Lauren Nossett, a visiting assistant professor of German at Randolph-Macon College, is the author of The Virginal Mother in German Culture (Northwestern University Press, 2019). The book presents an analysis of the contradictory obsession with female virginity and idealization of maternal nature in Germany from the late eighteenth to the early twentieth centuries.
“The book reflects my research interests in representations of gender, sexuality, education, and female labor in German literature during the long nineteenth century,” says Nossett. “As a whole, the book has relevance to my Gender and Nation in German Literature and Film course. The final chapter will be useful in another course I teach, The Artificial Body in German Literature and Film, for its discussion of Fritz Lang’s 1927 film ‘Metropolis.’ I hope The Virginal Mother in German Culture will interest students and scholars of German literature, history, cultural and social studies, and women’s studies.”
Nossett teaches a variety of courses at Randolph-Macon College, including Bloom: Plants and Sexuality in German Literature, and The Holocaust: Remembrance & Representation in Literature in Film. She joined the faculty in 2017.
Nossett earned her B.A. and M.A. at University of Georgia, and her Ph.D. from University of California, Davis. She has published articles on representations of femininity in Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s The Sorrows of Young Werther and mother figures in the works of E. Marlitt. Her current projects include chapters on Sophie von La Roche’s concept of female readership and unmarried women and female agency in nineteenth-century German literature, as well as a co-edited volume, Writing the Self, Creating Community: German Women Authors and the Literary Sphere, 1750-1850.