48th Annual WiG Conference

The 2023 conference will take place in Portland, OR, November 2–5. More information about how to register and reserve a hotel room can be found here: https://blogs.oregonstate.edu/wigconference/.

You can email the organizers with questions at: conference@womeningerman.org.

Head over to the WiggieWegWeiser to learn a little about WiG conference culture and read the WiG Community Agreement.

Panels at the 2023 WiG Conference

The sessions for the 2023 conference are currently seeking proposals. Submissions for the panels are due by February 15, 2023 to their respective organizers. Accepted panelists will be notified by March 1. 

All presentations must accord with the WiG Mission Statement:

The Coalition of Women in German (WiG) provides a democratic forum for all people interested in feminist approaches to German literature and culture or in the intersection of gender with other categories of analysis such as sexuality, class, race, and ethnicity. Through its annual conference, panels at national professional meetings, and through the publication of the Feminist German Studies, the organization promotes feminist scholarship of outstanding quality. Women in German is committed to making school and college curricula inclusive and seeks to create bridges, cross boundaries, nurture aspiration, and challenge assumptions while exercising critical self-awareness. Women in German is dedicated to eradicating discrimination in the classroom and in the teaching profession at all levels.

We are planning for an in-person conference in Portland, Oregon for 2023. We will revisit this discussion at our spring leadership meeting and will notify the membership at that point as to whether any changes are necessary and forthcoming. Membership to the Coalition of Women in German will be required to present on this panel but is not required to submit an abstract.


Thursday Night Session: The Ethics of Care in Academia

Building on the Thursday night session of 2022, “Feminist Approaches to Decolonizing/ Hospicing Higher Education,” this panel guides participants in considering if/how an ethics of care can be useful in pushing back against neoliberal modes of relating to one another. Drawing on feminist scholarship of care, disability, and decolonization, the organizers will present an overview of theory that can help us ask how to care for ourselves and each other. An article will be shared before the conference, to help inform structured discussion that will take place in small and large groups. There will be no panelists on this session; rather, all attendees will be participants in articulating what a dignified and caring end for higher ed might look like. If questions, please contact Mareike Herrmann (mherrmann@wooster.edu) and Allie Stewart (stewarta@up.edu).


Praxis/Pedagogy/Professional Session: Problem-Based Learning (PBL)

Inspired by the discussion that arose during the Pedagogy Session on Teaching Interdisciplinarily at the 2022 WiG Conference, we would like to bring feminist German studies practitioners together who have used problem-based learning, or PBL, in their classrooms.  

Courses or lessons designed with PBL teaching methods and approaches to the curriculum feature the following: 
1. a real-world problem description; 
2. students’ prior knowledge, which is activated as students think through the problem;
3. student-developed questions that then motivate students to look further; 
4. and the guidance of a teacher / educator / tutor (Moust, et al., 9).

PBL allows students to use their language skills in authentic contexts and with purpose, pedagogical considerations that align with the tenets of communicative language teaching. PBL also enables students to develop metacognitive skills related to problem-solving, communication, and their own learning. In addition, because PBL fosters a student-centered learning environment, it benefits students who are charged from the beginning with shaping their own learning outcomes and engaging in self-study. Students work in teams, reporting back on what they have learned on their own, and have the opportunity to work through multiple modules presenting different discipline-related problems each semester. Ultimately students acquire analytical skills, deep knowledge, and “self-directed skills for life-long learning” (Moust, et al., 12). 

By considering PBL usages in the feminist German studies classroom, we hope to explore the potential of problem-based learning as a teaching and learning approach in German Studies, and to discuss its challenges and benefits. 

Possible topics for presentation and discussion include, but are not limited to:
– The theoretical and pedagogical foundations of problem-based learning;
– Problem-based learning (PBL) as feminist praxis;
– PBL and teaching students with disabilities;
– Innovative approaches to PBL in the languages, literatures, and cultures classroom, including in introductory-level courses;
– Technology and PBL: What are some tools that worked well in a problem-based learning language classrooms? Should we integrate AI-based tools, such as ChatGPT, into our classroom? In classrooms, how can we find the balance between teaching tools and content?
– Assessing the effectiveness of PBL;
– Challenges and opportunities related to implementing PBL into classrooms;
– Interdisciplinary perspectives on PBL;
– PBL and cross-campus / cross-disciplinary collaboration; 
– Combining PBL with other approaches (e.g., experiential learning, community-based learning, communicative learning);
– PBL as interpreted, supported, or problematized by departmental and campus administration; 
– PBL in primary, secondary, and/or higher education language studies classrooms;
 …

We welcome all proposals, including those from graduate students and non-university affiliated educators. Please submit a title and an abstract (up to 250 words) for your proposed presentation, along with a short biography (up to 100 words) and your contact information.

Please send your 350 word proposals and short biographies to Emily Frazier-Rath (emfrazierrath@davidson.edu) and Titi Kou-Herrema (koutiany@msu.edu). The deadline for submissions is February 15, 2023. Accepted presenters will be notified by March 1, 2023.


Pre-20th Century Panel: Fabrication, Fornication, and the Fairy Tale: The Interaction of Sex and Lies in Fairy Tale Form

The crux of several well-known German fairy tales hinges on a connection between sexuality and lies. The fairy tale Rapunzel, for example, is full of twists and turns that use the interplay between sexuality and lies. The prince deceptively enters Rapunzel’s tower by imitating Frau the chant of Frau Gothel, Rapunzel’s captor. In turn, Frau Gothel tricks the prince into the tower by lowering the braids she has cut off of Rapunzel. A climactic moment in the Grimms’ first edition of the Rapunzel tale in the Kinder- und Hausmärchen (1812) hinges on the multiple deceptions of Rapunzel, Frau Gothel, and the prince, as depicted in the following passage:
“The fairy did not discover what was happening until one day Rapunzel said to her, ‘Frau Gothel, tell me why it is that my clothes are all too tight. They no longer fit me.’ ‘You godless child,’ said the fairy. ‘What am I hearing from you?’ She immediately saw how she had been deceived and was terribly angry.”

While the fairy is upset about the sexual implications of Rapunzel’s clothes no longer fitting, closely reading the text reveals that she is specifically angry at being deceived. This remains true for the subsequent editions–although the reference to sexuality is removed, Frau Gothel continues to claim anger at having been lied to rather than at the prince’s penetration of her carefully concocted protection.

This example is just one of multiple scenarios in the fairy-tale tradition in which the theme of sex comes into contact with that of lies. This panel seeks papers that
interpret the connection between sexuality and lies in stories that employ the fairy tale form within historical, literary, and societal contexts.
Topics may include but are not limited to the following:
– Analysis of the fairy tale form as a genre that is especially conducive to situations in which sexuality and lies play a central, even pivotal role for the story;
– Analysis of the adaptations and remediations of sexuality and deception of fairy tales over time;
– Reflection on the way in which the connection between sexuality and lies connotes suppression and/or liberation of gendered sexuality;
– Pedagogical approaches on teaching fairy-tale forms that engage students across disciplines in discussing the connection between sexuality and lies;

We welcome papers on any texts in fairy tale form, focusing on pre-20th-century texts. Papers may relate pre-20th-century stories to later stories, and especially to
contemporary feminist versions of fairy tales. Please submit 250- to 350-word abstracts by February 15, 2023, to Brandy E. Wilcox, bewilcox@knox.edu and Lorely French, frenchl@pacificu.edu.


Open Session I: Voices at the Intersection of Gendered Labor and Migration

Guest work can be the first step for people wanting to immigrate into German-speaking countries. Historically, women and gender diverse guest workers have
been more likely to perform labor in domestic/private spheres as housekeepers, au pairs, and in elderly care while men typically take on roles in industrial/public
spheres. This division, along with the assigned value, and organization of “work” as categorically masculine or feminine is known as gendered labor. When closely
observed, gendered labor also reflects patterns that take into account class, race, education, nationality, age, gender identity, and sexual orientation, among other
intersections. These patterns reflect and reaffirm existing hierarchies and gender roles in the host country while also limiting access to work and social mobility for
those confined to employment opportunities in the private sphere. 

The goal of this panel is to examine the narrative around gendered labor and migration.  Whose stories are (re)told in the public sphere?  What effect do those
representations have on the social discourse relating to  those groups? How do representations of labor coded as female differ from those coded as male? What
value is assigned to each? And, what is the legacy of guest work when observed through a gendered lens?

We invite papers that highlight these voices in literature, media, academia and/or in publishing circles. Topics may include, but are not limited to: 
– First person memoirs.
– Texts created to highlight the difference in lived experiences between women, men, and gender diverse guest workers.
– Texts that address transnational dialogues of gendered labor and migration with German speaking nations as the host countries. 
– Media and discussions of media representations of gendered labor. 
– Texts created to highlight the value or the undervaluing of labor typically done by women in German speaking countries.

Please send abstracts (no more than 350 words) no later than February 15, 2023, to Amy Young (younga@central.edu) and Andrea Thompson Guiza (thompson.atg@gmail.com).


Open Session II: Keep Weimar [Cinema] Weird

As the first major film movement in the history of German film, Weimar Cinema rests on hallowed ground and holds a sacred position validated by hagiographic
interpretations of the classic films, directors, and styles creating a nearly unfaltering faith in their stability. In reference to the location of the 2023 WiG conference in Portland, Oregon, this panel utilizes the famous “Keep Portland Weird” slogan as a point of departure to discuss the contrast between normative expectations and “weirdness” in Weimar Cinema. We hope for intersectional feminist interpretations that destabilize the foundations upon which the paradigms of Weimar Cinema have been formed and reveal new avenues in our quest to understand the past and its relationship to the present. While weirdness is often referred to in terms of the supernatural, we expand the parameters of this concept to include resistance to all ossified understandings of genre, gender, race, ethnicity, sexuality, religion, class, etc.

How can we challenge ossified interpretations of Weimar cinema that have developed over the past 100 years of watching these films and celebrate the
“weirdness” of Weimar as a unifying characteristic that has endured through various historical moments? How do specific examples of the “weird” character of Weimar cinema correspond to the city mantra that promotes individuality, expressionism, and atypical lifestyle choices and leisure activities? How can the canon of Weimar cinema be expanded through “weird” interpretations of classic Weimar films/directors/characters or those not typically examined, that were popular at the time, or that were previously unknown? How can intersectional feminist interpretations reconsider these films to transcend normative conventions and reclaim feminist spaces within the entrenched patriarchal structures and interpretations of the period? Which new aesthetic and political relationships emerge when re-examining Weimar cinema through the lens of disability studies and contemporary feminist, queer, and decolonial theory? How does Weimar’s weirdness resonate with contemporary filmmaking projects?

Please send a one-page (200-250 words) abstract and brief bio to Carrie Collenberg- González (carrie23@pdx.edu) and Petra Watzke (Petra.Watzke@kzoo.edu) by
February 15, 2023.


Guest-related panel

More information coming soon.


Poster Session


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. To ensure that your information is available to members throughout the conference, all presentations must be accompanied by a simple explanatory handout.


Please submit 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 wigpostersession2023@googlegroups.comPresenters must provide their own materials, equipment, and technology (including computers, headphones, extension cords, etc.); please consider these logistics for your proposal. Membership to the Coalition of Women in German will be required to present in this session but is not required to submit an abstract. Deadline for proposal submissions is March 8, 2023.


Please contact the poster session organizers Amy Hill and Nicole Grewling at the address above with submissions or any questions you may have.

WiG-Sponsored Panels at other Conferences, 2023-2024



Universal Design for Learning (UDL) as/and Feminist Pedagogy in the German Curriculum

Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is a framework that builds flexibility into the educational context to accommodate different types of learners. This framework
has been built around cognitive and neuroscience insights into how humans learn in order to improve and optimize teaching and learning for all people. UDL assumes that any barrier to learning lies in the design of the environment and not the learner. Much work in UDL centers on the “plus one” approach: building flexibility into the classroom by adding an additional option for assessments, for example, or adding another mode of interacting with or representing course material. While UDL is a design concept that has existed for decades, the fast pivot to online learning during the Covid-19 pandemic pushed many educators to think more urgently and critically about the principles of universal design and of accessibility in multiple formats.

Meanwhile, feminist pedagogical theory focuses on decentering the authority in the classroom and empowering each student to take responsibility for their own
learning. Feminist pedagogy operates on the following six fundamental principles: relationship between teacher and student, empowerment, community building,
privilege of voice, respect for diverse personal experiences, and challenging traditional learning ideals.

This panel will investigate the connections, tensions, and overlaps between UDL and feminist pedagogical practice. Proposals might address the following questions: how can implementing UDL support feminist pedagogy? In other words, how do the ideas of UDL build inclusivity and equity into the classroom? How did the Covid-19 pandemic encourage us to consider both UDL and feminist pedagogy differently or to apply it in an online environment? What does UDL look like in our German courses—from beginning language to graduate courses? How do we address and/or counter the prevalence of monolingualism in the materials and training available for UDL? How can the ideas of UDL make our classrooms and our course materials more accessible? How might this accessibility be viewed as “feminist”? What alternative forms of assessment might we consider that would both conform to UDL standards and be feminist? Can we move from individual accommodations to a more inclusive idea of universal design—and if so, how?

Please send a 250-400 word abstract to both panel co-organizers by January 15, 2023: Britt Abel (abel@macalester.edu) and Brandy Wilcox (bewilcox@knox.edu)

The Coalition of Women in German (WiG) provides a democratic forum for all people interested in feminist approaches to German literature and culture or in the
intersection of gender with other categories of analysis such as sexuality, class, race, and ethnicity. Through its annual conference, panels at national professional
meetings, and through the publication of Feminist German Studies, the organization promotes feminist scholarship of outstanding quality. Women in German is
committed to making school and college curricula inclusive and seeks to create bridges, cross boundaries, nurture aspiration, and challenge assumptions while
exercising critical self-awareness. Women in German is dedicated to eradicating discrimination in the classroom and in the teaching profession at all levels.


German Studies Association 2023

Intersectional Feminist Filmmaking in the Long 1960s

Recent years have seen a resurgence of attention to the production of women’s cinema and media, spurred on by global movements including #MeToo and #TimesUp, which have helped to make visible the many affinities that contemporary feminist filmmaking shares with the emancipatory impulses of the 1960s and 1970s. The digital era, social media, and the globalization of neoliberal political and economic policies have intensified and rendered pervasive many of the injustices with which activists and directors of that earlier era wrestled. At the same time, intersectional feminisms are proliferating in many film industries around the globe, as filmmakers mobilize around structural racism, gender violence and sexual predation, right populism, and social inequality. Within this context, scholars and filmmakers alike have turned with renewed interest to the impulses that originally gave rise to the germination of feminist countercinema.

This panel aims to reconsider—via a specific focus on intersectionality—transnational feminist filmmaking arising in connection with German-language contexts in the long 1960s. How do feminist films of the era engage with the intersections of race, ethnicity, class, gender, sexuality, and religion, among others, in ways that still resonate with feminist filmmaking today? How do intersectional feminist perspectives shed light on earlier approaches to German cinefeminism and the New German Cinema? Which new aesthetic and political constellations emerge when re-reading particular films or oeuvres through the lens of recent developments in feminist, queer, and decolonial theory, or in tandem with contemporary filmmaking projects? We welcome contributions that focus on developing new theoretical approaches as well as analyses of specific films, filmmakers, genres, and movements.

Please submit your abstract (no more than 350 words) and a short bio to Hester Baer (hbaer@umd.edu) and Carrie Collenberg-González (carriecollenberg@pdx.edu) by February 1, 2023.

Modern Language Association Convention 2024

What the Slide? Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Presentation Culture

The current discourse surrounding diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in academic spaces gravitates towards evaluating and revising hiring practices, course content, research, and pedagogy. Little discussion, however, has been devoted to DEI in the act of sharing information via presentations in conferences and conventions, public arenas that allow for the negotiation and adjustment of a scholarly community’s values and the orientation of its ethical compass.

This panel seeks proposals for presentations that explore how to reframe and revise presentation culture with DEI as a leading principle. Proposals that not only
explore applications of intersectional theories and methodologies to presentation culture, but also implicitly demonstrate them, will be given priority.

Potential presentations could:
– Reframe presentation culture through the lens of cultural rhetorics
– Apply Critical Race Theory (CRT) to revising presentations in academic spaces
– Identify and analyze capitalist / colonial influences on presentation culture
– Reframe presentation culture through the lens of Students Right to Their Own Language (SRTOL)
– Redesign presentation culture via, among others, feminist / gender studies, Native American studies, disability studies, African American studies
– Interrogate gatekeeping in presentation culture
– Explore the use of satire in presentations
– Suggest revisions of presentation culture as informed by Social Geography
– Explore applications and pitfalls of Universal Design in presentation culture

Please submit 250-350 word abstract describing your topic and (if possible) plans for implicit demonstration to harriett@stanford.edu, amy.l.hill@vanderbilt.edu, and vhutter@pdx.edu by 1 February 2023.


Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences/CAUTG Annual Meeting 2023

You are invited to submit proposals for papers to be delivered at the annual meeting of German Studies Canada at the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences of Canada (https://www.federationhss.ca/en/congress/congress-2023) hosted at York University in Toronto as an in-person event. Papers presenting original, unpublished research on any topic or period of German-language literature, cinema, cultural studies, German language and language pedagogy are welcome, in English, French or German. We also welcome proposals in related fields (e.g., anthropology, art history, Black studies, diaspora and transnational studies, education, environmental humanities, history, musicology, philosophy) provided they are related to topics in German Studies. Papers or pre-constituted panels on Black German Studies are especially welcome and will be vetted in consultation with the BGHRA (Black German Historical Research Association).  

We welcome multiple formats for consideration, including formats not anticipated among the options below: 

  1. Single paper proposal: maximum 350 words. 
  2. Pre-constituted panel proposal: panels of two or three papers on a related theme. The panel organizer should submit a proposal explaining the theme as well as the proposals for the individual papers as a package. Maximum 1,500 words in total. The panel proposals will be assessed on their merits as a panel separately from the single paper proposals. 
  3. Workshop: an event with participant engagement. The workshop organizer(s) should submit a proposal explaining the purpose and outcome. Maximum 500 words. 
  4.  Pre-constituted roundtables: a venue affording up to 10 minutes input from each speaker on a particular theme relevant to the wider constituency, with room for wider discussion, also from the audience. The roundtable organizer(s) should submit a proposal explaining the theme and rationale, and line-up of speakers. Maximum 500 words.

    In 2023, the Federation remains committed to questions of equity, diversity, inclusion, and decolonization with the theme Reckonings and Re-imaginings. Possible lines of inquiry for German Studies might include, but are by no means limited to the following: 

  • Which specific forms of knowledge about (post)colonialism and/or the decolonial are being produced in German-language literature and culture? 
  • Which specific forms of knowledge about “the North” as it relates to reconciliation, governance, social justice, climate change, reciprocity, or education are being produced in German-language literature and culture? 
  • How are recent public debates and memory battles about social justice taken up in Germany’s current memory culture? 
  • How does German Studies as discipline and field of knowledge production engage racism? How is racism in German-language literature and culture voiced, challenged, or subverted? Which forms of racism are especially prevalent, and where may German Studies suffer from blind spots when it comes to racism? 
  • How can we, as scholars of German Studies, address colonial legacies and racism (in organizations, institutions, our community)? How can we learn from other disciplines and discourses? To what extent can such inquiries help reframe disciplinary, geopolitical, and national thinking and boundaries? 
  • How can German Studies contribute to overcoming the divisive legacy of colonialism and promoting reconciliation between Indigenous peoples and settler populations?

A copy of your proposal should be emailed to the program co-chairs no later than Friday, January 6, 2023. Proposals are to be submitted electronically as a Word document, PDF or .rtf file. An adjudication committee will assemble the program following blind and anonymous review. The author’s name should not appear on the proposal itself. Please include your university affiliation and contact information in the accompanying e-mail. Decisions will be announced by Monday, January 16, 2023. 

Presentation time at the conference is limited to 15 minutes per paperPrimary sources in German should be quoted in the original language. 

GSC meets as part of the annual Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences of Canada (https://www.federationhss.ca/en/congress/congress-2023) organized by the Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences. The largest multidisciplinary meeting in Canada, the Congress hosts the meetings of more than 70 scholarly associations during a 7-day period, bringing together scholars from across Canada and around the world. 

Seminar Graduate Students Award: Both graduate students and underemployed scholars selected for presentation are eligible to receive a Conference Registration Subsidy Award generously provided by the journal Seminar

Please note that presenters must be paid-up GSC members by 15 March 2023. Presenters on joint panels with other scholarly organizations in the Canadian Federation of the Humanities and Social Sciences must be paid-up members of either GSC or the co-sponsoring organization. 

Submissions can be sent to: gscconference@cautg.org 

Any inquiries can be jointly addressed to the GSC Program Co-Chairs: 

Angelica Fenner (University of Toronto), email: Angelica.Fenner@utoronto.ca 

Simone Pfleger (University of Alberta), email: pfleger@ualberta.ca

WiG Annual Conference: History

2022 Conference: Nov. 10-13, 2022, at Portland State University, Portland, Oregon

2021 Conference: Nov. 4-6, 2021, held as a virtual meeting

2020 Conference: Oct. 15-18, 2020, at The Sewanee Inn, Sewanee, Tennessee

2019 Conference: Oct. 17-20, 2019, at The Sewanee Inn, Sewanee, Tennessee

2018 Conference: Oct. 18-21, 2018, at The Sewanee Inn, Sewanee, Tennessee

2017 Conference: Oct. 26-29, 2017, at the Banff Centre, Banff, Alberta

2016 Conference: Oct. 13-16, 2016, at the Banff Centre, Banff, Alberta

2015 Conference: Oct. 22-25, 2015, at the Banff Centre, Banff, Alberta

2014 Conference: Oct. 23-26, 2014, at Shawnee Inn and Golf Resort, Shawnee on Delaware, PA

2013 Conference: Oct. 24-27, 2013, at Shawnee Inn and Golf Resort, Shawnee on Delaware, PA

2012 Conference: Oct. 25-28, 2012, at Shawnee Inn and Golf Resort, Shawnee on Delaware, PA

2011 Conference: Oct. 20-23, 2011, at Yarrow Golf and Conference Center, Augusta, MI

2010 Conference: Oct. 21-24, 2010, at Yarrow Golf and Conference Center, Augusta, MI

2009 Conference: Oct. 22-25, 2009, at Brook Lodge, Augusta, MI

2008 Conference: Oct. 23-26, 2008, at Snowbird Resort, Snowbird, UT

2007 Conference: Oct. 18-21, 2007, at Snowbird Resort, Snowbird, UT

2006 Conference: Oct. 19-22, 2006, at Snowbird Resort, Snowbird, UT

2005 Conference: Oct. 16-19, 2003, at General Butler State Resort Park, Carrollton, KY

2004 Conference: Oct. 16-19, 2003, at General Butler State Resort Park, Carrollton, KY

2003 Conference: Oct. 16-19, 2003, at General Butler State Resort Park, Carrollton, KY

2002 Conference: Oct. 17-20, 2002, at Rio Rico Resort, Rio Rico, AZ

2001 Conference: Oct. 18-21, 2001, at Rio Rico Resort, Rio Rico, AZ

2000 Conference: Oct. 19-22, 2000, at Rio Rico Resort, Rio Rico, AZ

1999 Conference: Oct. 28-31, 1999, at Monte Toyon Retreat, Aptos, CA

1998 Conference: Oct. 29-Nov. 1, 1998, at Monte Toyon Retreat, Aptos, CA

1997 Conference: Oct. 30-Nov. 1, 1997, at Monte Toyon Retreat, Aptos, CA

1996 Conference: Oct. 31-Nov. 3, 1996, in St. Augustine, FL

1995 Conference: Oct. 19-22, 1995, in St. Augustine, FL

1994 Conference: St. Augustine, FL

1991-1993 Conferences: Great Barrington, MA

1988-1990 Conferences: St. Croix, MN

1985-1987 Conferences: Portland, OR

1982-1984 Conferences: Thompson’s Island, Boston Harbor, MA

1979-1981 Conferences: Racine, WI

1976-1978 Conferences: Miami University, Oxford, OH

WiG 2022 Thursday Night Session: 



WiG 2022 Praxis/ Pedagogy Panel: “’Teaching Interdisciplinarity”

Panel Organizers: Claire E. Scott (Vanderbilt University, German Studies) and Eliza Ablovatski (Kenyon College, History)

Presenter: Gabi Maier

Presentation: ““Exploring an Interdisciplinary Teaching Approach Between German Studies and Architecture”

In her presentation, Gabi shared her experiences with a course called “Digital Vienna” that she taught with a colleague in Architecture. She described the collaboration between two different disciplines and the challenges of interdisciplinary teaching, the requirements of the class (e.g. the creation of 3D models of historical buildings for a digital map of Vienna) and their pedagogical approach (among others, project based learning). Her presentation also entailed an assessment of the course and made suggestions regarding improvements for another iteration.

Presenter: Simone Pfleger (University of Alberta)

Presentation: ““Beyond (Queer) Theories: Cross-Cultural Dialogue and Community Service Learning through Transatlantic Exchange,””

Simone reflected on the pedagogical considerations and teaching experiences that emerged from a co-taught, remote, combined undergraduate- and graduate-student course on Queer Theory. The collaboration was between Bielefeld University and the University of Alberta. The virtual environment and need for connecting exclusively online brought about by COVID-19 facilitated a new and exciting transatlantic collaboration, which allowed for the creation of a course that pursued a twofold objective: foster cross-cultural dialogue and exchange among the students from the two partner universities; and provide students with practical experiences through project-based work with Edmonton community partners (such as Edmonton 2Spirit Society, Institute for Sexual Minority Studies and Services, and Sexual Assault Voices of Edmonton) that could be completed in an online setting. While the former enabled students to discuss theoretical readings so that they were able to develop an understanding of how normative ideas around identities and bodies have impacted the construction of social hierarchies and shaped an unequal distribution of power in different geographical, socio-cultural, and historical contexts, the latter encouraged students to develop new skills when translating theory to practice and applying queering as methodology in an investigative project with a community partner. This form of engagement and exchange ensured that all participants were exposed to a variety of approaches and ideas that expanded their understanding of how to engage with scholarship and activism beyond their own academic training and disciplinary confines.  


WiG 2022 Pre-Twentieth Century Session: “Cultural Transfer, Inbound and/or Outbound: Bonding across Borders”

Session Organizers: Anne Wooten (University of Texas/Austin), Denise Della Rossa (Notre Dame University), Carol Strauss Sotiropoulos (Northern Michigan University)

Anne Wooten provided a rich introduction, inviting attendees to ponder the theoretical underpinnings of cultural transfer, as first articulated and defined by Michel Espagne. Alerting attendees to the diversity and range of the four papers, Wooten drew on areas of commonality, e.g., the power structures between differently gendered and racialized characters; and salient contemporary theoretical approaches to reappraising both neglected, undervalued works by women and two of the most widely read 18 th -c. epistolary novels.


Presenters: Monika Nenon

Presentation: “’Productive Reception. Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s Julie, ou La Nouvelle Héloїse and Sophie von La Roche’s Geschichte des Fräuleins von Sternheim”

Monika takes a fresh look at Rousseau’s and La Roche’s most popular novels. Nenon draws on Robert Darnton’s theoretical concepts of the epistolary novel to compare the two works’ form and content in order to better comprehend the emotional impact they wielded on readerships across cultural zones. Nenon then looks to recent works in the field of Media Studies, in particular theories set forth by Robert Vellusig and Gisbert Ter-Nedden, to apply the Kinoeffekt to epistolary novels.


Presenter: Linda K. Hughes

Presentation: “Ottilie von Goethe as Mediator of Anglo-German Cultural Exchange”

Linda presents Ottilie von Goethe, Goethe’s daughter-in-law, as a key mediator of cultural exchange between German women writers and the Anglophone world, and between British women writers and Germany. After meeting cultural, literary, art, and proto-feminist critic Anna Jameson in 1833, Ottilie von Goethe became Jameson’s German social and literary guide, enabling Jameson to devote a section on German women writers in her Visits and Sketches at Home and Abroad (1834). Soon translated into German, Jameson’s work reversed the “outbound” cultural transfer to “inbound.” Ottilie von Goethe introduced Jameson to the works
and proto-feminist projects of Rahel (Levin) Varnhagen and Bettina von Arnim; further, she was instrumental in determining which of Princess Amalie of Saxony’s plays Jameson should translate. Those/most of us not familiar with both Ottilie von Goethe and Anna Jameson will not forget the duo as a prime example of cultural transfer, both inbound and outbound.


Presenter: Julie Koehler

Presentation:“Female Heroism and Mentorship in Retellings of Madame d’Aulnoy’s “The Bee and the Orange Tree’” 

Julie discusses three German women writers’ retellings of d’Aulnoy’s 1697 “L'Orangier et l'Abeille,” retellings that appeared in the three most important early 19 th -c. fairy-tale collections. Like the original, in each variant of the story a young and helpless girl finds herself in a strange place inhabited by monstrous ogres. Needing to save the prince she loves and herself from being devoured, she uses a magic wand to transform him into a tree and herself into a bee. Several plot and character distinctions from the original in these examples of inbound cultural transfer invite questions about intent and audience. Significantly German women storytellers reduce the romantic plot, and expand instead on examples of women’s cleverness, knowledge, and magic to create situations in which women—caring mothers, fierce protectors, powerful fairies, and clever princesses—care for, mentor, and rescue each other. 


Presenter: Sarah Vandegrift Eldridge

Presentation: “Disciplinary Transfers: Following Black Feminist Thought to the German Robinsonade”

Sarah’s paper draws on Toni Morrison’s insights into representations of Black and indigenous characters in American literature to elucidate ways 18 th -c. female
Robinsonaden allowed German writers to explore the construction of white selves and their relationship to religion, race, and gender. Turning to Morrison’s discussion of “the interdepending working of power, race, and sexuality in a white woman’s battle for coherence,” Eldridge’s paper discusses three female Robinsanden, to argue that this applies to the encounters of female European protagonists with non-white Indigenous figures and populations. As previous
scholarship on the female Robinsonaden explored only gender, Eldridge’s paper contributes significantly to Robinsonaden studies by exposing the ways racial and religious differences inflect gender identities and the construction of white female subjectivity.


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