In the period between the Civil War and World War I, German universities provided North American women with opportunities in graduate and professional training that were not readily available to them at home. This training allowed women to compete to a greater degree with men in increasingly professionalized fields. In return for such opportunities, these women played a key role in opening up German universities to all women. Many devoted the rest of their lives to creating better research and graduate opportunities for other women, forever changing the course of higher education in North America. This study provides accounts of the incredible barriers encountered by these first women students in Europe. It documents their perseverance and hard-won triumphs and includes as well the stories of the progressive men who mentored them and fought for their rights to higher education. Never before has documentation of so many North American students at German-speaking universities been included in one volume. This collection of stories from women across disciplines makes it possible to assess the truly remarkable nature of their combined contributions to higher education and research in North America and Europe.
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I found this book to be a valuable tool when I was trying to learn about the experience of women - in my case, English women - at German universities in the 19th century, for my book, "Imagining Violet". Violet spent four years at the Leipzig Conservatory, from 1891 to 1895, commencing when she was just 16 years gold. Singer's book was a very good background source.