Inside the City: Gender and the Production of Space in Weimar Republic German Literature, 1929-1933 Public Deposited

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  • March 19, 2019
  • Farner Budarz, Sara
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Germanic and Slavic Languages and Literatures
  • This dissertation examines the interplay of gender and the production of interior space within the literature of the late Weimar Republic (1929-1933). Reading interior space through the lens of spatial analysis (following in the tradition of Henri Lefebvre and the Spatial Turn), I argue that the three spaces examined in this study - the home, the white-collar office, and the café- are sites in which questions of power, agency, and gender are renegotiated. While the dominant theorization of the city within the context of the literature produced during the Weimar Republic has focused almost exclusively on the exterior spaces of the city and their historical novelty, this research asserts that a theorization of the urban experience cannot be complete without an incorporation of interior spaces. Highlighting the drastic changes interior spaces underwent during this era, this project argues that a focus on interior space allows us to gain a more complex, nuanced understanding of cultural phenomena witnessed during this era, including shifts in housing as a result of the rise in urban population, the sharp rise in white-collar female employment, and the establishment of a famed café culture in Berlin. Within the context of Das Neue Bauen, this project asserts that interior spaces were not only subjected to modernist design, which led to a reconfiguration of use and appearance, but also underwent drastic changes due to the legal changes of 1919 which granted women full access to these interior spaces and thereby led to their destabilization. Focusing on the role of gender in the production of space, this work examines how the ideology embedded within space objectified and displaced women in particular, thereby problematizing their conception of self. These issues are explored in the works of Erich Kästner's Fabian (1931), Gabriele Tergit's Käsebier erobert den Kurfürstendamm (1931), Irmgard Keun's Gilgi (1931) and Das kunstseidene Mädchen (1932), Christa Anita Brück's Schicksale hinter Schreibmaschinen (1930), and Hans Fallada's Kleiner Mann, was nun? (1932).
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Rights statement
  • In Copyright
  • Koelb, Clayton
  • Downing, Eric
  • Langston, Richard
  • Gellen, Kata
  • Layne, Priscilla
  • Doctor of Philosophy
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Graduate School
Graduation year
  • 2014
Place of publication
  • Chapel Hill, NC
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