Department of History
Julia Roos

Professor Roos Examines Gender in Weimar

Julia Roos, assistant professor of history at IU has a new take on gender and politics in the Weimar Republic. Her recent book, Weimar through the Lens of Gender: Prostitution Reform, Woman's Emancipation, and German Democracy, 1919-1933, examines how women's emancipation in the Weimar period was more successful than previously thought. Roos shows that the decriminalization of prostitution in 1927 represented a gain in women's' rights. With the reform, she explains, "prostitutes gained a whole series of legal rights," which had been restricted under Imperial Germany's strict legal code governing women engaged in the prostitution profession.

The political response from conservative elements in Germany society covered in the book is part of Roos' objective to "integrate gender into the study of politics and the state." This response also indicates, she argues, a degree of success for women's rights, since it was perceived as a threat by traditionalists in German society. The book is thus of interest to those interested in gender as well as the early twentieth century Germany.