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 biographyPresenters 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: 

 Prof. Angelica Fenner (University of Toronto

Email: Angelica.Fenner@utoronto.ca 

Prof. 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 2021 Thursday Night Session: “’Laziness’ and Non-Production as a Radical Form of Political Resistance”

Speakers: Angineh Djavadghazaryans (Oakland University); David Loner, Maggie Rosenau

Our session brought into action the subject of an article co-written by David Loner and Maggie Rosenau, accepted for the special issue of Feminist Formations: “Time, Urgency, and Collaboration in the Corporate University”. Their research examines how resistance toward capitalism’s temporal bullying is performed in contemporary art and activism. The piece addresses the relationship between creativity, institutions, and empowerment, and explores aesthetic presentations of resistive temporalities they identify as non-production. The case studies of non-production offered affirm a cosmopolitan performance of resistance that centers discussion of radicality in interdependent care networks, available to all disabled and non-disabled individuals. (Specifically, the work of Eva Egerman,  Kenny FriesRomily Alice Walden,  Tricia HerseyNap Ministry, and Taraneh Fazeli.) It highlights a care ethic that claps back at the idea of self-optimization and fiduciary endurance amidst economic regimes of exploitation. In place of the culture industry of ‘wellness,’ their work boosts new directions in care and mutual aid, as premised on queer, crip and feminist portrayals of disability praxis and social justice pedagogy.

 Workshop Objectives:

  1. Connect this research with just action that aims to meet individual, environmental, and social needs. By workshopping the ways non-production might creatively be brought into our own lives, as well as our professional roles and spaces, we aim to further crip time as a valuable way of knowing and being.
  2. Disability justice, as so defined throughout this research, will provide a nuanced point of departure for WiG’s continued conversations around anti-capitalism, now amidst the ongoing turmoil and debility we face due to the global COVID-19 pandemic.


We started the session by exploring ways we might engage in non-production as a means toward 1) self-care; 2) political resistance; and 3) sustainability—especially in terms of refraining from activities or behaviors that hold negative consequences for our lives, the lives of others, and the environment. 

Cultivating and nurturing the practice of ‘less’ is a political and feminist act of resistance to the capitalization of ‘self-care.’

The corporatization of the University has quickened the pace of life in academia—a trend of hyper-accelerated pace and expectation of production. This exists (and continues) in tandem with the social and temporal shifts brought about by the pandemic, especially last year, when a large percentage of the world shifted from in-person to remote in a matter of days. Disability advocates and scholars describe this as an event that universalized crip time.

Break-out Questions

  1. Vent. Go ahead. What exhausts you? What are the biggest barriers to rest/healthy work/leisure balance? (E-mail, contingency status, poverty, disability, racism, precarity, etc.) This question aims to invite a space of pain-sharing and commiseration, mentoring up, etc.


  1. What unnecessary practices do you take part in that perpetuate debilitating conditions? Consider your own life, and also how your actions affect others.


  1. What gives you life? What recharges you?


  1. What models guide you? (The Slow Professor,  Piepzna-Samarasinha,  Nap Ministry,  Black Power Naps,  ArtistsCurators,  Activists,  MentorsScholarsMutual Aid groups, etc.?)


  1. What slow practices have you integrated (or want to) into your personal life this past year? How has this worked/not worked? How has this benefited you/and others?


  1. What slow practices have you integrated (or want to) into your professional life (as a student, instructor, mentor, manager, admin, editor, chair, advisor, etc.)?


  1. Slowing down often means giving something up. Within the neoliberal order, this is often understood as loss. What are you willing to give up (in a consciously empowering way) in order to benefit yourself, your loved ones, communities, the environment, etc.?


  1. What do healthy, equitable futurities look like and how/where can we invest in these today/now? 


WiG 2021 Praxis/ Pedagogy Panel: “’In the Foreground’: Using Graphic Novels, Comics, and Visual Art to Teach in the German Classroom”

Panel Organizers: Gabrielle E. Taylor (University of Alabama at Birmingham); Elizabeth Bridges

Presenter: Elizabeth Mittman (Michigan State University)

Presentation: “Placing the Gendered Subject in the Foreground: Image-Text Relations in the Third-Year Classroom”

My presentation shares some teaching materials developed for a thematically oriented third-year course entitled “German Genders: Grammatik, Geschlechter, Gesellschaft.” The course describes an arc linking German language, culture, and society through the exploration of grammatical gender, social roles and societal structures over the centuries. Because the range of linguistic abilities is predictably unpredictable in courses at this level, particularly at a large public institution like MSU, it is imperative that students are able to find on-ramps for their own learning, regardless of background.

One of the central tools that I use in “German Genders” to help facilitate this process is a focus on the visual in a wide variety of image-text manifestations from diverse historical moments and cultural perspectives. For the purposes of this presentation, I am focusing on the examples of the richly illustrated Lutherbibel (where we compare two competing creation stories and their divergent imaginings of a gendered world) and Charlotte von Mahlsdorf’s memoir about growing up trans in Nazi Germany and contributing to the growth and vibrancy of the East German LGBTQ community (Ich bin meine eigene Frau, 1992). I outline the specific shape of two particular class sessions at different points in the semester, in which the pairing of image and text supports structured language practice and creates a mediated experience in which all students can participate readily and productively, regardless of their linguistic skills. 

In the first instance, images are introduced following students’ initial engagement with the text. The biblical illustrations by Luther’s friend and collaborator, Lucas Cranach, function to orient students’ perceptions around the cosmological implications of that text and its internal contradictions; they also enable a broader conversation about the interplay of image and text in early modern media culture. In the case of von Mahlsdorf’s memoir, we start from the visual input alone: a poignant photo essay that includes family photos from the author’s own archive as well as staged photos of Charlotte in her home (and Gründerzeitmuseum), which both elucidate and frame the first-person narrative of a repeatedly imperiled life that runs a plumb line through and across political regimes. This framing prepares students for a linguistic focus on creating, recognizing, and analyzing relative clauses, as well as for a later conversation about the evolution of a public persona in multiple media realizations. It also serves as the stepping stone to a final term project in which they prepare their own personal life narrative integrating visual and textual elements.

Presenter: Tiarra Cooper (University of Massachusetts Amherst)

Presentation: “Gender in the Gutter: Trans* Narratives in German-Language Graphic Novels”

As a subset of the adaptable, engaging, and flexible medium of comics, graphic novels

possess a multitude of benefits for classroom use: They accommodate various learning styles and

learning networks, present opportunities to refine multimodal literacy, and even create space for

students to reimagine timespaces. For language learning in particular, graphic novels yield the

power to inform students of language, culture, and history simultaneously. Moreover, one of the most

powerful opportunities they create is for self-reflection, empathy, and connection. Given their capacity to generate understanding across differences, graphic novels lend themselves especially

well to LGBTQ+ diverse instruction. In my presentation, I highlight narrative and illustrative

depictions of, and provide classroom exercises for, two German-language graphic novels centering

on trans* identities: Hexenblut by Suskas Lötzerich (2014) and Nenn mich Kai by Sara Barczyk


In my presentation, I demonstrate how the trans* narratives and representations in these two

graphic novels can be integrated into foreign language instruction. Firstly, I provide exercises that

draw connections between comic terminology and social concepts. For instance, the ‘gutter’–or

space between frames–can be examined in tandem with social dynamics; spilling into the gutter can

represent a rejection of social confines, uneven gutters can represent a lack of social cohesion, and

distance between frames and individuals can create a sense of emotional distance from others.

Secondly, I demonstrate exercises that can be utilized as entry points into empathy building and

understanding. When protagonists make illustrative ‘eye contact,’ for instance, how is this

experienced by the reader? How does the placement of speech balloons speak to the interpersonal

spaces–or lack thereof–between characters?

With the aim of classroom use, I draw on visual excerpts from both graphic novels in order to

highlight the narratives and illustrations that prove subversive to binarized gender and cisgender



Presenter: Hillary Herzog (University of Kentucky)

Presentation: “’There’s no place like home:’ Teaching Nora Krug’s Heimat: Ein deutsches Familienalbum in a Third-year German Course”

In preparation for class I asked my students to consider one of the most instantly-recognizable lines from American cinema: “There’s no place like home.” As we discussed this phrase, it became clear to them—and to me—how ubiquitous the word home is in common idioms and expressions: “Home sweet home.” “Bring home the bacon.” “Home is where the heart is.” The more we thought about these phrases that we typically don’t think about, the more complex and unique we understood the concepts of space and place to be in the American psyche.

But the central term in this session and those that followed was not home, but Heimat, the famously untranslatable German word that has accrued complex histories and nuances over time and space. In this 300-level course, I had assigned the graphic memoir from Nora Krug, Heimat: Ein deutsches Familienalbum. I always assign visual texts in my courses at all levels, as I find that they are accessible to students, who are excited to read and discuss them, perhaps less aware that they are developing the skills they need for understanding and communicating in the German-speaking world than they are when reading, say a poem or a novella.

But at the same time I wanted to make the central concept of the text—Heimat—less immediately accessible. How does history (personal and national) impact the concept of what it means to be home, to have a home? How are our own concepts of home—seemingly so personal—actually shaped by cultural texts and historical turns? To what extent does a concept of home, which seems to be the ultimate inclusionary term, necessitate an exclusionary element?

My presentation provides a case study of how I use Krug’s graphic novel as a mechanism to draw students into a foreign world, to consider how it relates to concepts that they might have thought were universal, and to challenge the very notion of home that we are typically asked to take for granted.


WiG 2021 Pre-Twentieth Century Session: “Irenic Utopias: Non-Violent Women and Powerful Non-Places”

Session Organizers: Michelle James (Brigham Young University); Mari Jarris (Princeton University); Rob McFarland (Brigham Young University)

Mari Jarris, Introduction:

150 years after the birth of Rosa Luxemburg and over a century since the publication of her essay, “Friedensutopien,” condemning reformist visions of the peaceful transition to socialism as utopian, the term “utopia” is no less controversial. Within the Marxist tradition, utopia has long been associated with idealism and bourgeois reformism: a remnant of the eighteenth and early nineteenth-century utopian socialism that lacked the scientific rigor of historical materialism.

If utopianism has been recovered as form of critique within Marxism and Critical Theory, then it nevertheless retains its colloquial connotation as “impossible” or “naïve.” At the same time, utopia has not fully discarded its Cold War legacy as a stand in for totalitarianism and Stalinism outside of left-wing discourses.

The papers on this panel cover the range of overlapping approaches to utopia that utopian studies scholar Ruth Levitas has categorized in terms of function, form, and content. All of our speakers address the utopian function of critique, drawing out utopia’s polemics with the present, in particular, with norms of gender, sexuality, and militant nationalism. As Alexis Smith und Eva Hoffman demonstrate through their analysis of Elsa Asenijeff’s work, this function of utopia calls on readers to adopt a critical lens. Carol Strauss Sotiropoulos and Susanne Klimroth examine the epistolary form of the utopian novel, a strategy which, as Susanne points out, contributes to the sense of the story’s authenticity, drawing the readers directly into the dialogue. Finally, in her talk Carol offers us a definition of utopia in terms of content as “the vision of an ideal society,” manifest in everyday harmonious relations. Yet as Carol suggests in regard to settler colonialism, and Katharina Scheerer demonstrates in her discussion of the so-called “woman question” in early twentieth-century science fiction: defining utopia in terms of content, as a perfect society, leads to the normative dilemma of who is evaluating it. In other words, the genres of utopia and dystopia are revealed to be inseparable: one person’s feminist utopia may be another person’s dystopian nightmare. 

Presenters: Alexis B. Smith (Hanover College) and Eva Hoffman (Whitman College)

Presentation: “’Menschin, steh auf:’ Women’s Writing, Maternity and Resistance in Elsa Asenijeff’s Work” 

In this presentation, we illustrate how Elsa Asenijeff—who is today primarily remembered as

the lover and muse of sculptor Max Klinger, but who was widely read and well-regarded at her time—links her utopian visions of a more peaceful and civilized future to both a reimagination of gender relations and a revitalization of Romantic tropes and metaphors.

In 1922 Asenijeff composed her final publication, a collection of poems called “Aufschrei:

Gedichte in freien Rhythmen.” In “Aufschrei,” Asenijeff criticizes the brutality, violence and

destruction of war, which she explicitly links to masculinity. Her utopian vision of a peaceful and

more civilized future thus rests on a rigorous system of gender and sexual difference. Femininity,

and particularly maternity, features highly in Asenijeff’s utopia, for which she also draws on the

Romantic era by emphasizing the poet’s relationship to nature.

This entanglement of Romantic nature, poetry, and maternity also appears in Asenijeff’s 1901

collection of short stories Unschuld: ein modernes Mädchenbuch, in which she projects a more

peaceful and civilized future and emphasizes the role of mothers and poets for its emergence. As we

show in this presentation, Asenijeff employs prominent tropes of her time, such as the

notion of spiritual motherhood, along with rhetoric associated with Romanticism and Classicism, for her

visions of a utopian future. Ultimately, we understand her writing to be a precursor to

Écriture Feminine, in which her vision of societal change is intricately linked to innovative and gender- specific forms of literary production.


Presenter: Susanne Klimroth (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin)


Presentation: “The Deconstruction of Bourgeois Norms through Exaggeration:

Franziska zu Reventlow’s Sex-positive Utopia”


This presentation emphasises the role of zu Reventlow’s unique literary style, which utilises ironic distance as a means of deconstructing gender and sexual norms, in her account of a sex-positive utopia. By analysing her novel Von Paul zu Pedro. Amouresken (1912) as utopian literature, I demonstrate how the text weaves together demands for independent, self-determined female sexuality,

sexual politics and economic independence in a humoristic manner. The presentation stresses this creation

of narrative distance as a necessary prerequisite for the imagination and realization of alternative

social relations.

My reading of Von Paul zu Pedro, firstly, explores its utopian dimensions and elements

which formulate reimagined forms of sexual interaction, such as the narrator’s rethinking of sexuality,

the recurring motive of the idealized but not yet realized, and the novel’s open end in

which the narrator announces an escape to an island: »Sobald wir sie gefunden haben, schreibe ich

Ihnen – wir wissen ja selbst noch nicht, wo sie liegt […]«.

Secondly, I argued that the novel, in line with some of zu Reventlow’s essays on sexuality, creates a sex-positive utopia in deconstructing bourgeois norms through irony and exaggeration. In doing so, it develops an ambivalent perspective on both the prevalent as well as the idealised. I ultimately argue that her work therefore creates an ‘utopian space’ located in the ‘no-where’ between a criticism of the

present and reimagined sexual relationships.


Presenter: Katharina Scheerer (Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster)


Presentation:Between Stove and Emancipation: Female Imaginations of the Utopic in Early German Science-Fiction”


From its beginnings in the late 19th century through the present, Science-Fiction has been a genre dominated by male producers and recipients. Nevertheless, right from the start, female authors have also been speculating about the future and/or developing alternative scenarios to the present state of the world through science-fiction texts. Most of these women authors are concerned with re-imaginations of gender relations and sexuality, and they address the so-called ‘Frauenfrage’ in one way or another. The spectrum of early female Science-Fiction ranges from antifeminist dystopias which reinforce existing stereotypes (e.g., Therese Haupt’s Die Frau nach Fünfhundert Jahren), to feminist utopias in which women peacefully rule society (e.g., Louise Schulze-Brück’s Die Frau der Zukunft). 

My presentation analyzes how these texts respond to and adopt the ‘Frauenfrage’ (which is frequently tied to the ‘Soziale Frage’—e.g., Ellen Key’s Die Frau in 100 Jahren), and thereby undermine or reinforce ruling gender stereotypes. I put special emphasis on the scene of action, since some of the stories are set in secluded places on earth, while others are on other planets or in places that are not clearly specified. In my presentation, I thereby trace the link between Utopia and spatiality. Where needed, I include contemporary scientific contexts such as the discovery of the supposed ‘Mars Canals’ in 1877, which resulted in an increase in factual and fictional texts concerned with (human) life on the red planet. 


Presenter: Carol Strauss Sotiropoulos (Northern Michigan University)

Presentation: “Irenic Utopia, Literary Dilemma: Henriette Frölich’s Virginia oder die Kolonie von Kentucky.


My presentation centered on Virginia oder die Kolonie von Kentucky (1820), by early socialist Henriette Frölich. I am currently in the process of translating this epistolary novel, because it has “something for everyone!” As a transatlantic historical and political novel, a female Bildungsroman, and a utopian vision, it is simultaneously sentimental and thrilling. The heroic protagonist overcomes manifold political and patriarchal obstacles until she arrives in the (heterogeneous) utopian colony, where the unsettling shift in narrative voice, from the heroine’s “I” to the collective “we” of the women, invites further exploration into the intersection of utopian writing, female agency, and first-person plural narrative voice.


WiG 2021 Panel: “Trauma Beyond the Holocaust”


Panel Organizers: Shoshana Schwebel (University of British Columbia); and Nicole Coleman (Wayne State University)


Nicole and Shoshana introduced the panel. Nicole did a short mindfulness exercise, after which Shoshana briefly discussed the motivation for this topic, which is to broaden the focus of trauma studies within German studies, to topics beyond the Holocaust. 


Presenter: Natalia Dudnik (George Mason University)


Presentation: “Witnessing Traumatic Migrant Memory: The Case of Nagorno-Karabakh”


My presentation on Olga Grjasnowa’s debut novel, Der Russe ist einer, der Birken liebt (2012), focuses on the narrative representation of traumatic migrant memory of the pogrom in Baku in January 1990, in the midst of the war over Nagorno-Karabakh, which broke out again on 27 September 2020. While some traumatic historical events have received considerable attention within moral communities throughout the world, other more recent occurrences, such as ethnic violence in the South Caucasus in the wake of the fall of the Soviet Union, have yet to be integrated into European and global consciousness. Drawing on transnational approaches within trauma and memory studies [Levy and Sznaider (2006); Rothberg (2009); Erll (2011); Koch and Weidinger von der Recke (2009)], interdisciplinary theories of witnessing [Laub (1992); Oliver (2000); Peters (2009); Ellis (2009); Frosch (2009)], as well as immigration policies in Germany in the 1990s, my analysis identifies a call for a holistic integration of traumatized migrants, both on the civic level as political, legal, and economic subjects, as well as on the level of memory through the medium of secondary witnessing. In particular, I analyze narrative devices employed by Grjasnowa to engage the reader as a respondent to the protagonist’s suffering during the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan in the 1990s. I demonstrate how the novel’s stylistically diverse testimonies constructed on the level of dialogue and the level of narration offer the reader various modes of critical secondary witnessing: from a neutral observer to an empathetic listener and ultimately an ethical secondary witness.


Presenter: Jamele Watkins (University of Minnesota)


Presentation: “Lamenting Black Death: Also by Mail and We are Proud to Present…”


The stage has become a site of mourning for Black diasporic plays. In this presentation, I show how theater serves the role of an elegy to mourn and to remember Black death. Playwrights use the stage to grapple with unanswered questions and bring attention to the dead. Using the plays Also by Mail, by Olumide Popoola, and We are Proud to Present…, by Jackie Sibblies Drury, I show that the death of Black people will not be glossed over and forgotten; instead Black authors refuse to forget the ancestors. Popoola’s Also by Mail has shown how theater becomes elegy through voices present and past, here and beyond the veil (beyond the grave). Popoola theorizes death as unknown and revealing: cultural, and gendered. We are Proud to Present… is a play “in process” that focuses on the Namibian genocide and Jim Crow U.S. In both plays, the death is not intended as a sense of comparison, but to instead name traumas that hit the soul at multiple times. As elegies, these plays lament Black death. There is not enough coverage; there is not enough outrage. The stage allows for a space to mourn the lives taken at the hands of white violence. These deaths are a tragedy but the plays are not tragic. Instead, theater helps us remember. The plays function as a wake—to celebrate and mourn life. Trauma exists, but we (authors and audiences) can refuse to forget those who are gone. 


WiG 2021 Session: “Twisting Tongues: Multilingual Literature, Anti-Racism, and Afrofuturism”


Session Organizers: Marisol Bayona Roman (The University of Texas at Austin); Nikki Fogle (University of Georgia); Claire Scott (Kenyon College) 


In honor of Sharon Dodua Otoo’s participation as a guest at the WiG 2021 conference, and in celebration of her debut novel in German, Adas Raum (2021), we sought papers that highlight the potential for multilingual/polyvocal language to inspire different ways of thinking and being, both within and outside hegemonic modes of knowing and understanding. We hoped to continue conversations about what anti-racism means for us, specifically as feminist scholars of German studies. During the conference we heard two excellent papers which were followed by a group discussion that reminded us that our research and teaching should always be in dialogue with the actual members of any communities that we represent. 


First, we heard from Faye Stewart (UNC-Greensboro), who described her experiences in bringing Otoo’s work into the classroom in a talk titled: “The Danger of a Single Story: Visibility and Multivocality in Sharon Otoo’s Fiction”


Stewart writes: “Many stories matter,” Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie asserts in her 2009 TED Talk “The Danger of a Single Story.” “Stories have been used to dispossess and malign, but stories can be used to empower, and to humanize.” Sharon Dodua Otoo’s award-winning 2016 short story “Herr Gröttrup Sits Down” resonates with Adichie’s claims by intertwining multiple perspectives and voices, past and present, making dispossession visible, and gesturing toward the possibility of a more just future. My paper reflects on my experiences teaching “Herr Gröttrup Sits Down” and inviting students to think about its portrayal of intersecting forms of privilege, power, and precarity. Otoo highlights connections among stereotypes, social hierarchies, and visibility, challenging readers to consider what remains unseen or unspoken – and adumbrating the dangers of not doing just that. 


We then heard from Spencer Hadley (Cornell University) whose paper Stimme beyond Stimmung: May Ayim’s Poetic Voice and the Aesthetic Concept of Stimmung” provided an enlightening reading of a May Ayim poem. 


Hadley writes: Through close reading of May Ayim’s ‘waffenbrüder und schwertschwestern’— a poem from nachtgesang containing the sole occurrence of the word Stimmung in Ayim’s poetic oeuvre—this presentation argues that Ayim’s work ultimately exceeds the German-language aesthetic concept of Stimmung. Stimmung, a polysemic nexus of music, literature, and affect, cannot fully account for Ayim’s poetics, not least because of its history within majoritarian discourses. Via the readerly mode of “sound as cipher,” this presentation attends carefully to Ayim’s crescendoing, tongue-twister-esque usage of alliteration. Supplementing existing approaches to Ayim, this presentation offers further means of appreciating the multidimensionality of Ayim’s art.  


WiG 2021 Community Hour: “Racial Justice in Feminist German Studies”


Discussion Group 1: Organizing Within and Beyond the Academy

Rosemarie Peña & Emily Frazier-Rath (Davidson College) with co-facilitator Maria Grewe (John Jay College CUNY)

Guiding Questions:

  • How do we re-imagine our institutions without being relegated to the positions our institutions give us? How do we re-imagine and re-structure programs so that they work for us?
  • Whose voices do we bring into our teaching spaces?
  • How do we re-conceptualize collaboration, within and across institutions and communities?


We can find ways to re-direct money, to re-allocate funds to those who may not have access to such funds. For example, some institutions have grant and speaker series money that is untapped. We can use that to collaborate with colleagues within and across institutions and communities to bring in speakers, artists, colleagues, and programming that center on marginalized voices.


Colleagues at institutions with research funds can collaborate with adjuncts, contingent faculty, and gig academics. The collaborators provide students and act as moderator. This creates more access and centers more voices.


“Bartering”: If there are no funds, there is also the “barter” system, where colleagues exchange labor and resources without using money.


“Hypo-cognition” (David Gramling): Things we can’t think of because the structure for it does not exist in our minds.


Whose voices do we bring into our spaces? Do we resort to teaching commonly taught texts because we are focused on our own research? How relevant is our own research to our students? We need to re-think “teaching”: We have the power to raise the voices that are not our own, to decenter some voices and center other voices.


The Black German Heritage and Research Association (BGHRA) has been doing a lot of this work for some time which has gone unacknowledged. BGHRA conferences feature multi-layered conversations with a variety of people, including those we are researching and writing about.


The BGHRA can help establish connections with people and across institutions:

Contact Emily Frazier-Rath, Exec. Director of The BGHRA Institute, emfrazierrath@bghra.org




Black German Heritage and Research Association: http://bghra.org/


2011 Conference Report (from BGHRA’s first conference): https://drive.google.com/file/d/1bO7i8PiXVpBHpDlY4xAYgBTGj27A8Faq/view?usp=sharing


Opportunities for students to engage in research and support a nonprofit organization: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1JjPZYkfkEFj1v4NRtoPsOM7_jynKmu4O?usp=sharing

For more information contact emilyfrazierrath@bghra.org.


Discussion Group 2: Ethical, Non-Objectifying Research Practices

Jamele Watkins (University of Minnesota) with co-facilitator Jennifer Hosek (Queen’s University)

Concerns about being an imposter—not doing work that is seen as mattering.

Concerns about “taking up too much space” as an African-American in German Studies working on Black German Studies  

When do our Connected Differences (Audre Lorde) get effaced?  A source for this idea: https://www.themarginalian.org/2018/04/02/audre-lorde-burst-of-light-kinship-difference/  

Attending to all persons’ vulnerabilities and not get too hung up on our own particular differences / intersectionalities? 

“actionable” teaching ideas:


–writing “as themselves” rather than having them try to inhabit characters 

–writing as non-native speakers – code-switching , “loaner” words 

 –being cast not according to normative type (example: when teaching Erlkönig, what prompts are useful)

 Philosophically: (static) (individualistic) identity vs (shifting) (less individualistic) positionality – the benefits and limitations of each for furthering equity

Click here for more information about the conference site selection process.