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Challenging Separate Spheres

Female "Bildung</I> in Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century Germany


Marjanne Goozé

This collection of essays centers on women writers who negotiated, interrogated, and challenged the gender ideology of separate spheres through their advocacy and representations of female Bildung. The term Bildung encompasses an individual’s entire moral, spiritual, behavioral, emotional, political and intellectual development. The contributors analyze works of fiction, memoirs, autobiographies, letters, the periodical press, and conduct and cookbooks from the mid-1700s to circa 1900 that confront the separate spheres paradigm and promote women’s educational and personal development. They examine women’s writing and reading practices, moral and gender philosophies, political activism, and work from the home to the stage and factory. Most writers did not repudiate outright existing gender models, but both subtly and overtly subverted and reinterpreted them. In all the texts, the process of female education leads to an assertion of agency. The writers came from different social classes and professional backgrounds, ranging from noblewomen to working-class autobiographers of the later nineteenth century. This volume will be of interest to German cultural, literary, and historical scholars, as well as to those concerned with the development of European feminism, women’s education and autobiography.
Contents: Marjanne E. Goozé: Challenging Separate Spheres: Female Bildung in Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century Germany - An Introduction – Anca L. Holden: Marianne Ehrmann’s Ein Weib ein Wort - A Platform for Moral Education – Helga Schutte Watt: Memories and Fantasies: Sophie La Roche’s Herbsttage – Laura Martin: Die neuen Volksmärchen der Deutschen: A New Twist on an Old Plot? The Rübezahl Legend in Benedikte Naubert and Johann Karl August Musäus – Laura Deiulio: The Voice of the schöne Seele: Rahel Levin Varnhagen and Pauline Wiesel as Readers of Weimar Classicism – Denise M. Della Rossa: «Was sollen unsre Töchter lesen?» Recommended Reading and Literary Bildung in the Women’s Periodical Press – Tamara M. Zwick: The Bat at the Ball: Bourgeois Culture as a Written Practice in the Letters of Magdalena Pauli to Johanna Sieveking, 1786-1824 – Wendy Arons: «Laß mich sein, was ich bin»: Karoline Schulze-Kummerfeld’s Performance of a Lifetime – Debbie Pinfold: «Wer die Frauen hat, der hat die Zukunft!» Women’s Voices on the Revolutions of 1848-49: Fanny Lewald, Malwida von Meysenbug, and Johanna Kinkel – Birgit A. Jensen: «Was sind wir Dienstboten doch für elende Geschöpfe!» Female Working-Class Agency in Two German Autobiographies at the Turn of the Century – Elisabeth Krimmer: Abortive Bildung: Women Writers, Male Bonds, and Would-Be Fathers – Alicia L. Carter: Rezept zur Sittlichkeit: The Conduct Books of Henriette Davidis – Christine Kanz: Reproduktion und Bildung in Kultur und Wissenschaft um 1900.