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". . . die grenzen der Witwen wird er feste machen . . .": Konstruktionen von Weiblichkeit im lyrischen und didaktischen Werk der Herzogin Elisabeth von Braunschweig-Lüneburg (1510-1558)
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Baltic Languages, Finnish and German.
2007 (German)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The present dissertation examines constructions of femininity in the lyrical and didactical works of Elisabeth von Braunschweig-Lüneburg (1510-1558). It shows how this widow ruler and promoter of the reformation transforms and re-interprets contemporary ideas about women and gender according to her own personal interests, and how gender roles are thus negotiated in her texts. In accordance with current theoretical ideas about subjectivity, discourse, and gender, it is shown among other things how Elisabeth von Braunschweig-Lüneburg uses established genres to further her own personal agenda, and how she manipulates contemporary notions of gender in order to create authority for herself as a political force, as an upholder of Christian virtues, and, most importantly, as a writer. The analysis is based on an understanding of subjectivity as dialogical – as a negotiation with the surrounding culture – and of gender as socially constructed. Using the theories presented by Judith Butler and Joan Wallach Scott as a basis, the study shows how Elisabeth works within the various discourses available to her in order to describe established gender roles in a fashion that challenges prevailing notions of femininity and a woman’s place in society.

The study focuses on a number of aspects of femininity important in Elisabeth’s texts as well as in the cultural context in which they were written. The textual construction of woman as writer, ruler, preacher, wife, mother, and widow is examined. The dissertation presents not previously acknowledged insights into the ambivalence coloring Elisabeth’s descriptions of women and femininity.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Acta Universitatis Stockholmiensis, 2007. , 224 p.
Stockholmer germanistische Forschungen, ISSN 0491-0893 ; 70
Keyword [en]
Elisabeth von Braunschweig-Lüneburg (1510-1558), Reformation, Women’s Writing, 16th century, Femininity, Gender, Women, Lyrical, Didactical, Judith Butler, Joan Wallach Scott
National Category
Specific Languages
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-7161ISBN: 978-91-85445-81-3OAI: diva2:197745
Public defence
2007-12-19, hörsal 9, hus D, Universitetsvägen 10, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Available from: 2007-11-28 Created: 2007-11-28 Last updated: 2012-07-06Bibliographically approved

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