Running the Gamut and the Gauntlet
Sponsored By: Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program, Honors Center, History Department and College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Location: Honors Center
Contact: Kathleen M. Dowley, x2975, firstname.lastname@example.org
Web Site: http://www.newpaltz.edu/wmnstudies/colloquium.html
Dr. Susan I. Lewis
SUNY New Paltz
Dr. Emily Hamilton-Honey
Running the Gamut and the Gauntlet:
Mixed Messages in World War I Girls' Series Fiction
â€œAmerican women today are a bundle of contradictions because much of the media imagery we grew up with was itself filled with mixed messages about what women should and should not do, what women could and could not be.â€ So Susan Douglas argued in her path-breaking study, Where the Girls Are: Growing up Female with the Mass Media. Though Douglas was speaking about girlhood in the late 1950s and early 1960s, her observation is equally true of other periods in history.
This presentation will focus on the mixed messages that girlsâ€™ series transmitted to their young readers during the First World War, a period when women were attempting to forge new, more active roles on both the home-front and the battlefront. We will explore the ways in which these fictional adventures simultaneously celebrated and restricted the power of their heroines â€“ and through them, the imagination of their girl fans.