Expanding Transnational Networks: The Impact of Internal Conflict on the Feminist Press in Dokumente der Frauen (1899–1902) and Neues Frauenleben (1902–17)

  • Charlotte D'Eer Universiteit Gent


This article examines the interpersonal tensions between co-editors Auguste Fickert (1855–1910) and Marie Lang (1858–1934) to show how internal editorial conflict can stimulate transnational editorial relations. By placing the disagreement within the larger context of the international women’s movement at the turn of the century, I argue that Fickert’s vision on women’s organizations differed from Lang’s: Fickert fostered the transnational role of the periodical press, whereas Lang invested in a local approach. Although conflict has been considered a constitutive aspect of the periodical press, it has not been examined before in light of German feminist periodicals, such as Dokumente der Frauen (1899–1902), which Fickert co-edited for some time with Lang and Rosa Mayreder (1858–1938) and Neues Frauenleben (1902–17), of which she was the sole editor from 1902 to 1910. This article traces Fickert’s transnational collaborations. More specifically, it takes her connection to Finnish-born female editor Maikki Friberg (1861–1927) as a case in point to demonstrate how her personal and professional relationship with Friberg resonates through the pages of Dokumente and increasingly so, Neues Frauenleben. I will show how Fickert’s new periodical, Neues Frauenleben, benefited from her collaboration with Friberg especially, and resulted in a myriad of transnational connections that were mainly — but not only — Nordic. By taking the periodical as a locus of personal and professional conflict and collaboration, this article thus shed light on an under-researched link between female editorship and transnationality.