Edana Kleinhans receives a Dissertation Completion Fellowship

Congratulations to Edana Kleinhans, sixth-year Carolina Duke student, for winning the prestigious Dissertation Completion Fellowship for 2020-2021 from the UNC Graduate School. She writes: “I am honored to have won this award. In my dissertation, The Kingdom of Venus: Love and Politics in the Courtly Biographies of Noblewomen of the Habsburg Empire, 1500-1800, I examine four long-lost female courtly biographies of the Habsburg dynasty and reflect on their function within imperial literature as part of a carefully cultivated diplomatic tradition. As heroines of courtly love, empresses such as Maria Theresia and archduchesses such as Kunigunde von Österreich appear as the peace-bringing ambassadors of Habsburg matrimonial strategy. Behind their seemingly serene portrayals as obedient subjects of matrimony however, these female heads of state manifest an unexpected exercise of political power which remains unprecedented on the world stage. The Kingdom of Venus is the first comprehensive study to explore the relationship between love and politics in a pivotal genre which generated a legacy of authority for women as self-governing entities in possession of their own minds and power. The UNC Dissertation Completion Fellowship will make it possible to finish this project during my final year with CDG.”