C: Lea Greenberg (Duke University/Chapel Hill): Lost Daughters: The Politics of the Gender, Love, and Learning in Kompert and Franzos’s Ghetto Fiction

28.11.2019 | 16:00 c.t. - 18:00

This presentation considers the pivotal role fulfilled by the figure of the Jewish daughter in German Jewish literary texts that explore the tensions between tradition and the non-Jewish world during the long nineteenth century. I argue that, in these texts, a twofold concern with the daughter emerges: a policing of her romantic desire and a concern with her education or language. As case studies, I discuss a pair of texts by Leopold Kompert (Eine Verlorene, 1851) and Karl Emil Franzos (Der Shylock von Barnow, 1877), whose works depict provincial life in the lands of Austro-Hungary. This paper considers how these two vehicles of power—the policing of female education and of female desire—intersect in the project of negotiating the possibilities of Jewish life in European modernity.