Sexual Violence in History: A Bibliography

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First published: June 1, 2023 - Last updated: September 1, 2023


Author: Melissa Ann Sheedy

Title: "Immaculate" Conception, the "Romance of Rape," and #MeToo

Subtitle: Kleistian Echoes in Kerstin Hensel and Julia Franck

In: German #MeToo: Rape Cultures and Resistance, 1770-2020

Edited by: Elisabeth Krimmer and Patricia Anne Simpson

Place: Rochester, NY

Publisher: Boydell & Brewer

Year: 2022 (Publiehed online: October 8, 2022)

Pages: 83-99

Series: Women and Gender in German Studies 10

ISBN-13: 9781640141353 (hardcover) - Find a Library: Wikipedia, WorldCat | ISBN-13: 9781800106062 (EPUB) - Find a Library: Wikipedia, WorldCat | ISBN-13: 9781800106055 (PDF) - Find a Library: Wikipedia, WorldCat

Language: English

Keywords: Modern History: 20th Century, 21st Century | European History: German History | Types: Rape; Representations: Literary Texts / Kerstin Hensel, Julia Franck


- Cambridge Core (Restricted Access)

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Author: Melissa Ann Sheedy, Department of German, Nordic & Slavic+, University of Wisconsin-Madison -

Lecture: Sheedy, Melissa. »'Immaculate' Conception and #MeToo: Kleistian Echoes in Kerstin Hensel and Julia Franck.« Forty-Third Annual Conference of the German Studies Association. Portland 2019. - Bibliographic Entry: Info

Summary: »The infamous "Kleistian Dash" that marks the murky encounter of a young woman and her ostensible savior in Heinrich von Kleist's 1808 novella "Die Marquise von O..." (1808) conceals a moment of extreme import for the protagonist and her story. The text's narrative puzzle obliges the reader to return to the punctuation mark as the likely scene of the marquise's rape, and it plays with themes of consent and awareness to cast her position of purity in doubt. Kleist's nineteenth-century tale of sexual abuse and punishment continues to resonate today, especially in light of the recent wave of digital feminist activism and the #MeToo movement. Whereas Kleist's famous dashes often serve to indicate an event unnarrated or a truth unspoken, the hashtag symbol signals the explicit intent to communicate. This communication afforded by the hashtag takes place via a large-scale digital platform that allows users to "tag" content, linking social media messages and posts under a single thematic umbrella. The #MeToo movement originated in 2006, after activist Tarana Burke used the phrase "Me Too" to empower and amplify the voices of survivors of sexual assault, especially women of color. Following actor Alyssa Milano's revitalization of the term in 2017, it became a worldwide phenomenon. At once an emblem of solidarity, support, and visibility, the phrase "#MeToo," like Kleist's dashes, heralds a story that had remained untold, while endowing survivors with the power to tell- or not to tell. For Kleist's marquise, the struggle to articulate a truth she herself only partially understands is made all the more difficult by the fact that she is simply not believed. It is this particular burden-the unnecessary extension of suffering that follows the original assault-that resonates with Kleist's readers today and recalls the #MeToo movement's emphasis on the perspectives and experiences of survivors.
Kleist's tale of a mysteriously expectant mother finds an ironic echo in two works of contemporary German fiction: Kerstin Hensel's Gipshut (1999; Cap Rock) and Julia Franck's Die Mittagsfrau (2007).« (Source: Cambridge Core)

Wikipedia: History of Europe: History of Germany | Literature: German literature | Kerstin Hensel, Julia Franck | Literature: Rape in fiction | Sex and the law: Rape / History of rape