Combining literary analysis with ethnographic fieldwork as well as gender and media studies, I examine the structures and practices before, behind, and beyond a formulaic, first-person narrative about the violent oppression of Muslim women by their families. This narrative pervades German-language media and has achieved significant commercial success in films, novels, and news reports in recent years. It has helped frame government policies and public discourse about human rights, immigration, religious freedom, and national identity. I examine this narrative's production across different media, its adoption and use by political and social activists, and the intersecting roles of religion, sexuality, and the body in its marketing and reception as "authentic" among German-speaking audiences. I provide close textual analysis of this narrative type and the figure of the Muslim woman victim at its center by focusing on texts by and experiences of pseudonymous author-narrators and their co-authors in the first and second chapters. In the third chapter, I shift my focus to other categories of producers through a case study of texts about Hatun Sürücü. In the fourth chapter, I investigate the conflation of producer, promoter, and consumer with particular attention to paratexts common across the genre, including book cover design and social media. Throughout the dissertation, I consider how Muslim women's memoirs and certain responses to them reinforce or disrupt the familiar script of the Muslim woman victim and contribute to the racialization of Islam in twenty-first century Germany and Austria.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. March 2014. Major: Germanic Studies. Advisor:Arlene Teraoka. 1 computer file (PDF); iii, 196 pages.
Lawton, Lindsay Jorgensen.
Marketing authenticity: production and promotion of Muslim women's memoirs in Germany and Austria.
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