Edited Collection: Women in Journalism at the Fin de Siecle

full name / name of organization: 
F. Elizabeth Gray/ Massey University, New Zealand
contact email: 

Submissions are invited for an edited collection of scholarly essays on women's journalism between 1880 and 1910, entitled 'Making a Name for Herself: Women in Journalism at the fin de siecle', for consideration by Palgrave Macmillan. The collection aims to investigate how the work of British women journalists at the turn of the century furthers critical understanding of the intersection of gender, canonicity, and questions of high vs low culture; of women writers' strategic commodification of self and of style; and of the complex relationship between fame and literary style.

Recent studies into nineteenth-century periodical culture have begun to examine the literary politics of anonymity, signature, and gender. Between 1880 and 1910, women became increasingly numerous and prominent in British journalism, promoting themselves as never before, and capitalising in new ways on the changing conditions of the journalistic industry. Yet much of their groundbreaking work, and even many of their names, have been unjustly forgotten. The volume will focus on this period of transforming cultural, gender, and economic paradigms and consider a series of questions: What was literary fame? What did it mean, particularly, for a turn-of-the-century woman? Could one achieve literary fame in a contested, even borderline literary field like journalism? What strategies did individual women journalists pursue in the search for name and fame in the period? How might the transformations in journalism be used to women's advantage? What was the status of journalism, for women particularly? How might women writers manipulate both their writing and their publicity to secure fame and financial success? Might their strategies be perceived to be 'selling out'?

It is envisioned that each essay will treat an individual woman journalist, discussing the construction of a career rather than focussing on a particular article, and it is hoped that a range of critical perspectives and disciplinary focuses, ranging from literature, art history, media history, and cultural studies, will inform the essays. Currently, contributors are writing on Rosamund Marriott Watson, Alice Meynell, Hulda Friederichs, Lady Henry Somerset, and Elizabeth Pennell. For the purposes of this volume, women journalists will be defined as women for whom journalism was a primary professional pursuit, even if not the exclusive pursuit, and women whose writing in periodicals achieved in their own day a degree of public recognition in terms of its quality, and not just quantity; that is, women who in this period had begun to 'make a name for themselves' in journalism. Each essay in this volume should explicitly engage with the ways in which the woman journalist defined her journalism and her role within the journalistic industry.

Contributors are invited to explore the journalism produced by writers including but not limited to the following:
- Emily Crawford
- Phebe Lankester
- Flora Shaw
- Frances Low
- Mary Frances Billington
- Edith Simcox

Submission guidelines:

Contributors are asked to send an abstract of 400-500 words with a working title, full contact information, and a one-page CV, in a MSWord attachment to F.E.Gray@massey.ac.nz on or before May 31, 2010

Completed essays should be 6000 – 8000 words (MLA style) and will be due for submission November 2010.