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Gendering Post-1945 German History: Entanglements

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Gendering Post-1945 German History


Edited by Karen Hagemann, Donna Harsch, and Friederike Brühöfener

408 pages, 6 illus., bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-78920-191-8 $135.00/£99.00 Hb Published (April 2019)

eISBN 978-1-78920-192-5 eBook

Hb View cartYour country: United States - Click here to remove geolocation   Buy the eBook! $39.95 Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format) Recommend to your Library Available in GOBI®


“The volume as a whole offers an impressive range and breadth of research and is both robust and accessible. The choice of the editors to invite younger scholars to contribute chapters is a further strength of the volume, the result being a clear willingness to question previous approaches and to open new avenues for research.” • German History

“[This volume] deals with a fascinating but largely by historical research neglected field…[it] convincingly does justice to its claim enrich traditional historiography and to treat contemporary history as gender history.” • Sehepunkte

“Applied to the Cold War, this volume shows in a striking way how ubiquitous and effective gender was as a regulatory category in all areas of political, cultural, and social life in the divided Germany. With its inspiring take, its analytically precise approach, and the various thematical focal points, the book offers a well structured and most interesting panorama of the time after 1945.” • H-Soz-Kult

“The novel contributions in this volume represent truly innovative research and impressive new findings well contextualized by theory. The editors have done a brilliant job of reviewing the histography across the areas of Germany, history, and gender.” • Myra Max Ferree, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Gendering Post-1945 German History provides real analytical insights and excellent state-of-the-literature essays that otherwise would be inaccessible to most readers. The scholarship in this volume will be essential for specialists and students alike.” • Elizabeth Heineman, University of Iowa


Although “entanglement” has become a keyword in recent German history scholarship, entangled studies of the postwar era have largely limited their scope to politics and economics across the two Germanys while giving short shrift to social and cultural phenomena like gender. At the same time, historians of gender in Germany have tended to treat East and West Germany in isolation, with little attention paid to intersections and interrelationships between the two countries. This groundbreaking collection synthesizes the perspectives of entangled history and gender studies, bringing together established as well as upcoming scholars to investigate the ways in which East and West German gender relations were culturally, socially, and politically intertwined.

Karen Hagemann is the James G. Kenan Distinguished Professor of History at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her research focuses on Modern German and European history and gender history. Her most recent publications include Gender and the Long Postwar: The United States and the Two Germanys, 1945–1989 (ed. with Sonya Michel, 2014).

Donna Harsch is Professor of History at Carnegie Mellon University. Her research focuses on the political and social historian of twentieth-century Germany. Her most recent publications include Revenge of the Domestic: Women, the Family, and Communism in the German Democratic Republic (2007).

Friederike Brühöfener is Assistant Professor in the History Department at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. She is currently working on a comparative study on the development of military masculinities in East and West Germany.

Subject: History: 20th Century to Present Gender Studies and Sexuality Sociology
Area: Germany


List of Illustrations
List of Contributors


Introduction: Gendering Post-1945 German History: Entanglements
Karen Hagemann, Donna Harsch, and Friederike Brühöfener


Chapter 1. Entanglements of Gender, Politics, and Protest in the Historiography on the Two Post-1945 Germanys

Karen Hagemann and Donna Harsch

Chapter 2. Entangled Gender Relations and Sexuality in the Historiography on the Two Post-1945 Germanys

Jennifer Evans

Chapter 3. Contact Zones and Boundary Objects: The Media and Entangled Representations of Gender

Erica Carter


Chapter 4. The Big Cleanup: Men, Women, and Rubble Clearance in Postwar East and West Germany

Leonie Treber

Chapter 5. Children, Church, and Rights: East and West German Protests against Family Law Reforms in the 1950s

Alexandria Ruble

Chapter 6. Gendering Health Politics: East and West German Healthcare Systems in Comparison, 1950–1970

Donna Harsch


Chapter 7. Under the Habit: Resistance of Catholic Sisters against East German State Authority in the 1950s

Kathryn C. Julian

Chapter 8. Finding Feminism: Rethinking Activism in the West German New Women’s Movement of the 1970s and 1980s

Sarah E. Summers

Chapter 9. Redefining the Political: The Gender of Activism in Grassroots Movements of the 1960s to 1980s
Belinda Davis

Chapter 10. Connected Differences: Black German Feminists and Their Transnational Connections of the 1980s and 1990s

Tiffany N. Florvil


Chapter 11. Domestic Abuse and Women’s Lives: East and West Policies during the 1960s and 1970s

Jane Freeland

Chapter 12. Searching for Identity: 1950s Homophile Politics in West Germany and Its Roots in the Weimar Homosexual Movement

Clayton J. Whisnant

Chapter 13. Contested Masculinities: Debates about Homosexuality in the West German Bundeswehr in 1960s and 1970s

Friederike Brühöfener


Chapter 14. In the Presence of the Past, in the Shadow of the “Other”: Women Journalists in Postwar Germany

Deborah Barton

Chapter 15. Entangled Femininities: Contested Representations of Women in the East and West German Illustrated Press of the 1950s

Jennifer Lynn

Chapter 16. Gendered Orientalism: Representations of “the Turkish” in the West German Press of the 1970s and 1980s

Brittany Lehman

Index of Names
Index of Subjects

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