German Women in the Nineteenth Century: A Social History

By John C. Fout | Go to book overview

being studied; ordinary women still escape the purview of scholars. Many areas of inquiry have not been studied at all or have been given only minimal treatment; sexuality and women not congenial to contemporary twentieth-century feminists are good examples. The process of the reconstruction of source materials is a long way from being complete. Rare published sources and archival materials must be made available to scholars. The publication of those documents must be done in a more careful and purposeful way. Complete works must be published and anthologies must be organized and edited in a way to make them more useful to a variety of specialists and nonspecialists. These remarks should not be construed as overly negative. The discipline of women's history has made incredible gains and it has contributed in a most positive way to the larger discipline of history -- Clio is not only having her consciousness raised, she must have a smile on her face.


NOTES
1.
I would urge readers to consult the English-language bibliography on European and American women at the end of this volume for English-language works on German women, as well as the notes to all the essays that comprise this collection, as they cite an impressive array of German-language works.

Works by scholars in the United States and the United Kingdom are now readily available in Germany, and some works have been translated. See, for example, the essay collection edited by Claudia Honegger and Bettina Heintz, Listen der Ohnmacht. Zur Sozialgeschichte weiblicher Widerstandsformen ( Frankfurt, 1981), which includes translations of writings by Joan W. Scott and Louise Tilly, Peter N. Stearns, Carroll Smith-Rosenberg, and Mary P. Ryan, among others. Some nineteenth-century feminist writings (American and European) have been edited and translated for a two-volume German documents book: Hannelore Schröder, ed., Die Frau ist frei geboren. Texte zur Frauenenwnzipation, vol. 1: 1789 bis 1870, and vol. 2: 1870 bis 1918 ( Munich, 1979-81).

2.
Nonetheless a number of volumes have grown out of conferences on women. See, for example, Frauen und Wissenschaft. Beiträge zur Berliner Sommeruniversität für Frauen. Juli 1976, ed. by Gruppe Berliner Dozentinnen ( 2nd ed.; Berlin, 1977); Frauen als bezahlte und unbezahlte Arbeitskräfte. Beiträge zur 2. Berliner Sommeruniversität Okt. 1977, Autorinnenkollektiv ( Berlin, 1978); and Frauengeschichte. beiträge 5 zur feministischen theorie und praxis, Dokumentation des 3. Historikerinnentreffens in Bielefeld, April 81, ed. by "Sozialwissenschaftliche Forschung und Praxis für Frauen e. V" ( Munich, 1981). These are general essay collections much like the earlier work done in America when there were not enough specialists in any one period to contribute to a more

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