Im/possible Careers. Gendered Perspectives on Scholarly Personae around 1900
Keywords:scholarly persona, gender, domestic work, intellectuals
In German-speaking countries as elsewhere, women, especially from the middle classes, demanded entry into the male-dominated academic world with growing vehemence around 1900. This essay focuses on the constellations and dynamics that prompted the reframing of the social field of knowledge production. Taking the case of the women’s rights activist and writer Käthe Schirmacher, who publicly campaigned for women’s access to higher education, I explore the motivations, social transformations and socially available life plans behind her path. To this end, I draw on the concept of the scholarly persona as a mediating instance between individual aspirations and social relations and examine its potential for a gender-sensitive intellectual history. Here I argue that a differentiated analysis of knowledge production in the sciences and the humanities is only possible if non-institutional and, therefore, less obvious gender regimes are also addressed. The institutional and private arrangements that enable academics, intellectuals, and also artists to concentrate on their work play an essential part in their production of knowledge and artistic work. Therefore, the key argument of this paper is that questions about gender-specific (as well as class-specific) life plans in various creative social fields can only be examined in a differentiated way if this support is systematically included in research on the scholarly, intellectual, or artistic persona.
Copyright (c) 2022 Johanna Gehmacher
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work.