2015 Best Article Prize Winners

Congratulations to Carrie Smith-Prei and Maria Stehle!

In “The Awkward Politics of Popfeminist Literary Events: Helene Hegemann, Charlotte Roche, and Lady Bitch Ray” [in: German Women’s Writing in the Twenty-First Century, eds. Hester Baer and Alexandra Merley Hill. Rochester: Camden House, 2015, p. 132-153], Carrie Smith-Prei and Maria Stehle deploy awkwardness as a theoretical tool for political interpretation, offering innovative readings of literary events while forging a new path for future feminist scholarship. The authors demonstrate how awkwardness is produced in literary events and can be used to analyze contemporary feminist cultures by carefully reading Helene Hegemann’s Axolotl Roadkill (2010), Charlotte Roche’sFeuchtgebiete (2008) and Schoßgebiete (2011), and Lady Bitch Ray’s Bitchism (2012). In addition to nuanced, contextualized readings of intersectional texts by controversial twenty-first-century female writers, the authors show that awkwardness can uniquely engage with popfeminism, which simultaneously offers a feminist approach to culture while critiquing both feminism and pop culture. The authors’ theory thus helps to account for the circuity and ambivalence inherent in popfeminist creative works. Smith-Prei and Stehle thereby make a significant contribution to the field. As co-authors, they embody a cooperative spirit and alternative model to conventional academic writing. And they present strikingly original research. Moreover, the authors show the wide applicability of the new theoretical tool they develop, creating new opportunities for future feminist German studies.