Elin Wagner's Alarm Clock

Elin Wagner's Alarm Clock : Ecofeminist Theory in the Interwar Era

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Description

This book analyses the ideas of the Swedish journalist, feminist, and literary author Elin Wagner (1882-1949), as conveyed in her book Vackarklocka (1941), in a European feminist context. This context is presented in terms of three elements. Firstly, the German sociologist/educationalist Mathilde Vaerting and her sociology of power played an important role in Wagner's development of a theory of matriarchy. Secondly, the influence of the Austrian feminist Rosa Mayreder and her theory of masculine civilization and feminine culture are analyzed in relation to Wagner's development of what might be called an early ecological feminism. Thirdly, the mainly unknown Women's Organization for World Order (WOWO) is presented. 0s and 1930s, which wanted to strengthen women's position and confidence as political citizens by providing them with a historical past where women ruled (matriarchy). Thereby they not only reinvented a past, but also revitalized the emergence or eternity of patriarchy. These women discussed the possibility of women offering an alternative to the prevailing order. A special analysis is made of Mayreder's and Wagner's way of discussing what woman is and in what ways she can challenge the system. Both argued that women ought to have the same rights and duties as men, but that this should not require them to adapt to the distorted male system. This study argues that this position, easily characterized as "essentialist" in modern feminist terms, is in fact functional and strongly emancipatory in its time and context. In this reevaluation of Vackarklocka Katarina Leppanen has established this important Swedish novel as a text central to the development of the feminist movement. Elin Wagner's Alarm Clock is a book suitable for students of Swedish Literature and European Feminism.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 252 pages
  • 154.94 x 231.14 x 25.4mm | 589.67g
  • Lexington Books
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • 0739120034
  • 9780739120033

Review quote

By reading Elin Wagner's Vackarklocka in an European context, rather than a purely Swedish context, which is often done, many of the ideas of the book appear clearly as part of a larger political project which entailed a re-evaluation of the prevailing social order. What Leppanen shows in Elin Wagner's Alarm Clock is that the debate on matriarchy in the 1920s and 1930s was much stronger and vital than has been known before. And that this position, often characterised negatively as essentialism in modern feminist terms, was, in fact, functional and strongly emancipatory in its time and context. Elin Wagner's Alarm Clock is a good contribution to the complex history of European feminism... -- Lena Eskilsson, Umea University By reading Elin Wagner's Vackarklocka in an European context, rather than a purely Swedish context, which is often done, many of the ideas of the book appear clearly as part of a larger political project which entailed a re-evaluation of the prevailing social order. What Leppanen shows in Elin Wagner's Alarm Clock is that the debate on matriarchy in the 1920s and 1930s was much stronger and vital than has been known before. And that this position, often characterised negatively as "essentialism" in modern feminist terms, was, in fact, functional and strongly emancipatory in its time and context. Elin Wagner's Alarm Clock is a good contribution to the complex history of European feminism. -- Lena Eskilsson, Umea Universityshow more

About Katarina Leppanen

Katarina Leppanen is a researcher at the Center for Public Sector Research and a teacher in the Department of History of Ideas and Theory of Science, Goteborg University.show more

Table of contents

Chapter 1 Introduction Part 2 Movements Chapter 3 Alarm Clock for the Age and the Movement Part 4 History Chapter 5 Matriarchy and J.J. Bachofen Chapter 6 Towards Feminist Politics Part 7 Civilization and Nature Chapter 8 Is Civilization Unnatural? Chapter 9 Earth and the Environment Chapter 10 Woman as Alternative Chapter 11 re:Fwd: feminisms Chapter 12 Appendix: Program from the Women's Organization for World Ordershow more