*Women Write the New World
*For centuries German speaking women have interacted with the Americas
and have transformed these interactions into literature. They have
connected to the New World by reading about it, migrating to it,
traveling to it, fantasizing about it, and re-creating connections in
their writing which shape the New World. If one raises the question as
to why these women have written the Americas, one detects that their
writing is a reaction to events such as the French Revolution, and that
they have often times constructed the Americas as an idyllic safe place
from which to imagine their own country, thus as a kind of “open” space.
This panel seeks to investigate the ways in which German-speaking women
have represented the Americas, that is the ways in which German-speaking
women imagine/idealize/ lionize/project upon/fear/ridicule/reject the
American phenomena that they encounter. This may include a discussion of
the transnational, colonial, the post-colonial, de-colonial, or utopian
elements found in these writings.
The questions and issues in which we are interested include, but are not
limited to the following:
* How does the theory or performance of gender influence these texts?
* How does each woman connect with the new world? Is there an
element of “Neuglanz” vs. “Irrglanz”?
* Is her America an ideological vehicle, or does the author attempt
to approach the landscape and culture on its own terms?
* Is there a specific way female writers encounter and make sense of
the New World? How does the choice of genre, such as erotic poetry
or film comedy, limit or expand the text?
* What are the tropes of the “new” as reflected in religion, race,
class, or gender?
* The “frontier” as a place of democratization and emancipation for
women. Is it a „Land der unbegrenzten Möglichkeiten“ and/or a
„Land ohne Gnade“?
Possible authors to consider (but not limited to) are: Maria Sybille
Merian, Sophie von La Roche, Alice Schalek, Christine Holstein, Inge von
Wiese, Irmgard Keun, Hanna Arendt, Judith Hermand, Anna Mitgutsch.
Please e-mail a 250-500 word abstract including to both panel organizers
by March 15, 2009. Feel free to contact us with any questions.
Denise M. Della Rossa, University of Notre Dame ([log in to unmask]
<mailto:[log in to unmask]>)
Ute Bettray, University of Connecticut, Storrs
([log in to unmask] <mailto:[log in to unmask]>)
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