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Death in the Shape of a Young Girl


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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments Introduction "An Excess of Women's Emancipation": Gender, Political Violence and Feminist Politics 1. The Other Half of the Sky: Revolutionary Violence, the RAF and the Autonomous Women's Movement 2. "Between a Rock and a Hard Place": The "Betrayal" of Motherhood amongthe Women of the RAF and Movement 2nd June 3. "Terrorist Girls" and "Wild Furies": Feminist Responses to MediaRepresentations of Women Terrorists during the 'German Autumn' of 1977 4.The Gendered Politics of Starving: (State) Power and the Body as Locus of Political Subjectivities in the RAF Hunger Strikes 5."We Women are the Better Half of Humanity Anyway": Revolutionary Politics, Feminism and Memory in the Writings of Female Terrorists Conclusion:"Can Political Violence be Feminist?" Notes References About the Author

About the Author

Patricia Melzer is Assistant Professor of German and Women's Studies at Temple University. She is author of Alien Constructions: Science Fiction and Feminist Thought.


"Melzer meticulously reconstructs these uncomfortable discussions, which have been largely omitted from the history of the womens movement...In pushing us to reconsider certain assumptions about the relationship between gender, feminism and violence that we take for granted,Death in the Shape of a Young Girlis undoubtedly a powerful and important contribution to the field." * CritCom: A Forum for Research & Commentary in Europe *
"Employing a close reading of radicals'correspondence and journals as well as interviews of movement veterans, [Melzer]explores their understanding of feminism, motherhood, and armed political violence with great sensitivity." * Women's Review of Books *
"Melzers work establishes a strong platform upon which the next, crucial stages of feminist research should unfold. It anticipates a critical comparison of political violence as it has been waged across the turn of the last century, from the transnational terror commandeered by the RAF to the contemporary vicissitudes of radical Islamism." * The Sixties: A Journal of History, Politics, and Culture *
"InDeath in the Shape of a Young Girl, Melzer offers a valuable intervention in the history of West German terrorism." * Canadian Journal of History *
"Women were central to the urban armed struggle in Germany in the 1970s, at some points even more numerous than men. This is a little known fact that has gone under-researched in the US until now. Patricia Melzers Death in the Shape of a Young Girl goes a long way to addressing this omission." -- Paul Hockenos,author of Joschka Fischer and the Making of the Berlin Republic
"Death in the Shape of a Young Girlis a stimulating case study that encourages us to look twice: at media representations and ideological discourse, certainly, but also at our own established ways of seeing and the precarious roles allocated to women in the course of revolutionary aspirations." * Times Higher Education *
"Clearly written and convincingly argued, the book makes original contributions to both feminist theory and the history and interpretation of the RAF, especially in key chapters about motherhood among terrorist women and the body politics of RAF hunger strikes." * Choice *
"Absorbing and provocative, this study of West German women who carried out political violence will be of great importance to those concerned with gender, violence, and the ways in which each so centrally informs the other in unexpected ways." -- Belinda Davis,author of Home Fires Burning: Food, Politics, and Everyday Life in World War I Berlin
"Death in the Shape of a Young Girl is so deeply revealing of how the actual complex gender politics of a radical movement get swept under the media's rug of stereotypes. Melzer shows us in gripping detail how intensely the women inside this 1970s German underground movement interacted with the feminist debates of the time. Anyone interested in social movements, feminism in the Cold War, and the genderings of political violence will have their minds opened by reading this book." -- Cynthia Enloe,author of Seriously! Investigating Crashes and Crises as if Women Mattered

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