Dr Jen Lynn

Associate Professor of History

Director, Women’s and Gender Studies Center


PhD, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, 2012

BA, Montana State University Billings, 2005

Research Interests

Modern Europe – Germany

Women’s & Gender History

Visual & Cultural History

Current Project

“Contested Femininities: Gendered Representations of Modern Women in the German Illustrated Press, 1920–1960.”

Following World War I, the so-called “New Woman” emerged as a mass-consumer image within the illustrated press, a new form of mass media, which reached a broad social stratum. Out of this image grew competing visions of the Modern Woman. Thus far, scholars have concentrated on a mass-consumer orientated image without acknowledging the tensions and contestation between the multiple visual and textual conceptions of the Modern Woman in the broad and changing political spectrum of Weimar Germany, the Third Reich and post-war East and West Germany. This project explores the nuanced differences found in the visual and textual representations produced in a wide range of illustrated magazines and questions the relatively coherent depiction of the Modern Woman currently found in the scholarship. I argue that throughout the twentieth century images of the Modern Woman were not only highly disputed, but also held several ambivalences and paradoxes and were an important marker of contemporary constructions of modernity. By using images as a central focus of my research, I hope to show how the visual became a powerful method to negotiate both the limits and possibilities for women in politics, society, the economy and culture. The ability to manipulate, modify, adopt the image of the Modern Woman to differing political and social goals is of central importance in understanding how different groups imagined, constructed and disseminated their ideal forms of “femininity” and “modernity” to a mass audience.

Select Publications

“Entangled Femininities: Representations of Women in the East and West German Illustrated Press of the 1950s” in Gendering Post-1945 German History: Entanglements eds. Friederike Brühöfener; Karen Hagemann, Donna Harsch (Berghahn Books, 2018, forthcoming).

“Imagining the Neue Frau: Images of the Modern Women in the Weimar Germany Illustrated Press,” Latchkey: The Journal of New Woman Studies Vol. V1I (Winter 2015/16).

The Reorientation of the Women of Germany”: Constructing Ideal Femininities in the German Illustrated Press, 1945 – 1946, Connections: European Studies Annual Review, v. 10 (Spring 2014).

Courses Taught

HSTR 499: Senior Thesis/Capstone Course

HSTR 473: Gender, War and Film, Europe 1648-1945

HSTR 318: Enlightenment and Revolution, Europe 1648 – 1815

HSTR 322: 19th Century Europe

HSTR 324: 20th Century Europe

HSTR 326: Contemporary Europe

HSTR 462: The Holocaust in Nazi Occupied Europe

HSTR 491: Witches, Vampires and Zombies: Monsters in European History

HSTR 491: Women in European History since 1700

HSTR 102: Western Civilization II

»»  See Women Studies Minor Spring 2019 Courses


Find her full cv here.