My Website

Monday, 4 July 2011

Catching up on journal literature IX (and chapters in edited volumes)

Shani D'Cruze, Everyday Violence in Britain, 1850-1950: Gender and Class (Harlow: Longman, 2000). This has some excellent and for my purposes extremely useful essays:
            Kim Stevenson, '"Ingenuities of the female mind": legal and public perceptions of sexual violence in Victorian England, 1850-1890' pp 89-103
            Joanne Jones '"She resisted with all her might": sexual violence against women in late C19th Manchester and the local press' pp 104-118
            Jacky Burnett 'Exposing "the inner life": the Women's Cooperative Guilds's attitude to "cruelty"' pp 136-152 - how working class women perceived cruelty: far more broadly than the physical - and husbands were often aware of the limits and avoided doing anything that would constitute legal grounds for separation. Plus, rape in marriage definitely seen as an issue.
            Julie English Early, 'Keeping ourselves to ourselves: violence in the Edwardian suburb' pp 170-184: attitudes to the suburb, itself a rather feminised space perhaps, and perceptions of the slovenly yet consumerist suburban housewife and how these stereotypes of bad wifeness were in play in the Crippen case (Crippen as 'poor little man' who had rid himself of a monster)
            Lucy Bland, 'The trial of Madame Fahmy: Orientalism, violence, sexual perversity and the fear of miscegenation' pp.185-197: classic piece on how issues around race, miscegenation and 'oriental perversions' trumped dodgy female character in case of (French) wife shooting (Egyptian) husband, positioning her as victim

Andrew Mangham and Greta DePledge, The Female Body in Medicine and Literature (Liverpool University Press, 2011): a couple of good pieces for my purposes in this:
            Laurie Garrison, '"She read on more eagerly, almost breathlessly": Mary Elizabeth Braddon's challenge to medical depictions of female masturbation in The Doctor's Wife' pp 148-168. Garrison is very sound on the position of female masturbation within the wider discourses on self-abuse, i.e. marginalised and either negligible or intensely pathologised. As always with this kind of reading of literary texts, I'm not entirely convinced there isn't a certain amount of overinterpretation (why I liked Sharon Marcus's claims for surface reading so much). However, anyone who points out that there are significant problems with the famous Sedgwick piece on Jane Austen and the masturbating girls gains points with me.
            Emma L Jones, 'Representations of illegal abortionists in England, 1900-1967', 196-215. Extremely useful and thoroughly researched piece, including the important point that it's very difficult to track down the medical market in abortions except via fiction and memoir - the doctors who did get prosecuted tending to be marginalised figures for one or another reason who did not get any benefits from professional collegiality and back-covering. Notes that literary representations of back street abortions tends to focus on the more sensational and violent aspects. Evidence that women abortionists were concerned about hygiene - handwashing, use of disinfectant along with the soap, etc. 

Going well with this, Tania Macintosh, 'An Abortionist City. Maternal Mortality, Abortion and Birth Control in Sheffield, 1920-1940' Medical History 44 (2000), , p. 75-97: local evidence, including use of the problematic but still useful Joint Council on Midwifery survey reports, the problems of definition of illegal/spontaneous, the way it was embedded in a fairly patriarchal industrial culture, the relative failure of local birth control clinics have an impact for that reason (though intriguing reference to dienoestrol being used at one, which I think like stilboestrol was being deployed as an abortifacient?).

K. Craig Gibson, 'Sex and Soldiering in France and Flanders. The British Expeditionary Force Along the Western Front, 1914-1919' The International History Review 23 (2001),  p. 535-580. Mostly about relationships between men and local women, suggesting that even close to the front line there were women around (is countering idea that only those well behind the trenches had much access to women & sex), that contact were quite varied in nature, and that mostly if relationships did occur they were transient.

Philip Howell, 'Sex and the City of Bachelors. Sporting Guidebooks and Urban Knowledge in Nineteenth-Century Britain and America' Ecumene 8 (2001), p. 20-51: extremely interesting piece on guidebooks aiming to provide a key to the metropolis and its delights alongside cautions about its dangers. Suggests that these were aspirational for relatively lower-class men, who were not the kind of men of the world who would have this kind of knowledge already. City as site of access to women: desires and anxieties. Misogyny.

Stephen Brooke, 'A New World for Women? Abortion Law Reform in Britain During the 1930s' American Historical Review 106 (2001), , p. 431-459. Makes important point about the complexity of the case ALRA was making for reform - that the maternalism is not just about pro-natalism, it's an empowered/ing maternalist rhetoric. 

Rebecca  Jones, '"That's Very Rude, I Shouldn't be Telling you That" . Older Women Talking about Sex' Narrative Inquiry 12 (2002), , p. 121-143. Not in fact what I was expecting (older women telling younger women about sex): it's pretty much current awareness and playing off from the idea that 'people think old people are sexless/shouldn't be having sex' and the liberal (one woman called it 'Woman's Hour') notion that of course they should, and found that respondents were engaging with both these notions and having problems of fit.

No comments:

Post a comment