CFP: GSA-Panel: Configurations of Patriarchy in the Long 18th Century, Montréal (20.03.2023)

Sophie Salvo's picture

CFP: Configurations of Patriarchy in the Long 18th Century 

 

German Studies Association Conference  

October 5-8, 2023  

Montréal, Canada 

 

 Panel Sponsored by the Goethe Society of North America 

 

 

O du, für den ich ward 

mein Schirm, mein Schild, mein All! 

Dein Will’ ist mir Gesetz 

So hat’s der Herr bestimmt, 

und dir gehorchen bringt 

mir Freude, Glück und Ruhm. 

 

So speaks Eve to Adam in Haydn’s oratorio Die Schöpfung from 1798. When Eve recognizes her subservience in unequivocal terms, Die Schöpfung suggests that male authority is both God’s will and woman’s greatest pleasure. But is there not something excessive about Eve’s performance of subordination here, about this fantasy of unchallenged male authority? Does it bespeak an anxiety, perhaps, about legitimating the institution of patriarchy in an era of shifting gender roles, religious ideologies, and notions of political sovereignty? 

Such questions are all the more relevant since Die Schöpfung was written in the same decade as Mary Wollstonecraft’s Vindication of the Rights of Woman, a text which suggested that the more the concept of equality gained prominence in the Enlightenment, the more traditional gender hierarchies came into question. Since it is not hard to identify other German texts “um 1800” that mirror Haydn’s emphatic re-assertion of the patriarchy (one might think, for instance, of Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, Schiller’s Maria Stuart, or Goethe’s West-östlicher Divan) we invite proposals that investigate the long eighteenth century under questions such as the following: 

  • What modes and trajectories of thinking about gender hierarchies existed before 1770, e.g., in Pietism, the early Enlightenment, the comédie larmoyante, or the bürgerliches Trauerspiel

  • What fictions of patriarchy do we find in canonical writers “um 1800”? Are there counter-fictions (e.g., by women writers)? Where is the gender binary asserted or challenged? 

  • What roles do male-centered institutions play (e.g., free-masonry)? Are there counter-institutions (e.g., salons led by women)? 

  • How do philosophical, political, and scientific texts (re)conceptualize the family? 

  • How do literary texts respond to changing ideas about, and realities of, gendered rights and roles? 

  • What function in establishing or undermining the gender hierarchy do genres play, e.g., drama, novels, poetry, opera, or personal writings such as autobiographies, letters, or diaries? 

    Please send a brief abstract (approximately 350 words) to Sophie Salvo (ssalvo@uchicago.edu) and Horst Lange (hlange@uca.edu) by March 20, 2023

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Redaktion: Constanze Baum – Lukas Büsse – Mark-Georg Dehrmann – Nils Gelker – Markus Malo – Alexander Nebrig – Johannes Schmidt

Diese Ankündigung wurde von H-GERMANISTIK [Constanze Baum] betreut – editorial-germanistik@mail.h-net.msu.edu

 

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Categories: CFP