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Qinna Shen - Feminist Redemption of the Witch Grimm and Michelet as 19 Century Models (113.0 Kb)

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This article will focus on the reconfigurations of the image of the witch in Jacob Grimm's Deutsche Mythologie (1835) as well as Jules Michelet's La Sorciere (1862). It begins with the discussion of the prevalent negative perception of the witch during Jacob Grimm's lifetime in two iconic texts: Goethe's Faust and Jacob Grimm's own collection of fairy tales that he and his brother Wilhelm assembled. In light of his archival work in search of the German national past, Jacob Grimm arrived at a more sympathetic account of the w... More >>>
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Author:      Qinna Shen
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This article will focus on the reconfigurations of the image of the witch in Jacob Grimm's Deutsche Mythologie (1835) as well as Jules Michelet's La Sorciere (1862). It begins with the discussion of the prevalent negative perception of the witch during Jacob Grimm's lifetime in two iconic texts: Goethe's Faust and Jacob Grimm's own collection of fairy tales that he and his brother Wilhelm assembled. In light of his archival work in search of the German national past, Jacob Grimm arrived at a more sympathetic account of the witch. In Deutsche Mythologie, he asserts that the definition and perception of the witch has a history it is the Christian church that created a witch-phobic culture and labeled non-Christian and un-Christian practices as devilserving witchcraft. The political agenda of Deutsche Mythologie is in keeping with the Romantic nationalist sentiment. To enhance the cohesiveness of the German people, to generate the feeling of Germans as one nation and thus to facilitate political unification of the German principalities, Grimm foregrounds a shared German culture, language and identity through reclaiming pre-Christian tradition and primitive German religion. Second, the article analyzes Jacob Grimm's influence on Jules Michelet's La Sorciere, and outlines Michelet's atypical 19th-century anti-clerical and anti-medieval attitude that reflects the author's nationalist fervor. Lastly, the article ends with Michelet's influence on feminists who embrace the emblematic subversiveness that the witch brings with her.

About Author:

Dr. Qinna Shen is Visiting Assistant Professor in Miamy Univercity in Faculty & Staff Department. Dr. Shen is currently planning to write her next book on the history of film exchange between Germany and China. The book will focus primarily on genres, cultural politics, censorship, reception, as well as on German-Chinese co-productions.

Dr. Qinna Shen Education History:

- PhD. Yale University, German languages and literatures, 2008. Dissertation: "From Jacob Grimm to 'GDR Witches': Feminist Witchcraft and Magical Realism in East German Women's Writing." Dissertation Committee: Katie Trumpener (Chair), Carol Jacobs, and Brigitte Peucker
- M.A., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, German Languages and Literatures, 2002.
- Heidelberg University, Germanistik, Zwischenprufung+2 Hauptseminare, 1997-1999.
- Beijing Foreign Studies University, German Languages and Literatures, 1994-1997

MEMBERSHIPS IN PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATIONS

- German Studies Association
- Modern Language Association
- FELLOWSHIPS, AWARDS, RECOGNITIONS

2011 - DEFA-Foundation Stipend of EUR6000 for my book on DEFA fairy-tale films
2011 - DAAD Research Visit Grant
2004 - Stipendium des Ministeriums fur Wissenschaft, Forschung und Kunst Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany
2004 - Max-Kade Travel Grant, Department of German, Yale
2002-2004 - Hermann J. Weigand Fellowship, Department of German, Yale
2002-2004, 2007-2008 - University Henry H. L. Fan Fellowship, Yale
2001-2002 - University Fellowship, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
1994 - Third Place in the Humanities, National College Entrance Exams, Zhejiang Province, China

Dr. Qinna Shen TEACHING AND RESEARCH INTERESTS

- 20th and 21st-Century German Literature and Culture
- German Film and Transnational Cinema
- Folk and Literary Fairy Tales
- German Drama Production
- German-American Experience
- Asian German Studies

Dr. Qinna Shen Selected Publications:

Books

- The Politics of Magic: DEFA Fairy-Tale Films. Detroit, MI: Wayne State University Press, 2015.
- Beyond Alterity: German Encounters with Modern East Asia. Ed. Qinna Shen and Martin Rosenstock. Volume 7 in the Series: Spektrum: - Publications of the German Studies Association. New York: Berghahn Books, 2014.

Qinna Shen Articles:

- "Deconstructing Orientalism. DEFA's Fictions of East Asia," Re-imagining DEFA. East German Cinema in its National and Transnational Context. Ed. Sean Allan and Sebastian Heiduschke. New York: Berghahn Books, forthcoming.
- "A Question of Ideology and Realpolitik: DEFA Documentaries on China," Beyond Alterity: German Encounters with Modern East Asia. Ed. Qinna Shen and Martin Rosenstock. New York: Berghahn Books, 2014. 94-114.
- "Factories on the Magic Carpet: Heimat, Globalization, and the 'Yellow Peril' in Die Chinesen kommen and Losers and Winners." Imagining Germany, Imagining Asia: Essays in Asian-German Studies. Ed. Veronika Fuechtner and Mary Rhiel. Rochester, NY: Camden House, 2013. 64-86.
- "The Story of Little Mook." "The Dress." Directory of World Cinema -- Germany. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2012. 56-59.
- "Revisiting the Wound of a Nation: The "Good Nazi" John Rabe and the Nanking Massacre." Seminar: A Journal of Germanic Studies 47.5 (November 2011) 661-680.
- "The Ambiguity of Revolution: Wu-wei, Pathology and Criminality in Alfred Doblin's Die Drei Sprunge des Wang-lun. Chinesischer Roman." German Studies Review 34/3 (October 2011) 613-632.
- "Barometers of GDR Cultural Politics: Contextualizing the DEFA Grimm Adaptations." Marvels & Tales: Journal of Fairy-Tale Studies. Vol. 25, No. 1 (2011). Detroit: Wayne State UP. 70-95.
- "DEFA Marchenfilme as Brechtian Parables: Gerhard Klein's Die Geschichte vom armen Hassan and Konrad Petzold's Das Kleid." The Brecht Yearbook 35: Brecht, Marxism, and Ethics. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2010. 112-131.
- "Shedding, Witchcraft, and the Romantic Subject: Feminist Appropriation of the Witch in Sarah Kirsch's Zauberspruche." Neophilologus. Netherlands: Springer (2009) 93:675-689.
- "Feminist Redemption of the Witch: Grimm and Michelet as Nineteenth-Century Models." Focus on German Studies. Cincinnati, Ohio: German Graduate Student Governance Association of the University of Cincinnati, Vol. 15 (2008) 19-33.

Source: http://www.miamioh.edu/cas/academics/departments/gramelac/about/faculty-staff/shen/index.html