Women and Death 2

Women and Death 2

Warlike Women in the German Literary and Cultural Imagination since 1500

Edited by Sarah Colvin, Helen Watanabe-O'Kelly


Camden House



Explores both constants and changes in representations of warlike and violent women in German culture over the past six centuries.
Warlike women are a recurring phenomenon in German literature and culture since 1500. Amazons, terrorists, warrior women -- this volume of essays by leading scholars from the UK and Germany analyzes ideas and portrayals of these figures in the visual arts, society, media, and scholarship, always against the backdrop of Germany's development as a culture and as a nation. The contributors look for patterns in the historical portrayal of warlike women, asking the questions: What cultural signals are sent when women are shown occupying men's spaces by dressing as warriors or in men's clothing? What can legitimize the woman who bears arms? From what is the erotic potential of images linking women and violence derived? Have recent feminist thought and political developments changed representations of warlike women?

Contributors: Bettina Brandt, Sarah Colvin, Mererid Puw Davies, Peter Davies, Christine Eifler, Ute Frevert, Kathrin Hoffmann-Curtius, Ritchie Robertson, Daria Santini, Ruth Seifert, Helen Watanabe-O'Kelly.

Sarah Colvin is Eudo C. Mason Chair of German at the University of Edinburgh. Helen Watanabe-O'Kelly is Professor of German at Oxford University and Fellow and Tutor of Exeter College, Oxford.


September 2009
43 black and white illustrations
324 pages
8.75x5.75 in
Studies in German Literature Linguistics and Culture
ISBN: 9781571134004
Format: Hardback
Camden House
BISAC LIT004170, HIS014000, SOC028000
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Table of Contents

Introduction - Sarah Colvin and Helen Watanabe-O'Kelly
The German Reception of the Amazon Myths from Hederich to Bachofen - Daria Santini
Wearing the Trousers: The Woman Warrior as Cross-dresser in German Literature - Helen Watanabe-O'Kelly
Women Warriors, Feminism, and National Socialism: The Reception of J. J. Bachofen's View of Amazons among German and Austrian Right-Wing Women Writers - Peter Davies
Women Warriors and the Origin of the State: Zacharias Werner's Wanda and Heinrich von Kleist's Penthesilea - Ritchie Robertson
Germania in Armor: The Female Representation of an Endangered German Nation - Bettina Brandt
Terror in Germany 1918-19: Visual Commentaries on Rosa Luxemburg's Assassination - Kathrin Hoffmann-Curtius
German Conceptions of War, Masculinity, and Femininity in the Long Nineteenth Century - Ute Frevert
Soldiers and Mothers in the German Bundeswehr: Constructions of Gender and Service under Arms - Ruth Seifert
Gender and the Military in East Germany: Defense Policies and the Woman Question in the GDR - Christine Eifler
West German Representations of Women and Resistance in Vietnam, 1966-73 - Mererid Puw Davies
Witch, Amazon, or Joan of Arc? Ulrike Meinhof's Defenders, or How to Legitimize a Violent Woman - Sarah Colvin


The case studies range from general issues to very specific ones, providing good coverage of militant women in many roles from early times onwards. . . . (P)rovide(s) revealing insights into specific individuals, including key figures such as Grimmelshausen's Courasche, Schiller's Joan of Arc, and Kleist's Penthesilea. MODERN LANGUAGE REVIEW

This collection appeals to a surprisingly broad range of audiences. Specialists will find theoretical and analytical inspiration for their own works. GERMAN STUDIES REVIEW

Of particular interest are the essays dealing with how the female image has been used to represent the German nation. BOOK NEWS

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