Negotiating Gendered Spaces in Colonial Press: Wives of European planters in British Malaya
Abstract

Abstract:

Wives of European planters in British Malaya from the 1920s onward publicly expressed a protean range of opinions regarding the socioeconomic and political lives of Europeans in imperial outposts through contributions to colonial newspapers. Their writings appeared on front pages and editorial columns, creating local and global networks of dialogical knowledge, which enabled them to transcend their physical isolation. In the process these women also laid bare the cleavages of class, rank and gender, which often remain hidden within the 'colonial' identity. Evidence shows that these colonial women became producers and consumers of information during a period in which it was still rare for women to engage in public political debate. Their success in accessing the public space of daily news and in building global networks reveals an agency that could both support and subvert the masculine space of empire.


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