Northeast Modern Language Association Convention (NeMLA)

March 17-20, 2016

Hartford, CT


CFP: Female Authors and Artists of German Expressionism (Panel)


German Expressionism has been dominated by the works of males—in the visual arts and literary texts, as well as in the secondary literature. The movement was largely defined through poetry included in Kurt Pinthus’s seminal collection Menschheitsdämmerung (1920), in which Else Lasker-Schüler was the sole female to appear alongside many key male figures. Despite the excavation of Expressionist works by women in recent decades, scholarly research on these artworks and texts remains lacking. Few female Expressionists in the German context have received sustained attention, except for perhaps Lasker-Schüler. As a result, male works continue to characterize the canon a century after the Expressionist decade of 1910-1920.


Although female figures are prevalent in the works of male Expressionists, particularly in the roles of the New Woman, mother and prostitute, their possibilities are decidedly limited. This panel will explore females’ self-conceptions and representations of women’s roles in society in their own Expressionist works. Oskar Kokoschka’s depiction of a brutal “battle of the sexes” in his 1907 play, Mörder, Hoffnung der Frauen, introduced a motif that was taken up by many male Expressionists. But how did women interpret this “battle” and depict gender relations? How did women approach themes commonly considered to be characteristic of the Expressionist movement, and did they address other themes not currently represented in the canon? How do the language and imagery employed by female Expressionists compare to that of their male counterparts? Are the times reflected differently in the writings of females and males? In what ways do intersections of race, class and gender play a role? Finally, how might the consideration of female texts and artworks enrich our understanding and/or alter our definition of German Expressionism?


Submissions may address any Expressionist work(s) by women of German-speaking countries in the visual arts and/or literature, including poetry, prose and drama. Please submit a 250-300 word abstract through NeMLA’s website using the following link: The deadline for submissions is September 30, 2015. Please contact Julie Shoults ([log in to unmask]) with questions or for further information.

******************* The German Studies Call for Papers List Editor: Stefani Engelstein Assistant Editor: Olaf Schmidt Sponsored by the University of Missouri Info available at: