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This website is part of a SSHRC-funded research project focusing on feminism and media in interwar Britain. The larger project involves a critical examination of media used by activists and organizations to frame, debate, and publicize a range of social, political, economic, and cultural issues affecting women in the interwar period in Britain. Print media–in the form of periodicals, newsletters, pamphlets, memoirs, collected essays, and literary genres–were instrumental in the continued mobilization of support for new and ongoing reform campaigns in the aftermath of WWI. The main goal is to demonstrate how these figures, groups, and their media represent both the continuity and transformation of women’s movements in the period (eg. National Union of Societies for Equal Citizenship, Women’s Freedom League, and the Six Point Group). The goal of the analysis is to challenge persistent historical assumptions about the demise of feminist activism or tendencies to characterize reform efforts in these years as conservative compared with the highly visible forms of contentious collective action typified by the pre-war suffrage campaign. The events and dynamics of the interwar decades (economic crises, unprecedented levels of unemployment, rise of communism and fascism) presented significant challenges to campaigns devoted to addressing gender inequalities. Feminist media offer insights into how reformers mediated and responded to these major developments.
The site is limited in its scope due to resources, availability of material and copyright restrictions. While my own work focuses on the periodicals related to key organizations (eg. Woman’s Leader, Time and Tide, and The Vote), the website is an opportunity to indicate the diversity of noteworthy periodicals. We hope eventually to offer at least a sample issue of a range of titles from the period. We have included some basic information for each periodical, drawing on the essential reference guide, Feminist Periodicals 1855-1984, edited by David Doughan and Denise Sanchez. Along with sample periodicals, we offer some additional resources which we hope will be helpful to readers, students, and researchers interested in the period. These include resources such as Victoria Kennedy’s guides to literary reviews and short fiction published in Time and Tide (1920-1929). As far as we know, no other indices of this kind exist for this important feminist cultural review of the interwar period. While the site is still under construction, we will be adding short critical essays and related resources in time.
As project director, I welcome feedback from users of the site and I especially welcome relevant or related material to feature as part of the collection.
Department of English and Film Studies
Wilfrid Laurier University
About the Contributors