Continuing the Conversation: Race and Ethnicity in Feminist German Studies
Starting the Conversation: Disability Studies and German Studies | Editors’ Introduction
With volume 32 of the Women in German Yearbook, editors Carrie Smith and Waltraud Maierhofer began a conversation about race and ethnicity in the the context of feminist German studies. Three essays published on the Women in German website contributed to this conversation: Maggie McCarthy’s reflection on New Year’s Eve 2015 in Cologne, when a massive group of supposed foreigners assaulted women on the streets; Kat Sark’s interview interview with media consultant Anne Wizorek, whose tweet about sexism opened a wave of responses with the hashtag #Aufschrei; and Karina Griffith’s review essay of three scholarly contributions to Black German studies. In this special online section for the inaugural issue of Feminist German Studies, we continue the conversation about ethnicity, identity, and religious belief with Anja Wieden’s interview with filmmaker and activist Güner Balci. Known for her provocative critiques of traditional gender roles in Muslim communities, Balci uses her novels, documentary films, and training as a social worker to fight for the rights of women living in “parallel worlds,” a term Wieden explains in the extensive introduction to the interview.
With this special online section, we also begin a new conversation on the intersection of disability studies and German studies, a topic that will be featured in a panel at the Women in German conference in Sewannee, TN in October 2018 and that will be the special focus of Feminist German Studies volume 35. The two essays featured on the website serve as an introduction to considering disability in the academy. Corinna Kahnke’s essay, “Behinderung for Anfänger,” provides friends, colleagues, and aspiring allies with tips for supporting those with disabilities. Petra Watzke’s essay, “Out of Order: A Personal Perspective on Academic Ableism,” reflects on the challenges faced by disabled faculty and the insufficient support structures that exist for them at most universities.
The online supplements to the published journal serve to bridge the gap between volumes and to connect readers to discussions taking place at the annual conference. We encourage you to read these essays in anticipation of the conference and to incorporate these ideas into your own feminist German studies pedagogy and scholarship.
Alexandra Merley Hill and Waltraud Maierhofer