GER30240 German Feminisms Since 1918

Academic Year 2023/2024

This module studies developments in the German women’s movements from 1918 to the present day. The twentieth century brought increased avenues for women’s political participation in Germany, beginning with their enfranchisement in the wake of the First World War and growing access to the public sphere during the years of the Weimar Republic. Yet, across the repeated and significant political and social changes that Germany witnessed over the course of the twentieth century, ongoing and widespread adherence to essentialist notions of gender difference and conservative conceptions of women’s social roles upheld barriers to gender equality. Students will gain insights into the ways in which German feminists used cultural production to intervene in political and social discourses and demand improved rights as citizens, mothers, and workers. Intersectional feminist and literary theories provide frameworks for discussions of historical and cultural sources that include political posters, essays, and short stories drawn from movements such as the campaigns for increased reproductive choice and antiracist feminist activism. Primary sources will be analysed within the contexts of both German society and transnational feminisms to understand the strategies that German feminists have employed over the past hundred years to address issues that remain highly contested and relevant today.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

In this module, you will:
- gain in-depth knowledge of developments in the German women’s movements after the First World War, including the historical and social contexts that have shaped women’s political participation during this period.
- develop a clear understanding of the ways in which women’s cultural production engages with, critiques, and influences political discourses.
- present and communicate complex ideas and arguments.
- demonstrate in your presentation that you have understood and reflected on the materials, engaging critically with questions and problems tackled in the materials.
- write a coherent essay that comments critically on the themes discussed, employs appropriate theoretical frameworks, and engages with relevant secondary literature.
- gain highly developed skills in the analysis of literature and visual culture.
- develop transferable skills for further study and the world of work: critical and analytical thinking, communication (written and verbal), organisation.

Indicative Module Content:

analysing cultural texts; history of German feminisms; intersectionality; gender

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours
Seminar (or Webinar)


Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
Teaching and learning takes place in the form of interactive seminars, group discussion, group-work, task-based learning. 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations
Learning Recommendations:

Students should have a good level of reading comprehension in German (equivalent to ca. B2 of the European Framework of Reference). Core texts will be read in German.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade In Module Component Repeat Offered
Presentation: In-class presentation on a given topic, usually done in groups Throughout the Trimester n/a Graded No


Examination: In-person examination in which students answer one essay-style question. 2 hour End of Trimester Exam Yes Graded No



Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Autumn Yes - 2 Hour
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, on an activity or draft prior to summative assessment
• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment
• Group/class feedback, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Formative feedback throughout the semester through in-class discussions. Written summative feedback provided after assessments, with option of additional oral feedback.

Name Role
Dr Katherine Calvert Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Assoc Professor Gillian Pye Lecturer / Co-Lecturer