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Title page for ETD etd-03202014-222356


Type of Document Dissertation
Author Riviere, Jessica Leigh
URN etd-03202014-222356
Title Women's Participation in the Literary Public Sphere Through Essayistic Writing (1770-1830)
Degree PhD
Department German
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
John A. McCarthy Committee Chair
Barbara Hahn Committee Member
Dahlia Porter Committee Member
Meike Werner Committee Member
Keywords
  • Marianne Ehrmann
  • Sophie von La Roche
  • Womens Writing
  • German Essay
  • Therese Huber
  • Caroline Pichler
Date of Defense 2013-06-24
Availability unrestricted
Abstract
My project reveals that German women around 1800 used the essay to participate in the emerging public sphere. I build on the work of Rohner, Schärf and McCarthy that positions the German essay as an established literary form well before its popularity in the 20th century. I chose four authors whose essays opened up the essay to other women writers. Sophie von La Roche’s Pomona (1783-84) and Marianne Ehrmann’s Amaliens Erholungsstunden (1790-92) contained essays that shaped contemporary understanding of the role and function of a women’s journal. Therese Huber and Caroline Pichler supported their families by prolific fictional writing, and used essayistic writing to express their opinions publicly, and yet did not agree on the place of this writing within their literary oeuvre. My research sheds new light on the complex role gender plays in the public sphere, and just how eminently suitable essayistic writing is to the expression of minority voices, particularly for women emerging as authors publishing under their own name.
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