Three-volume set investigating how iconic representations of women and death in German literature and culture came about and why they endure.
The theme of women and death is pervasive in the German culture of the past five centuries. With the conviction that only an interdisciplinary approach can explore a typology as far-reaching and significant as this, and in accordance with the feminist tenet that images are accountable for norms, the three volumes in this set, all of which are based on the Oxford-based research project Representations of Women and Death in German Literature, Art, and Mediaafter 1500, investigate how iconic representations of women and death came about and why they endure. In the first volume, familiar depictions of female victims of violence and murder are examined alongside the more unsettling spectacle of women as killers, exposing cultural assumptions. The second volume analyzes representations of warlike women - Amazons, terrorists, and warrior women - in the visual arts, society, media, and scholarship against the backdrop of Germany's development as a culture and as a nation. And the third volume asks what happens when it is women who produce the representations of women and death? Do they replace the patriarchal representations with more sober or "realistic" ones, with new forms, modes, and language? Or do women writers and artists, inescapably bound up in patriarchal tradition, reproduce its paradigms?