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Title:Weisse Weiblichkeiten: Afrika, deutschsprachige Schriftstellerinnen und ihre (post-)koloniale Verortung von Geschlecht
Author(s):Hennebohl, Sarah Maria
Director of Research:Niekerk, Carl H.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Niekerk, Carl H.
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Hilger, Stephanie M.; Johnson, Laurie R.; Pinkert, Anke
Department / Program:Germanic Languages & Lit
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):German postcolonialism
Abstract:In this project, I trace back the fictitious figure of the white female vis-à-vis Africa in German literary and media productions from the late 19th century until today. I examine the works of four German speaking writers: Frieda von Bülow, Claire Goll, Ingeborg Bachmann and Stefanie Zweig. I will demonstrate how all four authors portrait their heroines as victims, yet, do this in very different ways that not only mirror the respective historical background against which they set their novels, but also reveal the critical, political and sometimes very personal agenda that each of these authors has in mind. Some of the female characters I discuss in this study demonstrate character traits that find their way into very recent German literary and media productions. Here, colonial stereotypes that can be found in the portrayal of the featured white females, trigger an atmosphere of colonial nostalgia that is highly uncritical and thus concerning. Yet, it seems to contribute to the high popularity of exactly this figure. For this dissertation, I largely rely on German postcolonial research. I offer a gendered perspective on German (post-)colonial works that feature the figure of the white female vis-à-vis Africa. I also take into account the categories of “race” and “class”. The project contributes to the field of critical whiteness studies and offers a new angle within the broader field of German postcolonial studies.
Issue Date:2018-07-12
Rights Information:Copyright 2018 Sarah Henneböhl
Date Available in IDEALS:2018-09-27
Date Deposited:2018-08

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