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Sexual Violence in German Culture

Rereading and Rewriting the Tradition


Sabine Smith

The project examines fictional and non-fictional texts on sexual violence in German culture between 1774 and 1994. Specifically, it juxtaposes historical and contemporary Penal Codes and statistical records from Germany, theoretical scholarship and applied research from US American and German contexts, and six German primary texts. It identifies representational practices that permeate both «factual» and «fictional» accounts and that gloss over the differences between sexual violence, seduction, and romantic love. Articulating ideological continuities and discontinuities in representing women's victimizations, the author explores the extent to which relevant texts of the late 18th and 19th centuries prefigure social and political issues that we discuss today.
Contents: The Facts of Rape - The «Facts» on Rape (legal, statistical, theoretical, and activist discourses on rape) - Methodology (feminist Foucauldian approach to Cultural Studies) - «Die Kindermörderin» and «Die Marquise von O...», «Rose Bernd» and «Fräulein Else», «Deutschland, bleiche Mutter» and «BeFreier und Befreite».