Fashion photography -- Germany -- History -- 1918-1933.
Women -- Germany -- Social conditions -- 1918-1933.
Women photographers -- Germany -- History -- 1918-1933.
This paper examines the relevance of fashion photography as a source for the study of women's modernity in Germany between the wars as it focuses on the work of a fascinating and prolific professional photographer of the late 1920s and early 1930s—Else Neuländer Simon—known by her artistic name Yva. Yva discovered her own unique visual language somewhere between the commercial clichés and the modernist idioms of her time. As a successful professional photographer, she continuously searched for an image of the woman in fashion and advertisement photography that was not reductive and degrading. In an era when images of the woman as a sexual symbol were dominating mass media and were proven to attract customers, Yva positioned her photographed female model in a way that did not diminish her to a mere eye-catcher for the male spectator.
This essay shifts the critical focus away from representations of variant gender identities during the interwar period and turns to the issue of representation itself. Hence, my reading of Gertrude Stein's The Making of Americans as a "poetics of difference" moves the site of confrontation from the material body to the materiality of language. My discussion focuses on aspects of the text's anti-narrative techniques and includes a consideration of its resistance to principles of origin and closure, its punning, and its highly self-referential narrative voice. In light of modernist representations of sex and gender changes that both challenge and, with varying degrees of ambiguity, continue to uphold binary models of identity, Stein's text is shown partly to critique that paradoxical effect through a self-conscious dismantling of its own and (by inference) other texts' linguistic process.
experimental writing / gender / identity / language / representation / queer theory / Stein, Gertrude
This essay examines Irene Rathbone's wartime diary and her overlooked novel We That Were Young (1932) as key texts for our understanding of women's participation in World War I and of their contribution to that conflict's literary canon. Rathbone's novel is a feminist revision of war narratives foregrounding an ambivalent attitude toward the war and the changes it brought within English society. Rathbone both rewrites a typically male war history by featuring a marginal heroine in a liminal position between safety and danger at work near the front, and she also revises her personal wartime writings into a public work of testimony. My essay ultimately argues that Rathbone's formally traditional texts complicate and expand limited definitions of modernism as aesthetic experimentation and convey modern thematic concerns such as changing gender roles and the relativity of time during and after the war.
autobiography / fiction / First World War / Rathbone, Irene / trauma
Fitzgerald, F. Scott (Francis Scott), 1896-1940. Tender is the night.
Sex differences (Psychology) in literature.
Psychic trauma in literature.
World War, 1914-1918 -- United States -- Literature and the war.
This paper examines how the era between the world wars also produced conditions for a traumatization of gender. Judith Butler's concept of performative gender and Cathy Caruth's work on trauma provide the concepts needed to interrogate the psychological connections between gender and trauma. This connection also manifests itself physically, written on the body itself through illness or decline; the psychological becomes physical, negating any notion of a mind-body split. These relationships between gender and trauma, trauma and performative gender, and trauma and the body, are teased out through an examination of F. Scott Fitzgerald's 1934 novel, Tender Is the Night, Fitzgerald's most conspicuously modernist work. Frequently read as a parable of moral decline, Tender Is the Night shows how trauma disrupts gender performance and arises from it, exposing the artifice of gender in the postwar world.
Fitzgerald, F. Scott / gender / performativity / Tender Is the Night / trauma / World War I
Feminism and literature -- China -- History -- Republic, 1912-1949.
This paper examines the cultural figures of the New Woman and the Modern Girl in Republican China (1911-1949). In addition to reflecting the anxieties arising from a changing gender ideology, these contending images reveal anxieties associated with the concept of modernity and the modern nation project. The New Woman represents a positive view of linear modernity and hopes for a strong future China. The Modern Girl manifests in two distinct ways: as a self-absorbed woman searching for subjectivity and as a dangerous femme fatale who devours the urban male. Both of these manifestations reveal deep anxieties over the alienation and loss that accompany modernity. Literary works by Ding Ling, Mao Dun, Shi Zhecun, and others reveal that the figures of the New Woman and the Modern Girl cross political and canonical lines. They can best be distinguished by their use in depicting the hopes, fears, pleasures, and dangers of modernity.
China / gender / literature / Modern Girl / modernity / New Woman / subjectivity
Russian literature -- 20th century -- History and criticism.
The following paper analyzes changes in Soviet gender politics of the 1920s and 1930s. It starts with a general discussion of the relationship between Marxism and feminism, emphasizing issues especially relevant in the Soviet context. The second focus of the article is Fedor Gladkov's Cement, a novel originally written between 1922 and 1924 but reworked several times during the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s, as the official policy on women was changing. By sketching out the differences between the first and later version of Cement, the author shows how Stalinism emerged also as a response to the 1920s inability to deal with undermined traditional gender relations (and not just as a result of Stalin's consolidation of power). Consequently, it seems, all projects that aim to construct a "better society" must start with an analysis of sexual difference and desire.
World War, 1914-1918 -- England -- Literature and the war.
This essay argues that the parallel careers of Rebecca West and Virginia Woolf illuminate the extent to which modernist women writers came to identify the centrality of feminist consciousness in an understanding of public violence. In their fictional representations of World War I, West's The Return of the Soldier (1918) and Woolf's Jacob's Room (1922), both authors use narrative indirections to diagnose the two problems of patriarchal culture: that it glorifies militaristic and materialistic models of masculinity (what West calls "lunacy"), and that it renders women complicit in male violence (the corresponding "idiocy"). Almost two decades later, they address World War II in their non-fiction: Woolf's pacifist polemic Three Guineas (1938) and West's hybrid travelogue Black Lamb and Grey Falcon (1941). With a conscious self-referentiality, these two later works posit women's writing as the only antidote to the apparently interminable public violence of men and to the deceptions of women's attempts at private disengagement.
Black Lamb, Grey Falcon / modernism / Three Guineas / war /
West, Rebecca / Woolf, Virginia
McClary, Susan. Feminine endings: music, gender, and sexuality.
Solie, Ruth A., ed. Musicology and difference: gender and sexuality in music scholarship.
McClary, Susan. Conventional wisdom: the content of musical form.
Cook, Susan C., ed. Cecilia reclaimed: feminist perspectives on gender and music.
Tsou, Judy S., ed.
Hisama, Ellie M. Gendering musical modernism: the music of Ruth Crawford, Marion Bauer, and Miriam Gideon.
Feminism and music.
Moran, Patricia (Patricia L.)
Women's Writing on the First World War, and: Nurses at the Front: Writing the Wounds of the Great War, and: The Second Battlefield: Women, Modernism, and the First World War, and: French Women and the First World War: War Stories of the Home Front (review) [Access article in HTML][Access article in PDF] Subject Headings:
Cardinal, Agnes, ed. Women's writing on the First World War.
Goldman, Dorothy, ed.
Hattaway, Judith, ed.
Higonnet, Margaret R., ed. Nurses at the front: writing the wounds of the Great War.
Smith, Angela K. Second battlefield: women, modernism, and the First World War.
Darrow, Margaret H., 1950- French women and the First World War: war stories of the home front.
World War, 1914-1918 -- Literary collections.
La Motte, Ellen Newbold, 1873-1961.
McCarthy, Margaret, 1963-
Baroness Elsa: Gender, Dada, and Everyday Modernity--A Cultural Biography, and: Gender and Sexuality in Weimar Modernity: Film, Literature, and "New Objectivity" (review) [Access article in HTML][Access article in PDF] Subject Headings:
Gammel, Irene, 1959- Baroness Elsa: gender, dada, and everyday modernity--a cultural biography.
McCormick, Richard W., 1951- Gender and sexuality in Weimar modernity: film, literature, and "new objectivity".