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Created Wild: Criminal Children and the Bourgeois Family in German Realism, 1850-1900 | NCGS Seminar
March 31, 2019 @ 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
The literary figure of the criminal child in German realism is framed not as a problem of rising industrialization and urbanization but rather as a problem of the emerging bourgeois family. Theodor Fontane’s Grete Milde (1879) and Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach’s Das Gemeindekind (1887) demonstrate how the aestheticization of structures such as the bourgeois family extends to incorporate marginal figures, including the criminal child. Through the relationship between the criminal child and bourgeois family, Fontane and Ebner reveal both the allure and danger of the emerging bourgeois family as an organizing principle in late-nineteenth century German and Austrian Reality.
Margaret Reif is a PhD candidate in the Carolina-Duke Graduate Program in German Studies. Her research interests include the cultural history of childhood, postcolonial theory, and fairytales. Her dissertation “Disruptive Organizers: Wild Children in German Realism, 1850-1900” examines the literary movement of German realism through the representation of children.
Moderator: Priscilla Layne | UNC-Chapel Hill, Department of German Languages and Literatures