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Conversations with Experience

Feminist Hermeneutics and the Autobiographical Films of German Women


Andréa Staskowski

The autobiographical films of German women form a unique body of work. Merging documentary and fiction footage, the filmmakers present a self (de)formed, but not constructed, by social forces. By historicizing, rather than psychologizing, their experience, these filmmakers call prevailing models of subject construction into question. Conversations with Experience examines the social and theoretical context of the films’ production and proposes feminist hermeneutics as a theory of textual analysis. Drawing on the insights of Christa Wolf, Mary Daly, and Adrienne Rich, feminist hermeneutics recalls ontology as the basis for a conversational approach to critical engagement.