Desiring Emancipation: New Women and Homosexuality in Germany, 1890–1933

SUNY Press
Free sample

Uses historical case studies to illuminate women’s claims to emancipation and to sexual subjectivity during the tumultuous Wilhelmine and Weimar periods in Germany.

Desiring Emancipation traces middle-class German women’s claims to gender emancipation and sexual subjectivity in the pre-Nazi era. The emergence of homosexual identities and concepts in this same time frame provided the context for expression of individual struggles with self, femininity, and sex. The book asks how women used new concepts and opportunities to construct selves in relationship to family, society, state, and culture. Taking a queer approach, Desiring Emancipation’s goal is not to find homosexuals in history, but to analyze how women reworked categories of gender and sex. Marti M. Lybeck interrogates their desires, demonstrating that emancipation was fraught with conflict, anachronism, and disappointment.

Each chapter is a microhistorical recreation of the actions, writings, contexts, and conflicts of specific groups of women. The topics include the experience of first-generation university students, public debates about female homosexuality, and the stories of three civil servants whose careers were ruined by workplace accusations of homosexuality. The book concludes with a debate between the women who joined the 1920s homosexual movement on the meanings of their new identities.
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About the author

Marti M. Lybeck is Assistant Professor of History at the University of Wisconsin–La Crosse.
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Additional Information

Publisher
SUNY Press
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Published on
Jul 9, 2014
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Pages
300
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ISBN
9781438452234
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Language
English
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Genres
History / Europe / Germany
History / Modern / 20th Century
Social Science / LGBT Studies / Lesbian Studies
Social Science / Sociology / General
Social Science / Women's Studies
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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