Nomadic Ethics in Contemporary Women's Writing in German

December 2012
232 pages
9x6 in
Studies in German Literature Linguistics and Culture
ISBN: 9781571135360
Format: Hardback
Library eBook
Camden House
BISAC LIT004170, LIT004290, SOC028000

Nomadic Ethics in Contemporary Women's Writing in German

Strange Subjects

Emily Jeremiah

Explores nationality, gender, and postmodern subjectivity in the work of five German-speaking women writers who embody a "nomadic ethics."
How can postmodern subjectivity be ethically conceived? What can literature contribute to this project? What role do "gender" and "nation" play in the construction of contemporary identities? Nomadic Ethics broaches these questions, exploring the work of five women writers who live outside of the German-speaking countries or thematize a move away from them: Birgit Vanderbeke, Dorothea Grünzweig, Antje Rávic Strubel, Anna Mitgutsch, and Barbara Honigmann. It draws on work by Rosi Braidotti, Sara Ahmed, and Judith Butler to develop a nomadic ethics, and examines how the writers under discussion conceptualize contemporary German and Austrian identities -- especially but not only gender identities -- in instructive ways. The book engages with a number of critical issues in contemporary German studies: globalization; green thought; questions of gender and sexuality; East (and West) German identities; Austrianness; the postmemory of the Holocaust; and Jewishness. In this way, Nomadic Ethics offers a valuable contribution to debates about the nature of German studies itself, as well as insightful readings of the individual authors and texts concerned.

Emily Jeremiah is Lecturer in German, Royal Holloway, University of London.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Developing a Nomadic Ethics
Seeing Strangely: Birgit Vanderbeke's Ways of Knowing
Creature Comforts: Economadism in the Work of Dorothea Grünzweig
Disorientations: Queer, East German Nomadism in the Work of Antje Rávic Strubel
Uncanny Returns: Anna Mitgutsch's Austrian Nomadic Postmemory
Facing the Other: Barbara Honigmann and Jewish Nomadic Ethics


[T]hought-provoking and timely . . . . [P]rovides invigorating new perspectives . . ., while at the same time staging mutually illuminating encounters between contemporary theory and literature which in turn shed light on pressing ethical questions. MODERN LANGUAGE REVIEW [O]ffers scholars a productive and flexible analytical multi-tool to grapple with some of the more challenging and unsettling aspects of the current age as they are addressed in literary texts. . . . With its innovative theoretical approach and robust bibliography, it will prove valuable to scholars and students concerned with feminist literary criticism, ethics, epistemology, phenomenology, postmemory, Women's and Gender Studies, and Queer Studies. STUDIES IN 20TH & 21ST CENTURY LITERATURE [A]mbitious and well-founded . . . . offers a convincing analysis of an impressive range of literary texts as well as a superbly argued discussion of important topics and concerns. It is an excellent literary investigation that should be of interest to scholars beyond the narrow confines of German studies. Jeremiah's study proves the immense value of interdisciplinary work. It successfully borrows terms and methods from other disciplines like gender and queer studies, philosophy, and Jewish studies; at the same time, it proves the relevance of German studies for these disciplines. TULSA STUDIES IN WOMEN'S LITERATURE [C]ontributes to the growing body of research on nationality and gender in German literature in an innovative and insightful way. . . . [A]n insightful and wide-ranging study. SEMINAR

This is a serious and important contribution to questions of German identity, postmodern ethics, postmemory and gender. . . . [It] goes beyond its own stated theoretical paradigm to offer a profoundly original and diverse set of readings of contemporary German women's writing and a rigorous critique of contemporary feminist theory. It will be invaluable to scholars, teachers and students in the field alike. JOURNAL OF CONTEMPORARY EUROPEAN STUDIES

[O]ffers detailed and very insightful interpretations . . . . A perceptive, nuanced study. Recommended. CHOICE

[T]his is a fascinating book . . . an interesting and informative read for those interested in women's writing in general and in the female experience of changing notions of community and identity. JOURNAL OF EUROPEAN STUDIES

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