additional funds to support more extensive WiG projects, such as publication of conference proceedings, we have added an additional category, sponsoring departments. Besides receiving the newsletter and other information sent to the WiG member­ship as a whole, German departments which become WiG sponsors will be eligible to purchase published materials at the same discount available to individual members. Also, they will be listed as sponsors in the August issue of the newsletter and in any publications partially funded through their support.

Please fill out this section, detach and return with check (payable to Women in German) to: WOMEN IN GERMAN, Dept. of Modern Foreign Languages, Indiana U.-Purdue U., Fort Wayne, IN 46805.


$ 3.00 $ 5.00


$ 7.00 $12.00

individual supporting members; libraries


departmental sponsors


Please fill in address exactly label. No more than four line

New Renewing

for one year              ___ ________

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as you wish it to appear on mailing ! Please type or print clearly.

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Check if applicable: change of address




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