Women in Early Phenomenology

The purpose of this project is to shed new light on the lives and work of the women who took part in the early phenomenological movement, with particular focus on Edith Stein, Hedwig Conrad-Martius, and Gerda Walther.

“German Fraulein is a Clever Thinker,” The San Francisco Examiner, 22.IX.1912


The recent resurgence of interest in the history of the phenomenological movement has shown that these women were not marginal figures, but important contributors to the development of phenomenology. Researchers have also unearthed the names of other female students of Husserl, Th. Lipps, and Pfänder, whose relations to phenomenology deserve further consideration. A number of these women stand out, such as Erika Gothe and Margarete Ortmann (who studied in Göttingen), Margarete Calinich and Else Voigtländer (Munich), and Erica Sehl and Amelie Jaegerschmid (Freiburg).

Current research at the Center HWPS focuses on the unpublished writings of Hedwig Conrad-Martius and Gerda Walther. Our aim is to publish new, critical editions of some of their key texts, which will include relevant supplementary materials from their literary estates. We are also attempting to map the early phenomenological movement, looking at the place of women in this intellectual and social network.

Researchers interested in the activities of the CHWPS are encouraged to contact Daniel Neumann to arrange a visit to the Center.

Introduction video to the digital archive.

Materials availabe at the Center.


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