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Gendering Modern German History

Gendering Modern German History: Rewriting Historiography

Karen Hagemann
Jean H. Quataert
Copyright Date: 2010
Edition: 1
Published by: Berghahn Books
Pages: 312
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  • Book Info
    Gendering Modern German History
    Book Description:

    Writing on the history of German women has - like women's history elsewhere - undergone remarkable expansion and change since it began in the late 1960s. Today Women's history still continues to flourish alongside gender history but the focus of research has increasingly shifted from women to gender. This shift has made it possible to make men and masculinity objects of historical research too. After more than thirty years of research, it is time for a critical stocktaking of the "gendering" of the historiography on nineteenth and twentieth century Germany. To provide a critical overview in a comparative German-American perspective is the main aim of this volume, which brings together leading experts from both sides of the Atlantic. They discuss in their essays the state of historiography and reflect on problems of theory and methodology. Through compelling case studies, focusing on the nation and nationalism, military and war, colonialism, politics and protest, class and citizenship, religion, Jewish and non-Jewish Germans, the Holocaust, the body and sexuality and the family, this volume demonstrates the extraordinary power of the gender perspective to challenge existing interpretations and rewrite mainstream arguments.

    eISBN: 978-0-85745-704-2
    Subjects: Sociology, History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Preface
    (pp. vii-viii)
    Karen Hagemann and Jean H. Quataert
  4. 1 Gendering Modern German History Comparing Historiographies and Academic Cultures in Germany and the United States through the Lens of Gender
    (pp. 1-38)
    Karen Hagemann and Jean H. Quataert

    Gendering Modern German Historyassesses the cumulative impact of the new gender research on the writing of German history. The book departs from the approaches of many recent edited collections and journal volumes dedicated to gender analysis. These publications typically are organized around a common theme, which then is explored in different geographical regions and through national as well as culturally specific case studies.¹ The reader, however, has the difficult task of determining the validity of the implicit comparisons; left unanswered in this approach, too, are the impacts of the particular research findings on the larger national historiography.

    Our book...

  5. 2 The Challenge of Gender National Historiography, Nationalism, and National Identities
    (pp. 39-62)
    Angelika Schaser

    In a review of the literature entitled “The End of Research on Nationalism?” Árpád von Klimó notes categorically, “The self-reflexive turn, as I would like to call the tendencies towards the culture and politics of history, the culture of memory, etc., since all of them are concerned with the production and reproduction of historical knowledge and thus engage in second-order historical writing, has unsettled the discipline as a whole. In the long run, it is dissatisfying for a discipline to become overly self-involved.”¹

    Reflections about our own discipline as “second-order historical writing”? The notion is rather astonishing. Should it not...

  6. 3 Military, War, and the Mainstreams Gendering Modern German Military History
    (pp. 63-85)
    Karen Hagemann

    In 1832 Carl von Clausewitz’s famous bookOn Warwas published posthumously with an introduction by his widow, Marie von Clausewitz. She began modestly, stating that bewilderment at the fact that a female hand had dared to preface a work of such nature was entirely justified. She nonetheless asked readers to excuse her writing and involvement in the publication of her husband’s book. He had not wished to publish the work during his lifetime, she claimed, but had wanted her to do so after his death. Even so, it had taken the persuasion of friends to convince her that Clausewitz’s...

  7. 4 Blind Spots Empire, Colonies, and Ethnic Identities in Modern German History
    (pp. 86-106)
    Birthe Kundrus

    The nineteenth century saw the emergence of close links between nationalism and colonialism in all European nations. Most proponents of colonialism aspired to two goals: to heighten and secure the nation’s honor and to become a world power. To be a nation meant owning colonies, colonies meant world power, and being a world power was proof of the superiority of national culture.¹ Although theSchutzgebiete(protectorates) were hardly profitable economically, except for a few individual entrepreneurs, and although hopes they would lure millions of German settlers were not fulfilled,² they did serve as a screen on which to project personal...

  8. 5 The Personal Is Political Gender, Politics, and Political Activism in Modern German History
    (pp. 107-127)
    Belinda Davis

    “Women’s history” grew out of the feminist movement. Therefore it comes as no surprise that the history of women’s activism and politics was from the beginning a major topic of interest for women’s historians. Many of these researchers, reflecting a range of professional training, sought to connect the activism of the past with their own, looking to learn from that history, reinterpret it, integrate it, and trace the longer continuum of its existence. In doing so, these scholars accomplished several goals. First, they helped initiate a challenge to what history was and who “did” it. From the beginning, feminists writing...

  9. 6 The Order of Terms Class, Citizenship, and Welfare State in German Gender History
    (pp. 128-146)
    Kathleen Canning

    The keywords of class, citizenship, and welfare state signify three distinct but contingent sociopolitical categories in modern German history. Certain assumptions seem to underpin the very order of these terms—class, citizenship, welfare state—which seem to flow so easily into one another (and which formed the original title of the conference session for which I wrote this paper). Does this order of terms imply a hierarchy or an implicit chronology, whereby class figures as the definitive concept—the genuine megaconcept of the three perhaps—in the history of Germany and Europe during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries? Other questions,...

  10. 7 A Tributary and a Mainstream Gender, Public Memory, and the Historiography of Nazi Germany
    (pp. 147-168)
    Claudia Koonz

    In the 1980s, feminist historians often claimed that including women and gender in history would force a rewriting of its master narrative. However, as it turned out, feminist theorists’ epistemological skepticism has obviated the possibility of a single narrative and contributed to the dismantling of accounts anchored in politics, class, and race. Women’s history and gender as an analytic category have challenged conventional wisdom and enriched mainstream research on National Socialist Germany, and to a lesser extent, the Holocaust.¹ Scholarship on women and gender has entered such mainstream venues as scholarly journals, professional conferences, and the H-Net.² Most textbooks and...

  11. 8 Jews, Women, and Germans Jewish and German Historiographies in a Transatlantic Perspective
    (pp. 169-189)
    Benjamin Maria Baader

    In this volume, German-Jewish history figures as one of ten fields of German history for which scholars evaluate the achievements of gender and women’s history. This is remarkable, and it constitutes a rewriting of German history in itself. Thus, in this chapter, I explore the process in which German-Jewish history became a field of German history, and I argue that the integration of German-Jewish history into German history, on one hand, and women’s and gender history having entered and altered the mainstream of German history, on the other hand, are two related and intersecting developments. Women’s and gender history and...

  12. 9 Religion and Gender in Modern German History A Historiographical Perspective
    (pp. 190-207)
    Ann Taylor Allen

    Religion as the bulwark of patriarchy has become a feminist cliché. In 1896, the American Elizabeth Cady Stanton charged that the Christian Church had “steadily used its influence against progress, science, the education of the masses and freedom for women.”¹ The French philosopher Simone de Beauvoir likewise affirmed in 1949 that “Christian ideology has contributed no little to the oppression of the female sex.”² Starting in the 1970s, a new generation of feminist scholars—including theologians such as Mary Daly, author ofThe Church and the Second Sex—insisted that the rejection of traditional religious beliefs was an essential step...

  13. 10 Continuities and Ruptures Sexuality in Twentieth-Century Germany: Historiography and Its Discontents
    (pp. 208-227)
    Atina Grossmann

    In the introduction to the Spring 2002 special issue on sexuality and German fascism of theJournal of the History of Sexuality, Dagmar Herzog lays out the beginnings of a research agenda for a surprisingly under-researched and under-theorized topic in modern German history: “What is the relationship between sexual and other kinds of politics? How should we periodize transformations in the history of sexuality in Germany?”¹ It is not an accident surely that a volume devoted to identifying “major theoretical and methodological problems” in the history of sexuality is focused on the Nazi period, its origins and its aftermath. Like...

  14. 11 The Elephant in the Living Room Or Why the History of Twentieth-Century Germany Should Be a Family Affair
    (pp. 228-250)
    Robert G. Moeller

    In a book of eleven essays, the family comes last. Sexuality and bodies appear near the end, but this placement doubtless reflects that the editors have followed the example of clever conference organizers: put the jazziest panel late in the day, and maybe you will keep your audience. But the family appears as something of an afterthought. As I prepared this essay—which focuses primarily on the twentieth century, the period I know well enough to say something with any confidence—I began to think that maybe this was appropriate. Perhaps for feminist historians, family history is a topic whose...

  15. Selected Bibliography
    (pp. 251-286)
    Karen Hagemann and Jean Quataert
  16. Contributing Authors
    (pp. 287-290)
  17. Index of Names
    (pp. 291-296)
  18. Subject Index
    (pp. 297-302)