May 1 2010: Nineteenth Century Feminism, Press & Platform

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Nineteenth Century Gender Studies
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A Special Issue on “Nineteenth Century Feminisms: Press and Platform” in Nineteenth Century Gender Studies (

Guest Edited by Susan Hamilton (University of Alberta) and Janice Schroeder (Carleton University).

Deadline for completed submissions: 1 May 2010

Historian Barbara Caine has suggested that women’s political writing – from speeches and platform addresses to essays, newspaper editorials, and broadsheets -- tends to be assessed primarily as part of specific political campaigns rather than approached as specific forms of writing. Recent scholarship on women’s political work as journalists, including writers such as Elizabeth Banks, Frances Power Cobbe, Harriet Martineau, Margaret Oliphant, and Eliza Lynn Linton, has begun to address this oversight, paving the way for new contributions to this field. At the same time, broadly-based research on women and the literary politics of anonymity and signature, women’s work as editors of both large and small-scale publications, and accounts of individual periodicals and the production of “women’s space,” suggests the need for more investigations into the gendered culture of nineteenth-century print journalism. This special issue calls for papers addressing the relations between nineteenth-century feminisms (broadly defined) and the press, including the public culture of speaking, clubbing and organizing which often turned to the press as a critical tool. Possible questions include:
• How do we define what counts as “political” when we approach women’s contributions to the nineteenth century press?
• How did the press help make modern feminism? How did modern feminism help make the press?
• How does the multiple serial forms of the 19thC press shape feminist argument and strategy?
• How did women’s writing for the press help to re-shape the emerging profession of journalism but also public culture in a broad sense? How did women’s journalism help shape what counts as “the public,” or as “a public?”
• How were nineteenth-century gender politics, or specifically a feminist politics, continually reimagined in and by the press?
• What kinds of “female spaces” were created within the larger networks of print journalism?
• What kinds of feedback loops existed between women’s writing for the press and other forms of public engagement, such as public speaking, clubbing, teaching, missionary work, and political organizing?
• Who were the women readers of nineteenth-century newspapers and magazines? How did their acts of reading help make the press and nineteenth century public culture?
• What is the relationship between women’s writing, feminist politics, and mass and/or popular culture? What can we learn about this relationship from the Victorian press?
• What was the role of male editors, journalists, and mentors in shaping a feminist press and a feminist public?

Expressions of strong interest should be sent by 15 February 2010.
Complete submissions (full length manuscripts between 5000-8000 words following MLA style; no abstracts please) and one-paragraph bios should be emailed as Microsoft Word attachments to: Dr. Susan Hamilton ( or Dr. Janice Schroeder ( by 1 May 2010. To facilitate the review process, please send two files—one with your article absent of all identifying information and another with your brief biographical note.

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