On 24-26 June, the German Department hosted the 2021 Women in German Studies (WIGS) Virtual Open Conference 'Crossing Thresholds'.
WIGS hosts an annual members’ conference every year, while WIGS Open Conferences are held every four to five years, and are open to people of all genders, members and non-members of WIGS.
The 2021 WIGS Open Conference was only the sixth such conference held in the organisation’s history, and only the second ever WIGS conference to be held (virtually in this case) at a Scottish university.
The theme for our WIGS Open Conference was ‘Crossing Thresholds’, and five interrelated panels explored questions relating to this core theme. Additionally, there was a very timely and insightful special panel strand at the conference, addressing matters of Diversity and Inclusivity in German Studies, organised by Prof I. M. Nick (Germanic Society for Forensic Linguistics), which was very warmly received by conference attendees. Prof I. M. Nick also gave the keynote lecture on ‘A Thematic Content Analysis of Suicide Letters Written by Jewish Germans During National Socialism’.
On the first evening of the conference we were very pleased to welcome author Hanna Sukare for a very engaging reading and discussion (supported by the DAAD) of her latest novel Schwedenreiter (2018). A dedicated workshop for Postgrads and Early Career Academics, focusing on questions of well-being, was also held on the first day of the conference, with speakers including Dr Marissa Edwards (University of Queensland) of 'Voices of Academia'.
In total, we had over 100 registered participants joining the Teams sessions, from Europe, North America, and Australia, over the three days of the conference. The full conference programme and abstracts may be viewed here: https://www.abdn.ac.uk/sll/disciplines/women-in-german-studies-conference-1576.php
The conference was hosted with the generous support of the DAAD, Women in German Studies, and the University of Aberdeen.