Germanic Languages | Sex and Gender in Germany
G277 | 2671 | Sieg


Three credit hour course; meets 1:00-2:15 p.m., TR in M 356.

The course will be devoted to modern German gay, lesbian, and feminist
literature and culture. German culture in the 20th century offers a rich array
of texts -- visual, literary, poetic, and documentary -- that have shaped our
understanding of gender and sexuality in the West: Germany was the first
country in which a homosexual emancipation movement developed -- as well as
the country where homosexuals were most imperiled and persecuted. Gender
relations range from the virtual segregation of men and women during the Nazi
era to a state policy of equality during socialism. The course will focus on
some of the most decisive turning points, when changes in Germany's political
history of fascism after the liberalism of the "Roaring Twenties," the postwar
division of Germany and the Cold War, and reunification in 1990. We will
examine and discuss not only how these different political systems promoted
particular male-female as well as homo-/heterosexual identities and relations,
but also how sexual norms were constantly being contested by organized groups
as well as courageous individuals. There will be several film viewings
scheduled during evenings.

Texts:
(+) Heger, THE MEN WITH THE PINK TRIANGLE
(+) Biermann, VIOLETTA
(+) Mahlsdorf, I AM MY OWN WOMAN: THE OUTLAW LIFE OF CHARLOTTE VON MAHLSDORF,
BERLIN'S MOST DISTINGUISHED TRANSVESTITE