Collective residencies / FEMINISMS III / Olot


From Sunday, 12 January 2020 to Thursday, 16 January 2020

Assistant Professor of German Studies, University of Warwick


Dr Katherine Stone is Assistant Professor in German Studies at the University of Warwick. Her research applies a feminist lens to the cultural memory of National Socialism and World War II, with a current focus on the memory of wartime rape. She has also published on representations of motherhood in contemporary German literature and television. With Valerie Heffernan, she has analyzed the #regrettingmotherhood debate that emerged in German mainstream and social media as a response to the work of Israeli sociologist Orna Donath.


I will collaborate with Dr Valerie Heffernan on a chapter for the edited collection (Still) Minding the gap: Storying interventions against the gender gap from a global perspective. Our starting point is the path-breaking scholarship of Orna Donath, which shone a light on experiences of maternal regret. The taboo surrounding this issue became clear when the German press reported on Donath’s research, triggering a heated cultural debate that continues to resonate. We will explore the international dimensions of the so-called #regrettingmotherhood debate, indicate cultural differences, and reflect on why this research has spread well beyond the initial study context (Israel).

I was very grateful for the chance to participate in the “Feminisms III” workshop in Olot in January 2020. It was really valuable to be able to collaborate directly with Valerie Heffernan and Tiina Sihto, based in Ireland and Finland respectively, on our chapters about regretting motherhood in Germany and Finland. By sharing and commenting on drafts, we will be able to ensure that our individual chapters represent a real exchange of ideas and together make a deeper contribution to interdisciplinary and cross-cultural understanding of the roots of parental regret, discourses surrounding the issue in the western world, and what these issues combined reveal about the contemporary gender gap. Moreover, the possibility to workshop chapters for the edited volume (Still) Minding the gap: Storying interventions against the gender gap from a global perspective in person was an incredibly enriching process. So often, contributors to collected volumes work in isolation, which makes it difficult to develop a real dialogue and collective approach to tackling a research problem. In this instance, it was truly rewarding to work closely with scholars from a variety of different disciplines and academic locations. As a result, I am convinced that our chapters will be as accessible as possible to a wide audience and address questions from perspectives that we might not usually consider. The Faber Residency thus offered a unique opportunity to engage with feminist issues and methodologies in a deep and multifaceted manner that few other academic venues or conferences would provide. The setting was also glorious and provided the best possible way to recharge and become inspired at the start of the year.

Notícies, articles i activitats

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