Books on Feminism and Gender in English
Altbach, Edith Hoshino, Jeanette Clausen, Dagmar Schultz, Naomi Stephan (eds.) German Feminism: Readings in Politics and Literature. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1984 – Short essays and book excerpts by feminist scholars and writers, including Verena Stefan, Alice Schwarzer, Elfriede Jelinek, Christa Wolf, Helke Sander, etc.
Ankum, Katharina von (ed.), Women in the Metropolis: Gender and Modernity in Weimar Culture. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1997 – Collection of essays on women, pop culture, spectacle, female flanerie, technology, city life, Josephine Baker, Irmgarg Keun, fashion, and Lustmord in Weimar culture.
Anthony, Katherine, Feminism in Germany and Scandinavia. New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1915 – Social history of European women, schools, dress reform, motherhood, maternity insurance, illegitimate children, economy, and philosophy of feminism.
Boa, Elizabeth and Hanet Wharton (eds.), Women and the Wende: Social Effects and Cultural Reflections of the German Unification Process. Proceedings of a Conference held by Women in German Studies. 9-11 September 1993 at the University of Nottingham. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 1994 – Collection of essays in German and English on women in reunified Germany, including abortion debate, socialist organizations, cultural industries, identities in transition, representation of women in television, Emma magazine, Christa Wolf controversy, literature, and public sphere in the GRD.
Bridenthal, Renate, Atina Grossmann, and Marion Kaplan (eds), When Biology Became Destiny: Women in Weimar and Nazi Germany. New York: Monthly Review Press, 1984 – Collection of essays on women’s social lives from Weimar to the Third Reich, including abortion laws, Mother’s Day, Housewives, Racism and Sexism, women during the Holocaust.
Dollard, Catherine L., The Surplus Woman: Unmarried in Imperial Germany 1871-1918. New York: Berghahn, 2009 – Social history of single women in Imperial Germany, with some discussion of literary representations of women, as well as profiles of feminist activists, such as Helene Lange, Alice Solomon, Lily Braun, Clara Zetkin, and others.
Ferree, Myra Marx, Varieties of Feminism: German Gender Politics in Global Perspective. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2012 – Social history of German feminism from 1848-2005, with emphasis on post-reunification EU gender politics.
Frevert, Ute. Women in German History: From Bourgeois Emancipation to Sexual Liberation. Oxford:
Berg Publishers Ltd., 1989 – comprehensive study of the experiences of women in modern German society over the past 200 years, including topics such as human rights, women's duties in the late 18th century, 19th century society and gender, 'Modern Women' 1914-1933, women in the Third Reich, and post-war restrictions.
Frink, Helen H., Women After Communism: The East German Experience. New York: University Press of America, 2001 – Social history of women in the GDR, divided into thematic chapters on politics, labour, family, schooling, religion, post-Wende experiences, beauty business, and rural women.
Guenther, Katja M. Making Their Place: Feminism After Socialism in Eastern Germany. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2010 – Social history and sociological study of women in the GDR, with a special focus on Rostok and Erfurt.
Guido, Diane J. The German League for the Prevention of Women’s Emancipation: Antifeminism in Germany 1912-1920. New York: Peter Lang, 2010 – Social history of the German Anti-Feminist League, includes a “reconstructed partial membership list” (most people on that list were men!) as appendix.
Harsch, Donna. Revenge of the Domestic: Women, the Family, and Communism in the German Democratic Republic. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2007 – Social history of women in the GDR from the Soviet occupation to the 1960s.
Herminghouse, Patricia A. and Magda Mueller, German Feminist Writings. New York: Continuum, 2001 – Collection of essays on German feminist texts from 1777 to 1994.
Herminghouse, Patricia, and Mueller, Magda (eds.) Gender and Germanness: Cultural Productions of Nation. Providence, RI: Berghahn, 1997 – Collection of 22 essays on feminist German Studies, focusing on issues of nation, class, and ethnicity, over 300 years.
Kirkpatrick, Clifford. Nazi Germany: Its Women and Family Life. Indianapolis: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, 1938 – Social history of women’s lives, labour, and family under Nazism, including labour camps and Hitler Youth organizations.
Kolinsky, Eva. Women in West Germany: Life, Work and Politics. Oxford: Berg, 1989 – Social and political history of women in West Germany from Weimar to the 1980s.
Kolinsky, Eva. Women in Contemporary Germany: Life, Work, and Politics. Oxford: Berg, 1993 – A revised edition of Women in West Germany (1989) with an added chapter on “Women in the New Germany”
Kuzniar, Alice. The Queer German Cinema. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2000 – Overview of queer cinema from the Weimar era to the 1990s in terms of counter-politics.
McKinnon-Evans, Stuart. Women in German History: From Bourgeois Emancipation to Sexual Liberation. New York: Berg, 1989 – Social history of women in Germany from the turn of the 19th century to 1980s.
Meyer, Alfred G., The Feminism and Socialism of Lily Braun. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1985 – Social history and biography of Lily Braun and the Women’s Organization of the SPD around the turn of the 19th century until WWI.
Opitz, May. Farbe bekennen: Showing Our Colors: Afro-German Women Speak Out. University of Massachusetts Press, 1992 – Overview of Afro-German feminist issues and activism in Germany.
Pore, Renate. A Conflict of Interest: Women in German Social Democracy, 1919-1933. Westport: Greenwood Press, 1981 – Social history of the Social Democratic movement (1890-1933) and the Women’s Movement in Imperial and Weimar Germany, with emphasis on family, labour, and political organizations.
Quataert, Jean H., Reluctant Feminists in German Social Democracy, 1885-1917. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1979 – Social history of women’s movement in Imperial and Weimar Germany, with emphasis on the “New Woman” mythology, Clara Zetkin, Lily Braun, politics, education, unions, labour, and WWI war-time divisions.
Ras, Marion E. P. de, Body, Femininity and Nationalism: Girls in the German Youth Movement 1900-1934. New York: Routledge, 2008 – Social history of women and girls from the turn of the century to the Third Reich.
Reagin, Nancy R., A German Women’s Movement: Class and Gender in Hanover 1880-1933. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1995 – Social history of women in Hanover from 19th century to the Third Reich.
Shaffer, Harry G., Women in the Two Germanies: A Comparative Study of a Socialist and a Non-Socialist Society. New York: Pergamon Press, 1981 – Social history of women in the two states from WWII to 1970s.
Smith-Prei, Carrie, and Stehle, Maria. Awkward Politics: Technologies of Popfeminist Activism. Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2016 – Overview of contemporary feminist activism, in Germany and beyond.
Stephenson, Jill, Women in Nazi Society. London: Croom Helm, 1975 – Social history of women in Germany from Emancipation and the Great War to the 1930s, with focus on motherhood, work, schooling of girls, and profession purges.
Thönnessen, Werner, The Emancipation of Women: The Rise and Decline of the Women’s Movement in German Social Democracy 1863-1933. Transl. Joris de Bres, Frankfurt am Main: Pluto Press, 1973 – Social history of the women’s movement in Germany from the 19th century to the Third Reich.
Wiesner, Merry E., Gender, Church, and State in Early Modern Germany. London: Longman, 1998 – Social history of women from the Reformation to the early modern era (1500-1800).
Woodford, Charlotte. Women, Emancipation and the German Novel 1871-1910: Protest Fiction in its Cultural Context. London: Modern Humanities Research Association and Maney Publishing, 2014 – In novels written at the end of the long nineteenth century, women in Germany and Austria engaged with some of the most pressing social questions of the modern age. Charlotte Woodford analyses a wide range of such works, many of them largely forgotten, in the context of the contemporary cultural discourses that informed their creation, such as writings on pacifism and socialism, prostitution, birth control and sexually transmitted diseases.
Allmendinger, Jutta. Frauen auf dem Sprung: Wie junge Frauen heute leben wollen. Bonn: Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung, 2009 – Overview of contemporary women’s issues in Germany.
Benard, Cheryl, and Edit Schlaffer. Liebesgeschichten aus dem Patriarchat: Von der übermäβigen Bereitschaft der Frauen, sich mit dem Vorhandenen zu arrangieren. Hamburg: Rowohlt, 1988 – Short essays by Viennese sociologists on women and politics, work, family, house work, and careers.
Domscheit-Berg, Anke. Ein bisschen gleich ist nicht genug!: Warum wir von Geschlechtergerechtigkeit noch weit entfernt sind. Ein Weckruf. München: Heyne Verlag, 2015 – A collection of short essays on the pay gap, and other social inequalities women currently experience in German society.
Eismann, Sonja (ed.) Hot Topic: Popfeminismus heute. Mainz: 2. Auglage. Ventil Verlag, 2007 – anthology of feminism essays on various topics, such as abortion, indie-motherhood, queer coming-of-age, beauty-terror, music and media industries.
Gerhard, Ute. Atempause: Feminismus als demoktatisches Projekt. Frankfurt am Main: Fischer Verlag, 1999 – in characterizing feminism in Germany, Gerhard employs the metaphor of “breathing space” between its long waves and the backlash against it. However she excluded East Germany form her historical and theoretical analysis of feminism in Germany.
Grimme, Karin H. and Kugler, Lena (eds.) Aus Widersprüchen Zusammengesetzt: Das Tagebuch Der Gertrud Bleichröder Aus Dem Jahr 1888. Köln: Dumont, 2002 – diary of a 23-year old woman from 1888 that offers a unique and personal glimpse of bourgeois Jewish life in Berlin.
Haaf, Meredith, Klingner, Susanne, and Streidl, Barbara. Wir Alpha-Mädchen: Warum Feminismus das Leben schöner Macht. Hamburg: Hoffmann und Campe Verlag, 2008 – social and cultural history of contemporary German feminism, organized into chapters on identity, sex, media, demographic debate, and power.
Helwerth, Ulrike, and Gislinde Schwarz. Von Muttis und Emanzen: Feministinnen in Ost- und Westdeutschland. Frankfurt am Main: Fischer Verlag, 1995 – Social history of feminist movements in East and West Germany with many quotes of participants. Includes a timeline of important events from 1945 to 1990.
Nagelschmidt, Ilse. Frauenleben, Frauenliteratur, Frauenkultur in der DDR der 70er und 80er Jahre. Leipzig: Leipziger Universitätsverlag, 1997 – Collection of essays about GDR women, politics, art, literature, and activism.
Omran, Susanne. Frauenbewegung und “Judenfrage” – Diskurse um Rasse und Geschlecht nach 1900. Frankurt am Main: Campus Verlag, 1999 – Sociological and cultural-historical study on gender, Jewish culture, racism, anti-Semitism, sex workers, sexuality, and war.
Schwarzer, Alice. Der kleine Unterschied und seine groβen Folgen. Frauen über sich. Beginn einer Befreiung. Frankfurt am Main: Fischer Taschenbuch Verlag, 2013 – First published in 1975, this was a canonical feminist text in Germany that spoke from the perspective of different women from various social spheres and the way sexism dominated their lives.
Stöcker, Mirja (ed.) Das F-Wort: Feminismus ist Sexy. Sulzbach: Ulrike Helmer Verlag, 2007 – collection of 12 essays that comprise an overview of current debates in German feminism.
Strehler, Ingrid. Den Männern gleich an Rechten: Auffassungen zur Emanzipation der Frau in Frankreich un Deutschland zwischen 1789 und 1871. Leipzig: Verlag für die Frau, 1989 – Social history of women in revolutionary France and Germany in the 18th and 19th centuries.
Szepansky, Gerda. Frauen leisten Widerstand 1933-1945: Lebensgeschichten nach Interviews und Dokumenten. Frankfurt am Main: Fischer Verlag, 1983 – First-hand accounts of women in the resistance during the Nazi years.
Union für Recht und Freiheit (Hrsg.). Deutsche Frauenschicksale. London: Malik-Verlag, 1937 – Essays by Heinrich Mann, Hanna Schmitt, Stefan Heym, etc. on the lives of women and girls written to counteract Nazi propaganda publications.
Wizorek, Anne. Weil ein #aufschrei nicht reicht: Für einen Feminismus von heute. Frankfurt am Main: Fischer Paperback, 2014 - a comprehensive overview of contemporary feminist struggles in Germany to date and the online feminist campaigns against sexism and sexualized violence.
Zetkin, Clara. Zur Geschichte der proletarischen Frauenbewegung Deutschlands. Frankfurt am Main: Verlag Roter Stern, 1971 – Social history of the women’s movement in Germany from 1848 to 1919, includes a bibliography and index of important people in the movement.
PHOTO CREDIT: K. Sark, Berlin, Dussmann Kulturkaufhaus, 2016
Bachmann, Ingeborg. Malina. Transl. Philip Teaneck: Boehm. Holmes & Meier, 1999 (1971) - novel by the Austrian writer, who tells the story of a female writer and her relationships with two different men.
Jenny, Zoë. The Pollen Room (Das Blütenstaubzimmer), New York: Simon & Schuster, 1997 - debut novel of the Swiss author written in a first-person narrative as the mother, Lucy, departing her first marriage, leaves kindergarten-age Jo in the care of her father.
Keun, Irmgard. Das Kunstseidene Mädchen, Berlin: List Taschenbuch, 2011 (1932) - female protagonist making a living in Weimar Berlin.
Özdamar, Emine Sevgi. Der Hof im Spiegel. Köln: Verlag Kiepenheuer & Witsch, 2001 - Tracking habits and ruptures in the daily lives of her neighbors and interlocutors around a German courtyard, a Turkish migrant begins to model something approximating postnational intimacy.
Stefan, Verena. Shedding (Häutungen). Trans. Johanna Steigleder Moore and Beth E. Weckmueller. New York: The Feminist Press, 1975 - paints an intimate portrait of a woman learning to exist without men.
Tawada, Yoko. The Naked Eye, New Directions, 2009 - A Vietnamese high school student in Ho Chi Minh City is invited to an International Youth Conference in East Berlin.
Wolf, Christa. Kassandra, Trans. Jan van Heurck. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1984 (1983) - a retelling of the destruction of Troy from the perspective of Cassandra, who finds herlsef in a partiarchal state, where women are excluded from political power and decision making.
Anonymous (Marta Hillers), Eine Frau in Berlin (A Woman in Berlin) Transl. by Philip Boehm. London: Virago, 2005 (1959) - a woman's survival account during the weeks from 20 April to 22 June 1945 of the Battle of Berlin and the widespread rapes by Soviet soldiers.
Banciu, Carmen-Francesca. Berlin ist mein Paris: Geschichten aus der Hauptstadt. Berlin: Rotbuch Verlag, 2007 - A Rumanian immigrant's experience of moving to reunified Berlin and making a living as a writer and single mother.
De Picciotto, Danielle. The Beauty of Transgression, A Berlin Memoir. Berlin: Gestalten Verlag, 2011 - the artist, musician, and author recounts her experiences of moving to West Berlin from the U.S. and making a living as an artist in reunified Berlin.
Schwarzer, Alice. Lebenslauf. Köln: Kiepenheuer & Witsch, 2011 - autobiography of one of German feminist, EMMA editor and author.
Wowereit, Klaus. Und das ist auch gut so: Mein Leben für die Politik. Berlin: Blessing, 2007 - autobiography of the first openly gay mayork of Berlin.