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German Women Writers and the Spatial Turn: New Perspectives by Beth A. Muellner, Carola Daffner

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Traci S. O’Brien

“Full Steam Ahead!”: Technology, Mobility, and Human Progress in Ottilie Assing’s “Reports from America”

Traci O’Brien’s opening essay provides us with an example of spatial thinking at a time in which the temporal ostensibly still held sway: the nineteenth century. As an educated German woman who emigrated to the United States when travel as a single woman was still rare, when the privileged urban space of the flâneur was still solidly male, and when a writing woman posed a threat to propriety, Assing crossed a number of boundaries. One of the more startling was her friendship and collaboration with the well-known African-American abolitionist Frederick Douglass, whose autobiography she translated into German and published in ...

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