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Finally, the academic grouping of languages into clusters or families (Germanic, Romance, Slavic, and so on) represents another heritage from the early nineteenth century--namely, early scholarship in historical linguistics, a specialty of Germanists such as Jacob Grimm.
Such a dialogue would require a more substantial engagement with aspects of Holocaust studies and Jewish studies that Germanists have tended assiduously to neglect.
Nevertheless, I sometimes have the feeling that these writers are better understood by the Germanists.
Good Germanists of all stripes, of course, have long paid hard attention to the insistent cultural and historical particulars informing real, literary, or filmic lives, and feminist scholars in particular have examined their concrete imprint on female bodies, souls, and psyches.
Very few (if any) scholars or critics, including Germanists, will be able to answer this question.
Nonetheless, this text is a welcome and innovative appraisal of marital status as a new social category of analysis, and will no doubt spark fresh debate among gender historians, Germanists, and generalists alike.
I have to conclude that "German Studies" simply became the operative term for Germanists once they decided that they did not want to be thought of as "just" language teachers and to make clear that they were not doing philology of German literature as practiced at many German universities.
Having for a long time been considered a transitional phase between the 'klassisch-romantische Periode' and the era of Realism, and as such without intrinsic merits, the Vormarz became the centre of attention for the young generation of Germanists in the 1960s who found their literary model in the politicized writing of the 1830s and 1840s and established an understanding of this period in terms of subversive and revolutionary currents erupting in 1848-49.
When I attended my first Women in German conference in 1991 (twenty years into my teaching career), I knew a small handful of Germanists, few of them well.
It is to be hoped that as public awareness of (and debate over) the presence in Germany of immigrants and subsequent minority groups expands, Germans will come to accept Germany as a country of immigration, and Germanists will come to accept those groups' writing as part of German literature.
Not that American Germanists (including herself) have not made significant contributions and these also receive attention.
Not only Germanists, but also students of Comparative Literature will be grateful for being cautioned by Mayer, on the basis of pertinent examples, about the large extent to which, collectively, we are "thinking" in an echo chamber.