The German Department is excited to announce this new lecture series, generously sponsored by Charlotte M. and Bob Craig, to host young scholars of German to present talks on their current research.
Coquettish Sovereigns — Flirtation and Gender Inversion in German Realism (Storm, Fontane)
"In saying no and saying yes, in surrendering and refusing to surrender themselves, women are the masters," Georg Simmel marvels in his seminal essay On Flirtation (1909). According to Simmel, this female empowerment is the result of a queer role-switch occurring in heterosexually structured scenes of flirtation: the women "takes on his decision, even if only in a symbolic and approximate fashion." The talk on Coquettish Sovereigns traces the literary-historical emergence of this complex constellation in realist German language writers and shows that to some men those role-switches can be quite unsettling if also erotically intriguing.
Barbara Natalie Nagel is Assistant Professor at Princeton's German Department. Her research and teaching interests include the fields of rhetoric, theology, law, psychoanalysis, gender and sexuality, with a historical focus on the Baroque, literarture around 1800, and realism.
Her first book Der Skandal des Literalen. Barocke Literalisierungen in Gryphius, Kleist, Büchner was published in 2012 with Wilhelm Fink. An edited collection Flirtations: Rhetoric and Aesthetics This Side of Seduction appeared this spring with Fordham University Press. At the moment, Barbara is working on a monograph Ambiguous Aggressions. Flirtation, Passive Aggression, and Domestic Violence in Realism and beyond.
She has published articles in Law and Literature, CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture, and has (forthcoming) articles, book chapters, and handbook entries on authors including Tacitus, Luther, Jean Paul, Büchner, Melville, Fontane, Jensen, Kafka, Stifter, Hauptmann, and Robert Walser.