Dr. Britta Kallin is Assistant Professor of German in the School of Modern Languages at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, Georgia. She received her Ph.D. in Germanic Languages and Literature from the University of Cincinnati. Dr. Kallin has published articles on contemporary German and Austrian prose and theater.2007 0-7734-5499-3
Explores the representation of ethnic minorities and the construction of national identities in contemporary plays written by German and Austrian women. The study draws on approaches of cultural and postcolonial studies, African-American and other minority feminist criticism as well as Anglo-American and German feminist scholarship. The plays examined in the book include Kerstin Specht’s Lila
, Elfriede Müller’s Goldener Oktober
, Bettina Fless’s Asyl
, Gundi Ellert’s Jagdzeit
, Marlene Streeruwitz’s Bagnacavallo
, and Elfriede Jelinek’s Stecken, Stab und Stangl
. This book evaluates the characters in terms of visual representation, the way in which they communicate with other characters, and the characters’ involvement in the development of the play. The work demonstrates that the playwrights assign minority characters a restricted verbal capacity that limits their influence on the action of the play, thereby reducing such characters to function merely as catalysts for problems of the German and Austrian communities. The playwrights write with a well-meaning intention but some cannot avoid the trap of their position as self-appointed spokesperson while other offer new positions from where they speak and avoid reproducing stereotypes of the “Other”. This work will appeal to scholars in German studies, feminist studies and drama.