dissertations in german studies 2017

Ali Alhadji, Mahamat. Migrantenliteratur und Strategien der Wortergreifung. Untersuchung zu Rafik Schami, Jusuf Naoum und Amin Maalouf. Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Department of comparative literature. Advisors: Christoph K. Neumann, Robert Stockhammer. July 2017. Abstract:

“National literature is now a rather unmeaning term; the epoch of world literature is at hand, and everyone must strive to hasten its approach.” Close to two centuries after Goethe’s epoch-making sentence, the nation still remains a central category in the reception of literature and, thus, perpetuating the core-periphery model. This research project deals with three authors whose biographies and writing techniques challenge this literary nationalism in Germany and France. It aims at analyzing the strategies developed by Lebanese writers Jusuf Naoum and Amin Maalouf as well as Syrian born author Rafik Schami to inscribe themselves into the literary fields of their host countries. It also questions what it means for an Arab to produce literary works in German or in French instead of using their mother tongue. This will necessarily lead to a comparison of the structure and functioning of two European literary fields and to finding the place reserved for migrants' literature in each of them.

Anderson, Colleen. “Two Kinds of Infinity”: East Germany, West Germany, and the Cold War Cosmos, 1945-1995. Harvard University, History Department. Advisor: Alison Frank Johnson. April 2017. Abstract:

This dissertation examines East and West Germans’ participation in and imaginations about outer space travel from the end of World War II through Reunification. The study traces how citizens of both states moved from engaged spectators in the 1950s to participants in and dreamers of space travel in later decades. While outer space travel and space enthusiasm followed different courses in the two German states, East and West Germans shared a common approach to the exploration of the cosmos: both saw their own futures as connected to space travel and used outer space to confront the past and understand the world around them.

Barnhouse, Lucy. The Elusive Medieval Hospital: Mainz and the Middle Rhine Region. Fordham University, Department of History. Advisor: Wolfgang P. Mueller. April 2017. Abstract:

This dissertation works to overcome the compartmentalization of existing scholarship on medieval hospitals, through comparing leper hospitals to multipurpose institutions, through using diverse source genres, and through drawing on a multilingual historiography. Analyzing hospitals’ negotiation of their status as religious houses takes seriously the collective agency of hospital communities. During the long thirteenth century, the meaning of religious status for individuals and institutions was redefined. This was a process affected in part by the negotiations of independent hospitals—unattached to religious orders—and hospital staff for their privileges. The late medieval institutional development of urban hospitals was affected by the late twelfth- and early thirteenth-century standardization of religious observance. In the mid-thirteenth century, ecclesiastical and civic authorities united in efforts to separate the male and female staff of mixed-gender hospital communities. Mainz had four independent hospitals in the later Middle Ages: a twelfth-century foundation, later overseen by the council; a hospital managed by women forced to leave the first; a leper hospital; and a private foundation of the 1350s. Examining these institutions, and others like them in the Middle Rhine region, fills a lacuna in existing scholarship.

Bilkić, Ljudmila. “Everything new is born illegal.” Historicizing Rapid Migration through New Media Projects. University of Pittsburgh, German Department. Advisor: Randall Halle. October 2017. Abstract:

This dissertation historicizes the interplay between standardized perception of cross-bordermovement and the complexity that actually results out of such an approach. A select number of artistic contributions that speak of and for individuals officially identified as “refugees,” “asylum seekers,” and “illegals” on part of governing authorities reflect this interplay. The selected works, namely Christoph Schlingensief’s 2000 happening Bitte liebt Österreich – Erste Österreichische Koalitionswoche and Paul Poet‘s resulting 2001 documentary Ausländer Raus! Schlingensiefs Container, Agostino Imondi and Dietmar Ratsch’s 2010 documentary Neukölln Unlimited, and Ursula Biemann’s video essays Contained Mobility (2004) and X-Mission (2008), intervene into the legal identification on part of nation-states through the routine life practices that occur on part of the migrants. While recognizing this process, the new media works challenge us to move away from binary arguments, such as positioning those in control opposite individuals who passively adopt parameters. Instead, they offer a perspective in which individuals caught in rapid migration successfully and productively negotiate their space, ultimately compelling us to move past viewing rapid migration as an exceptional reality.

Blackler, Adam A. Heathens, 'Hottentots', and Heimat: Colonial Encounters and German Identity in Southwest Africa, 1842-1915. University of Minnesota, Department of History. Advisors: Eric D. Weitz & Gary B. Cohen. April 2017. Abstract:

"Heathens, 'Hottentots', and Heimat: Colonial Encounters and German Identity in Southwest Africa, 1842-1915" reorients our understanding of the relationship between Imperial Germany and its overseas empire in southern Africa. The principal objective of this study is to expose the other side of imperial domination, specifically how African peoples manipulated German rule and the degree to which colonial encounters overseas altered German national identity in the metropole. My focus on colonial encounters in DSWA shows that peoples in Windhoek, Swakopmund, and Otjimbingwe were as integral to Germany’s national development as the merchants, soldiers, and settlers who first ventured abroad in 1884. I emphasize encounters in DSWA as a means to illuminate the multifaceted composition of Germany’s imperial project in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. This study contends that colonialism strengthened visions of identity that saw cultural difference and national belonging not just as competing phenomena, but also as forces that together fortified Germany’s presence abroad. By focusing on colonial encounters in DSWA, I show that African, German, and indigenous people in Southwest Africa were just as integral to Germany’s national development as the merchants, soldiers, and settlers who first ventured abroad in 1884.

Bohnke, Christin. Postcolonial Theory Reconsidered: Discourses of Race, Gender, and Imperialism in the German-Japanese Realm. University of Toronto, Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures. Advisor: Angelica Fenner. June 2017. Abstract:

This study explores the intersections of race and gender as they manifest in film and print media across a century of transnational flows between Germany and Japan. I argue that German-Japanese relations in the twentieth century invite novel re-readings of existing postcolonial theories, resulting in a productive re-evaluation of inherited terms such as ‘hybridity’ and ‘race’. Each chapter of my dissertation is devoted to a strand of the cultural fabric woven between Germany and Japan and its consequences for the broader relationship between East Asia and Europe. Chapter two focuses on the German-language magazine East Asia (Ost-Asien) published by the Japanese Tamai Kisak from 1898-1910 in Berlin, on Kitasato Takeshi’s German-language drama Fumio (1900), and on the silent film Bushido(1926). Chapter three pursues an in-depth analysis of the German-Japanese relationship between 1932 and 1945 via such diverse cultural artifacts as the results of a German-Japanese essay contest held in 1944, German newsreels, and German-Japanese filmic co-productions. In my fourth and final chapter, I analyze the contemporary work of one Japanese filmmaker and two Japanese authors who migrated from Japan to Germany after the Second World War.

Brücker, Tobias. Der Weg zu Autorschaft und Text bei Friedrich Nietzsches “Wanderer und sein Schatten.” Universität Zürich, Philosophische Fakultät, Deutsches Seminar. Advisors: Klaus Müller-Wille (Uni Zürich), Christian Benne (Uni Kopenhagen), Sandro Zanetti (Uni Zürich). September 2017. Abstract:

Im Sommer 1879 verfasste Friedrich Nietzsche in St. Moritz das Aphorismenbuch ‹Der Wanderer und sein Schatten›. Für diese Schrift verarbeitete Nietzsche Notizen, die auf Spaziergängen im Freien entstanden sind. Nach einer umfassenden Aufarbeitung der Produktion, Edition und Rezeption des ‹Wanderers› untersucht die Dissertation das Verhältnis von Alltag, Schreibpraxis, Schreibreflexionen und Philosophie zueinander. Dabei geraten wenig beachtete Quellen wie populäre Ratgeberliteratur und Alltagspraktiken wie Gymnastik oder Diät in den Blick. Nietzsche entwickelte in St. Moritz ein Kompendium an Praktiken, das für spätere Buchproduktionen in modifizierter Weise wiederholt wurde. Es handelt sich um eine Werkpolitik, die weit über den literarischen Text hinausgeht und die performative Grundlage der ‹Philosophie des Werdens› bildet. Die Dissertation versteht sich deshalb als Fallstudie einer materialen Kulturgeschichte philosophischer Produktionsweisen.

Carey, Jean Marie. How Franz Marc Returns. The University of Otago, Department of Languages and Cultures. Advisor: Cecilia Novero. October 2017. Abstract:

I aim at restoring Franz Marc to us in the present because his words and images have important ramifications for the way we understand depictions of animals, and the nature of imagination, today. I present a biographically- and historically-grounded comprehension of Marc’s leap into the future at the turn of the 20th Century, to appreciate not just the modifications he made to painting but his ambitions to understand the world and the mind of the animal through both scientific observation and projection. I expand the investigation of Marc to examine the concepts of Einfühlung and Nachträglichkeit in the frameworks of contemporary art as well as in their continental historicity. I make the embodied process of looking at Marc’s images closely of crucial importance, doing so by trying to understand the beliefs and habitudes that enabled Marc to successfully imagine the sacred subjecthood of animals. It is in this sense that I contribute to the enterprise of “the return,” experimenting with Hal Foster’s formulation by enacting theory as activity.

Chapman, Stephanie. Grillparzer, the Enlightener: Displaced Paternity in Grillparzer’s Works. University of Oregon: Department of German and Scandinavian. Advisors: Sonja Boos, Kenneth Calhoon, Jeffrey S. Librett, John McCole. May 2017. Abstract:

This dissertation examines Grillparzer’s writings on four levels: the historical, the literary-historical, the biographical, and the textual. The historical dimension traces the evolution of patriarchy in its unsettled form in the wake of the French Revolution, ultimately leading to the decapitation of the monarchy in favor of a new model of government shaped by fraternity and sorority. The literary-historical interplay is marked by the tense interaction between the Enlightenment and the Baroque, the former emphasizing a desire to transcend authoritarian and patriarchal models of governance and the latter staying true to the status quo prior to the French Revolution. From a biographical standpoint, I highlight Grillparzer’s unusual relationship with his mother, which contributed to the development of an obsessional personality structure. On a textual level, I examine the gradual deterioration of the patriarchy in the age of the Restoration and connect this with Grillparzer’s reflections on his own obsessional neuroticism. Thus, I outline Grillparzer’s ambivalent relationship with both Baroque and Enlightenment models of social authority as well as the various ways in which he deemed them partially unsatisfactory, ultimately calling for a more enlightened understanding of the way we preserve and revise our values and define the concept of governance.

Conquer, Rey. The Poetics of Colour in Stefan George, Rainer Maria Rilke, Wassily Kandinsky and Else Lasker-Schüler. The University of Oxford, Modern Languages/German. Advisor: Charlie Louth. March 2017. Abstract:

This thesis takes its cue from the preponderance of colour words in poetry of the early twentieth century, and uses colour as a lens through which to open up an understanding of how poetic language works. The study of colour is currently enjoying popularity in diverse fields, from neuroscience to anthropology, philosophy to linguistics; yet the particular questions colour raises for literature have been insufficiently explored: how do writers navigate—and exploit—the invisibility of colour in text? What aesthetic commitments do certain attitudes to colour expose? And how, in the face of its absence, do we read colour? The thesis explores these questions through four case studies, each central to poetic production between 1890 and 1920. Unpicking colour in the work of Stefan George, Rainer Maria Rilke, Wassily Kandinsky and Else Lasker-Schüler, the four chapters build a larger picture of these writers' aesthetic ideas, bringing together broader theoretical questions—such as that of abstraction in art and poetry, of questions of translation and transposition, of the materiality of poetic form, of the relationship between poet and reader—with close analyses of poems, prose writings and translations, placing these in a wider, European context.

de Beun, Cyril. Schriftstellerreden 1880-1938: Intellektuelle, Interdiskurse, Institutionen, Medien. University of Leuven, Literary Studies Research Unit. Advisors: Sascha Bru, Anke Gilleir. July 2017. Abstract:

Zwischen 1880 und 1938 gab es eine auffällige Zunahme öffentlich redender Schriftsteller. Dieses bisher kaum beachtete Phänomen wird in dieser Dissertation als eigenständige Gattung erstmals eingehend behandelt. Besondere Aufmerksamkeit gilt dabei dem historischen Kontext in Deutschland und Österreich, der intellektuellen Rolle redender Schriftsteller und ihren argumentativen Strategien. In einem historischen und gattungsmedialen Überblick zur Schriftstellerrede und zwei Fallstudien zur Sektion für Dichtkunst und zum Goethejahr 1932 zeigt diese Dissertation die Dominanz und Flexibilität der Schriftstellerrede, sowohl was ihre mediale Anwendung als auch was ihr interdiskursives Potential betrifft. Im englischsprachigen Anhang der Dissertation befinden sich eine Datenbank, die mehr als 1400 Reden von insgesamt 123 Autoren verzeichnet, sowie anschauliche Statistiken. Der deutschsprachige Hauptteil der Dissertation steht unter folgendem Weblink zur Verfügung: https://lirias.kuleuven.be/handle/123456789/575695.

Ehrig, Stephan. Der gefesselte Lorbeer. Zur Rezeption Heinrich von Kleists in Literatur und Theater der DDR / The Chained Laurel. On the Reception of Heinrich von Kleist in GDR Literature and Theatre. University of Bristol, Department of German. Advisors: Debbie Pinfold & Steffan Davies. March 2017. Abstract:

The author Heinrich von Kleist (1777-1811) enjoyed a mixed reception in the GDR. Particularly in the 1970s, when the expatriation of Wolf Biermann (1976) coincided with the bicentenary celebrations of Kleist’s birth in 1977, a large group of authors and theatre directors used Kleist as a means to reposition and communicate their concept of authorship and artistic production within socialist society. The dissertation argues that, in dealing with Kleist, one can identify an ongoing struggle between two different political and aesthetic conceptions of Marxist/socialist culture: the 'ideological' approach and its quest for socialist realism, and the 'dialectical' approach and its (utopian) vision of critical aesthetics. While both sides sought to incorporate Kleist, it will be the dialectical approach that eventually won over the GDR cultural sphere. In analysing the theatre productions of Kleist's plays and his productive reception in literary works the dissertation gives insights into a diverse cultural landscape that overcomes the binary logic of GDR culture being either dissident or supportive of the regime.

Eickenboom, Christine. "Ich dachte mir Australien so schön und frei." Fremde Welt - bekannte Utopie? Über die Wahrnehmung Australiens in der deutschen Literatur der zweiten Hälfte des 19. Jahrhunderts. Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Fakultät für Philologie. Advisor: Prof. Dr. Nicolas Pethes. January 2017. Abstract:

The dissertation shows the tremendous importance Australia had for the development of colonial thinking and behavior of Germans in the 19th century. Although it appears not to have affected most of the emigrants in their choice for a new home, it was the perfect breeding-ground for colonial fantasies. Nowadays these fantasies are an established intellectual figure for the precolonial behavior of the German nation in German historical, philological and cultural studies. Previous research has concentrated on states like America, Africa or the south sea. But Australia provided opportunities like no other country because of its absolute strangeness. As a country seen as a terra nullius it offered the possibility to create self-perception as a successful imperial nation. Finally it was possible to catch up on the English nation by demonstrating the (allegedly) superior abilities in agriculture, science or civilization as a whole. All this was transported by journals, travel reports and literature. The development of this mostly unknown offers a wide range of research in postcolonial studies. It was possible to identify ‘Australism’ as a concept for fictional colonisation of an empty space named Australia: the establishment of a topic of adventure and exoticism, which has a selfdynamic power.

Feigenbaum, Ryan. The Epistemic Foundations of German Biology, 1790-1802. Villanova University, Department of Philosophy. Advisors: Dalia Nassar (University of Sydney), Walter Brogan (Villanova University). May 2017. Abstract:

While Immanuel Kant famously denied the possibility of biology in his Kritik der Urteilskraft (1790), twelve years later G. R. Treviranus not only asserted its possibility, but also demonstrated its very practice in his Biologie (1802). What, then, transpired in the 1790s to make biology possible as a science? This dissertation takes up the question, offering, in response, a new interpretation of the epistemic foundations of German biology. It begins by reassessing the contributions to life science made by J. F. Blumenbach, J. C. Reil, C. F. Kielmeyer, as well as Kant and Treviranus, and concludes by asserting that the organism concept is what unites these disparate thinkers. It is their novel recognition and development of the organism concept that first demarcates the biological domain as such, laying the foundation for what would become in the nineteenth century the modern discipline of biology.

Flanagan, Drew. Radiance on the Rhine: The French in Occupied Germany, 1945-1955. Brandeis University, Department of History. Advisor: Paul Jankowski. August 2017. Abstract:

After the Second World War, France became one of four occupying powers in a defeated Germany. Within the French Zone of Occupation, which stretched along the Franco-German borderlands of the middle and upper Rhine, the French military government and occupation forces became responsible for the pacification, Denazification and democratic reeducation of the conquered German population. This dissertation considers aspects of the mentality and sense of mission of the French officers, administrators, soldiers and civilians who served and worked in the French Zone. Making use of a large quantity of original sources from French and German archives, it argues that the French mission in Germany was shaped by imperial and colonial ideology, specifically French leaders’ and ordinary citizens’ belief in their nation’s universal mission to civilize foreign peoples. It also shows that the French occupiers adapted a number of occupation practices developed in France’s colonial empire to the population of the French Zone. Finally, it considers the French Zone as a borderland that was shaped by a long history of competing French and German political interests and cultural influences. This dissertation places French occupation in the global context of the beginnings of decolonization and the emerging Cold War.

Franz, Joachim. Die Negation von Solidarität. Selbstdarstellungs- und Interaktionsstrategien des Kleinbürgertums in den Dramen "Zur schönen Aussicht", "Geschichten aus dem Wiener Wald" und "Kasimir und Karoline von Ödön von Horváth.” Universität Mannheim, Seminar für Deutsche Philologie. Christoph Weiß. June 2017 Abstract:

Ödön von Horváth gilt mit seinen Dramen vor 1933 als Chronist der kleinbürgerlichen Gesellschaft in den Zwischenkriegsjahren. Er fokussiert just das Milieu der abhängig Beschäftigten und kleinen Selbständigen, in dem der deutsche Faschismus erstarkt. Die Arbeit bestimmt die Verhaltensweisen von Horváths Kleinbürgern als "strategische Interaktionen" (Goffman), die auf Mittel der Selbstinszenierung und auf das Bemühen, "das Sein durch den Schein zu überholen" (Bourdieu) setzen. Die angewandten Selbstdarstellungs- und Interaktionsstrategien greifen auf unterschiedlichste Versatzstücke der zeitgenössischen populären Kultur zurück und versuchen, sie gewinnbringend einzusetzen - etwa die Grand-Hotel-Kultur der Goldenen 20er ("Zur schönen Aussicht"), den Mythos von der Wiener Walzerseligkeit ("Geschichten aus dem Wiener Wald") oder das Stereotyp vom vitalen Mann aus dem Volk ("Kasimir und Karoline"). Die Untersuchung verfolgt diese Strategien von Horváths Ego-Taktikern bis in ihre Brüche und macht sie als Negation eines ihnen exakt entgegengesetzten Verhaltensmusters erkennbar: desjenigen der Solidarität.

Gargova, Stefana. Culture, Identity and Attitudes of Immigrant Learners in the Context of the German Integration Course. University of Toronto, Department of Germanic Languages & Literatures. Advisor: Michael Hager. September 2017. Abstract:

Inspired by two pioneering studies in the field of adult immigrants and second language acquisition (SLA), namely the European Science Foundation project1 on spontaneous language acquisition in immigrant learners and Bonnie Norton’s (2000, 2013) study of identity, investment and language acquisition in adult immigrant women, my dissertation research seeks to bridge the classroom as an inside space and the outside as lived social reality and to draw conclusions on how the interplay of these experiences affects and is affected by aspects of culture, attitudes an identity formations. Set in the specific context of the German Integration Course, this qualitative study is based on a series of guided conversations with and the written accounts of five adult immigrants enrolled in the Integration Course in Frankfurt, Germany. In this study I am predominantly interested in socio-psychological factors affecting the learning process, including learners’ perspectives on learning a second language (L2) in a compulsory setting in Germany, and the influence as well as the dependence of such perspectives on their identities and as result on learning behavior. Various studies (Gardner 2006; Dörney & Ushioda 2009; Skrzypek, Kopeckov, Bidzinska & Singleton 2014;) have established a correlation between learner attitudes towards the L2 language, culture and society and learning outcomes. In my work, however, I don’t draw a straight line between attitudes and language achievements. Much like drops of water refract light and produce images, I assert that our attitudes form interpretive stances through which we explain and make sense of our experiences. This process in turn affects our identity formations and consequently our learning behaviour in and outside the classroom. As of today, research on the linguistic development in adult immigrant learners enrolled in the German Integrationskurs and the sociocultural factors that shape it is scarce. Consequently, the present study will contribute to the small, but constantly growing body of research trying to shed light on the Integration course’s potential and capacity to meet its own goals by delivering virtually the first qualitative study on the subject. In addition, the study will address the role of the teacher in this distinct setting as particularly consequential for the learning outcomes; not only in the pure pedagogical aspect, but with regard to power relations in the classroom resulting from the teacher’s positioning as the sole native speaker, representative of the host society, and a gate-keeper with the immediate authority to decide on failure or success. My work also has the intention to contribute to modern SLA pedagogy by shedding more light on the process-oriented, socio-psychological realm of language acquisition in migration contexts. Ultimately, I will argue that it is particularly important to encourage learners to reflect critically upon the learning process and their experiences in and outside of the class room, as this can empower them to move away from the position of immigrant learners, helping them to construct powerful identities for themselves. Therefore, the findings of this study can be extend beyond adult migrant contexts of language instruction, promoting a more comprehensive and critically reflective teaching and learning of foreign languages in general.

Garratt, John Gregory. “Children of the Chain and Rod”: The Evolution of Christianity and German Slaveholding in Eweland, 1847-1914. The George Washington University, Department of History. Advisor: Andrew Zimmerman. January 2017. Abstract:

This dissertation reassesses abolition within the German Empire. Germany’s West African colony, Togoland, was paradoxically both a haven for slavery and a model for manumission for the Empire’s African protectorates. Prior to colonization, the protestant North German Mission established a presence in the region where the trade in human chattel was largely unhindered. After the colony’s establishment in 1884, the colonial governor denied the slave trade’s existence. Public agitation by German scholar Gottlob Adolf Krause and his subsequent petitions in the Reichstag instigated colonial reform. The Foreign Office ordered that German East Africa and Cameroon emulate Togoland’s modified abolition. Despite the de jure measures, German use of indentured labor continued. Whereas German East Africa has received the most attention from scholars who study German abolition, I question this privileged position in the field. The dissertation revises the assumption that missionaries and colonial states cooperated to end the domestic slave trade in the late nineteenth century. This project is at once an investigation that highlights how Germans interacted with the “exploitable world” that Geoff Eley discussed in German Colonialism in a Global Age, and also an attempt to highlight the modest, albeit significant, efforts to resist German colonialism, slaveholding, and Christianity.

Gollance, Sonia. Harmonious Instability: (Mixed) Dancing and Partner Choice in German-Jewish and Yiddish Literature. University of Pennsylvania, Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures. Advisors: Catriona MacLeod, Kathryn Hellerstein. April 2017. Abstract:

This dissertation analyzes German and Yiddish literary representations of the controversial Jewish cultural practice of mixed-sex dancing. I argue that transgressive dance scenes were an important form of social criticism, which allowed authors to depict the encroachment of modernization on traditional Jewish life while entertaining their urban readers. I examine the works of nineteenth and twentieth century German writers (including Berthold Auerbach and Leopold von Sacher-Masoch) and Yiddish writers (including Abraham Cahan and Kadya Molodowsky). Dance was one of the most universally popular mixed-sex leisure activities, which has nonetheless been almost completely overlooked by scholars. Dance scenes reveal the different challenges acculturation poses for men and women. I find that characters frequently suffer tragic consequences when they think that a flirtation begun on the dance floor can continue after the music stops, although the ramifications for these romantic exploits differ according to gender, social identity, and the language of the text.

Grill, Oliver. Die Wetterseiten der Literatur. Poetologische Konstellationen und meteorologische Kontexte im 19. Jahrhundert. Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet Munich, German Department. Advisors: Inka Muelder-Bach & Christian Begemann. November 2017. Abstract:

Das Wetter wird im 19. Jahrhundert als undurchsichtiges Kräftegemisch beschrieben, das eine nicht kontrollierbare Unordnung, eine nicht kalkulierbare Überkomplexität und eine nicht vorhersehbare Zukunft impliziert. Oliver Grill arbeitet diese Signatur heraus. Seine Studie erschließt meteorologische Wissenshorizonte und Denkfiguren für die Analyse literarischer Wettertexte – u.a. von Goethe, Büchner, Stifter, Raabe und Fontane. Dabei geht es um existentielle Erfahrungen der Schutzlosigkeit, um die intensive Durchmischung von Wetter- und Gefühlslagen, um die enge Verbindung des Wetters mit Zuständen politisch sozialer Unruhe und um die qua Wetter reflektierten Zukunfts- und Kontingenzerfahrungen der Moderne.

Hancock, Joy. Blood and Snow: Conservative Nationalism and Ice Spaces in Weimar Germany's Science Fiction. The University of Tennessee, Knoxville; The Department of Modern Foreign Languages & Literatures. Advisor: Daniel H. Magilow. November 2017. Abstract:

This dissertation focuses on a fascinating speculative genre of early German science fiction (SF). Pioneered by pulp author Hans Dominik, the formulaic technischer Zukunftsroman (“technical utopian novel”) proved immensely popular throughout the years of Germany’s Weimar Republic (1918-1933). Intriguingly, many Zukunftsroman authors utilized ice “spaces” such as the Arctic or Greenland as key narrative settings. These SF ice spaces intersected with conservative narratives of Kultur und Technik (culture and technology), two interrelated concepts that Weimar Germany’s intellectual circles believed could best be realized through warfare. In an era marked by the battlefield’s ultimate failure to bring Germany glory, interwar SF writers intercepted and “perfected” the metaphorical battlefield by transposing its qualities onto critical ice spaces. This project situates ice-themed works by mainstream SF authors like Hans Dominik and Otfrid von Hanstein in the literary tradition that eased the Nazis’ rise to power in the mid-1930s.

Hofmann, Maria. Relinquishing the Real. New Strategies of Documentary Practice. University of Minnesota, Department of German, Scandinavian & Dutch. Advisor: Rothe, Matthias. June 2017 Abstract:

My dissertation analyzes how documentaries from the past 15 years respond to the challenges of the post-truth era. The destabilization of concepts like reality and truth has led to a crisis of perception in which media, rather than direct experience, determine what is real. I argue through close readings that this new class of films oscillates between the simultaneous impossibility of representation and the evidentiary power of the image in order to disrupt reception, and reshape the genre's potential for critical engagement. This intervention shows itself most clearly in films about highly publicized societal disasters ranging from genocide to human trafficking, i.e. discourses in which the question of truth is politically and morally charged because these events evince the danger of relativization and the need for medium-specific recontextualization. Harun Farocki's film Respite, for instance, challenges the oversaturation with certain iconic images of the Holocaust through a close reiterative reading of original footage that interrogates the medium's allocation of knowledge and information. My research shifts the focus of documentary theory from the predominant lens of representation to a framework of perception to allow an adequate discussion of films that epitomize our altered relationship to media during the post-truth era.

Huebel, Sebastian. Stolen Manhood? German-Jewish Masculinities in the Third Reich, 1933-1945. The University of British Columbia, Department of History. Advisor: Christopher Friedrichs. September 2017. Abstract:

The Nazis used various strategies to expel German Jews from social and economic life. My dissertation focuses on gendered forms of discrimination which had impacts on Jewish masculinity. I am asking how Jewish men experienced these challenges. Specifically, how did Jewish men adhere to pre-established gender norms and practices including the role of serving as the providers and protectors of their families? How did Jewish men maintain their sense of being patriotic Germans and members of the national community? And how did Jewish men react to being exposed to the physical assaults and violence that was directed at them? I argue that Jewish men’s gender identities, intersecting with categories of ethnicity, race, class and age, underwent a profound process of marginalization that undermined their ways of performing masculinity; yet at the same time, they maintained agency and developed coping strategies: by finding alternative employment, assuming an increased presence in the domestic sphere as fathers and husbands, maintaining an emotional spiritual-belonging to Germany, resisting their sexual-racial classification as racial defilers, minimizing physical victimization in concentration camps and the public by embodying military virtues, and finally developing gendered survival strategies living as “illegals” in the underground during the years of the Holocaust.

Hundehege, Stefanie. Writing the Nazi Movement. The Poetry of Baldur von Schirach. University of Kent, Department of Modern Languages. Advisors: Deborah Holmes, Ben Hutchinson. June 2017. Abstract:

At the height of his career as Reichsjugendführer in the Third Reich, Baldur von Schirach (1907-1974) oversaw the indoctrination of over eight million children and teenagers, exhorting them to believe in Adolf Hitler and his vision of a strong, unified and ‘racially pure’ Germany. In numerous poems Schirach welcomed and celebrated Germany’s supposed national rebirth under Hitler. To date, however, his political role has overshadowed his literary influence. This thesis redresses this view, arguing that Schirach’s full contribution to the establishment of the National Socialist dictatorship can only be appreciated through analysis of his poetry. Examining Schirach’s published poems, songbooks and articles – along with unpublished letters and interviews – gives new insights into the extent of his literary activities, of his audience and reach, in and before the Third Reich. The example of Schirach reveals literary continuities between the Weimar Republic and the Third Reich, as well as between pre- and post-1945 literature. By analysing how Schirach’s poetry relates to aesthetic and ideological currents of his time, this thesis advocates a more nuanced view of the role literature played in the rise of Nazism, thus contributing to a broader understanding of the movement as both a cultural and a political phenomenon.

Isterheld, Nora. "In der Zugluft Europas" - Zur deutschsprachigen Literatur russischstämmiger AutorInnen / "In the Cross-Winds of Europe" - On German-Language Literature by Russian-born Writers. Otto-Friedrich-Universität Bamberg, Professur für Neuere deutsche Literaturwissenschaft und Literaturvermittlung. Advisors: Hans-Peter Ecker, Elisabeth von Erdmann. July 2017. Abstract:

Since the turn of the millennium, an increasing number of Russian-born writers have stepped into the public spotlight and successfully established themselves on the German book market. The current study thoroughly examines this virulent literary phenomenon and thereby takes account to the growing research interest over the last years. In addition to migration policy issues, the study illuminates the various backgrounds related to reception history and places the text corpus within the context of cultural and literary sciences. The narrative analyses focus on Russian-German cultural transfers without reducing them to a uniform poetic tradition. Rather, the analyses exemplify a wide range of stylistic forms situating them within contemporary German literature, which, since the fall of the Iron Curtain, has become highly diversified, thereby proposing new alternatives to European historical narratives.

Johannßen, Dennis. Unclaimed Language: The Literary Criticism of Walter Benjamin and Theodor W. Adorno. Brown University, Department of German Studies. Advisor: Prof. Gerhard Richter. May 2017. Abstract:

“Unclaimed Language” examines the epistolary debates and philosophical tensions between Walter Benjamin and Theodor W. Adorno, focusing on their divergent understandings of language and literary criticism. Tracing their correspondence and individual writings from the decline of the Weimar Republic to the student movement and beyond, the five chapters of this dissertation engage in readings and analyses of authors such as Kierkegaard, Arendt, Heidegger, Brecht, and Celan to illuminate the disagreements about language that motivated Adorno’s and Benjamin’s disputes and critical projects. For Benjamin, language is an inexhaustible source of power that precedes and transcends history, capable of undermining any philosophical paradigm and normative order. Adorno, by contrast, resists this boundless understanding, suspecting that Benjamin seeks to exclude the sphere of language from conceptual critique. In Adorno’s eyes, while language is a powerful human practice, it can only be meaningful within the realms of history and society. Juxtaposing these distinct perspectives sheds new light on the transformations of critical theory, while at the same time adumbrating the broader linguistic divides that underlie today's conflicts between literary studies and critical philosophy.

Jones, Daniel. Communicative Efficacy of Myth and das Gesamtkunstwerk: Transcending the Limitations of Art. Purdue University, German Department. Advisor: Jennifer William. December 2017. Abstract:

This dissertation investigates the evolution of myth creation and its conception within German art focusing on the works of J. G. Herder, Richard Wagner, Friedrich Nietzsche, and F. W. Murnau. More narrowly, the role of myth is examined within a framework of the Gesamtkunstwerk. This study demonstrates the significance of changes in the conception of myth creation as it evolved both prior to and following the innovations of Richard Wagner. Additionally, this study examines the combined ability of myth and the Gesamtkunstwerk to transcend the perceived limitations of art as a mediation of reality. By examining Wagner’s artistic works and theoretical writings regarding art and myth, a Wagnerian conception of myth is formulated which informs both previous conceptions of myth—most importantly, but not limited to, those of Herder—and also post-Wagnerian conceptions within, but not limited to, the works of Nietzsche and F. W. Murnau. Each chapter focuses on one of these thinkers, their contributions to myth and myth creation, the ways these contributions have been (mis)understood, and each author’s views regarding the ability of myth with Gesamtkunstwerk to transcend the perceived limitations of art.

Jud, Jeannine. Writing through the Trauma of her Past: Patterns of Repression and a Fragmented Sense of Self in the Literature of Christa Wolf. Advisor: Deirdre Byrnes. November, 2017. Abstract:

This project aims to offer a re-evaluation of the literature of Christa Wolf and change the focus of the questions posed in relation to her literary legacy. Shifting the focus away from a denouncement of her character and a discrediting of her literature as a result of her Stasi-collaboration and subsequent claim of having forgotten this event, this analysis will explore the environment in which she grew up – an environment which demanded blind obedience to authority, the suppression of emotions and which encouraged the development of motivated forgetting. It will examine the continued effects of a suppressive childhood upbringing in Nazi Germany, as well as the trauma of World War II and the immediate post-war years, on the themes of memory and identity by tracing their reappearance as central themes in Wolf’s writing project. Focusing on a close analysis of her novels Kindheitsmuster and Stadt der Engel oder The Overcoat of Dr. Freud, it aims to situate the development of repression of memories and a fragmented sense of self in Kindheitsmuster, published in 1976, and document the continued relevance of these themes in her writing as a result of their reappearance in Stadt der Engel written between 1993 and 2010.

Keilson, Ana Isabel. Making Dance Modern: Knowledge, Politics, and German Modern Dance, 1890 – 1927. Columbia University, Department of History. Advisor: Samuel Moyn. May 2017. Abstract:

Between 1890 and 1927, a group of dancers, musicians, and writers converged in Germany, where they founded an artistic movement known as German modern dance. This dissertation provides a history of the origins of this movement and its central figures, including Émile Jaques-Dalcroze, Isadora Duncan, Mary Wigman, Rudolf Laban, Hans Brandenburg, and Valeska Gert, who developed modern dance in an attempt to theorize and transform the social order. With the exception of Gert, this was a social order based upon principles of stability, unity, and consensus. In contrast to many of their contemporaries in artistic and literary modernism, German modern dancers developed what this dissertation labels as “embodied conservatism.” By the First World War it became a platform for many issues, ideas, and values of the Weimar political right. This dissertation shows how, particularly after 1919, questions about social sovereignty and individual capacity for creative genesis were transformed into questions of national identity perceived as vital to the maintenance of a strong, stable society. It concludes by arguing that embodied conservatism enabled German modern dancers to conceive of National Socialism as an organic extension of their original vision of social order and harmony.

Ketterl, Anja. Skandalöses Erzählen: Panizza–Bernhard–Walser. Graduate School of the University of Maryland, College Park, Department of Germanic Studies. Advisor: Hester Baer. May, 2017 Abstract:

My dissertation Scandalous Narration: Panizza–Bernhard–Walser analyzes the relationship between German-language literature and literary scandal in the twentieth century. I argue that the scandalous as a mode of representation challenges binary constellations and hierarchical imbalances that define the construction of norms and deviation from them. Taking a poetological perspective, I address the relationship between representation and the scandalous in narrative texts by Oskar Panizza, Thomas Bernhard and Robert Walser. As a key element in both German cultural history and in the Western tradition more broadly, the scandal is considered a deviation from defined norms. More precisely, scholarship in literary and cultural studies conceives of the literary scandal as literature’s deliberate transgression of received norms in order to argue for the scandal’s effectiveness as a critical tool. I suggest that this understanding reinforces the binary of normativity and non-normativity that it purports to overcome. Drawing on poststructuralist theory’s conception of the scandal as a paradoxical stumbling block, I argue that scandalous narratives, that is, narratives produced through a technique of paradoxical stumbling, reveal the precarious status of the dichotomy of the normative vs. non-normative.

Kirchubel, Robert. Bonapartes in Feldgrau: German Generals and Political Engineering under Kaiser, Weimar and Führer. Purdue University, History Department. Advisor: William G. Gray. June, 2017. Abstract:

Analyzes the domestic political activities of three generals in leading military positions, 1916-1938. Erich Ludendorff, Kurt von Schleicher and Ludwig Beck and their entourages operated in monarchy, republic and dictatorship to achieve the political engineering objectives of national conservatives. Three case studies demonstrate the lengths to which German generals would go to insure and improve the army’s status in the state. Using archival materials, published documents, memoirs and secondary sources, this dissertation examines army leaders as they worked to maintain and expand the military’s status in three rapidly changing milieus. I argue that, these generals along with their associates and peers were deeply involved in politics: manipulating, or attempting to manipulate, heads of state, heads of government, the legislature, public opinion, monied interests, labor and media. Each of them demonstrated admirable adaptability and pragmatism. Reaching the peak of their profession at the pinnacle of the national decision-making authority, they enjoyed varying levels of success. However, in all three cases political ambition did not equal political skill. By 1938, two centuries of Prussian-German militarism, and with it the army’s cherished social position, succumbed to Adolf Hitler and National Socialism and ceased to play an independent political role.

Klemm, Hannah Marlene. Systems Depictions: A. R. Penck and the East German Underground, 1953-1980. The University of Chicago, Department of Art History. Advisor: Christine Mehring. May 2017. Abstract:

This dissertation examines two interrelated topics: the art produced by A.R. Penck before his forced deportation from the German Democratic Republic (GDR) in 1980 and the collaborative nature of unofficial art in the GDR in the 1950s, 60s, and 70s. These artists engaged not with the dictates of the East German cultural authorities; instead, they sought out wide ranging inspiration from a variety of sources both from the pre-war avant-garde and new post-war aesthetic experiments coming from Western Europe and the United States. I examine how these artists responded to both the repressive, controlled system of cultural institutions within socialist East Germany and the greater transatlantic art world. This project considers narratives of the history of modernism and abstraction by exploring how Penck and East German artists understood their role as artists in socialist East Germany.

Kloiber, Andrew. Coffee, East Germans and the Cold War World, 1949-1990. McMaster University (Canada), Department of History. Advisor: Pamela Swett. September 2017. Abstract:

This investigation examines the culture, economics and politics surrounding the consumption of a single commodity in East Germany, coffee, from 1945-1989. Coffee was associated with many cultural virtues and traditions which became tied to the GDR’s official image of Socialism. When the regime’s ability to supply this good was jeopardized in 1975-77, the government sought out new sources of coffee in the developing, so-called ‘Third World.’ East Germany entered into long-term trade and development projects with countries like Angola, Ethiopia, Laos and Vietnam, to secure sufficient beans to supply its own population. The GDR consciously approached these relationships as an industrially developed nation needing to ‘guide’ these ‘young’ states toward socialism. Furthermore, these trade agreements reveal that ideology often informed state representatives and framed the negotiations, but pragmatic concerns generally held primacy. The example of coffee and the trade agreements it spurred suggests the need to move beyond questions about the degree to which the GDR could overcome its diplomatic isolation, or the extent of East German autonomy from the Soviets, toward questions about the nature of East Germany’s own foreign policy agenda, how it saw itself in the world, and how it contributed to the processes of globalization.

Kraxenberger, Maria. On Sound-Emotion Associations in Poetry. Freie Universität Berlin, Peter-Szondi Institut. Advisors: Winfried Menninghaus, Arthur Jacobs. May 2017. Abstract:

The dissertation investigates the hypothesis of sound-emotion associations in poetry, a topic that has been controversially discussed since Greek antiquity. In doing so, phonological analyses, structural textual analyses and analyses of suprasegmental features during poetry recitation were conducted. Also, the effects of prosodic features on the emotion perception of participants with and without access to the semantics in acoustically presented poems were explored. All studies used German poems, most of which were written in the 20th century. To summarize the findings of these studies, the results lend support to the idea of sound-emotion associations in poetry. In contrast to the relation posited by previous investigations, such a relationship does not seem to be dependent on the frequencies of occurrence of certain phonemes. Rather, it could be shown that figures of phonological recurrence are perceived as distinctively joyful and that parameters of word positioning and dominant stress peaks are related to readers’ identification of pronounced levels of joy and sadness in poems. Results also show that, during native recitation, certain suprasegmental features of emotional prosody are related to participants’ emotion perception of poems and that cues of joyful and sad prosody in acoustic poetry presentation influence emotion ratings of non-German-speaking listeners.

Lambert, Richard M., III. In Search of Lost Experience: Hermann Broch, Robert Musil, and the Novels of Interwar Vienna. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Department of Germanic & Slavic Languages & Literatures. Advisor: Eric Downing. December 2017. Abstract:

Characterized by themes of negation, fragmentation, and destruction, the novels of interwar Vienna are canonically read as a testament to the social and political shifts that reshaped Central Europe after the turn of the twentieth century. My dissertation delivers a corrective to conventional understandings of the late modernist novel by pushing beyond this lament of crisis. In the Viennese interwar novels of Hermann Broch and Robert Musil, I locate a deeper agenda in the late modernist novel—the resuscitation of experience—which evidences the pinnacle of another Viennese modernism located around 1930. My dissertation examines the Musil’s Die Verwirrungen des Zöglings Törleß (1906) and Der Mann ohne Eigenschaften (1930/32) and Broch’s Die Schlafwandler (1930) and Die unbekannte Größe (1932). I read these novels together with theories from philosophy, psychology, and science studies that range from Kant to Dilthey, Lukacs, Mach, Freud, Neurath, and Wittgenstein in order to investigate literature’s unique purchase on experience by reawakening language as use, production, non-semiotic communication, and literary experimentation. My dissertation asserts that the search for experience designates these novels as productive sites of aesthetic and cultural orientation during the interwar period.

Lopes, Shana Simone. A Transatlantic Fraternity: American and German Photography, 1840 to 1890. Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Department of Art History. Advisor: Tanya Sheehan. May 2017. Abstract:

This dissertation explores how photographers, photographs, photographic processes, and writings about the medium have been traversing cultural borders since its invention. By understanding photography as a vehicle of cross-cultural dialogue, this dissertation investigates the specific interactions it enabled between the United States and Germany between the 1840s and 1880s. Chapter One examines the work of German immigrants William and Frederick Langenheim. By looking at their advertisements and celebrated panorama of Niagara Falls, this chapter argues that their success was tied to their connection with their German homeland. Chapter Two analyzes the shift in photographic vision in three editions of a stereoscopic guidebook on the White Mountains of New Hampshire produced by the Bierstadt brothers. Chapter Three chronicles Dr. Hermann Vogel’s position as the German correspondent to the American journal the Philadelphia Photographer from 1866 until 1886. Chapter Four examines the photographs of Alfred Stieglitz during his years of study in Berlin and compares them to his German photographic peers. Emphasizing the importance of German photographic culture to Stieglitz, beyond just noting his education, runs counter to dominant narratives about his artistic formation and can thus change future studies about him and American art photography more broadly.

Losch, Simon. An Obsolete Hegemon? America's Function in the Imagination of a (Re-) unified German Nation. The Ohio State University, Department of Germanic Languages & Literatures. Advisor: John E. Davidson. December 2017. Abstract:

German cultural artifacts after 1990 use the representation of America in an attempt to come to terms with and construct a German nation after the fall of the Wall. The (re-)unification provided a unique historical situation in which modes of German communal identification had to be (re-) negotiated, as it brought together two different forms of social, political, and economic organization. Postmodern multiplicity and German historic guilt seem to make modern modes such as nation impossible to hold up. This dissertation, however, looks at the persistence of German national tropes in representations of Amerika in (Eastern) German literature and film. Next to nation, the term obsoleteness grants this dissertation its specific perspective, as it unites the concept of nation in large parts of the German erudite discourse with the historical situation of the dissolution of the GDR, and the resulting personal, political, and economic situation of the former citizens of East-Germany. It examines the media-specific constructions of America and how they reflect on discourses of German nationhood post-Wende. The image of America portrayed in these texts and films actually suggests the systemic unwillingness or even impossibility of a communal construction that transcends the borders of the nation.

Luzi, Ermelinda. The Chiaroscuro Technique in the Works of W. G. Sebald. University of Toronto, Department of Germanic Languages & Literatures. Advisor: John K. Noyes. June 2017. Abstract:

W. G. Sebald’s writing has often been observed to have a unique quality, a “Sebald effect”. But what is this effect? In asking about it, I was struck by the fact that, even though chiaroscuro (Italian for light and dark) is widely used in the visual arts an appreciated by many due to its mysterious quality, it is also present in Sebald’s work. Yet, it is ignored by all the literary criticism on him. Because of this discrepancy, in my dissertation I explore this artistic technique, which is a key concept in creating a peculiar atmosphere. In Sebald’s work, personal and historical aspects are illuminated or hidden in a similar fashion as those in a chiaroscuro composition. In fact, the latter is not only an effect of the visual arts but also of prose. In the same way as the Dutch master, Rembrandt, Sebald has placed black and white in conversation while adjusting the shades of grey to the desired density for form, texture and substance. In my thesis I argue that a deeper meaning behind this technique is not produced by a strong black and white distinction, but by observing how one gradually blends with the other. This blend gives the composition a symbolic quality as it allows the artist to set up patters of both showing and hiding and makes any symbolism of light/white and dark/black complex. The viewer is, thus, compelled to look in-between those tonal shades to find the deeper meaning behind the work. Since the Dutch painter was important to the German author he stands as a significant model for all his oeuvre. In my dissertation I begin by explaining chiaroscuro in art, then I show how it can be applied to photography. After that, I analyze chiaroscuro in Sebald’s photographs, then in his prose. In conclusion, I argue that it is this technique which holds the fabric of his works intact through an invisible thread and gives his prose “a Sebald effect.” With this study I have given an analytical theory for future research and have contributed to the larger body of literature scholarship.

Nijdam, Elizabeth "Biz." “Drawing for me means communication:” Anke Feuchtenberger and German Art Comics after 1989. University of Michigan, Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures. Advisors: Kerstin Barndt, Claire A. Zimmerman. August 2017. Abstract:

This dissertation investigates the art of East German graphic artist Anke Feuchtenberger, one of the most important individuals and teachers working in German comics today. Trained during the GDR’s most experimental decade of artistic production, Feuchtenberger brought elements of the East German avant-garde, traditional printmaking techniques, the legacy of German expressionism, and politics of German unification to bear on art comics after 1989. She thereby pushed German graphic novels into a new realm, redefining the medium in cultural, political and aesthetic terms. This dissertation analyzes the content and visual language of her work as it engaged the politics of unification and transnational discourses on feminism, reflects the aesthetic legacy of the East German avant-garde and contributed to the development of an independent German art comics scene.

Nilsson, Christine M. Dramatische Palimpseste: Klassikeradaptionen im Zeitgenössischen Deutschen und Amerikanischen Theater. Vanderbilt University, Department for German, Russian and East European Studies. Advisor: Barbara Hahn. August 2017. Abstract:

Interdisciplinary and comparative case studies that examine how 21st century German and American playwrights recontextualize canonical works within contemporary discourses of gender, race, and ethnicity. The thesis suggests an extended concept of adaptation that describes the transformation of a literary text into the semiotics of the stage as a critical writing act. Three kinds of palimpsests are differentiated: "Überschreibungen" as in Feridun Zaimoglu's tradaptation of "Othello", in which the Turkish-German author employs "Kanak Sprak" to overwrite standard German with a multilingual German hybrid. With its cast of three black actresses, Korean-born Young Jean Lee's adaptation of "Lear" serves as an example of the overwriting of a dramatic text with theatrical practices. "Umschriften" compares feminist rewritings of the Eurydice-myth in American playwright Sarah Ruhl's "Eurydice" and Elfriede Jelinek's "Schatten (Euridike sagt)." "Überschreitungen" marks the transtextual method to constitute a new play that includes large passages of another drama as in "Verrücktes Blut" by Nurkan Erpulat and Jens Hillje and "An Octoroon", a meta-drama by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins. As a result, dramatic palimpsests appear as a means for post-colonial and feminist critique by minority playwrights on both sides of the Atlantic.

Pilsworth, Ellen. 'Säbel- und Federkriege': Strategies of Authorship in German Poems of War (1760–1815). University College London (UK), School of European Languages, Cultures, and Society. Advisors: Susanne Kord, Seb Coxon. June 2017. Abstract:

Each chapter of this project focuses on a different author or edited collection of poetry, investigating the authorial strategies that have been used to discuss ongoing political violence in the German speaking lands between 1740 and 1815. The most common strategy is one of role-play: writers stylize their authorial personae in order to approach war and politics from different perspectives – often, but not always, critically. Using Foucault's concept of the 'author function', the thesis examines texts both divorced from and in the contexts of their authors’ lives. It calls for a new appreciation of writers whose political work has often been read autobiographically, or neglected entirely, (Anna Louisa Karsch, Johann Wilhelm Ludwig Gleim) and sheds light on the evolving approaches to nationalism and militarism in the editorial projects Des Knaben Wunderhorn (Achim von Arnim and Clemens Brentano), and Das Mildheimische Liederbuch (Rudolph Zacharias Becker). Overall, the project argues that German writers of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries engaged with contemporary politics in their literature no less than writers of the post-45 period, and that they even assigned themselves a similar roles as ‘the conscience of the nation.’

Pulido, Michael. Transmitting Revolution: Radio, Rumor, and the 1953 East German Uprising. Marquette University, Department of History. Advisors: Julius Ruff and Peter Staudenmaier. March 2017. Abstract:

This dissertation examines public opinion in the Dresden Region of the German Democratic Republic from 1946 through the summer of 1953. I argue that the Socialist Unity Party (SED) projected its legitimacy through an official public sphere by representing publicness to its citizenry. Through banners, the press, and choreographed public demonstrations, it aimed to create the appearance of popular support. The SED also used radio to ground its legitimacy in a burgeoning post-war internationalism that bound residents of the GDR in an imagined community of socialist nations. At the same time, the regime’s opponents challenged its legitimacy through a rival public sphere. Here, foreign broadcasters, especially Radio in the American Sector (RIAS), chipped away at the SED’s credibility and prestige while improvised news and rumor undermined the Party’s state building efforts. Tensions boiled over in the summer of 1953 when RIAS and rumor helped make revolution thinkable. On June 17, East Germans took to the streets in hundreds of cities and protested the government. RIAS endowed the occasion with national imaginings before and after East German police and Soviet forces ended demonstrators’ hopes for change.

Räder, Andy. Poesie des Alltäglichen. Ulrich Theins Regiearbeiten für das Fernsehen der DDR (1963–1976). Film University Babelsberg, Germany. Advisors: Michael Wedel (Film University Babelsberg, Germany), Elizabeth Prommer (University of Rostock, Germany). October 2017. Abstract:

Mit acht Fernsehfilmen und Mehrteilern war der beliebte DEFA-Schauspieler Ulrich Thein (1930-1995) gleichzeitig einer der bedeutendsten Protagonisten der DDR-Television der 1960er und 1970er Jahre. Seine Arbeiten prägten den Bereich der Fernsehdramatik und setzten wichtige Akzente in der Programmentwicklung. In Rahmen des Promotionsprojektes wurden erstmals alle Regiearbeiten Ulrich Theins für das Fernsehen der DDR untersucht und sein Œuvre in die Entwicklung des Programmbereiches der DDR-Fernsehdramatik eingeordnet. Im Zentrum des Erkenntnisinteresses stand die Frage, ob Ulrich Theins Leben und Werk als exemplarisches Beispiel für eine Künstlerbiografie innerhalb der DDR-Fernsehlandschaft betrachtet werden kann, oder ob der Schauspieler, Regisseur und Autor eher als Solitär unter den ostdeutschen Fernsehschaffenden gelten muss. Mithilfe der medientheoretischen und -historischen Überlegungen zur einer Historischen Pragmatik des Fernsehdramatischen und der Neoformalistischen Forschungsperspektive wurde für die einzelnen Fernsehfilmanalysen ein ganzheitliches und integratives Modell entwickelt und angewendet, welches das Verhältnis von Fernsehtext, Akteuren, institutionellen Strukturen, politischer Lenkung und Kontrolle sowie Zuschauerinteresse neu beleuchtet.

Schenck, Marcia Cathérine. Socialist Solidarities and Their Afterlives: Histories and Memories of Angolan and Mozambican Migrants in the German Democratic Republic, 1975-2015. Princeton University, Department of History. Advisor: Emmanuel Kreike. September 2017. Abstract:

This dissertation examines state-sponsored education and labor migration between the Peoples’ Republics of Angola and Mozambique, and the German Democratic Republic (“GDR” or East Germany) in the late 1970s–1990s. During the Cold War, political and economic relations between the “Second World” and the “Third World” opened up migration routes to young African men and women to work and study abroad. In the process, migrants were expected to gain technical skills and expertise to develop their nascent post-colonial home states upon their return. Tracing Angola’s and Mozambique’s political transitions from decolonization, to socialism, and finally to free market democracies through the experiences of these migrants, this dissertation is firmly rooted in African history. The memories of Angolans and Mozambicans who migrated to East Germany are central to this dissertation. It draws on 268 life history interviews with workers, students, and government officials, triangulated with archival sources, collected during two years of fieldwork in Angola, Mozambique, Portugal, South Africa, and Germany. Angolan and Mozambican history is intertwined with that of other socialist nations like East Germany; the global socialist conjuncture is ill-understood unless we account for Angola’s and Mozambique’s multifaceted connections to the socialist world.

Schultz, Christina. Taking Back the Stereotype: Critical Engagements with Ethnicity in German Comedy. University of Illinois at Chicago, Germanic Studies. Advisor: Sara Hall. November 2017. Abstract:

Comedic cinema has not traditionally been regarded as critically reflective in Germany. Horkheimer and Adorno criticized such cinema of belonging to the “culture industry” in the 1940s, which has left an impression on German film reception. Critics lauded the postwar New German Cinema filmmakers for continuing the anti-culture industry legacy by producing critical art films that countered mainstream commercial cinema. Some of their films included images of the Other which were circulating in Germany as a result of postwar migration. The later influx of German comedies in the 1980s and 1990s was labelled a “cinema of consensus,” an extension of the culture industry, featuring almost exclusively German faces. In the 2000s, the Berlin School auteurs, began making “counter-cinema,” but their films, too, largely lack the Other. The “Turkish Turn” in German cinema with the visibility of Turkish characters in ethnic comedies from directors Bora Dagtekin, Fatih Akın, Detlev Buck and others from the late 1990s onward, however, represents a counter to the counter. By critically engaging with ethnic stereotypes, comedy is utilized for critical purposes, instilling the Other with a newfound sense of power and showing that commercial films made from within the studio system intelligently engage in political discourse.

Scott, Claire E. Murderous Mothers: Feminist Violence in German Literature and Film (1970-2000). Carolina-Duke Graduate Program in German Studies (Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill). Advisor: Kata Gellen. April 2017. Abstract:

This dissertation analyzes literary and filmic representations of violent mothers from late 20th-century Germany. It employs feminist theories of language and film to enhance close readings of works in which female protagonists defy gendered expectations by perpetrating acts of aggression. The dissertation begins by examining adaptations of Medea written by Christa Wolf, Dea Loher, and Elfriede Jelinek before moving on to discuss representations of political and domestic violence in films directed by Margarethe von Trotta, R.W. Fassbinder, and Helma Sanders-Brahms. Through an interplay between thematic violence and the transgression of formal, aesthetic conventions, these works generate an understanding of aggression that advances feminist political goals. This dynamic reveals the importance of female bodies and voices in the process of coming to terms with both past and contemporary real-world violence within the German context. Furthermore, instead of strategies for emancipation or assertions of individuality, these texts and films highlight new models for female subjectivity, in which women engage in collective and collaborative storytelling practices.

Smith, Alexis B. Hearing with the Body: Poetics of Musical Meaning in Novalis, Ritter, Hoffmann and Schumann. University of Oregon, Department of German and Scandinavian. Advisors: Jeffrey Librett, Dorothee Ostmeier. May 2017. Abstract:

The question of whether or not music can be considered a universal language, or even a language at all, has been asked for centuries. I return to this question because of the way the German Romantics answered it. Music becomes embodied in not only human language in Novalis’ concept of Poesie in “Die Lehrlinge zu Sais” (1802), but also nature and the human body in Johann Wilhelm Ritter’s scientific speculations in Fragmente aus dem Nachlasse eines jungen Physikers(1810). Seen as the manifestation of the world soul, this embodiment was an attempt to come closer to naming the unnamable, and, I argue, became the perfect platform for E.T.A. Hoffmann to develop his pseudonym and literary character Johannes Kreisler and the mysterious power of music he experiences in the collection of musical critiques and essays, Kreisleriana (1810-1814), and the novel, Lebens-Ansichten des Katers Murr (1819/1821). Finally, I argue that Hoffmann’s musical literary style can be heard and ‘felt’ in Robert Schumann’s piano cycle, Kreisleriana, Op. 16 (1838), as other scholars have also analyzed, but that there is also a ‘mixing of discourses’ involved, including Schumann’s own words about the suite. Can music then be seen as a ‘language’ received and understood by the body?

Soeder, Meredith. Jazz in a Transatlantic World: Legitimizing American Jazz in Germany, 1920-1957. Carnegie Mellon University, Department of History. Advisor: Donna Harsch. April 2017. Abstract:

This dissertation undertakes a transnational study of jazz music in Germany and the United States from 1920 to 1957. It explores jazz’s impact on German and American national identities, the ambiguous divide between so-called “low” and “high” culture, and conceptions of race. It compares Germany to the U.S. in order to illuminate how national cultures imbibed, reformed, and integrated jazz. Focusing primarily on German music critics, composers, musicians, educators, and musical elites, the dissertation interrogates the roots of the wide range of interpretations of jazz. These commentators embraced, remained skeptical, or were quite disdainful of jazz along cultural, racial, and national lines. In particular, the project investigates how and why notions about “high” German music intertwined with notions about race and nation and impacted critics’ interpretations of jazz. The dissertation sheds light on the ambiguous space for jazz between so-called popular/entertainment music and art/serious music. The dissertation also brings to light how Germans adopted jazz into their own culture and reformed it for their own tastes. The dissertation analyzes how American and German cultural identities changed over time and traces the slow, winding process of jazz becoming a culturally legitimate form of music in Germany by the late 1950s.

Spaulding, Daniel. Beuys, Terror, Value: 1967-1979. Yale University, Department of the History of Art. Advisor: Craig Buckley. May 2017. Abstract:

In this dissertation I argue that the work of the German artist Joseph Beuys represents the most ambitious effort of the post-1945 era to totalize the concept of art as the basis of a new, liberated social order. Although Beuys did not succeed in realizing his ambitions, the attempt to do so nonetheless stands as a limit case that formalizes issues of continuing relevance to the politics of aesthetics, the relation between art and economics, and the boundaries between art and other spheres of life. Beuys's practice attempted to fix a relation between social or political significance and the material forms of his art by way of a strategy that I define as "myth." Rather than simply denounce his myth as disingenuous, however, I make a case that the coherence of Beuys's practice is keyed to a real social and economic dynamic: namely, the accumulation of capital. Although Beuys aimed to overcome capitalism, his art’s most fundamental metaphors constitute a mimesis to the capitalist form of value. In fleeing from the terror of history – not just the Nazi past, but also the automatism of the postwar economy – Beuys's art ineluctably came to incarnate a terror of its own

Swanson, Bridget. Twenty-First-Century German Film Adaptations: Classical Texts and Transnational Media Literacy. University of Pennsylvania, Department of Germanic Languages & Literatures. Advisors: Timothy Corrigan & Catriona MacLeod. January 2017. Abstract:

Between 2005 and 2015, German film studios produced an unprecedented number of contemporary classical literary adaptations. This dissertation explores the aesthetic practices and industrial pressures that resulted in these films’ emergence and argues that they must be understood as key players in a more overarching genre: contemporary classical adaptations. Close film analysis paired with material adaptation studies demonstrates that the recent uptick in contemporary classical adaptations in Germany has emerged through German cinema’s intense dialogical engagement with 1) Hollywood blockbuster adaptations of the 1990s; 2) transnational production and distribution pressures in contemporary Europe; and 3) the vexed heritage of German national cinema. That nearly all of the films in this genre consistently position spectators within the filmic diegesis as self-reflexive viewers of canonical works indicates, however, the importance of a fourth influence that promotes and shapes these films: namely, the nationwide project of Filmbildung in Germany. Ultimately, this investigation reveals the educational apparatus as a historically unrecognized “seventh” branch in what Simone Murray has termed the “six branches of the material adaptation industry” and redirects the field of contemporary German film away from the formal experimentation of modern-day auteurs to foreground the transnational circulation and transmutation of popular content.

Sturgess, Cyd. Different to the Others: Discourses of Queer Femininity and Female Desire in Amsterdam and Berlin (1918-1939). Department of Germanic Studies, University of Sheffield. Advisors: Henriette Louwerse Bland, Adrian Bingham. December, 2017. Abstract:

This thesis explores the construction of queer feminine identities and desires in Amsterdam and Berlin in the two decades after 1918. Redressing the dearth of research on female-bodied femininities within queer histories, this thesis sheds new light on experiences that have traditionally been elided from discussions about the queer past by centralising texts that concern queer feminine women. Given the intensified interest in labelling desires at the end of the nineteenth century, this thesis examines first the emergence of the queer feminine woman as an object of study in sexological writing. Following this, the ways in which women in Berlin and Amsterdam became “present as subjects” in textual productions published for and about queer citizens is outlined in an examination of the German periodicals Die Freundin (1924-1933) and Frauenliebe (1926-1932) and the Dutch periodicals Wij (1932) and Levensrecht(1940-1947). Finally, this thesis explores the dialogues that existed between medico-social discourses and literary texts with a discussion of Anna Elisabet Weirauch’s trilogy Der Skorpion (1919-1931), Eva Raedt-de Canter’s Internaat (1930), Christa Winsloe’s Das Mädchen Manuela (1933), and Josine Reuling’s Terug naar het eiland (1937).

Toth, Adam. Performing the Letter of the Law: The Role of Orientalist Race Theory in the Works of Franz Kafka. The Pennsylvania State University. Advisors: Bettina Brandt and Daniel Purdy. May, 2017. Abstract:

This dissertation examines how and why selected literary works of Franz Kafka come into dialogue with and even seem to rebuke theories about “Oriental” races, particularly the Chinese and Jews, from the eighteenth and the nineteenth century. My dissertation brings together the subfield of philosophy called “race theory” with literary representations of racial others discussed in these theories. For the purposes of this dissertation, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel’s Vorlesungen über die Philosophie der Geschichte serve as a representative of ideas discursively circulating between philosophical, historical, philological, and biological/ physiological traditions. Hegel maintains that the Chinese and Jews lack the freedom of thought necessary to make decisions on their own and defer to figures of authority, the Emperor for the Chinese and God for the Jews. I argue that Kafka’s literary works have the versatility to expose the construction of race as a concept within race theory and by extension undermine Euro-centric assumptions made about non-European others. I defer to performance theory, in particular Brecht’s notion of Verfremdungseffekt, mediated through Walter Benjamin’s redemptive reading of Kafka.

van der Kolk, Jacob A. The Self-Destructing Text: Hermann Broch's 'Der Tod des Vergil' and the Limits of Avant-Garde Narrative. The Pennsylvania State University, Department of Germanic and Slavic Literatures and Languages.Advisor: Daniel Purdy. August 2017 Abstract:

Hermann Broch's novel Der Tod des Vergil (1945) echoes its author's contemporaneous cynicism toward belletristic literature. Following the Roman poet Virgil's death bed renunciation of aesthetics, its difficult formal and stylistic challenges punish the reader and deliberately efface avant-garde literature's intervention in everyday life. To do so, Vergil alters the avant-gardiste inner monologue from a cognitive exercise where the reader reconstitutes a coherent subject, to existential speculation whereby the reader seeks a transcendentaccount of Being out of the given story of one being. The text thus transforms the act of reading into self-inquiry, albeit one whose ultimate epiphany is the failure to reach epiphany. Emphasizing the process of speculation, the novel compels the reader tointerrogate the putative certainty of reading itself. As supported by included statistical analysis, Vergilspecifically subverts narrative resolution, supplanting semiotic completion with labyrinthine eternal recurrence and irresolution at both intra- as well as intertextual levels. Broch’s work thus exposes the impossibility of avant-garde reading to positively affect life. The denial of resolution denudes readerly speculation into nihilistic aporia, revealing the point where the avant-garde’scritical self-awareness turns against itself, revealing its own institutionalized fetishization.

Vangen, Michelle. Left and Right: Politics and Images of Motherhood in Weimar Germany. City University of New York, The Graduate Center, Art History. Advisor: Rose-Carol Washton Long. May 2017. Abstract:

Art historians and cultural critics have long debated the aesthetic and political implications of the stylistic shift in Germany from pre-war experimentations with abstraction and expressive distortion to more clear-cut figuration in their paintings during the years following World War I. They have questioned whether this shift represents a regressive return to tradition or a new artistic direction and if it should be associated with a reactionary or progressive political stance. This dissertation broadens our understanding of German interwar realism, commonly referred to as Neue Sachlichkeit, by examining representations of mothers, a popular theme in the realist painting of the Weimar period (1919-1933). Through a series of case studies I explore how artists, as well as art critics and collectors used the image of the mother, employing various strategies of realism, to engage with the social and political conflicts of the tumultuous Weimar years. By demonstrating the political and stylistic complexity of German interwar painting, my dissertation challenges previous attempts to interpret Neue Sachlichkeit simplistically as either right/reactionary or left/liberal while also opening up new understandings of some of the movement’s most important members.

Vöhringer, Nicola. Chanting Nuns, Chiming Bells: Sound in Late Medieval Mystical Literature and Devotional Culture. University of Toronto, Department of Germanic Languages & Literatures. Advisor: Markus Stock. August 2017. Abstract:

The High and Late Middle Ages have often been regarded as an ocular age. Research on medieval religious culture has primarily focused on visuality and techniques of visualization in textual and social practices of piety. Up until quite recently, the role of other sensory faculties has been neglected in this context. This dissertation expands this research from the focus on visuality to the auditory field and draws attention to functions and effects of sound in selected late medieval mystical narratives and devotional practices. The acoustic mise-en-scene in the Eucharistic celebration and acoustic phenomena that figure prominently in Dominican Sister Books and related texts serve as prime examples of the ways in which sound produces, shapes, and supports devotional practices and contributes to a multisensory reception of the sacred. The studies draw on recent findings in the fields of medieval media, sound studies, and the conceptualization of space and place to explore the interplay of visual and auditory perception, the correlation of sound and space, and historical medialities in the performance and staging of the divine.

Wahl, Markus. Treatments of the Past: Medical Memories and Experiences in Postwar East Germany. University of Kent, School of History. Advisors: Ulf Schmidt, Stefan Goebel. June 2017. Abstract:

This dissertation explores continuities and discontinuities in the transition of medical personnel from war to postwar and the subsequent persistence of cultural, medical, and social concepts of diseases in East Germany after 1945. Firstly, the thesis demonstrates with help of the created analytical tool of ‘medical memories and experiences’ how doctors were able to negotiate and mitigate their past involvement in the Third Reich with local and state authorities, not least due to the health crisis in postwar East Germany. Secondly, it argues that the continuity of doctors from the war into the postwar period had a direct impact on the medical and social experience of patients with venereal diseases. Thirdly, the study illustrates how East German authorities medicalised any ‘deviant behaviour’ of the ‘war youth’ and often confined adolescents in social and medical institutions for re-socialisation. Finally, this dissertation examines a workhouse in Dresden, in which ‘delinquent children’ and ‘promiscuous women’ were inmates. While clarifying the usefulness of ‘medical memories and experiences’ as a tool, the concluding analysis reveals that this institution is an example of the persistence of socially constructed diagnoses, which influenced treatments and experiences of apparently ‘deviant’ people in East Germany after 1945.

Weiner, Sharon B. The Nature of the Beetle: Language and Trauma in the Work of Ingeborg Bachmann. University of Illinois at Chicago, Germanic Studies. Advisor: Dagmar C.G. Lorenz. August 2017. Abstract:

This dissertation engages the interface between language and trauma from philosophical and literary perspectives. Using Wittgenstein’s private language argument as a point of departure, I hypothesize that trauma which is never verbalized is damaging because it remains less than fully real, for language itself is of paramount importance in granting legitimacy to the experience. I then investigate whether and how this claim is borne out in post-war Austrian literature, specifically in the work of Ingeborg Bachmann (Malina), Thomas Bernhard (Wittgensteins Neffe) and Paul Celan (Meridian). This dissertation combines contributions in several fields. Within Austrian studies, I demonstrate that Wittgenstein’s private language argument is relevant to the problem of repressed and unspoken trauma in postwar Austrian literature, and that it can be a useful lens through which to reconsider the work of Bachmann, Celan and Bernhard. Within trauma studies, I propose that a key function of creating a trauma narrative is to make it more real for the survivor by bringing it into language. Within studies of Wittgenstein and literature, I expand on studies which examine influences and/or affinities between Wittgenstein and literature and carry my analysis back into a philosophical inquiry. Finally, within readings of Wittgenstein’s private language argument, I make a novel claim about the argument’s implications for trauma: If one remains silent about a traumatic experience, never verbalizing it even to oneself, a problem arises related to the impossibility of a private language; namely, one becomes privy to an experience no one else acknowledges, undermining the very reality of the experience.

Wetenkamp, Lena. Europa erzählt, verortet, erinnert. Europa-Diskurse in der deutschsprachigen Gegenwartsliteratur. Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz, Deutsches Institut. Advisors: Dagmar von Hoff, Ariane Martin. February 2017. Abstract:

Literarische Texte bilden das schwer fassbare Konstrukt „Europa“ in seiner Komplexität ab und unterbreiten neue Deutungsangebote zur europäischen Frage, indem sie Aushandlungsprozesse der Vergangenheit diskutieren sowie die gegenwärtigen Zustände in seismografischer Weise ausloten. Die Studie analysiert ein umfangreiches Texttableau mit Positionen u.a. von Jürgen Habermas, Jacques Derrida, Hans Magnus Enzensberger, Julia Kristeva, Karl-Markus Gauß und Robert Menasse und zeigt, wie Europa in der deutschsprachigen Gegenwartsliteratur diskursiv entworfen und verhandelt wird. Inhaltliche Schwerpunktsetzungen sind dabei die Fragen nach imaginativen Geografien, Grenzen und Grenzüberschreitung, Mehrsprachigkeit und transkulturellen Identitäten. In der Untersuchung der Werke von Ilma Rakusa und Terézia Mora wird zudem die Verwendung spezifischer narrativer Verfahren wie palimpsestartige Schreibweisen, Auflistungen und Polyphonie für die ästhetische und poetische Umsetzung der Europa-Diskurse herausgestellt.

White, Katharine. The ‘Red Woodstock’ Festival and the Making of an International Youth Culture in the East Berlin Cityscape during Late Socialism, 1970s-1990s. The George Washington University, Department of History. Advisor: Andrew Zimmerman. October 2017. Abstract:

This dissertation destabilizes the idea that the 10th World Festival of Youth and Students—also known as the “Red Woodstock”—which took place in 1973 in East Berlin, exemplified a subversion of everyday life under state socialism. It does so by tracing how East Berlin remained a space for the ebb and flow of transcultural interactions and exchanges with the world beyond the “Iron Curtain” well after the 1973 festival ended. This was apparent as official music performances, films, and anti-imperialist solidarity events became an integral part of young people’s everyday lives due to the Party’s attempt to fuse state ideology with youth culture trends during late socialism. By examining continuities rather than ruptures through time and across space, this project thus makes visible how East German youth channeled concepts from both state-sponsored programs as well as their own counter-culture agendas to alter the fabric of East German socialism. International, anti-imperialist, and even revolutionary in its articulation, East German youth culture eventually generated a momentum of its own, enabling young people to repurpose global expressions of resistance within local public spaces in ways that transformed East German socialism from the bottom up.

Whitehead, Paul. Im Abseits. W. G. Sebalds Ästhetik des Marginalen. Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, German Institute. Advisors: Ariane Martin & Dagmar von Hoff. August 2017. Abstract:

This monograph considers the question of marginality in the works of the author W. G. Sebald (1944-2001), who, though having lived most of his life in England, wrote virtually all his prose and essays in his native German. Using Sebald’s papers and his annotations in the works of thinkers such as Benjamin, Scholem, Proust, Adorno, Lévi-Strauss, Bloch, Horkheimer, Canetti, Woolf, Nabokov. Kermode and Wittgenstein, the study constructs a close reading of the trope of marginality in the principle motifs of Sebald’s oeuvre: materialism and metaphysics, time and space, social criticism and the messianic. Sebald does not allude to marginality simply in order to evoke a certain philosophical mood of melancholy or elegiac reflection on the human condition. Rather, marginality emerges as the crucial aspect in the aesthetics of his literary production and, by extension, as a fundamentally ethical concern in his critique of modernity.

Wolf, Benedikt. Penetrierte Männlichkeit. Sexualität und Poetik in deutschsprachigen Erzählungen der literarischen Moderne (1905–1969). Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Sprach- und literaturwissenschaftliche Fakultät. Advisors: Andreas Krass, Ulrike Vedder. February 2017. Abstract:

Die Studie zur Literatur der Moderne stellt die Frage nach der Position und den symbolischen Räumen des Mannes, der sich sexuell penetrieren lässt. In detaillierten Lektüren von Texten u.a. von Otto Julius Bierbaum, Arnolt Bronnen, Hubert Fichte, Hans Henny Jahnn, Franz Kafka, Thomas Mann und Robert Musil erarbeitet sie eine Poetologie penetrierter Männlichkeit. Auf der Basis einer Kontextualisierung im Feld der konkurrierenden Homosexualitätskonzeptionen des frühen 20. Jahrhunderts fragt die Arbeit nicht nach männlicher Homosexualität, sondern fasst penetrierte Männlichkeit als eine diskurshistorische und literarische Figuration mit einer Eigenlogik, die nicht in männlicher Homosexualität aufgeht. Die Arbeit verknüpft Motive des Sexuellen systematisch mit deren Erzählweisen, lotet Dimensionen der Darstellbarkeit von Körper, Begehren und Geschlecht aus und analysiert Erzählfunktionen von Tabuisierung, Wissen und Zensur.