Realities and Fantasies of German Female Leadership

August 2019
8 black and white illustrations
409 pages
9x6 in
Women and Gender in German Studies
ISBN: 9781640140653
Format: Hardback
Camden House
BISAC HIS014000, SOC028000, POL025000

Realities and Fantasies of German Female Leadership

From Maria Antonia of Saxony to Angela Merkel

Edited by Elisabeth Krimmer, Patricia Anne Simpson

A collection of essays achieving a deeper understanding of the historical roots and theoretical assumptions that inform the realities and fantasies of German female leadership.

The Western tradition of excluding women from leadership and disparaging their ability to lead has persisted for centuries, not least in Germany. Even today, resistance to women holding power is embedded in literary, cultural, and historical values that presume a fundamental opposition between the adjective "female" and the substantive "leader." Women who do achieve positions of leadership are faced with a panoply of prejudicial misconceptions: either considered incapable of leadership (conceived of as alpha-male behavior), or pigeon-holed as suited only to particular forms of leadership (nurturing, cooperative, egalitarian, communicative, etc.).
Focusing on the German-speaking countries, this volume works to dismantle the prevailing disassociation of women and leadership across a range of disciplines. Contributions discuss literary works involving women's political authority and cultivation of community from Maria Antonia of Saxony to Elfriede Jelinek; women's social activism, as embodied by figures from Hedwig Dohm to Rosa Luxemburg; women in political film, environmentalism, neoliberalism, and the media from Leni Riefenstahl to Petra Kelly to Maren Ade; and political leaders Hillary Clinton and Angela Merkel. The essays achieve a deeper understanding of the historical roots and theoretical assumptions that inform ideas and realities of German female leadership.

Contributors: Dorothee Beck, Seth Berk, Friederike Brühöfener, Margaretmary Daley, Helga Druxes, Sarah Vandegrift Eldridge, Anke Gilleir and Aude Defurne, Rachel J. Halverson, Peter Hudis, Elisabeth Krimmer, Stephen Milder, Joyce Marie Mushaben, Lauren Nossett, Patricia Anne Simpson, Almut Spalding, Inge Stephan, Lisa Fetheringill Zwicker.

Editors: Elisabeth Krimmer is Professor of German at the University of California, Davis. Patricia Anne Simpson is Professor of German and Chairperson of the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Realities and Fantasies of German Female Leadership - Elisabeth Krimmer and Patricia Anne Simpson
Women's Political Authority in Maria Antonia Walpurgis von Sachsen's Talestris. Königin der Amazonen (Thalestris. Queen of the Amazons, 1763) - Seth Berk
Maxims of Leadership for a Silent Readership: Sophie von La Roche's Pomona für Teutschlands Töchter and Mein Schreibetisch - Margaretmary Daley
Marcus Aurelius Also for Girls: Discussions on the Best Form of Government in Enlightenment Hamburg - Almut Spalding
Dux Femina Facti: Gender, Sovereignty, and (Women's) Literature: Marie Antonia of Saxony's Thalestris and Charlotte von Stein's Dido - Anke Gilleir and Aude Defurne
Crossing the Front Lines: Female Leadership, Politics, and War in Die Familie Seldorf - Sarah Vandegrift Eldridge
Power Struggles between Women in Schiller's and Jelinek's Works - Inge Stephan
Age and Purpose: Unmarried Women and Female Agency in the Works of E. Marlitt and Hedwig Dohm - Lauren Nossett
"Heroism of the Mother": Women's Right's Pioneer Jeannette Schwerin, Motherlove, and Women's Leadership in German-Speaking Central Europe, 1890-1914 - Lisa Fetheringill Zwicker
Strategic Optimism: Bertha von Suttner's Activism for Peace - Elisabeth Krimmer
Humanizing Socialism: The Feminist Dimension of Rosa Luxemburg's Intellectual Leadership - Peter Hudis
Follow-the-Leader: Tracing Male Influence on Leni Riefenstahl's Triumph des Willens - Rachel J. Halverson
"Leaning In": The Career Woman as Instrument of Neoliberal Critique - Helga Druxes
Change, Persistence, and Contradiction: The Representation of Female Political Leadership in Gendered Media - Dorothee Beck
Petra Kelly: A Green Leader out of Place? - Stephen Milder and Friederike Brühöfener
"Mama Merkel" and "Mutti-Multikulti": The Perils of Governing While Female - Patricia Anne Simpson
Women Leaders in Troubled Times: The Leadership Styles of Angela Merkel and Hillary Clinton - Joyce Marie Mushaben
Notes on the Contributors

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