[Publications] [Conferences] [CFPs] [Research Projects]

This page is dedicated to projects that WIGS members wish to publicize, such as conference announcements, publications or calls for papers. If you would like to put any information on this page, please mail all details to Madeleine Brook.

Research Projects:

  • Representations of Women and Death in German Literature, Art and Media after 1500

    Arts and Humanities Research Council Project

    Women who kill, fight, or die are objects of fascination in western culture and frequently represented in literature, art and media. Under the supervision of Professor Helen Watanabe-O'Kelly (Oxford) and Professor Sarah Colvin (Edinburgh), this three-year project will provide a pathbreaking cultural history of these representations in the German-speaking world using examples from the Renaissance to the present day.
    Click here for further details...


  • Rebecca Braun and Lyn Marven, eds., Cultural Impact in the German Context: Studies in Transmission, Reception, & Influence (Rochester: Camden House, 2010)

    How to gauge the impact of cultural products is an old question, but bureaucratic agendas such as the one recently implemented in the UK to measure the impact of university research (including in German Studies) are new. Impact is seen as confirming a cultural product's value for society -- not least in the eyes of cultural funders. Yet its use as an evaluative category has been widely criticized by academics. Rather than rejecting the concept of impact, however, this volume employs it as a metaphor to reflect on issues of transmission, reception, and influence that have always underlain cultural production but have escaped systematic conceptualization. It seeks to understand how culture works in the German-speaking world: how writers and artists express themselves, how readers and audiences engage with the resulting products, and how academics are drawn to analyze this dynamic process. Formulating such questions afresh in the context of German Studies, the volume examines both contemporary cultural discourse and the way it evolves more generally. It links such topics as authorial intention, readerly reception, intertextuality, and modes of perception to less commonly studied phenomena, such as the institutional practices of funding bodies, that underpin cultural discourse. Further details ...
  • Karen Leeder, ed., ‘Schaltstelle’: Neue deutsche Lyrik im Dialog, German Monitor 69 (Amsterdam: Rodopi, Autumn 2007)

    Erstmals liegt mit Schaltstelle eine umfassende Studie zur zeitgenössischen deutschsprachigen Lyrik auf der Schwelle zum 21. Jahrhundert vor. In einem breiten Spektrum an Beiträgen international renommierter Experten aus Deutschland, Großbritannien, den USA, Kanada, Italien und den Niederlanden präsentiert diese Untersuchung eine erste Einschätzung der Pfade, die die deutsche Dichtung nach auf dem Weg ins neue Millennium eingeschlagen hat.
    Further details ...

  • Karen Leeder, ed., ‘Flaschenpost’: German Poetry and the Long Twentieth Century, special edition of the journal German Life and Letters, LX, No.3, July 2007

    The co-incidence of the term ‘Flaschenpost’, used by two of the century’s leading poets, Paul Celan and Bertolt Brecht, signals a way into discussing the poetry of a turbulent century. Both poets used the term during their own ‘dark times’: Brecht in exile and fearing the triumph of fascism; Celan in a post-war society he saw as still in its shadow. However different their diction, both nevertheless shared a belief that poetry’s impulse is essentially dialogic. No matter how fraught its journey, it can reach a readership and intimate a different way of being. ‘Flaschenpost’ is then a useful motto with which to review the poetry of a long twentieth century, from the ‘new poetry’ emerging out if the Gründerzeit to the ‘new voices’ of the young writers in the twenty-first century.
    Further details ...

  • Hilary Brown, ed. (2007), Landmarks in German Women's Writing (Peter Lang)

    This volume focuses on twelve women writers from the Middle Ages to the present day who have made a major contribution to German literature. It includes portraits of Mechthild von Magdeburg, the medieval nun who ushered in the tradition of mystical writing in German; Sophie von La Roche, whose masterly novels and other writings had a far-reaching impact on the culture of the late Enlightenment; Annette von Droste-Hülshoff, one of the greatest nineteenth-century poets; and Christa Wolf, author and prominent public intellectual who produced many key works of East German literature. The essays place the writers in the context of their period, and examine how their position as women affected what they wrote and the reception of their texts.
    Further details ...

  • Anna Saunders (2007), Honecker's Children: Youth and patriotism in East(ern) Germany, 1979-2002 (Manchester University Press)

    Using a combination of archival research and interviews, together with educational materials and government reports, this book examines the relationship between young people and their two successive states in East(ern) Germany between 1979 and 2002. This unusual time-span stradles the 1989/1990 caesura which so often delimits historical studies, and thus enables not only a detailed examination of GDR socialisation, but crucially also its influence in unified Germany, and the extent to which a young generation's loyalties can be officially regulated in the face of cultural and historical traditions, changing material conditions and shifting social circumstances.
    Further details ...

  • Katja Brunkhorst (2006), 'Verwandt-verwandelt'. Nietzsche's Presence in Rilke (Iudicium)

    Rilke’s relationship to Nietzsche is still nowhere near fully explored. This is due to the poet’s peculiar silence regarding the inescapably influential philosopher, as well as to a frequently acknowledged lack of evidence regarding that influence, the existence of which remains heatedly debated and, at best, speculatively assumed within scholarship. The recent discovery, however, of two copies of Nietzsche’s Also sprach Zarathustra amongst Rilke’s possessions has changed the status quo, as both contain reading traces identified as Rilke’s in one case, and (most probably) Lou Andreas-Salomé’s in the other. This unprecedented find not only proves for the first time Rilke’s familiarity with that book, but also makes visible which particular Nietzschean themes were of special interest to the poet. It is this study’s aim to trace Nietzsche’s presence, rendered tangible by those themes, in Rilke’s work and enquire whether, where and how he transformed it poetically. Complete abstract...

  • Susanne Kord (2005) Macht des Weibes: Zwei historische Tragödien von Marie von Ebner- Eschenbach (MHRA)

    Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach is now famous for her novels, aphorisms, novellas, and diary writing. Ebner-Eschenbach, however, saw herself as a playwright, wrote exclusively dramas during the first 30 years of her literary career, and was extremely ambitious; in her own words, she was aiming to become 'the Shakespeare of the nineteenth century.' She authored twenty-six plays, which were reviewed contemptuously by her contemporaries and ignored by posterity. None of the eight 'complete' editions of Ebner-Eschenbach's works includes a single full-length play by the author. The reasons for this are rooted partly in the contemporary gendered vision of drama as a genre: in the wake of Goethe and Schiller, who also furnished Ebner's dramatic inspiration, drama (particularly tragedy) had come to be considered the 'highest' literary genre and therefore one that was inaccessible to women.
    The plays selected for this volume are Ebner's two great historical dramas, Maria Stuart in Schottland (1860) and Marie Roland (1867). Both plays portray the lives of great women from history, one a queen, the other a revolutionary, focussing on the historical moment of the decision that led to their respective execution. Further details...

  • Birgit Haas (2003) Modern German Political Drama 1980-2000 (Camden House)

The last two decades have given rise to a renaissance in the genre of the political drama in Germany. Although political drama has always been a mainstay of German literature, it has been of particular significance during the years surrounding the Wende, or reunification, of 1989. This book is the first comprehensive study of politically engaged German drama writing in the 1980s and 1990s, covering the works of key playwrights during the period and providing an analysis of oppositional theater before and after reunification.
For more information, please consult the publisher's website.

  • Sarah Colvin (2003) Women and German Drama - Playwrights and Their Texts 1860-1945 (Camden House)

For women, according to the contemporary Austrian dramatist Elfriede Jelinek, writing for the theater is an act of transgression. The idea that drama as a grand public genre resists women writers has become established in recent scholarship. But Jelinek herself has won the Büchner Prize, the most prestigious award in German letters, and there is a wealth of dramatic work by women from the 20th century and before. So why has drama by women appear to have been written against the odds, and why has it, until very recently, been missing from literary histories? Further details...

  • Birgit Röder (2003) A Study of the Major Novellas of E.T.A. Hoffmann (Camden House)

The German Romantic writer and composer E. T. A. Hoffmann (1776-1822) - perhaps best known to the English-speaking world through his Nutcracker and through Jacques Offenbach's opera Tales of Hoffmann - struggled to convince his predominantly bourgeois public of the merits of art and literature. Not surprisingly, many of his most important novellas are bound up with the dilemmas of art and the challenges faced by the Romantic artist, and it is these Künstlernovellen that constitute the focus of this study. Further details...

  • Dorothy Rowe (2003) Representing Berlin: Sexuality and the City in Imperial and Weimar Germany (Ashgate)

The book focuses on the visual representation of Berlin in the Imperial and Weimar eras and how the image of the city shifted from topographical to allegorical representation coinciding with radical shifts that were occuring for the position of women during this time. The book explores the history of Berlin's struggle for an identity as a capital city after 1871 and how such identity can be read in gendered terms and how it affected the way in which the city was represented. For further information, contact Dorothy Rowe, SL Art History and Theory, School of Arts, Roehampton, University of Surrey.

  • Gisela Shaw and Ulrike Schultz (eds.) (2003) Women in the World's Legal Professions (Hart)

Women lawyers, less than a century ago still almost a contradiction in terms, have come to stay. In this first comprehensive study on the subject, 25 authors (most, but not all, female) cover 15 countries from 4 continents, trying to provide answers to such key questions as: Who are these women lawyers? Where, in the wide spectrum of legal professions (judges, prosecutors, practising lawyers, notaries, company lawyers), are they to be found? What has been, and what is likely to be in the future, their impact on the profession? Answers are based on both quantitative and qualitative analyses, using a variety of conceptual frameworks. Further details...

  • Margot Paterson (2003) Semgallen Revisited (Ridge End)

An account of JMR Lenz's fictional autobiography 'Lebenslaeufe in auffsteigender Linie'.

Among his 'Sturm und Drang' contemporaries Lenz is the one most concerned about the plight of the woman (Die Soldaten). His novel 'Lebenslaeufe' (currently out of print) is the first substantial German Bildungsroman featuring Mine a 'self' determined woman character whose love for Alexander, the novel's hero, she records in her diary. The work was published anonymously in 1778 and has been misappropriated to a T.G. Hippel, the mayor of Konigsberg. 'Semgallen Revisited' explains how this came about and provides the bibliographical evidence to show that Lenz is the author of what critics hailed 'ein Meisterwerk Deutschlands' and comparable only to Werther.

This work is now out of print, but an article on the same subject will be published in Literatur als Skandal, ed. by Stefan Neuhaus and Johann Holzer (Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Oct 2007).



If you are a WIGS member and would like to advertise any conferences, please mail details to Madeleine Brook.

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