In this article I consider the characterization of Celia, the protagonist in Elena Fortún’s “Celia and Her World” series (1929–1952), and the role of Fortún as a forerunner of women writers in the 1950s. I explore the ways in which Fortún presented herself as a female author offering alternative models of femininity to her readers through the character Celia and the social context of the series. In addition, I examine Fortún’s shifting representation of Celia as a subversive character, and Fortún’s ideological influence on female writers who used similar literary strategies. Using the point of view of the girl in her texts as an insurgent protagonist to reflect different sociohistorical moments in Spain suggests a continuity in Spanish narrative instead of an abrupt change after the Civil War.
Rethinking the Influence of Elena Fortún's Celia
Ana Puchau de Lecea
The Shakespeare Ladies' Club and Reading Habits of Early Modern Women
Katherine West Scheil
In the 1730s a group of women known as the Shakespeare Ladies’ Club promoted performances of Shakespeare’s plays and supported the creation of the Shakespeare monument in Westminster Abbey. The Shakespeare Ladies’ Club (SLC) has been accorded a footnote in the reception history of Shakespeare, but no one has yet taken account of their importance for women’s participation in the intellectual and cultural life of eighteenth-century London. By tracing the dynamics of this group, we may increase our understanding of women’s reading habits, their effect on the theatrical repertoire, and their role in the public life of clubs and philanthropic endeavours. The convergence of several factors made the SLC possible; this article contextualises the SLC within the literary and cultural life of the eighteenth century, and examines the importance of the SLC in the life and work of one member, Elizabeth Boyd.
Australian and Canadian Visions of Women, Modernity, and Mobility between the Wars
This article applies recent scholarship concerned with transatlantic mobility and print cultures to a comparative study of images of transpacific travel for women during the interwar period. During the 1920s and 1930s female travelers splashed spectacularly across the pages of mainstream, popular magazines produced in America, Britain, and the wider Anglophone world. Focusing on two magazines that launched in this era, The Australian Woman’s Mirror (1924– 1961) and Chatelaine (1928–), this article explores Australian and Canadian fi ctional portrayals of the traveling woman of the interwar years to examine the ways in which the mobility of the modern girl became a screen for anxieties and fantasies of these two national print imaginaries. By paying attention to the different portrayals of female mobility through the Pacific from both sides of the ocean, this article also considers the intersection between actual travel, ideas about travel, and notions of gendered social mobility.
'New' Female Sexualities, 1870–1930
In her study of the relationship between sex, gender, and social change in Britain since 1880, Lesley Hall justifies her starting date by pointing out that ‘recent historians of the nineteenth century have perceived a definite change in sexual attitudes, and in ways of talking about and dealing with sexual issues, around 1880’. She suggests that this marks the beginnings of ‘certain ways of thinking about sex which are essentially “modern”’. This special edition, which focuses on readings of texts published from the 1870s to the late 1920s, examines these ‘modern’ ways of conceptualising sex in relation to the dangerous figure of the sexually active woman and to female sexuality in general. It takes its impetus from such recent developments in the historicizing of sexuality that have designated the fin de siècle and early twentieth century as particularly important for understanding the early formation of ‘new’ female sexual identities. At this time the new science of sexology, the development of psychoanalysis, the social purity movement, the rise of the New Woman and the proliferation of more sexually explicit texts all contributed to increased public debates about the nature of female sexuality. As Frank Mort has argued, this was a period when social purists and feminists increasingly felt compelled to ‘speak out about sex’ and ‘to confront the conspiracy of silence and shame which surrounded the subject’, a confrontation which also took place in New Woman fiction.
The Politics of Female Identity in Maternité (1929) and La Maternelle (1933)
Cheryl A. Koos
This essay explores Jean Benoît-Lévy and Marie Epstein's box-office success La Maternelle and their lesser-known Maternité in the context of interwar debates over women's roles in society. Reflecting natalist-familialist conceptions of motherhood and femininity, the films magnified three pervasive cultural icons in French social and political discourse: the monstrous, childless "modern woman," the exalted mother, and the "single woman" who fell somewhere in the middle. As both products and vehicles of these tropes, La Maternelle and Maternité not only illustrate how popular cinema disseminated and justified certain value-laden assumptions about female identity in the late 1920s and early 1930s; they also reveal the limitations of French feminism and socially-engaged, progressive art of the period.
Commentators in the popular media of Weimar Germany paid great attention to questions of women's sport, athleticism, and physicality. Their concerns were not restricted to women's reproductive capacities—rather, women's physical emancipation was increasingly interpreted within the framework of larger cultural discourses surrounding the "masculinization" and political emancipation of the modern woman. This article examines such representations of the "masculinized" female athlete, arguing that female athleticism provided an important focus for broader concerns about changing gender relations, female sexuality, and acceptable female life trajectories at this period. Although the perceived threat to traditional male dominance symbolized by the female athlete prompted some commentators to denounce women's physical activity and emphasize traditional gender roles, the article also examines less conventional contemporary responses to women's athleticism, in particular, how a female body "steeled by sport" was reclaimed as an aesthetic ideal within the female homosexual subculture of interwar Berlin.
On 24 March 1935, Naye prese, the Yiddish-language daily newspaper of the Jewish section of the French Communist Party (PCF), ran a small ad for a women’s tailor on 10, rue des Filles du Calvaire in Paris’ tenth arrondissement that reads, “Working women, do you want inexpensive clothing with the latest fashion and the best production and measurements?”*1 An image of a woman accompanies the ad. She is tall and slender with short hair, and she wears a cloche hat—a fitted, bell-shaped hat, typically made of felt, that was popular during the 1920s and 30s.2 Her jacket and skirt are tailored slimly. The position of her feet suggests that she is wearing heels. According to the Modern Girl Around the World Research Group, “Modern Girls [were portrayed in print media] with carefully made up faces, bobbed hair, exposed arms and backs, and bodies clad in the latest fashions.”3 These modern girls were the same “working women” featured in the tailor’s advertisement in Naye prese. Given the newspaper’s political and ethnic affiliation, we can read this interwar Modern Girl as more than just a workingwoman. She is a conscious worker aware of her class stature and trying to do something about it by engaging in contemporary bourgeois Parisian culture and lifestyle. More precisely, she dressed to subvert traditional Eastern European Jewish gender constructs that eschewed women’s economic contributions to the family. Her outfits—as promoted by the ad—embodied tensions that marked her community. Why, for example, did Naye prese—a Communist newspaper—present such bourgeois imagery within their ad copy? Even more, what role, if any, did these images play in helping immigrant Jews understand Paris and France’s interwar cultural and social context?
Farewell Laurie Eisenberg
Neil Caplan, The Israel-Palestine Conflict: Contested Histories Review by Alan Dowty
Rachel Feldhay Brenner, The Freedom to Write: The Woman-Artist and the World in Ruth Almog’s Fiction Review by Avraham Balaban
Jackie Feldman, Above the Death Pits, Beneath the Flag: Youth Voyages to Poland and the Performance of Israeli National Identity Review by Noam Schimmel
Michael R. Fischbach, Jewish Property Claims against Arab Countries Review by Aviva Klen-Franke
Asima A. Ghazi-Bouillon, Understanding the Middle East Peace Process: Israeli Academia and the Struggle for Identity Review by Mira Sucharov
Aviva Halamish, Meir Yaari: A Collective Biography: The First Fifty Years, 1987–1947 Review by Ilan Peleg
Tamar S. Hermann, The Israeli Peace Movement: A Shattered Dream Review by Gordon Fellman
Alexandra Nocke, The Place of the Mediterranean in Modern Israeli Identity Review by Karine Hamilton
Ami Pedahzur and Arie Perliger, Jewish Terrorism in Israel Review by Eran Schor
Yaron Peleg, Israeli Culture between the Two Intifadas: A Brief Romance Review by Philip Hollander
Orit Rosin, Duty and Love: Individualism and Collectivism in 1950s Israel Review by Michael Feige
Nita Schechet, Disenthralling Ourselves: Rhetoric of Revenge and Reconciliation in Contemporary Israel Review by Eran Fisher
Amit M. Schejter, Muting Israeli Democracy: How Media and Cultural Policy Undermine Free Expression Review by Dan Caspi
Patricia J. Woods, Judicial Power and National Politics: Courts and Gender in the Religious-Secular Conflict in Israel Review by Amnon Cavari
Johanna Gehmacher, Svetla Baloutzova, Orlin Sabev, Nezihe Bilhan, Tsvetelin Stepanov, Evgenia Kalinova, Zorana Antonijevic, Alexandra Ghit, Chiara Bonfiglioli, Ana Luleva, Barbara Klich-Kluczewska, Courtney Doucette, Katarzyna Stańczak-Wiślicz, Valentina Mitkova, Vjollca Krasniqi, Pepka Boyadjieva, Marina Hughson and Rayna Gavrilova
Gisela Bock, Geschlechtergeschichten der Neuzeit: Ideen, Politik, Praxis (Gender histories of the modern era: Ideas, politics, practice)
Helene Carlbäck, Yulia Gradskova, and Zhanna Kravchenko, eds., And They Lived Happily Ever After: Norms and Everyday Practices of Family and Parenthood in Russia and Eastern Europe
Peter Coleman, Daniela Koleva, and Joanna Bornat, eds., Ageing, Ritual and Social Change: Comparing the Secular and Religious in Eastern and Western Europe
Aslı Davaz, Es¸itsiz Kız Kardes¸lik: Uluslararası ve Ortadog˘u Kadın Hareketleri, 1935 Kongresi ve Türk Kadın Birlig˘i (Unequal sisterhood: International and Middle East women’s movements, the 1935 Congress and the Turkish Women’s Union)
Sashka Georgieva, Zhenata v bulgarskoto srednovekovie (Woman in medieval Bulgaria)
Kristen Ghodsee, The Left Side of History: World War II and the Unfulfilled Promise of Communism in Eastern Europe
Marina Hughson, Poluperiferija i rod: pobuna konteksta (The semiperiphery and gender: The rebellion of the context)
Luciana Jinga, Gen s¸i reprezentare în România comunista˘, 1944–1989 (Gender and representation in communist Romania, 1944–1989)
Roswitha Kersten-Pejanic, Simone Rajilic, and Christian Voß, eds., Doing Gender—Doing the Balkans: Dynamics and Persistence of Gender Relations in Yugoslavia and the Yugoslav Successor States
Daniela Koleva, ed., Ljubovta pri sotsializma: obraztsi, obrazi, tabuta (Love during socialism: Patterns, images, taboos)
Agnieszka Kos´cian´ska, Płec´, przyjemnos´c´ i przemoc: Kształtowanie wiedzy eksperckiej o seksualnos´ci w Polsce (Gender, pleasure, and violence: The construction of expert knowledge of sexuality in Poland)
Denis Kozlov, The Readers of Novyi Mir: Coming to Terms with the Stalinist Past
Anna Pelka, Z [politycznym] fasonem: Moda młodziez˙owa w PRL i NRD (In [political] fashion: Youth fashions in the PPR and the GDR)
Amelia Sanz, Francesca Scott, and Suzan van Dijk, eds., Women Telling Nations
Zilka Spahic´-Šiljak, ed., Contesting Female, Feminist and Muslim Identities: Post-Socialist Contexts of Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo - Reviewed by Vjollca Krasniqi Rumiana Stoilova, Pol i stratifikatsia: Vlianie na sotsialnia pol vurhu stratifikatsiata v Bulgaria sled 1989 g. (Gender and stratification: The impact of gender on stratification in Bulgaria after 1989)
Svetlana Tomic´, Realizam i stvarnost: Nova tumacˇenja proze srpskog realizma iz r odne perspective (Realism and reality: A new interpretation of Serbian realist prose from a gender perspective)
Ina Zweiniger-Bargielowska, Rachel Duffett, and Alain Drouard, eds., Food and War in Twentieth Century Europe
Kim Knibbe, Brenda Bartelink, Jelle Wiering, Karin B. Neutel, Marian Burchardt and Joan Wallach Scott
example. Or by pointing at the behavior of his supporters, who famously chanted “let’s put a penis inside her” during municipal consultations whenever a woman took the floor to stand up for the rights of refugees during the so-called refugee crisis (all