Armed Ambiguity

E-book – $34.95

ISBN 978-0-8101-3233-7

Paper Text – $34.95

ISBN 978-0-8101-3232-0

Cloth Text – $99.95

ISBN 978-0-8101-3234-4
Publication Date
March 2016
Page Count
264 pages
Trim Size
6 x 9

Armed Ambiguity

Women Warriors in German Literature and Culture in the Age of Goethe
Julie Koser

Armed Ambiguity is a fascinating examination of the tropes of the woman warrior constructed by print culture—including press reports, novels, dramatic works, and lyrical texts—during the decades-long conflict in Europe around 1800.

In it, Julie Koser sheds new light on how women’s bodies became a battleground for competing social, cultural, and political agendas in one of the most pivotal periods of modern history. She traces the women warriors in this work as reflections of the social and political climate in German-speaking lands, and she reveals how literary texts and cultural artifacts that highlight women’s armed insurrection perpetuated the false dichotomy of "public" versus "private" spheres along a gendered fault line. Koser illuminates how reactionary visions of "ideal femininity" competed with subversive fantasies of new femininities in the ideological battle being waged over the restructuring of German society.

About the Author

JULIE KOSER is an associate professor in the Department of Germanic Studies at the University of Maryland.


"Essential. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty; general readers." —CHOICE

“With extensive research, deep knowledge of the field, and persuasive argumentation, Julie Koser articulates the social and cultural importance of the woman warrior in the age of Goethe. I highly recommend this book.” —Patricia Anne Simpson, Professor of German Studies, Montana State University 

“[A] complex exercise in pinpointing the extent to which the stereotypical gender hierarchy controlled even the efforts to resist it.” —Monatshefte