Archive Past CfPs

Panels at the 2017 WiG Conference: Full Calls for Papers

WiG 2017: Thursday Night Session

Female Leadership in Academia


Leadership takes many forms – from peer mentors to department chairs to deans – and these roles foster the development and exchange of transferrable ideas, skills, and perspectives. At different career levels and at different types of institutions, the number of women in academic leadership positions has increased over the years, but they still continue to be underrepresented. We aim to address this gap and promote female leadership in academia, but we also wish to emphasize specifically feminist leadership as a means to address feminist issues in academia, such as social justice, inclusivity, diversity, and intersectionality. Inspired by the most recent Coalitional Feminism in Action panel from the 2016 Women in German annual meeting, which focused on the WiG Herstory project, our panel endeavors to continue and initiate conversations about the value of institutional memory and the continuities fostered through sustained dialogue in order to improve leadership practices of current and future academic leaders. 


For this interactive and collaborative panel, we invite short contributions of approximately 8-10 minutes that address different kinds of leadership in academia, from mentoring of and by graduate students and junior and mid-career level faculty, to more formally-recognized leadership positions at higher levels. Papers can address the following questions: “5 Pieces of Advice for Female Department Chairs and Other Academic Leaders,” “Goals of Feminist Leadership,” or “Feminist Leadership in German Studies: Challenges and Opportunities. An ideal body of contributions would offer perspectives from different career points and institutions as well as a range of personal stories and histories of female and feminist leadership in academia. Following these brief talks, we will follow a round table format in which each presenter facilitates closer, collaborative discussions among smaller groups. Interested contributors should send abstracts of 200 words or fewer along with a short CV to Elisabeth Krimmer (emkrimmer@ucdavis.eduand Melissa Sheedy ( by February 15th, 2017. We look forward to reading your submissions and continuing the dialogue!



WiG 2017: Pedagogy/Professional Session

Boosting Enrollments in German Programs: Strategies and Practices

This panel seeks presentations addressing specific strategies, practices, and reflections on boosting enrollments in German programs nationwide. How do we attract students to German courses and programs with content, pedagogy, course formats, collaborations, interdisciplinary work, community engagement, social justice, study abroad, faculty-student research, internships, integrating MINT/STEM, and other practices? What helps with increasing visibility of German programs on and off campus? How can we leverage our membership in consortia etc. to advance resource sharing? 


Depending on the number of submissions and topics, we would like to consider a roundtable or workshop format for this panel. Please send abstracts of 200-300 words, including your thoughts on the panel format, to both organizers by March 1, 2016: Erika Berroth ( and Magda Tarnawska Senel (

Please email both organizers with any questions about the panel or submissions. Panelists should become members of Women in German or renew their membership for 2017 prior to the conference.


WiG 2017: Guest Related Panel (Julia Franck)

Gender, Language, and Violence in the Works of Julia Franck

Organized in conjunction with Julia Franck’s visit to the 2017 Women in German conference, this panel seeks contributions that develop feminist and queer approaches to Franck’s work, in particular her abiding concerns with gender, language, violence, the politics of the family, and German history. We especially encourage theoretical interventions that attend to questions of intimacy, affect, space, female authorship, political literature, and/or the intersections of race, ethnicity, class, gender, sexuality, nation, and religion in Franck’s writing.

Please submit an abstract of approximately 250 words along with a short bio to Hester Baer ( and Lars Richter ( by March 1, 2017.


WiG 2017: Pre-20th Century Panel

Magical Things, Haunted Objects: Gender and Object-Oriented Ontology in Early German Women’s Literature

In Annette von Droste Hülshoff’s Die Judenbuche, the eponymous tree stands as a silent witness to human violence and weakness.  In Theodor Storm’s “Marthe und Ihre Uhr,” a woman finds comfort in her relationship with a clock, and soon finds the clock preferable to human company.


Such odd moments between things and people call for a rethinking of our assumed anthropomorphic heirarchy: Do objects only have meaning when a human sees them or interacts with them, or do they hold meaning before and after human time?  Can humans sense the indepentent nature of objects, and does this extra-human presence make the object uncanny?  


In this panel, we will investigate the presence of uncanny objects in pre-20th century German literature, focusing on works by German-speaking women or on other works that place objects into gender dynamics.  We invite papers that will provide a gendered reading of recent developments in what José Brenner calls “Mensch-Object Beziehungen” or other concepts from Object-Oriented Ontology (OOO).  


We are epecially interested to approach these questions as they appear in pre-20th century texts.  Objects that carry magical connotations or odd connections to a literary character can be found in Medieval and Early Modern texts by women, such as sexualized pots and pans in the dramas of Roswith von Gandersheim or the Hungarian Crown in the writings of Helene Kottanerin.  These strange objects emerge with a vengance in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, from Benedicta Nauberts ur-Gothic works to the Kunstmärchen of the Romantic period.  As can be seen in the above citations from Droste and Storm, these strange objects even occur in Realist and Naturalist texts, where connections to objects exert power on human characters.  We are happy to consider texts from the long nineteenth century, up through the first two decades of the twentieth century.  


Questions to consider as a part of this panel:  


How is gender is constructed in relation to odd, uncanny or even haunted objects? 


How are characters or ideas controlled by objects, and do these objects display any sort of agency? 


What role might race, spiritualism, sexuality or religion play in the object/human interaction?   


What are the socio-political, psychological and narratological implications of objects that take on a life of their own?  


Please submit a 500-word abstract by March 1, 2017 to Petra Watzke (pwatzke@skidmore) or to Rob McFarland (


WiG 2017: Open Session 1

Mapping Identities through Mobilities

Mobility is one of the factors that defines people in concrete waysFor example, mobile practices define pedestrians, drivers, and pilots; motivational forces define refugees, immigrants, and tourists. Ideology can also define mobile identities. Historically, pilgrims, explorers, tourists and participants on a Grand Tour have been linked to aristocracy, Bildung, personal enrichment, religious devotion, and leisure, and these types of mobilities have been widely perceived and depicted as positive. Similarly, the contemporary focus on globalization and transnationalism has led to a more positive reception of mobile forms of identities and challenged the claims to authenticity and “rootedness” at the core of traditional notions of place-based identities. In this context, sedentariness has become more and more labeled with negative connotations while “placelessness” has become reconceived in more positive terms such as open, perpetually becoming, and a manifestation of the permeability of boundaries. Nonetheless, throughout history there have been many forms of mobilities that have been ideologically defined as transgressive or deviant and marginalized, such as so-called wandering Jews, hobos, drifters, vagabonds, and guest workers. Often hidden in the critiques and marginalization of particular types of mobilities are assumptions about gender, sexuality, race, citizenship, and other socially constructed categories.


With the framework of feminist German Studies, this panel solicits contributions that explore the representation of the relationship between mobilities and identity-formation across all media. We are particularly interested in papers that focus on the intersection of mobility with race, gender, and sexuality.


Papers could address such topics as:

-        Intersectionality and mobility

-        Mobile practices, mobile identities

-        Movements across natural, political, and cultural boundaries

-        Embodiment, health, and mobile identities

-        Time, mobility, and identity

-        Authenticity, rootedness, belonging

-        Deviance and transgression

-        Landscapes of mobility and identity

-        Systems of circulation, flow, dynamism and identity

-        Notions of placelessness and no-place

-        Gendering and racialization of motion and mobility

-        Globalization and transnationalism

-        Diasporic identities

      Other types of mobilities (social, cultural, political, ideological) and identity formation

-        Mobility and performativity

-        Military mobilities and mobilities of conquest

Please submit a 200-300 word abstract and brief bio by March 1, 2017 to panel organizers Liesl Allingham ( and Stefanie Ohnesorg (


WiG 2017: Open Session 2

Feminist YouTube Interventions in Germany

As a democratizing platform, YouTube offers a space for intersectional feminist activism in the German cultural context. Through its creolization of film languages, YouTube offers artists the ability to pursue creativity outside of the normative constraints and budgetary demands of other existing visual media. In its errantry and self-reflexivity, it offers empowerment through teaching and learning. While neoliberalism imposes a growing burden of individualization, this audio-visual platform counters with the flexibility of self-determined times and terms of engagement. This panel invites papers that examine intersectional voices on YouTube, investigating genres as such wellness, daily vlogging, web series, interviews, hair, and beauty. 

Please submit a 200-300 word abstract and a brief bio to panel organizers Angelica Fenner (angelica.fenner[at] and Jamele Watkins (jamele[at] by March 1, 2017.


WiG 2017: Poster Session

We invite submissions for the poster session at the WiG conference in Banff (Alberta, Canada; Oct. 26-29, 2017). The poster session allows scholars to employ audiovisual forms to initiate conversations about intersectional feminist issues in their research, teaching, and activism. Submissions have taken the form of traditional posters, PowerPoint presentations, short films, websites, dioramas, installations, interactive experiences, etc. “Posters” can address a variety of topics, such as pedagogy, literature, film, cultural studies, history, and politics. Be creative, discover a new approach to your work, and gain valuable feedback in real time.
Please email an abstract of 300-400 words describing the project’s content, thesis, and form (a description of the layout, design, and materials/technology) and a short biography to wigposter2017[at] by March 1, 2017.
Presenters must provide their own materials, equipment, and technology; please consider these logistics in your proposal.
Contact session organizers, Didem Uca (University of Pennsylvania) and Amy Young (Central College), with any questions or concerns.


WiG-sponsored Panels at Other 2017/18 Conferences: Full Calls for Papers

GSA Seminar 2017: Feminist Scholar-Activism and the Politics of Affect

This seminar investigates the interplay among feminist theory, academic labor, and affect as activist work. Our first goal is to interrogate the functioning of affect in feminist scholar-activist practices. We consider, for example, Sara Ahmed’s work on how feminism relies on the loneliness of being a killjoy, of challenging sites of happiness, while survival as feminist resides in the precarious moments of recognition and connection between similar killjoy activists. Jasbir Puar argues for an interrogation of debility that recognizes affect in the body as site of creative resistance, but also increasing surveillance and regulation. Other readings address the function of anger, joy, and other affects in activism. 

  • How do affects inform your positioning as feminist researcher? Where are limits or sites of conflict for such positioning? 
  • How do affects participate in research or creative practice? What affective relationships exist between the researcher and the research subject? 
  • How are affects deployed as strategies or goals in activist research?
  • How do affects construct particular relationships between the researcher and the subjects/objects of study? 
  • How do you write your affects in? 

Scholars of color and queer scholars participating in work against racism, homophobia, and other forms of exclusion have been foundational to the work of affect studies. This seminar emphasizes feminist scholar-activism as intersectional practice, highlights the diversity of feminist practice, and considers how homophobia, transphobia, Islamophobia, racism, antisemitism, and other forms of exclusionary violence inform feminist scholar-activism and the politics of affect. 

  • How do gender, sexuality, race, nation and ability operate in the politics of feminist affect?
  • How does the body function as site of creative disturbance/resistance as well as object of surveillance?
  • How do affects circulate in the production of feminist alliances, coalitions, and acts of solidarity?
  • How can collaborative academic-activist work account for diverse subject positions and what are the potential obstacles for such work?

The seminar is organized around a selection of theoretical texts and pre-circulated thought papers. Selected readings by feminist-activist scholars develop concepts related to affect, recognize the challenges to some understandings of intersectionality posed by affect theory, and center the contributions of queer scholars and scholars of color. Texts for the seminar (circulated by April 1st) include selections from Sara Ahmed's On Living a Feminist Life, Jasbir Puar’s Affective Politics: States of Debility and Capacity, Jin Haritaworn’s Queer Lovers and Hateful Others, and entries from Ahmed’s blog feminist killjoys

Each participant will prepare an individual short paper addressing the guiding questions of the seminar from the perspective of their own research, research practices, or activist work (due Aug. 1). Their short papers (3-5 pages) should end with a series of impulse questions. Each paper will be assigned two respondents, who will collaborate on a response (350-500 words; due Sept 1). These responses will form the jumping-off point for the discussions of the three seminar sessions. Conveners will read all of the individual papers in advance, form the response groups, and guide the conversation when needed. The seminar will result in a collaborative research blog where public scholarship meets conceptual tools for scholar-activist interventions.


CAUTG 2017: "Citing the Heterosexual Norm Differently?" 
Ancient Gender Myths and their Reprise in German Literature

Hat denn zur unerhörten Tat der Mann Allein das Recht?

The German term "Geschlecht" has an (at least) threefold meaning, comprising sex, gender, and lineage. Our point of departure is Judith Butler's notion of "citationality" in identity formation, referring to the compulsory heterosexuality in traditional sex-gender discourse (Gender Trouble); to concepts of nature and physicality in such discourse (Bodies that Matter); and to the role of family ties and kinship with regards to gender (Antigone's Claim).  For this joint panel, we'd invite contributions investigating the reprise of ancient myths in German literature, medieval to modern, more often than not circling around the notion of "Geschlechterfluch" and thus opening up intertextual relations and presenting forms of "citational identity formation" in literature.


Your proposal must include: a paper title and an abstract (approx. 200 words) 

Please note: You do not have to join an association in order to submit a paper proposal. However, if your paper is accepted, you must join either the CAUTG or the Coalition of Women in German (WIG) and register for Congress. To assess the financial costs of doing so, consult the following website:


Please send your paper proposals to Gaby Pailer (


AATG/ACTFL 2017: Teaching the “Syrian Solidarity Crisis”

For Firas Alshater, the YouTube star who, according to the Guardian, became Germany’s most hugged refugee, the term “refugee crisis” is a misnomer. “I prefer to call it a solidarity crisis,” he says, referring to a lack of solidarity he perceives between EU member states. With a focus on integrating the voices and the agency of those who had to flee their country, we solicit contributions that address teaching about Syria and German speaking countries at all levels of the German curriculum. We are interested in both challenges that this topic brings and opportunities for expanding or redefining teaching and learning in the German classroom. 

Contributions could offer insights into how content, methods, and pedagogy can introduce, increase, or promote solidarity with people who are frequently dehumanized and reduced to the source of a perceived threat.  How can we focus in our teaching on the agency of those who had to flee their country, without falling into the trap of othering or marginalizing them? How can feminist practices increase the knowledge (of ourselves and the cultures and worldviews of others), skills (empathy, communication) and attitudes (curiosity, openness) regarding those who had to flee war and persecution? Topics could include:  

  • resources and the use and didactisation of authentic materials
  • collaborations across disciplines
  • teaching units and assessments
  • interventions based on creativity and affect
  • teaching and activism 


Please send an abstract of 150-200 words to all three organizers: Erika Berroth; Magda Tarnawska Senel

and Jaclyn Kurash by December 31, 2016. 



Please make sure to also include the following in your e-mail: your name, institutional affiliation, e-mail address, a brief biographical note, any audio-visual requirements for the presentation, and your membership status for AATG/ACTFL and WiG.

MLA 2018: Politicizing Women’s Bodies in the Merkel Age

Angela Merkel has been German chancellor for over a decade now; Germany also has a female defense minister. These facts do not mean, however, that sexism is gone from German politics, advertisement, everyday rhetoric and general assumptions about women, women’s roles, and women’s bodies. The aftermath of the attacks on women in Cologne on New Year’s Eve 2015 can serve as an example: Instead of a debate about antiquated rape laws, the incident was used as a political tool to push an anti-refugee and anti-immigrant agenda. The politicization of women’s bodies became a racial issue as the infamous Focus and Süddeutsche Zeitung covers demonstrated. Here, the white bodies of German women were inappropriately touched by black hands who left their imprints on these bodies while the text focused on the women’s German identity and the migrant background of the assailants. Initiatives such as #ausnahmslos have attempted to move beyond this racialized politicization of the attacks. Those initiatives used the public interest to encourage broader debates about sexism and sexual violence in Germany. 


In our panel we ask in what ways women’s bodies are coded and used as political weapons. We are interested in political, historical, and cultural representations (including but not limited to music, film, and literature) that speak to issues such as: women’s bodies that should reproduce (Herdprämie), women’s bodies that shouldn’t be touched by others (racialized discourse and anti-refugee rhetoric), women’s bodies that should or can be legislated (abortion), and women’s bodies that should be dressed (slut shaming, body shaming, dress codes) or rather undressed/unveiled (burqa/burqini). We also encourage contributions that take an opposite, empowering stance where women use their body to embody their resistance against sexism (in music, film, literature). Our focus is on the years 2000-2016 but we also welcome historical research into these issues. We particularly invite contributions that take an intersectional approach. 




Please send 200-300 word abstracts by March 3rd to Nicole Coleman ( and Steffen Kaupp (



Calls for Papers: Women in German Conference 2016

& WiG-Sponsored Panels at MLA, AATG/ACTFL, GSA, ASA, and CAUTG

Panels at the 2016 WiG Conference,  Oct. 13-16, Banff, Alberta, Canada

WiG 2016: Thursday Night Session

OMEKA Workshop and WiG Herstory Event (Beth Muellner and Kerstin Steitz) 


WiG 2016 Pedagogy/Professional Session 

Social Justice in the German Classroom (Jessica Riviere and Faye Stewart)


WiG 2016 Guest Related Session (Shirlette Ammons and Sookee)

Siebenmeilenhighheels-Feminism and Popular Music (Corinna Kahnke and Steffen Kaupp)


WiG 2016 Pre-20th Century Panel 

Mourning Women (Lena Heilmann and Beth Muellner)

WiG 2016 Open Session 1 

Feminism and the Environmental Humanities: New Material Feminisms (Mareike Hermann, Laura Isakov, and Caroline Schaumann)

WiG 2016 Open Session 2 

Black Authorship in German Visual Media and Performance (Angelica Fenner and Jamele Watkins)

WiG 2016 Poster Session

Open Topic (Nicole Grewling and Melissa Sheedy)

WiG-Sponsored Panels at other 2016/17 Conferences 

GSA 2016 (Sept 29-Oct 2, 2016, San Diego, CA): Allies Across Time: Sex, Gender, and Race (Liesl Allingham and Corinna Kahnke)

CAUTG 2016 (May 28-31, 2016, Calgary, Canada): Film and Consciousness Raising: Energizing Communities in Socialist East Germany (Victoria Rizo Lenshyn and Sally Olson)

AATG/ACTFL 2016 (November 18-20, 2016, Boston, MA): Women and Material Objects in the Fairy Tale World: Feminist Work in New Materialism (Erika Berroth and Michelle Reyes)

MLA 2017 (Jan 5-8, 2017, Philadelphia, PA): Feminism and the Emotional Turn in German Studies (Maureen Gallagher and Christina Wall)


 Panels at the 2016 WiG Conference: Full Calls for Papers

WiG 2016: Thursday Night Session

OMEKA Workshop and WiG Herstory Event

Women in German is pleased to announce a workshop for the Thursday Night Session on Omeka to be led by Dr. Alicia Peaker, Mellon Council on Library and Information Resources / Digital Library Federation Postdoctoral Fellow in the Digital Liberal Arts at Middlebury College. Omeka is a free, open source digital archiving and curating tool that we will use to feature our own WiG Herstory. The Herstory project is a long-term undertaking that will document the history of our organization. It is our hope to create an archive of interviews with foundational members as well as a collection of visual and written materials that explains our history. A goal for the workshop will be to show one interview as an example of what’s to come. The main portion of the workshop will have a similar format to the 2015 Wiki-editathon. One half of the evening will be an informational introduction to Omeka, i.e. showing examples of various Omeka sites and offering suggestions about how you might use it for your own individual projects, and the other half will allow for hands-on dabbling. Those interested in being involved in the Herstory project will work to populate the WiG Omeka site with the materials they’ve gathered over this past year. Others can work to set up their own or collaborative sites that might be geared toward teaching or research. Alicia will remain with us throughout the weekend. If you are interested in learning more about Omeka in the meantime, you might want to check out the following websites for more information: and There are no proposals to submit, but if you are interested in working on the Herstory project, please contact Beth Muellner at bmuellner [at] or Kerstin Steitz at ksteitz [at] If you have specific questions about Omeka in the meantime, please contact Alicia Peaker at apeaker [at]


WiG 2016: Pedagogy/Professional Session

Social Justice in the German Classroom

Questions of social justice belong in the undergraduate classroom. Indeed, they lie at the heart of a liberal arts education, where discussions and debates in the humanities and social sciences often hinge on critical analyses of economic, political, and cultural structures and inequalities. The wealth of recent scholarship on social justice pedagogies in a range of disciplines suggests a growing commitment to critical pedagogies and educational leadership across the curriculum. The discipline of German studies is ideally positioned to attend to matters of social justice, both due to Germany’s historical burden of addressing human rights violations from the Third Reich and the Cold War, and in light of current events surrounding the European refugee crisis, the rise of Islamophobia, extremist politics and terrorism, economic inequality in post-socialist states, and austerity measures in the European Union. Contributions to this panel may discuss social justice issues in Germany past and present, or explore strategies for incorporating discussions relevant to contemporary social justice initiatives in the United States—such as #blacklivesmatter, police brutality, LGBTQIA rights, asylum politics, and national security—into the German language and literature classroom. How do studies of such movements reach out into the world beyond the classroom through homework assignments, service learning projects, or study abroad programs? What specifically can feminist and queer, critical race and ethnic studies contribute to pedagogies of social justice in German studies? We are interested in viewing not just the instructor but also the students as agents of social justice, regardless of whether the course is focused on language, linguistics, culture, or theory. How can such pedagogies be transformative for the future of democracy and the formation of global citizens?

Innovative, interactive, and nontraditional submissions that encourage audience participation are especially welcome! We invite prospective presenters to propose alternatives to the traditional 15-20-minute conference paper. Depending on the number of submissions we receive and the topics they address, we would like to consider a roundtable or workshop format for this panel.

Please send abstracts of 200-300 words, including your thoughts on the panel format, to both organizers by March 1, 2016: Jessica Riviere (riviere.5 [at] and Faye Stewart (fayestewart [at] Please also email both organizers with any questions. Panelists should become members of Women in German or renew their membership for 2016 prior to the conference.


WiG 2016: Guest Related Panel (Shirlette Ammons and Sookee)

Siebenmeilenhighheels - Feminism and Popular Music

In this panel, we seek to explore contemporary musical artists in German speaking countries and their intersectional engagement with feminism, sex, gender, race, and class. 

Papers may address such questions as (but are not limited to):
• Which artists are in the public eye, which are working within the scene(s) or underground? Are any or either more "credible" than the other?
• How political is popular music? How popular is activist music?
• What are the issues specifically that engage contemporary feminist artists?
• How are humor and satire in texts and/or stage persona employed as a strategy?
• In what ways are artists changing the landscape of a still male-dominated field, the music industry?
• What is the place of popular music in feminist scholarship, compared to popular fiction, film, and TV?

Please submit an abstract of 150-200 words and a short bio-paragraph to corinna.kahnke [at] and steffenkaupp [at] by March 1, 2016. 


WiG 2016: Pre-20th Century Panel

Mourning Women

In German literature prior to the 20th century, Bettina von Arnim mourns and immortalizes her friend and mentor Karoline von Günderode by publishing an edited version of their epistolary exchanges; Clemens Brentano grieves for his wife Sophie Mereau after she dies in childbirth; protagonist Amalie mourns her miscarriage at the hands of her abuser in Marianne Ehrmann’s Amalie. Whether it is a woman who mourns, or whether it is a woman who is being mourned, gender and identity (these women are friends, wives, daughters, lovers, mothers, etc.) contribute to the landscape of mourning. The language used in these texts poses the question: is there a gendered tradition of mourning, and, if so, how is it represented textually? Narrating acts and emotions of mourning share the experience with a reader and make what might have initially been a private moment a public – or shared – one. In this panel, we ask the overarching question: how do narratives of mourning women complicate and historicize how we understand mourning in the pre-twentieth century?

Papers could address topics such as:

            • mourning privately or mourning publicly

            • discourses of mourning

            • mourning and motherhood; or mourning motherhood

            • mourning miscarriage and/or not conceiving

            • narrating mourning – and the limitations of narrating mourning

            • genre and mourning (epistles, poems, diaries, etc.)

            • spaces and/or behaviors of mourning

            • mourning beyond a gender binary

            • political/cultural contexts of mourning

We invite papers from any time period pre-1900 and seek to select papers that look at the intersection of mourning and gender from a variety of theoretical approaches and time periods and ask: in addition to gender, how do issues of race/ethnicity/ability/sexuality/nationality/etc. complicate our understanding of mourning women in German culture prior to the 20th century? We encourage scholars from all ranks to apply to our panel.

Please submit a 250-word abstract to panel organizers Lena Heilmann (lmheilmann [at] and Beth Muellner (BMuellner [at] by March 1, 2016. Please contact Lena Heilmann (lmheilmann [at] with any questions.


WiG 2016: Open Session 1

Feminism and the Environmental Humanities: New Material Feminisms

Recent work on materiality, by focusing on the creative agency of bodies, natures, and non-human matter, has provided exciting impulses and new directions for both feminism and ecocriticism. Using as a starting point Stacey Alaimo’s call for feminist theory to “undertake the transformation of gendered dualisms … that have been cultivated to damage and silence certain groups of human as well as nonhuman life” (Bodily Natures 5), this panel seeks to engage feminist intersections with the Environmental Humanities. We invite proposals that probe such intersections theoretically or through (eco)feminist/ materialist readings of cultural texts (literature, film, art, new media) or of specific cultural/historical/political moments in German and transnational contexts. We particularly encourage proposals that investigate the following themes from an inter-disciplinary perspective:

·      The biological/chemical/material and/or cultural relationship between nature/ the environment/ the material world and the human body and its practices

·      Intersections of feminist and environmentalist activism in the 21st century

·      Feminism, New Materialism, and the question of Language

·      Race as a material feminist matter

·      Feminist spatial theory

·      The agency of matter

·      Living in a “more-than-human” world

·      Nature as an “ethical space”

Paper proposals of about 250 words should be sent to all three co-organizers: Mareike Herrmann (mherrmann [at], Laura Isakov (lauraisakov [at], and Caroline Schaumann (cschaum [at], by March 1, 2016.


WiG 2016: Open Session 2

Black Authorship in German Visual Media and Performance

This panel invites contributions that put Black authorship at the center of their project, exploring the possible parameters of a Black diaspora within and among German-speaking countries, as it finds expression within the visual arts and performance. Are there affinities to be found in the artistic practices, aesthetics, and style of Black German cultural production that speak to the specificity of German historical contexts while also transcending cultural nationalism to posit a Black diasporic aesthetics? To what extent can concepts such as DuBois' ‘double consciousness’ or Richard Wright’s ‘double vision’, or Grada Kilomba’s mode of psychoanalytical memory work — by way of example — bring into focus the politics and poetics set into motion among a heterogeneous array of moving image media, theatrical texts, and performance art? To what extent do these cultural texts invite us to possibly think beyond what Michelle Wright in The Physics of Blackness (2015),refers to as the “middle passage epistemology” (i.e. the “Black Atlantic”), to instead conceive of Blackness in terms of – in her words -- ‘spacetimes’ i.e. not as a ‘what,’ but as a ‘when’ and a ‘where’? We invite contributions that reflect on both existing and emerging epistemologies.

Please submit a 300 word abstract and a brief bio by March 1, 2016 to panel organizers Angelica Fenner, angelica.fenner [at] and Jamele Watkins, jamele [at] german [dot]


WiG 2016: Poster Session

Women in German Poster Session: Open Topic

We invite submissions to the poster session at the 2016 WiG conference in Banff (Alberta, Canada; Oct.13-16). The purpose of the poster session is to allow scholars to employ visual forms to initiate conversations about their research, teaching, or academic life. Examples of visual forms can include posters, 3-D art, interactive exhibits, and multimedia presentations. “Posters” can address a great variety of topics such as teaching, literature, film, cultural studies, history, politics, and more. Submissions have taken the form of PowerPoint presentations, websites, dioramas, installations, games, cardboard posters, etc. We encourage participants to be creative in the construction and presentation at this session and to use this visual medium as a unique opportunity to approach their own research in a different way. Please be advised that presenters must provide their own materials and equipment, including computers, headphones, and extension cords. To ensure that your information is available throughout the conference, all presentations must be accompanied by a simple explanatory handout.

Many universities support the production of posters as a way of publicizing research. You may want to find out what your institution offers in terms of audiovisual support and travel funds. Get creative – the poster session is a great way to get valuable feedback on your newest, brilliant idea!

Please submit an abstract of 300-400 words describing the project’s content, thesis, and form. This must include a description of the layout, design, material, and technology that will be used. Please send your proposals electronically by March 1, 2016 to the session organizers Melissa Sheedy, University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Nicole Grewling, Washington College, at wigposter2016 [at]



WiG-sponsored Panels at Other 2016/17 Conferences: Full Calls for Papers

GSA 2016: Allies Across Time: Sex, Gender, and Race

Scholars engaged with feminism, sex, gender, race, and class who work on different time periods can and should be allies. Yet scholarship focusing on earlier periods frequently is overlooked or even dismissed. While contemporary theoretical approaches are often used to enhance and broaden our perspectives on historical texts and ideas, the opposite occurs less frequently; insights and theoretical approaches tend to move in one direction only. In this panel, we seek to open up a dialogue between scholars of German speaking countries studying all centuries and across all disciplines, a conversation in which historical representations and presentations of race, class, genders, sexualities, identities, feminisms, and activisms can contribute to present-day scholarship and vice versa.

Papers may address such questions as (but are not limited to):

•               How can historical approaches to sex, gender, race or class reveal the hidden exclusions and assumptions behind contemporary theoretical positions?

•               Can historical concepts break contemporary theoretical impasses?

•               Can the past and the future be used to “challenge the lull of presentness” (José Muñoz)?

•               Can history reshape approaches and theories such as intersectionality, affect, and materialism?

•               Do historical conceptions of identity challenge (the reification of) identity categories?

•               Are there historical activisms that model escaping or subverting dominant ideologies?

•               How do historical spatialities help identify racialized and gendered spaces?

•               How has the gendered, sexualized, and racialized body been conceptualized through time?

Please send an abstract of 250-300 words and a brief bio statement to and by January 30, 2016.


CAUTG 2016: Film and Consciousness Raising: Energizing Communities in Socialist East Germany

Although most filmmaking in the GDR took place at the state-run DEFA Studios, film represented an important means to air changing social mores and issues and to challenge the status quo. The role of women provides an early example: as state socialism professed to support equal rights for women, East German films started problematizing issues facing working women in the early 1960s, before feminism took hold in the west; nevertheless, there is a striking shift in the style and self-assurance of films treating this as of the early 1970s. By the late 1970s, other social and political issues being raised in the west—the peace movement, environmentalism and gay rights—began to surface in grassroots movements throughout East Germany. Parallel trends, in part due to a global awareness resulting from access to western media, also evolved in response to specific events and aspects of life in the GDR and East Bloc—ranging from contradictions between ideology and daily life, to global disasters such as the nuclear disaster at Chernobyl in 1986. The protection of the Protestant Church was crucial for East German grassroots groups, providing meeting places where communities could develop. This community building empowered people not only to face a repressive regime, but also to bring their experiences and concerns into the open and engage a broader public. By the late 1980s, film also played a significant role in providing a public platform for consciousness raising around these issues in East Germany.

Several filmmakers from different studios treated specific issues in a number of films and genres, ranging from feature films, to documentaries, to animation, to underground and amateur filmmaking. This panel invites submissions that examine these developments within GDR filmmaking and addresses the question of how artists used their work to respond to and energize community-based consciousness raising and activism in former East Germany. Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Liberating women in film: state socialist goal or feminist commentary?
  • Visualizing the gendered experience of everyday life: work, community, home, love, sexuality, etc.
  • Rethinking the women’s film (Frauenfilm) genre in the GDR: intention and reception. 
  • Healthy sex builds healthy communities: changing taboos on sexuality and nudity and GDR film
  • Limits and possibilities of an emerging Queer cinema in East Germany: origin and intended audience. 
  • Activist communities: engaging across international borders through film and television.
  • Visual and embodied festival culture: a site for activating communities and consciousness raising (e.g. World Youth Festival, East Berlin, 1973). 
  • Environmentalism and the socialist community: the dialectic between economic development and environmental protection.
  • Housing crisis and community: images of architects as enlightened social engineers. 
  • Integrating/isolating foreign bodies in GDR film – political refugees, students and socialist comrades. 

Please send your 300-word abstract and short bio to the panel organizers, Victoria I. Rizo Lenshyn ( and Sally Olson (, by November 30, 2015.


AATG/ACTFL 2016: Women and Material Objects in the Fairy Tale World: Feminist Work in New Materialism

As we teach and research fairy tales, we often focus on turbulent if not catastrophic relationships between women and material objects in the Brother’s Grimm’s Kinder– und Hausmärchen. Fingers are cut off to be use das keys (Die sieben Raben), toes and heels are cut off so that a shoe might fit (Aschenputtel), mirrors produce neuroses (Schneewittchen) and a spindle’s prick results deep, long sleep (Dornröschen). How does feminist work in New Materialism open up new perspectives for teaching and research?

For this panel, we seek

  • Contributions that deal with teaching and learning about fairy tales with feminist approaches / new materialism / object-oriented ontology
  • Contributions that re-visit the relationship of female figures and material objects.   
  • Contributions that will explore new perspectives on the relationship between theories of Romanticism, women and contemporary concerns for environmentalism.
  • Contributions that ask how approaches in new New Materialism or Object-oriented Ontology criticize anthropocentrism –  how we can look at fairy tales with objects, not humans in the center?
  • Contributions exploring questions like:
    • How can we see nonhuman processes working in fairy tales? What could they teach?
    • How can we re-think sources of ethics and fairy tale justice?
    • How can we consider positive engagements between women and literal material objects within the fairy tale world? 
    • How can we highlight instances in which both women and materials exhibit agentic capacities?  Ho can their collaborative efforts have the power of changing and indeed transforming a wide array of social systems?
    • How do we need to re-think gender in new materialism?
    • How does matter come to matter in fairy tales?
    • How do we read the fluxes of matter and mind, body and soul, nature and culture in fairy tales?
    • How do we need to re-think binaries nature-culture, matter-discourse?

We encourage proposals for all levels of instruction. 

Please send an abstract of 150-200 words to both panel organizers, Erika Berroth ( and Michelle Reyes ( by Friday, January 8, 2016.  Please make sure to also include the following in your e-mail: Your name, institutional affiliation, e-mail address, a brief biographical note, and any audio-visual requirements for the presentation.


MLA 2017: Feminism and the Emotional Turn in German Studies

In recent years, scholars have observed an “emotional turn” in humanities and social science research. David Lemmings and Ann Brooks note in Emotions and Social Change (2014) that the emotional or affective turn is, like the linguistic turn, an acknowledgement that emotions “have a similarly fundamental role in shaping human experience” as language. Current German studies scholarship participates in this discourse, as reflected by the GSA’s Emotion Studies Network, as one example. This new emphasis on the emotional is not, however, without criticism, and in her article “The Potentiality of Ethnography and the Limits of Affect” (2013) anthropologist Emily Martin asks if the current trend analyzing “affects as biological phenomena is losing the insights that feminism can provide.” Scrutiny of the intersection of German studies, emotions, and feminism can provide unique insight into this debate due to the fundamental role emotions have played for decades in feminism and for centuries in German literature and theater, as evidenced, for example, by Lessing’s emphasis on Mitleid.

This panel will highlight new feminist research in the field of emotions and German Studies. We are interested in papers incorporating affect theory, cognitive approaches to literature and emotions, the history of emotions, or other approaches. Questions this panel may address include, but are not limited to:

•What is the relationship between emotions, body, gender and society? And how is this reflected in literature, art, film and social media?

•In what ways can emotions be used to stigmatize and isolate gendered bodies or ideas, for example tropes of the “angry feminist”?

•In what ways do emotions regulate the relationship between the artist and the audience? 

•What insights do German literature and culture in particular offer to the study of gender and emotions?

Please send 300-500 word abstracts and biographical information to panel organizers Christina Wall ( and Maureen Gallagher ( by February 28, 2016.



Calls for Papers: Women in German Conference 2015

& WiG-Sponsored Panels at MLA, AATG/ACTFL, GSA, ASA, and CAUTG

Panels at the 2015 WiG Conference,  Oct. 22-25, Banff, Alberta, Canada


WiG 2015:  Thursday Evening Session

Coalitional Feminism in Action: Feminist Wikipedia Edit-a-thon (Hester Baer) 


WiG 2015: Pedagogy/Professional Session

Trigger Warnings in Higher Ed: Censorship or Sensitivity? (Tessa Wegener & Angineh Djavadghazaryans)

WiG 2015: Guest-Related Session (Gabriele Petricek)

Narratives of Migration and Gender in Contemporary Austrian Culture (Barbara Kosta, Niki McInteer) 

WiG 2015: Pre-20th Century Panel

Relevant Feminist Voices over the Centuries: Lessons for the 21st (Jessica Riviere, Regine Schwarzmeier) 

WiG 2015: Open Sessions (2)


WiG 2015: Poster Session 

Open Topic (Nicole Grewling, Lauren Brooks)
WiG-Sponsored Panels at other 2015/16 Conferences 

GSA 2015 (Oct.1-4, Washington, D.C.):

Alternative Family Models in German Literature and Film (Cindy Walter-Gensler, Suzuko Knott)

MLA 2016 (Jan. 7-10, Austin, TX):

Controlling the Body: Feminist Legal, Medical, and Social Discourses/ Representations/ Meaning Making (Sonja Klocke, Erika Berroth) 

 AATG/ACTFL 2015 panel (Nov. 20-22, San Diego, CA)

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun – Let’s Have It! From Kriemhild to Lady Bitch Ray: Enchanting the German Classroom with a Dose of Feminist Power (Stefanie Ohnesorg, Corinna Kahnke)

CAUTG 2015 (end of May, 2015, Ottawa, Canada): Zeitbilder: Feminist Queer Women Artists in the 21st Century (Lars Richter) 


WiG-AATG panel at MLA 2016 (Jan. 7-10, 2016, Austin, TX): Exploring Gender and Sexuality in German Language Media (Carole Anne Costabile-Heming)

Panels at the 2015 WiG Conference: Full Calls for Papers
Trigger Warnings in Higher Education: Censorship or Sensitivity?
Trigger warnings initially emerged among online feminist forums as a way to protect sexual assault victims from encountering disturbing graphic depictions that could deeply offend, cause panic attacks or even trigger post-traumatic stress disorders. What began as a practice of protecting the vulnerable on the blogosphere has recently morphed into something rather different. Now, students on university campuses across the nation are requesting that trigger warnings be placed on a vast array of material that might cause distress, offense or negative responses. Numerous articles reporting from within academia (Inside Higher Education, The Chronicle of Higher Education) and beyond (Slate, New Republic, The Wall Street Journal) evidence the pervasiveness of trigger warning requests in higher education. Several have pointed to the pressing challenges that trigger warnings pose to faculty members, particularly those teaching in gender/sexuality studies, critical race theory and the visual/performing arts. Moreover, in a report drafted this past August, the American Association of University Professors asserts that trigger warnings encroach upon academic freedom and are likely to affect non-tenured and contingent faculty the most. However, there are also faculty who remain sympathetic to the idea and comply with students' requests by placing trigger warnings on syllabi and course descriptions.
This panel seeks to problematize trigger warnings from feminist perspectives and to work through our roles as feminist educators in higher education. We welcome position papers, manifestos, as well as pedagogical strategies that respond to this topic from an array of viewpoints and disciplines.
Please send a 250-word abstract and brief academic bio to both of the panel organizers, Tessa Wegener ( and Angineh Djavadghazaryans (, by February 1, 2015.
Gabriele Petricek's 2009 work Von den Himmeln, Triptychon has been described as the stories of "Menschen, die von den Himmeln kommen und vom Leben heimgesucht werden." Petricek, the invited guest of the Coalition in Women in German for 2015, is an award-winning author and currently lives and writes in Vienna. This panel seeks to contextualize and thematize her work by exploring themes of migration, place, and gender in recent Austrian literature and culture. Some questions to consider would be: How is the space of Austria explored textually? How does Austria's multicultural past and present contribute to literary discussions? How have newer voices added
perspectives to Austrian themes and identities? How does gender complicate the act or idea of migration? Possible authors that would be of interest to
this panel include: Anna Mitgutsch, Terzia Mora, Maja Haderlap, Zdenka Becker, Vladimir Vertlib, Dimitre Dinev, or Ann Cotton. Please submit a 300-word abstract by March 1, 2015 to Barbara Kosta ( and Niki McInteer (
A superficial understanding of feminism today considers it a no longer relevant political movement because early goals of women’s suffrage and integration in the labor force have been accomplished. Why, therefore, is it worthwhile studying literature written prior to the twentieth century that demands political and social access that has ostensibly been achieved? Because, then as now, women writers and feminist thinkers have argued for more encompassing social change that expands beyond mere access to institutions and includes revised definitions of social roles for women and men as well as broader interpretations of political and economic justice domestically and globally. This panel will discuss earlier manifestations of feminism, how they might differ from feminist thought today, why they are still relevant, and what we can learn from them. Papers could address questions such as: 
Is it anachronistic to use the word “feminist” to describe thinking that pre-dates the term?
How did early feminist voices prepare the path for feminists today? 
Can ideas expressed by early feminist women writers help contribute to finding solutions to contemporary problems?
How can women from centuries past provide inspiration for women in search of a public voice today? 
What might be lost when focusing exclusively on modern incarnations of feminism? 
Abstracts of approximately 250 words should be sent by March 8th, 2015 to both Jessica Riviere ( and Regine Schwarzmeier (
Transgression is often understood negatively as the unwarranted crossing of a boundary, breaking of a rule, or other offense. However, acts of transgression can also destabilize hegemonic relations and codes, and in so doing are creative forces that foster social change. This panel explores the double meaning of transgression from the
perspective of a feminist critique that brings into focus intersecting landscapes of oppression. It considers landscapes in which transgressions take place or cannot take place; landscapes that are being transgressed, destabilized, and permanently altered; or landscapes that act as transgressors in and of themselves.Landscapes are understood broadly as 1) elements of nature (land, mountains, hills, bodies of water, flora and fauna, light and weather); 2) as human constructions (buildings and structures, architecture); and 3) as social spaces of human interaction and the synthesis between humans and the space they occupy (community, identity and belonging, locale, etc). Landscapes are not only the backdrop to our lives, rather they should be critically examined as inescapable historical, cultural, social contexts as well as agents in their own right.
We envision contributions in feminist German studies that explore transgression as a dynamic and multidirectional process and that consider the way in which landscapes invite, limit, or participate in this process. Papers could focus on the intersections of the natural world, human environments, social and cultural arenas, as well as rural and urban spaces, and consider aspects of gender, race, ethnicity, migration, ecocriticism, or totalitarianism. Please send a 300-word abstract and brief academic bio by February 1,
2015 to both panel organizers, Jennifer Miller ( and Karolina May-Chu (

How do women negotiate the highly gendered stakes of today’s European neoliberal mediascape? While feminist scholarship rightly critiques mainstream media for its conservatism in upholding normative and normativizing gender roles, this panel is interested in feminist interventions that punch holes in these stale images and destabilize the power structures supporting them. Papers could consider the use of media to contest, redefine, or problematize gender relations, or engage with media that advances a feminist agenda and allows for a forging of alternative coalitions, imaginings, and world-makings. Further, presenters could investigate women’s independent media production in this highly gendered industry.

This panel is broadly conceived to encompass a variety of media, from digital media to film and television. Media production from any time period is welcome. Possible topics could include:

The use of Twitter or social networking in feminist activism

Films made by or production studios run by women

German feminist bloggers

Feminist interventions into traditionally masculine-coded genres

Please send a ca. 1-page abstract to both of the panel organizers, Alexandra Merley Hill ( and Simone Pfleger(, by February 1, 2015.

Women in German Poster Session: Open Topic
We invite submissions to the poster session at the 2015 WiG conference in Banff (Alberta, Canada;Oct.22-25). The purpose of the poster session is to allow scholars to employ visual forms to initiate conversations about their research, teaching, or academic life. Examples of visual forms include: posters, 3-D art, interactive exhibits, and multimedia presentations. “Posters” from past sessions have addressed a great variety of topics such as teaching, literature, film, cultural studies, history, politics, the balancing of career and family. Presentations have taken the form of PowerPoint presentations, websites, dioramas, installations, games, cardboard posters, etc. We encourage participants to be creative in the construction and presentation at this session. Please be advised that presenters must provide their own materials and equipment, including projectors, computers, headphones, and extension cords. To ensure that your information is available throughout the conference, all presentations must be accompanied by a simple explanatory handout.
Many universities support the production of posters as a way of publicizing research. You may want to find out what your institution offers in terms of audiovisual support and travel funds. Get creative – the poster session is a great way to get valuable feedback on your newest, brilliant idea!
Please submit abstracts of 300-400 words describing the project’s content, thesis, and form. This must include a description of the layout, design, material, and technology that will be used. Please send your proposals electronically by March 1, 2015 to the session organizers Lauren Brooks, Pennsylvania State University, and Nicole Grewling, Washington College, at
WiG-sponsored Panels at Other 2015/16 Conferences: Full Calls for Papers
From Kriemhild to Lady Bitch Ray: Enchanting the German Classroom with a Dose of Feminist Power

There is no doubt that feminism and its discursive intersectionality in the classroom is an important issue. Often enough, though, we might be discouraged by the task of incorporating such a 'serious' and seemingly 'heavy' topic. This panel seeks to investigate the humorous, fun(ny) and playful approaches that are also at our disposal.

We encourage proposals for all levels of instruction.

Please send an abstract of 150-200 words to both panel organizers, Corinna Kahnke ( and Stefanie Ohnesorg (, by Monday, January 12, 2015.  Please make sure to also include the following in your e-mail: Your name, institutional affiliation, e-mail address, a brief biographical note, and any audio-visual requirements for the presentation.
In contemporary American popular culture, representations of LGBT families are on the rise, as exemplified in groundbreaking TV shows like Queer as Folk, The L-Word, and Transparent and more recently into network television with Modern Family and The New Normal. Similarly, challenges to heteronormative family structures found their way into the broader German television market via Lindenstraβe, when the lesbian character Tanja Schildknecht and her partner welcomed a baby boy in 2006. Popular contemporary Germanophone literature, too, increasingly depicts gay and lesbian families, such as Ariane Rüdiger’s Aktion Eisprung (2006), Mirjam Müntefering’s Jetzt zu dritt (2007), or Martin Falken’s Papas unterm Regenbogen (2014).
This panel invites submissions related to the representation of family models that offer alternatives to heteronormative family structures. We welcome papers that critically examine any such representations in Germanophone literature and film, without restrictions in period, genre, theoretical, or methodological framework.
Possible paper topics could include (but are not limited to):
- alternative family models over time
- divergent representations of different kinds of alternative family models
- the circulation of representations of LGBT families transnationally: e.g. the reception of American depictions of alternative family models in a German context and vice versa
- the relation between the representation of alternative family models and genre
- alternative family activism in the media (print, tv, online)
- the critical reception of representations of alternative family models by publishers/reviewers/readers/audiences
Please submit a 300-word abstract and a short biographical note by February 1, 2015 to Suzuko Knott ( and Cindy Walter-Gensler ( Please include your name, institutional affiliation, email address, and any audio-visual requirements for the presentation.


MLA 2016: Controlling the Body: Feminist Legal, Medical, and Social Discourses/ Representations/ Meaning Making (Sonja Klocke, Erika Berroth) 

MLA Session sponsored by the Coalition of Women in German. January 7-10, 2016, Austin, Texas.

This panel invites contributions engaging feminist interdisciplinary approaches to critical appreciations of narratives of health and illness related to medical and legal discourses. We are interested in papers that address how categories of differences and diversity, such as race, gender, culture, ability, age, among others, are represented in German language texts and films that integrate literary/filmic, legal, and medical perspectives.

Possible topics could include

·      Literature/Film as Medicine  - the Medicine of Words and Images

·      Illness/Disease Narratives

·      Legal and Medical Imagination: Intersections of Law and Medicine in Literature and Film

·      Cultivating Humanity in the Anthropocene: What does it mean to be human in literary/legal/medical discourses?

·      Affect and Story Telling: Narrative Law, Narrative Medicine

·      Cognition: Meaning making through legal/medical/literary narratives

·      Ethics: Bioethics, legal ethics, narrative ethics in texts of the body

·      Pedagogy: Stories of Doctoring, Lawyering in Literature, Film, Visual Art in teaching Cultures, Ethics, Compassion, Interdependence, Connectedness, Narrative Imagination, Shared Spaces of Suffering or Healing, Imaginative Labor, Moving Images, Moving Words.


Please submit a 250-word abstract and a short biographical note by Friday, March 15, 2015 to Erika Berroth ( and Sonja Klocke ( Please include your name, institutional affiliation, email address, and any audio-visual requirements for the presentation. Please note that participants must have current MLA membership by April 7, 2015.



Calls for Papers: Women in German Conference 2014

& WiG-Sponsored Panels at MLA, AATG/ACTFL, GSA, ASA, and CAUTG

(Click on link or scroll down to read the entire call)

Back to Conference Information.

Panels at the 2014 WiG Conference

WiG-Sponsored Panels at other conferences

Panels at the 2014 WiG Conference: Full calls for papers

WiG 2014: Thursday Evening Panel: Re-Defining German Studies and The Positionality of German Scholars from A Place of Power
In the face of departments being eliminated or reduced to programs, the identity of German scholars and teachers in the academy is challenged. Moreover, in many cases it is a daily fight for survival as a Germanist. In these attempts to survive, we face the pressure and the challenge of producing a certain number of majors or otherwise our existence will be thrown into jeopardy by administrators. Simultaneously, the opportunity and funding for the humanities seems to come from digital humanities. However, in addition to real possible contributions of digital humanities to the field it also seems to rationalize our profession away. Colleges and universities may all too easily substitute our role and presence as teachers through moocs and online classes. How do we take control of this situation and re-define our identities as Germanists in a field that is already interdisciplinary but demands in this situation even more interdisciplinarity. How do we achieve such re-definition from a place of power and self-confidence and without defining us from a place of Existenzangst?

We are looking for contributions in the form of 5-7 minute presentations of mission statements, addressing these issues and reflecting on personal attempts to address these concerns that derive from creative solutions forged at your home institutions and in your personal lives as they intersect with your professional situation. The session will take the format of a round-table discussion followed by break-out sessions.

Please send a ca. 1-page abstract to both of the panel organizers, Ute Bettray ( and Anabel Aliaga-Buchenau (, by March 1, 2014.


WiG 2014: Pedagogy Panel: Sustainability as Feminist Practice: Pedagogical Approaches
In many regards, Germany leads the world in sustainability.  Often visually represented by three overlapping circles of environmental, social and economic sustainability, the triple bottom line model of sustainability represents that part of human endeavor that is 1) environmentally sound, 2) socially just, and 3) economically viable.  Germany’s focus on environmental issues, socially progressive cultural structures, and a thriving economy make Germany a positive case study in sustainability.  In a time when German Studies is seeing decreasing enrollment, Germany’s relevance for Sustainability and Environmental Studies can be a valuable asset.

This panel seeks presentations on courses that engage with Sustainability or Environmental Studies alongside German Studies and Women’s and Gender Studies.  How can these perspectives support one another?  To what extent can a focus on sustainability provide a framework for considering German culture?  What courses have been or can be offered that can tap into interest in Sustainability Studies?  How can German Studies courses and programs benefit from the perspectives offered by Sustainability Studies?

Please submit an abstract of approximately 200 words to both organizers by March 10, 2014:  Elizabeth Bridges ( and Sonja Klocke (


WiG 2014: Guest-Related Panel: Translation and Gender
This guest-related panel invites submissions that engage the nexus of translation and gender from a variety of perspectives, including but not limited to:


  • Feminist approaches to translation theory

  • The agency of the female translator: motivations, text choices, restrictions, opportunities?

  • Translation as a “female”-coded task—valuing/devaluing the work of translation?

  • Women translators as agents of cultural transfer (within Europe; transatlantic, global)?

  • From female translator to female author: translation as the entry to authorship?

  • Translations of texts by women authors: whose texts get translated and why?

  • The role of women in the business of translation (from the 18thcentury to today)?

Please send 200-word abstracts to both Astrid Weigert ( and Rachel Freudenburg ( by March 15, 2014.


WiG 2014: Pre-20th-Century Panel: The “Fair Sex” and the “Dark Continent:” Women Write/Imagine Africa
This panel will explore the intersections between race and gender, power, privilege and oppression in the work of German-speaking women who write about Africa. Women writers have encountered and written about Africa in both fiction and nonfiction for centuries in the form of novels, fairy tales, travelogues, colonial memoirs, and missionary literature. This panel seeks to investigate how these women writers used constructions of Africa and Africans in their writing and how Africa could serve as an opportunity to escape constricting gender roles or to enact colonial fantasies. We will tackle the question of whether women, as members of an oppressed group, show tolerance, solidarity, or racist and colonial attitudes toward members of other oppressed groups. We invite proposals for papers that deal with any aspect of women's writing about Africa from before the First World War. We are particularly interested in papers that explore race outside of colonial contexts, the relation of race and gender to each other and to other categories such as class, religion, and sexuality, and little-studied or little-known works that complicate our understandings of race and gender in pre-20th Century Germany or German-speaking countries.

Please send 1-page abstracts to both panel organizers, MaureenGallagher ( and Rob McFarland ( by March 1, 2014.


WiG 2014: Women Writing the First World War

The 100th anniversary of the First World War is an opportunity to revisit the texts that emerge out of this violent conflict, to expand the canon dominated by male writers, and to reconsider the understanding of the experience of war beyond the arenas of combat. German women not only commented on their nation’s war efforts in various ways, but they also documented and imagined the events of this tumultuous time period through literature, journalism and life writing, in both fictional and non-fictional texts. This panel seeks to examine how German women wrote the First World War and how these writings deepen our understanding of the gendered experience of the war.

This panel seeks to address such questions as:

  • What roles did German women play in war efforts, both on the front and at home, and how are these contributions described through women’s literature?
  • What genres do women employ in writing the war, and how does genre influence the text or the story told?
  • How do women narrate their experiences of war? What narrative strategies do they use?
  • What themes are prevalent in women’s writings about the war, and what new topics, insights, and approaches to the discussion of war do they introduce?
  • In what ways do women’s representations of war broaden our understanding of the history of the First World War, as well as women’s experiences of war and conflict?
  • What is the place of German women’s literature in the canon as we examine the First World War 100 years later?

We invite proposals from across disciplines that examine female-authored texts about the First World War. Please send a 250-350 word abstract and brief bio by March 15, 2014 to Barbara Kosta, and Julie Shoults,



WiG 2014: Feminist Embodiments and Empowerment: Pre-, Pro-, Post-, Anti-, Trans- and Queer—from Bachmann's Malina to Mutti Merkel
This panel seeks to engage discussions of the many faces of feminism and cognate areas of study, interrogating historical critiques of embodiment and offering new theoretical frameworks for recent and contemporary debates. We invite original papers examining connections among gender and sexual politics; body, voice, performance, and representation; and agency, power, and knowledge in literary and cultural texts. Medium and period are open, and we welcome submissions on male, masculine, queer, and trans embodiments, as well as papers addressing intersectionality with an eye to class, race, ethnicity, faith, ability, age, and technology.

Presentations may take feminist approaches to bodies and power, including the following:

  • feminist integrations and performances of empowerment (such as pole dancing)

  • feminist icons past and present, and their legacies (such as Alice Schwarzer)

  • the self-fashioning of contemporary political and cultural figures (such as Angela Merkel and Lady Bitch Ray)

  • representations and performances of (dis)empowerment through masculinity, cross-dressing, and passing (such as Marlene Dietrich, Else Lasker-Schüler, and Ingeborg Bachmann’s Malina)

  • performance studies and the genderqueer body (such as Bridge Markland’s cabaret and renditions of German classics like Faust in the Box)

  • feminism and race; Turkish-German feminism; Afro-German feminism; feminist interrogations of whiteness

  • sexual agency and aging; prostitution; youth sexuality  

  • postfeminist movements; debates about mothering and careers

  • the body in Islamic feminism and anti-Muslim feminism

  • the commodification of the body in neoliberal society

  • technology, cyborgs, and electronics

  • transnational feminisms, social transformation, and global change

  • intersections of feminist studies with digital humanities

Especially welcome are proposals for presentations that are innovative, creative, interactive, polemical, or nontraditional, and that invite us to think outside of the familiar and customary frames of feminism.

Please send inquiries and proposals of 200-300 words to both organizers by March 15, 2014: Erika Berroth ( and Faye Stewart (



WiG 2014: Poster Session: Open Topic

We invite submissions to the poster session at the 2014 WiG conference in Shawnee on Delaware, PA. The purpose of the poster session is to allow scholars to employ visual forms to initiate conversations about their research, teaching, or academic life. Examples of visual forms include: posters, 3-D art, interactive exhibits, and multimedia presentations. “Posters” from past sessions have addressed a great variety of topics such as teaching, literature, film, cultural studies, history, politics, the balancing of career and family. Presentations have taken the form of PowerPoint presentations, websites, dioramas, installations, games, cardboard posters, etc. We encourage participants to be creative in the construction and presentation at this session. Please be advised that presenters must provide their own materials and equipment, including projectors, computers, headphones, and extension cords. To ensure that your information is available throughout the conference, all presentations MUST be accompanied by a simple explanatory handout.

Many universities support the production of posters as a way of publicizing research. You may want to find out what your institution offers in terms of audiovisual support and travel funds. Get creative – the poster session is a great way to get valuable feedback on your newest, brilliant idea!
Please submit abstracts of 300-400 words describing the project’s content, thesis, and form. This must include a description of the layout, design, material, and technology that will be used. Please send your proposals electronically by March 1, 2014 to the session organizers Nichole Neuman, University of Minnesota, and Nicole Grewling, Washington College, at


WiG-Sponsored Panels at other conferences: Full calls for papers

CAUTG 2014: New Feminist and Queer Approaches in German Studies

The Canadian Association of University Teachers of German (CAUTG) Conference May 24-27, 2014 Brock University, St. Catharines, Ontario  

In its inaugural collaborative panel with the CAUTG, Women in German would like to assess the field of North American German Studies from critical perspectives rooted in gender and queer theory. The format will feature short paper presentations (ca. 10 minutes) followed by a roundtable discussion. We aim to show some of the diversity of current approaches to the interpretation of texts, broadly conceived, within German Studies. Each presenter will offer their reading of a text of their choice; the roundtable will discuss correspondences and divergences among the various approaches. We hope that this will lead to a fruitful discussion of current theoretical perspectives within and beyond the field.  Questions the papers and the roundtable discussion could address include but are not limited to:  Do gender-sexual theories and critiques offer special opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration between German Studies and other fields? What are examples?  Are there uniquely Canadian (and/or North American) approaches to gender-sexual criticism, especially within German Studies? How do these interface (or not) with Germanistik?  How can North American German Studies practitioners continue to model interdisciplinary collaboration through their use of these theories of gender and queerness?  The organizers and organizations encourage participation by scholars based in both Canada and the United States.  Interested participants should send their proposals in DOC or PDF format to Kyle Frackman (University of British Columbia, and Ilinca Iuraşcu (University of British Columbia, by November 30, 2013. The proposals will be refereed in a double-blind process before acceptance; no identifying information should be on the document itself. Please include any necessary contact and affiliation information in the body of the e-mail. Accepted presenters and discussants must be members of the CAUTG ( in order to register for the conference.


GSA 2014: Narrating Gender in the First Person – Authors’ Strategies to Giving Gender a  Voice
Panel at the 2014 GSA, Kansas City, MO, Sept. 18-21, 2014

“ICH schreibt ein Buch. ICH hat viel erlebt, also kann ICH auch viel erzählen.” Juli Zeh begins her essay “Sag nicht Er zu mir oder: Vom Verschwinden des Erzählers im Autor” with these words, and thereby emphasizes the proliferation of first-person narratives at the beginning of the 21st century. According to Zeh, about two-thirds of all contemporary German fiction features a first-person narrator. As readers, we rely on these first-person narrators to divulge information about themselves and other characters, including their gender identities, their bodies, their environments, and their perspectives.




This panel investigates strategies that authors use to disclose facts about gender and gender identity, either explicitly or implicitly, through first-person narration. What strategies for narrating gender have endured and how might these strategies be changing in light of more frequent, and more explicit, depictions of queer identities? What do these narrative strategies tell us about the ways in which gender is constructed in literature in the 21st century? And what role might narrative reliability play? We invite papers that critically examine author strategies for writing gender in the first person in contemporary texts.

Please submit a 250-word abstract and a short biographical note by February 1, 2014 to Necia Chronister ( and Sonja Klocke ( Please include your name, institutional affiliation, email address, and any audio-visual requirements for the presentation.




AATG/ACTFL 2014: Eco-Pedagogy and Feminist Praxis in German / Modern Languages and Literatures
Feminist collaborative pedagogies and practices, such as, for example, co-creating knowledge by drawing on dialogue, reflection, critique and experience, community based learning for social justice, or interdisciplinary orientations have long informed “Green German Studies” as well as teaching and learning in German Studies as part of the Environmental Humanities. This panel seeks to bring together contributions on pedagogy and praxis that reflect feminist and environmentalist commitments in Modern Languages and Literatures, particularly, of course, in German. How are feminist pedagogies created and nurtured in courses or units focused on the environment? What specific types of classroom activities and/or pedagogical strategies foster language development and raise awareness about how social and environmental justice issues intersect with feminist approaches to teaching and learning?

In this context, topics could include:

  • Teaching and activism; dimensions of engagement
  • Integrated study abroad experiences; partnerships; stakeholders
  • Modern Languages and Literatures and the Environmental Humanities
  • Feminist praxis and eco-pedagogy in Modern Languages and Literatures teaching and learning contexts: content based; interdisciplinary; community based; project based; inquiry based; authentic materials; innovations
  • Blended forms of teaching and learning; innovative collaborations
  • Developing eco-literacy as feminist praxis
  • Developing intercultural competence in environmentalism and feminist praxis

Please send abstracts (up to 500 words) to both co-organizers, Erika Berroth, and Lauren Brooks, by January 15, 2014.


ASA 2015: Habsburg Feminisms
WiG-ASA Panel: Habsburg Feminisms
Crossing Borders—Blurring Borders, Annual conference of the Austrian Studies Association, University of Michigan-Dearborn, Dearborn, Michigan, 
March 26-29, 2015

This panel seeks papers that interrogate historical or aesthetic acts that blur the contours of our traditional understanding of the ‘aristocracy’ (the Hapsburgs in the Austrian context) and of ‘feminism,’ and more importantly, of how these notions seem antithetical to one another. The inspiration here is based on Ellis Wasson’s challenge to notions of the aristocracy that are labeled ‘philistine, decadent, amateur, and ‘backward,’’ seeing this social group as a dynamic and important force in the history of Europe, and how visual and material culture, for example, can convey ideas about power to the court, to family and to self that are more progressive and potentially “feminist.”

Please send proposals to Beth Muellner and Nicole McInteer


MLA 2015: Bodies that Matter: Corporeality and Materiality in the Age of Goethe

MLA Session co-sponsored by the Coalition of Women in German and the Goethe Society of North America; Vancouver, January 8-11, 2015
This panel reconsiders the human form as a living, breathing organism in literature and culture around 1800 with particular emphasis on gendered and sexed bodies. Recent scholarship has redirected attention to the importance of the material world in modern conceptions of gender and sexuality. We seek original papers that apply theories of materiality and discourse to the Goethezeit in order to generate new understandings of the complex and reciprocal relationship between nature and society. Papers might examine but are not limited to: reproductive and birth practices; motherhood; infanticide; the institution of marriage; prostitution; sexual practices; sexuality; theatrical performances, including public and private stagings of the body, theories of declamation, set and costume design, etc; performative art, including genres such as the tableau vivant; male and female authors' attempts to write the body; regulatory practices of the body such as exercise, hygiene, and diet; corporal discipline and punishment; unruly and rebellious bodies; bodies in religion and religious practices; death, decay and rituals of mourning; body modification, beauty, and fashion; mechanization of the body through automation or prosthetics; tortured, traumatized, disfigured or wounded bodies; military institutions and cultures of warfare; environmental concerns; philosophical reassessments of Cartesian dualism; or scientific fields of inquiry such anatomical studies. Please email proposals (250-300 words) to Julie Koser ( by March 1st.

MLA 2015: Feminism and Neoliberalism

This panel explores the tension that neoliberalism creates between opening up sexual and gender freedom on the one hand, and maintaining hetero-normative roles on the other. By looking at a variety of German-language texts (e.g. literature, theatre, film, magazines, websites etc.) papers may explore:

  • feminism, pop-feminism & post-feminism in German culture
  • changing images of masculinity and femininity in neoliberalism
  • the de-stabilization of the nuclear family – and the reification of family
  • the creation of identity through bodies
  • motherhood, and parenthood

Please send a 250-300 words abstract and a short bio to BOTH organizers by March 1, 2014: Imke Brust ( and Mareike Herrmann (

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