Academic journal article German Quarterly

AufBruche: Kulturelle Produktionen von Migratinnen Schwarzen und judischen Frauen in Deutschland

Academic journal article German Quarterly

AufBruche: Kulturelle Produktionen von Migratinnen Schwarzen und judischen Frauen in Deutschland

Article excerpt

Gelbin, Cathy S., Kader Konuk, and Peggy Piesche, eds. AufBruche: Kulturelle Produktionen von Migrantinnen, Schwarzen and judischen Frauen in Deutschland. Konigstein/Taunus: Helmer, 1999. 280 pp. 11 illustrations. DM 39.90 paperback.

AufBruche is one in a series of recent publications in German that explore artworks and cultural productions by minority women in contemporary Germany (compare anthology edited by Sabine Fischer and Moray McGowan). The articles combined here originated at a conference held in Koln in 1997 that brought together both women artists and academics. With the exception of one scholar from the United States, all of the women who contributed to the anthology are working in the European context, for the most part in Germany. The anthology presents a range of fresh approaches to a subject familiar to the American academic audience, but still not integrated into the German university context. Similar to the genesis of German minority studies in the US, this recent discussion of art by minority members occurs within a feminist framework. The theoretical insights gained from conceptualizing the situation of women provides the analytical starting point for discussing the realities of minority members, in particular, of women minority artists and intellectuals.

The articles collected in AufBruche are innovative and relevant not only to the German context. The contributors do not simply apply the theories and concepts that were developed mainly in North America and Great Britain to the German situation. Rather, they carefully examine the usefulness of theoretical models by, for example, Homi Bhaba, Jacques Lacan, and Kaja Silverman, and highlight the limitations and possibilities of specific concepts, such as mimicry, hybridity, and magic realism (see Claudia Breger; Umut Erel). Some articles focus on the aesthetic dimensions of minority art, an area often neglected in minority criticism (Kader Konuk; Francesca Stafford).

In addition, some essays point out areas that have been under-theorized by US critics, namely the role played by the Christian religion in Germany and the specific German notions of a secular modernity. …

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