Worldly Tastes

Mobility and the Geographical Imaginaries of Interwar Australian Magazines

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Abstract

In the interwar period, increasingly mobile Australians began to contemplate travel across the Pacific, both toward Asia as well as to America. Contemporary writing reflected this highly mobile culture and Pacific gaze, yet literary histories have overlooked this aspect of cultural history. Instead of looking to Australian novels as indexes of culture, as literary studies often do, this article explores the range of writing and print culture in magazines, concentrating on notions of mobility through the Pacific. Its focus is on the quality magazines MAN and The Home, which addressed two distinct, gendered readerships, but operated within similar cultural segments. This article suggests that the distinct geographical imaginaries of these magazines, which linked travel and geographical mobility with aspiration and social mobility, played a role in consolidating and nourishing the class standing of their readers, and revealed some of their attitudes toward gender and race.

Contributor Notes

Victoria Kuttainen is a senior lecturer and Margaret and Colin Roderick Scholar of Comparative Literature at James Cook University. She completed her PhD at the University of Queensland and her master’s and honors degrees in English from the University of British Columbia. Her first monograph, Unsettling Stories, read Canadian, American, and Australian short fiction in terms of settler colonialism and postcolonial theory. Since then, she has turned her focus to the space between these national literatures, to the Pacific, and to magazines. With Susann Liebich and Sarah Galletly, she is researching interwar print culture in this area. For more information, see www.transportedimagination.com. E-mail: victoria.kuttainen@jcu.edu.au

Susann Liebich is a print culture historian and postdoctoral research fellow at Heidelberg University and an adjunct research fellow at James Cook University. She completed her PhD at Victoria University of Wellington, specializing in the history of reading and New Zealand and British imperial history. She also holds an MA in book history from the University of Leipzig. Susann has published on magazine culture and historical reading practices, most recently on “Reading as War Effort” for First World War Studies. Besides working on interwar magazines, she currently focuses on shipboard reading and writing practices in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. E-mail: susann.liebich@asia-europe.uni-heidelberg.de

Transfers

Interdisciplinary Journal of Mobility Studies

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