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Gendering Central European History: Changing Representations of Women and Gender in Comparison, 1968–2017

  • Karen Hagemann (a1) and Donna Harsch (a2)
Extract

A jubilee is the perfect time for a critical stocktaking, and this essay uses the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of Central European History (CEH), the leading American journal of the history of “German-speaking Central Europe,” to explore the changing representations of women and gender in this journal since its founding in 1968. The declared aim of CEH was, according to the founding editor, Douglas A. Unfug, to become a “broadly rather than narrowly defined” journal that covers “all periods from the Middle Ages to the present” and includes, next to “traditional approaches to history,” innovative and “experimental methodological approaches.” As Kenneth F. Ledford, the third CEH editor (after Unfug and Kenneth D. Barkin), wrote in 2005, the journal should simultaneously reflect and drive “the intellectual direction(s) of its eponymous field.”

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References
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1 Unfug, Douglas A., “From the Editor: Notes on Central European HistorysCentral European History (CEH) 23, no. 4 (1990): 384. Reprinted in this commemorative issue.

2 From the Editors” [Unfug, Douglas A.], CEH 1, no. 1 (1968): 3. Also reprinted in this commemorative issue.

3 Ledford, Kenneth F., “From the Editors,” CEH 38, no. 1 (2005): 1.

4 See Hagemann, Karen and Quataert, Jean H., “Gendering German History: Comparing Historiographies and Academic Cultures in Germany and the U.S. through the Lens of Gender,” in Gendering Modern German History: Rewriting Historiography, ed. Hagemann, Karen and Quataert, Jean H. (Oxford: Berghahn, 2007), 138.

5 We counted as “research articles” the contributions that appeared in the article section of the journal. We excluded contributions that appeared in forum discussions, conference reports, review essays, and review sections of the journals.

6 For a recent overview, see Hagemann, Karen and Summers, Sarah, “Gender and Academic Culture: Women in the Historical Profession of Germany and the United States since 1945,” in Modern Germany in Transatlantic Perspective, ed. Meng, Michael and Seipp, Adam R. (New York: Berghahn, 2017), 100–3.

7 Ibid.

8 Ibid., 100.

9 Robert B. Townsend, “What the Data Reveals about Women Historians,” Perspectives on History, May 2010 (https://www.historians.org/publications-and-directories/perspectives-on-history/may-2010/what-the-data-reveals-about-women-historians).

10 See “Percentage of Humanities Faculty Members Who Are Women, by Discipline, Fall 2012,” Humanities Indicators: A Project by the American Academy of Arts & Sciences (https://www.humanitiesindicators.org/content/indicatordoc.aspx?i=483).

11 Hagemann and Summers, “Gender and Academic Culture,” 100.

12 See “Percentage of Humanities Faculty Members”; as well as White, Susan et al. , “The 2012–13 Survey of Humanities Departments: Representation of Women among Faculty, Fall 2012,” in The 2012–13 Survey of Humanities Departments at Four-Year Institutions (College Park, MD: Statistical Research Center, American Institute of Physics, 2014), 10.

13 See Hagemann and Summers, “Gender and Academic Culture.”

14 For an international comparison, see Hagemann, Karen and Fernández-Aceves, María Teresa, eds., “Gendering Trans/National Historiographies: Similarities and Differences in Comparison,” Journal of Women's History 18, no. 1 (2007): 51213; on the United States, see Alice Kessler-Harris, “A Rich and Adventurous Journey: The Transnational Journey of Gender History in the United States,” in ibid., 153–59; on Britain, see Susan R. Grayzel, “Same Language, Different Academic Cultures: Working Across the Trans-Atlantic Divide,” in ibid., 187–92.

15 “History,” Berkshire Conference of Women Historians (https://berksconference.org/about/history/).

16 “About the CCWH,” Coordinating Council for Women (https://theccwh.org/about-the-ccwh/).

18 See Hagemann and Quataert, “Gendering German History”; Hagemann and Summers, “Gender and Academic Culture.”

19 Robert B. Townsend, “The Rise and Decline of History Specializations over the Past 40 Years,” Perspectives on History, Dec. 2015 (https://www.historians.org/publications-and-directories/perspectives-on-history/december-2015/the-rise-and-decline-of-history-specializations-over-the-past-40-years).

20 For an introductory overview, see Rose, Sonya O., What is Gender History? (Cambridge: Polity Press, 2010); Downs, Laura Lee, Writing Gender History (London: Bloomsbury, 2010). On current debates, see AHR Forum: Revisiting ‘Gender: A Useful Category of Historical Analysis,’American Historical Review (AHR) 113, no. 5 (2008): 13441429; Dayton, Cornelia H. and Levenstein, Lisa, “The Big Tent of U.S. Women's and Gender History: A State of the Field,” Journal of American History 99, no. 3 (2012): 793817; Söland, Birgitte and Maynes, Mary Jo, eds., “The Past and Present of European Women's and Gender History: A Transatlantic Conversation,” Journal of Women's History 25, no. 4 (2013): 288308.

21 For the following discussion, also see Epstein, Catherine, “German Historians at the Back of the Pack: Hiring Patterns in Modern European History,1945–2010,” CEH 46, no. 3 (2013): 599639; Port, Andrew I., “Central European History since 1989: Historiographical Trends and Post-Wende ‘Turns,’CEH 48, no. 2 (2015), esp. 238239.

22 See Hagemann, Karen, Revisiting Prussia's Wars against Napoleon: History, Culture, Memory (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015), 273300.

23 See the forum A Imperial Dynamo? CEH Forum on Pieter Judson's The Habsburg Empire: A New History,” CEH 50, no. 2 (2017): 236–59.

24 Jarausch, Konrad H., “German Social History: American Style,” Journal of Social History 19, no. 2 (1985): 349–59.

25 See the special issue German Histories: Challenges in Theory, Practice, Technique,” CEH 22, no. 3–4 (1989): 229457, esp. Jane Caplan, “Postmodernism, Poststructuralism, and Deconstruction: Notes for Historians,” and Isabel V. Hull, “Feminist and Gender History through the Literary Looking Glass: German Historiography in Postmodern Times,” in ibid., 260–78, 279–300.

26 Smith, Helmut Walser, “The Vanishing Point of German History: An Essay on Perspective,” History & Memory 17, nos. 1/2 (2005): 269–95.

27 See Port, “Central European History,” 245.

28 Bridenthal, Renate, “Beyond Kinder, Küche, Kirche: Weimar Women at Work,” CEH 6, no. 2 (1973): 148–66.

29 For one of the first publications on German women's history, see Bridenthal, Renate et al. , eds., When Biology Became Destiny: Women in Weimar and Nazi Germany (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1984); for an overview of the development of international research in the field of women's and gender history (and its subfields) in modern German history, see Hagemann and Quataert, Gendering Modern German History.

30 Roper, Lyndal, “Housework and Livelihood: Towards the Alltagsgeschichte of Women,” German History (GH) 1 no. 2 (1985): 39.

31 See Barkin, Kenneth D., “Thoughts on Thirteen Years of Editing CEH,” CEH 37, no. 4 (2004): 499500 [reprinted in this commemorative issue]; Ledford, “From the Editors,” 2.

32 Port, “Central European History,” 241.

33 See ibid., 242, 244; Barkin, “Thoughts,” 499.

34 See Jarausch, “German Social History.”

35 For a comparative analysis through the 1990s of Austrian, British, German, and US history journals focusing on women's and gender history, see Freist, Dagmar, “Zeitschriften zur historischen Frauenforschung. Ein internationaler Vergleich,” Geschichte und Gesellschaft 22, no. 1 (1996): 97117; on recent developments in Germany, see Hagemann, Karen, “Gleichberechtigt? Frauen in der bundesdeutschen Geschichtswissenschaft,” Zeithistorische Forschungen 13, no. 1 (2016): 108–35.

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Central European History
  • ISSN: 0008-9389
  • EISSN: 1569-1616
  • URL: /core/journals/central-european-history
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