Gender Studies | Issues in Gender Studies: Gender & Sexuality in Germany
G302 | 12344 | Breger, C

Ideas of gender, sexuality and race have deeply shaped the ways in
which European societies worked, and saw themselves, throughout
modernity. This class begins by tracing how and where these ideas
evolved historically: the claims that men and women are essentially
different, the use of sexuality as a marker of personal identity and
the force of racist distinctions between (implicitly:
white) “Germans” and “Blacks,” “Aryans” and Jews, or more recently
(Christian) Germans and Islamic immigrants. More specifically, we
will then look at how these different distinctions have worked
together – and sometimes against each other – in the processes of
making (“configuring”) collective identities.  The course draws on
literature and film, as well as some theoretical and scientific
writings. Geographically, the emphasis is on German culture within
the larger contexts of Europe, post/colonialism and globalization.
Looking at different historical moments throughout the
20th and early 21st centuries, we discuss the impact of political
and social change, including the rise of fascism, post-war
democratization processes, feminist and sexual liberation movements.

The course is offered jointly for students in Germanic and Gender
Studies. Lectures and discussions are in English; all readings and
films are available in English or with English subtitles. The
scheduled film showing will take place as needed (roughly every
other or third week).