Here to stay : queer homemaking in German literature, 1980-2000
- This dissertation considers portrayals and practices of homemaking in queer German literary writing from the 1980s and 1990s. I term this genre the 'literature of partial discrimination', referring to legal changes in 1968/69 that partially decriminalised consensual sex between adult men and thus changed their status as citizens. In the fictionalised, semi-autobiographical texts that are the focus of my study, establishing a home -- often, but not always, within a domestic space -- emerges as crucial to the formation of queer identity. The queer literary corpus uncovers some of the affective, emotional and subjective elements of queer life and experience that are elided from the public histories of homosexuality that have constituted much of the scholarly work in the field. Chapter one reads two texts by Ronald M Schernikau -- kleinstadtnovelle (1980) and so schön (1999) -- arguing that they offer a queer utopian blueprint for non-heteronormative homemaking in West Berlin. Chapter two is situated on the other side of the Berlin Wall and examines Ulrich Berkes' Eine schlimme Liebe (1987); here I argue that Berkes' text is a quiet but radical call for acceptance of queerness in the German Democratic Republic. Chapter three remains East and reads three texts exploring queer female embodiment and desire: Waldtraut Lewin's Dich hat Amor gewiß... (1983), Gabriele Eckart's Der Seidelstein (1986) and Sonja Voß-Scharfenberg's Abseits (1990). These texts show the potentiality for queer female homemaking but also the very real constraints on these practices, constraints engendered by the patriarchal hegemonic nature of both private and public spheres in East Germany. This dissertation reads these literary works in their socio-historic context, and argues that literature as historical source material has the potential to disrupt dominant historiographies of post-war Germany.
|Type of resource
|electronic resource; remote; computer; online resource
|1 online resource.
|Armstrong, Joshua William
|Degree committee member
|Degree committee member
|Stanford University, Department of German Studies
|Statement of responsibility
|Joshua William Armstrong.
|Submitted to the Department of German Studies.
|Thesis Ph.D. Stanford University 2022.
- © 2022 by Joshua William Armstrong
- This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 Unported license (CC BY-NC).
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