1st Edition

Gender, Emancipation, and Political Violence
Rethinking the Legacy of 1968

ISBN 9780815384694
Published July 26, 2018 by Routledge
164 Pages

USD $155.00

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

This volume presents and interrogates both theoretical and artistic expressions of the revolutionary, militant spirit associated with "1968" and the aftermath, in the specific context of gender.

The contributors explore political-philosophical discussions of the legitimacy of violence, the gender of aggression and peaceability, and the contradictions of counter violence; but also women’s artistic and creative interventions, which have rarely been considered. Together the chapters provide and provoke a wide-ranging rethink of how we read not only "1968" but more generally the relationship between gender, political violence, art and emancipation.

This work will be of great interest to students and scholars of protest and violence in the fields of history, politics and international relations, sociology, cultural studies, and women’s studies.

Table of Contents

Introduction [Sarah Colvin and Katharina Karcher]

PART I: On The (Gendered) Political Legitimacy of Violence

1. On the Legitimacy of Violence as a Political Act: Hannah Arendt, Susan Sontag, Ulrike Meinhof and Bernadine Dohrn [Ingrid Gilcher-Holtey]

2. ‘Deeds Not Words!’ A Comparative Analysis of Feminist Militancy in Pre- and Post-1968 Europe [Katharina Karcher]

3. ‘But What about our Fury?’ Political Violence as Feminist Practice [Patricia Melzer]

PART II: Creative Resistance

4. 1968, Take Two: The Militancy of Nina Simone [Charity Scribner]

5. Women, Words and Images, 1968: Textual/Sexual Politics in Helke Sander’s The Subjective Factor [Mererid Puw Davies]

6. Aesthetic Motions of Resistance in Feminist Creative Work [Carrie Smith]

PART III: The Contradictions and Limits of Emancipatory Violence

7. Aggression and Peaceability: Masculine Drives and Feminist Visions in the Writings of Alexander Mitscherlich and Margarete Mitscherlich-Nielsen [Barbara Becker-Cantarino]

8. Serious Harm to Bodies: Contradictions of Anti-Masculinist Violence in the 1970s [Julian Bourg]

9. Anti, Anti, Anti! Counterviolence and Anti-Sexism in Hamburg’s Autonomous Rote Flora [Ali Jones]

View More



Sarah Colvin is the Schröder Professor of German at the University of Cambridge. Her recent publications include Ulrike Meinhof and West German Terrorism (2009), Women and Death: Warlike Women in the German Literary and Cultural Imagination (co-editor, 2009) and The Routledge Handbook of German Politics and Culture (editor; Routledge 2015).

Katharina Karcher is Lecturer in German Cultural Studies at the University of Bristol. Her research interests include feminist theory, European women’s movements, and the history of political protest, extremism and violence in the Federal Republic of Germany. She is the author of ‘Sisters in Arms?’ – Militant Feminisms in the Federal Republic of Germany since 1968 (2017).


"This volume offers a broad, nuanced, and multidirectional rethinking of the legacy of 1968 through the lens of gender and the ways in which an array of militant feminist practices effect political change. The cross-referencing of chapters and the engagement of individual contributors with each other’s arguments succeeds in creating a resonant network of correspondences, overlaps, provocations, contradictions, and tensions." Karin Bauer, McGill University