Staging Philanthropy is a history of women's philanthropic associations during Germany's "long" nineteenth century. Challenged by the French Revolution and the Napoleonic occupation and war, dynastic groups in Germany made community welfare and its defense part of newly-gendered social obligations, sponsoring a network of state women's associations, philanthropic institutions, and nursing orders which were eventually coordinated by the German Red Cross. These patriotic groups helped fashion an official nationalism that defended conservative power and authority in the new nation-state.
An original and truly multi-disciplinary work, Staging Philanthropy uses archival research to reconstruct the neglected history of women's philanthropic organizations during the 'long' nineteenth century. Borrowing from cultural anthropologists, Jean Quataert explores how meaning is created in the theater of politics. Linking gender with nationalism and war with humanitarianism, Quataert weaves her analysis together with themes of German historiography and the wider context of European history.
Staging Philanthropy will interest readers in German history, women's history, politics and anthropology, as well as those whose interest is in medicalization and the German Red Cross. This book situates itself in the middle of a string of debates pertaining to modern German history and, thus, should also appeal to readers from the general educated public.
Jean Quataert is Professor of History and Women's Studies, Binghamton University. She has previously published a number of books, including Connecting Spheres: European Women in a Globalizing World, 1500 to the Present with Marilyn J. Boxer (Oxford, 1999).