Research / Projects

Paradox  at  Road's  End.  The  Simultaneous  Fall  of  the Baltic German  Elite  and  the  Emancipation  of  its  Women, 1905-­ 1939

The Baltic Germans were an elite group in the Baltic lands for about seven hundred years, until 1919/1939. The first decades of the twentieth century was a period when the Baltic Germans position in society as an elite was challenged and eventually lost. But this challenge also made it possible for Baltic German women to assume a more active role in the public sphere. The main focus of this project is Baltic German women and their women’s movement between 1905 and 1939.

During the investigated period three major events happened that affected the Baltic Germans. In the 1905-1906 revolution Baltic German manors were attacked. In 1919 the independence of the Baltic states brought about the downfall of the Baltic German elite but at the same time gave men and women alike, irrespective of ethnic origin, full political rights. Baltic German women thus received the right to vote, a right their women’s movement had never fought for. In 1939 the agreement between Germany and the Soviet Union resulted in the Baltic Germans “returning” to Germany, or in other words leaving the Baltic lands.

This project will investigate: 1) how Baltic German women and their women’s movement perceived and related to the events of 1905, 1919 and 1939. 2) In what way class, ethnicity and gender interacted in relation to Baltic German women’s self- understanding as women and as members of the Baltic German group.

The project draws on the theoretical concept of intersectionality, the standpoint that class, ethnicity, gender etc. are interrelated categories. The Baltic Germans constituted a group where class and ethnicity coincided. Since an important source material will be autobiographies the project will also make use of theoretical perspectives on autobiography stressing the genre’s double character of being both immersed in context but at the same time characterized by the author entering into a “truth contract” with the reader.

Publications

Tidskrift för Genusvetenskap 2016, 37 (3): 29-50.

AuthorPublishing yearSubject
Christina Douglas

Research linked to the Baltic region and Eastern Europe

Yes
2016

School/Centre

School of Historical and Contemporary Studies
History

Research area for doctoral studies

Historical Studies

Status

Started

Project Manager

Christina Douglas
Senior Lecturer, PhD
School of Historical and Contemporary Studies

More information

Project start: 2014
Project end: 2017

Financier: Östersjöstiftelsen

Research linked to the Baltic Sea region and Eastern Europe: Yes

Information på svenska

Subjects to which the project is linked

School/centre to which the project is linked

Research area for doctoral studies to which the project is linked