Date of Award

Summer 8-15-2013

Author's School

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

Author's Department

Germanic Languages and Literatures

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Type



I have focused on advice writing written by women in the second half of the nineteenth century and into the early twentieth century. Advice writing for young women during this period is aimed at creating a very specific ideal of German womanhood, instructing women in that ideal and using that ideal to construct and reinforce the imagined community of the German nation simultaneously. The time period covered by this dissertation ranges from slightly before the formation of the Second German Empire in 1871 to the end of the First World War. Since historical trends do not conform to the boundaries set by major political upheavals, some of the texts discussed in this dissertation fall outside these temporal parameters, slightly predating or postdating them. Some of the texts I examine point toward the confluences of discourses supporting the national project; those in my coda belong to the afterlife of the national project during the early years of the Weimar Republic. Specifically, this dissertation examines how domestic discourses concerning needlework, reading practices, and home spaces in advice books, girls' literature, and magazines convey hegemonic notions of what it means to be middle class, female, and German.


English (en)

Chair and Committee

Lynne Tatlock

Committee Members

MaryAnn Dzuback, Jennifer Kapczynski, Erin McGlothlin, Amy Pawl, Gerhild Williams


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