Questioning Identity in Women's Literature and Art
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Explores notions of personal and cultural identity, and offers an introduction to the work of women in literature, film, dance, and visual art in Germany.
This book introduces American audiences to Germany through the perspectives of members of various ethnic groups within the newly unified country and through the mediation of feminist scholars, documenting the artistic contributions to German cultural identity of ten women writers, filmmakers, dancers, and visual artists.
The work of these artists is presented in various ways: as an opportunity for Germans to explore their own repressed identities, as a portrayal of the complex histories of cultural change which foreigners bring into Germany, as the work of piecing together a minority identity in Germany, as a portrayal of the marginalization of women in the construction of the nation, and as the interpenetration of Eastern and Western European cultures.
These artists subvert the process of forming a singular cultural identity by calling into question the creation of a unified personal identity. They represent, for example, the fragmentation of identity through images of amputation, the arbitrary construction of identity through games of chance, the struggle within the writing self to resist censorship in East Germany, and the protest against a culturally imposed identity based on racial categorization.
The volume's eleven articles address issues of multiculturalism, national and personal identity, and avant-garde art, and reflect on the various ways gender and culture interact in the German context.
Karen Jankowsky is Assistant Professor in the Deparment of German and Slavic Studies at Wayne State University. Carla Love is Senior Lecturer in the Department of German, University of Wisconsin - Madison.
"I found the multiplicity of vantage points. ..stimulating. The objects of analysis are not only culturally diverse, they also originate in a variety of disciplines—literature, theatre, art, film, dance. " — Susan Derwin, Department of German, University of California, Santa Barbara