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DHC Lecture with Watanabe-O'Kelly (University of Oxford)

Can Women Be Heroes? Representations of the Heroic Woman in German Culture from the Seventeenth to the Twentieth Century

In the period covered by this lecture, the hero is most often represented as a male warrior possessing exceptional courage and physical strength, steadfastness and leadership ability. Does this mean that the hero is invariably a man?  Can a woman only be imagined as heroic if she too is a warrior? Does the representation of the heroic woman change and evolve during this period? What gender conceptions lie behind her representation? And: does a hero have to die?