Marriott Copley Hotel, Boston, Massachusetts
Organization: NeMLA (Northeast Modern Language Association)
Event: NeMLA 51st Annual Convention
A call for papers that highlight the role of the magazine in shaping feminism within the 20th century, from supporting minority groups to emancipation and championing equality and sexual freedom.
The predominant narrative of First- Wave feminism was the vote, the predominant narrative of Second -Wave was equality. However, just as Judith Evans states there was more to Second-Wave feminism in Feminist Theory Today: An introduction into Second Wave feminism (1995). Olive Banks argued that there were other influences to First -Wave feminism, such as the social and political concepts which she outlines within her book Becoming a feminist, The Social Origins of “Firstwave” Feminism (1986). Whereas Laura Schwartz highlights the importance of the role religion played to the movement within infidel Feminism: Secularism, religion and women’s emancipation, England 1830 – 1914 (2012). Whilst these concepts were influential to the movement, the importance of the magazine and periodical as a medium that shaped feminism is often overlooked.
The significance of this session is to outline how the magazine helped shape feminism throughout the Twentieth Century; how they outline what it is to be a feminist; how they provide a platform for feminist discussion; how they connect women on a global scale; how they provide a space where the like-minded champion female independence and equality; how they provide a space where contributors challenge instilled gender perceptions and re-evaluated the role of women in society; how they allow readers to communicate with the editors of the magazine as well as other readers, an engagement that enables a magazine community. Making the magazine a symbolic badge of allegiance, creating a blueprint that helped shape and develop feminism and feminist ideologies within the last century.