Willful Girls
Title Details

210 Pages

22.8 x 15.2 cm

Series: Women and Gender in German Studies

Imprint: Camden House

Willful Girls

Gender and Agency in Contemporary Anglo-American and German Fiction

by Emily Jeremiah

  • Description
  • Contents
  • Reviews
Explores the process of "becoming woman" through an analysis of the depiction of girls and young women in contemporary Anglo-American and German literary texts.
What does it mean to "become woman" in the context of neoliberalism and postfeminism? What is the role of will in this process? Willful Girls explores these questions through an analysis of the depiction of girls and youngwomen in contemporary Anglo-American and German literary texts. It identifies four sets of concerns that are vital for an understanding of gendered subject formation in the contemporary context: agency and volition; body and beauty; sisterhood and identification; and sex and desire. The book examines numerous nonfiction feminist texts as well as novels by Helene Hegemann, Caitlin Moran, Charlotte Roche, Emma Jane Unsworth, Kate Zambreno, and Juli Zeh, among others. These texts illustrate the complex processes by which female subjects become women today. Failure, refusal, disgust, and anger are striking features of these becomings.

Drawing on the work of Sara Ahmed (Willful Subjects) and thinkers including Simone de Beauvoir, Rosi Braidotti, and Elizabeth Grosz, the book demonstrates the significance of willfulness for understandings and assertions of female agency. In addition, it proposesa view of literary works themselves as instances of willfulness. The book will be of interest to scholars working in comparative literature, English, German studies, and feminist, gender, and queer studies.

Emily Jeremiah is Senior Lecturer in German and Gender Studies at Royal Holloway, University of London.
Introduction: Willful Girls
Contemporary Anglo-American and German Feminisms
Agency and Volition
Body and Beauty
Sisterhood and Identification
Sex and Desire
Conclusion: Green Girls, Trainwrecks, and Willful Politics
Notes
Bibliography
Index
"An intricate and important work of literary criticism which will be of interest to scholars, students, and those curious about contemporary feminisms across national and linguistic boundaries." MODERN LANGUAGE REVIEW
"[T]his book [is] a useful corrective to the excessive focus on 'adult models of subjectivity' (2) that still dominate mainstream feminist literature. Jeremiah is, instead, attentive to literary depictions of childhood . . . . Jeremiah's methodology is both comparative and connective . . . . [Her] narration is lucid, cogent, and conversational, beginning with a synoptic reading of the various novels, and culminating in a sustained critical engagement with their various thematic issues. . . . It is perhaps a measure of how good Jeremiah's critical work is that I found [this book] to be an excellent template for examining similar concerns in other genres, such as Modernist poetry and ?lm." Shalini Sengupta, CONTEMPORARY WOMEN'S WRITING
"[O]ffers a critical exploration of the formation of gendered subjects by analyzing depictions of young women in a selection of . . . texts, both fiction and nonfiction. . . . [W]ill prove useful both in the German and Anglo-American context." GEGENWARTSLITERATUR

Hardcover

9781640140080

January 2018

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9781787441705

January 2018

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Title Details

210 Pages

2.28 x 1.52 cm

Series: Women and Gender in German Studies

Imprint: Camden House