German Feminism

Readings in Politics and Literature

Edited by Edith H. Altbach, Jeanette Clausen, Dagmar Schultz, and Naomi Stephan

Subjects: German Studies
Paperback : 9780873958417, 389 pages, June 1984
Hardcover : 9780873958400, 389 pages, June 1984

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Rich, diverse, and complex, this anthology presents the new prose fiction of women from both Germanys and Austria and the working papers of the German women's movement since the late 1960s. The alternation of an inner and outer focus in these selections allows the reader to explore the resonance between political thought and action, and the creative expression of women's own experience. Also invaluable, and exemplary of the vitality of German feminists, is their capacity for self-criticism and theoretical analysis.

Two introductory essays give comprehensive overviews of current directions in German feminism and women's literature, with historical background and interpretation. The sequence of chapters interweaves short stories and novel excerpts with essay, reportage and manifesto—in all, more than 50 texts. The literary material is grouped by tone, mood and theme in sections entitled "The Way It Is," "Wo/Man Hating," "Struggles, Visions and Dreams," and "Our Past, Our Future. " The "political" material is arranged topically under the headings "Breaking the Silence," "Body Politics," "Reportage and Essay," "Sisterhood," "Motherhood and Housework," "Feminist Strategy," and "Women's Studies. " Of assistance to students and scholars are the extensive bibliographic notes in the two introductory essays and in many of the nonliterary texts as well as thoughtful and explanatory chapter introductions and headnotes accompanying each text.

Edith Hoshino Altbach is author of Women in America and editor of From Feminism to Liberation. Chair of the Department of Modern Foreign Languages, Jeanette Clausen teaches German at Indiana University-Purdue University at Fort Wayne where she was also coordinator of the Women's Studies Program. She has published and given papers on feminist issues and German literature and language. Author Dagmar Schultz teaches at the Free University of Berlin and is cofounder of the Berlin Feminist Women's Health Center and the publishing house Frauenverlag. Naomi Stephan has taught Women's Studies, German language and literature and is currently directory of a program in creativity and growth workshops.