Seminar in the 19th Century


This seminar will examine the emergence of women writers in the German-speaking world in the critical period 1860-1932 when political, social, and economic flux provided women with ever more venues for publication and opportunity for self-expression, literary representation, and critical commentary. Beginning with the successful writer Fanny Lewald, who initially cringed at the very thought of earning money, and concluding with Vicki Baum and Irmgard Keun who enjoyed market success in the Weimar era, we will examine examples of novels, short stories, poetry, autobiographical writing, essays, and other genres favored by women writers; the venues in which these works were published; the circumstances that made this writing possible; the forces that opposed it; and the degree to which literature by women was included in contemporary conceptions of "national literature." We will pay special attention to the book industry and the expansion of readership by women and girls, whose own lives were changing as they emerged from the confines of nineteenth-century domesticity and gained new access to work, study, commerce and consumption, and politics. Select readings in gender theory and women's history will help to provide a critical apparatus with which to interpret and evaluate this work. Readings in German and English. Discussion in English.
Course Attributes:

Section 01

Seminar in the 19th Century
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