Forum: Empire, Migration, and the Fears of Interracial Sex c.1830-1938
LAURA TABILIEmpire is the enemy of love: Edith Noor’s Progress and other stories, pp. 5-28
LUCY BLANDWhite women and men of colour: Miscegenation fears in Britain after the Great War, pp. 29-61
JULIA CLANCY-SMITHWomen, gender, and migration along a Mediterranean frontier: Pre-colonial Tunisia, c. 1815-1870, pp. 62-92
ALICE L. CONKLINComment: The ties that bind? European working women and the shifting boundaries of sex, race and state, pp. 93-98
S. D. SMITHWomen’s admission to guilds in early-modern England: The case of the York Merchant Tailors’ Company, 1693-1776, pp. 99-127
TANYA EVANS‘Unfortunate objects’: London’s unmarried mothers in the eighteenth century, pp. 127-153
NITA KUMARMothers and non-mothers: Gendering the discourse of education in South Asia, pp. 154-182
ANDREA L. SMALLEY‘I just like to kill things’: Women, men and the gender of sport hunting in the United States, 1940-1973, pp. 183-209
BOOKS REVIEWED IN THIS ISSUE
Alan Bray, 'The Friend' (2003)
Patricia Fortini Brown, 'Private Lives in Renaissance Venice: Art, Architecture and the Family' (2004)
K.J.P Lowe, 'Nuns' Chronicles and Convent Culture in Renaissance and Counter-Reformation Italy' (2003)
Natalie R. Tomas, 'The Medici Women: Gender and Power in Renaissance Florence' (2003)
Helen Berry, 'Gender, Society and Print Culture in Late-Stuart England: The Cultural World of the Athenian Mercury' (2003)
Mihoko Suzuki, 'Subordinate Subjects: Gender, the Political Nation, and Literary Form in England, 1588-1688' (2003)
Patience A. Schell, 'Church and State Education in Revolutionary Mexico City' (2003)
Susie S. Porter, 'Working Women in Mexico City: Public Discourses and Material Conditions, 1879-1931' (2003)
Nell Irvin Painter, 'Southern History Across the Color Line' (2002)
Michael Zakim, 'Ready-Made Democracy: A History of Men's Dress in the American Republic, 1760-1860' (2003)
Sarah Watts, 'Rough Rider in the White House: Theodore Roosevelt and the Politics of Desire' (2003)
Thomas Winter, 'Making Men, Making Class: The YMCA and Workingmen, 1877-1920' (2002)
Gail Braybon (ed.), 'Evidence, History, and the Great War: Historians and the Impact of 1914-1918' (2003)
Fabrice Virgili, 'Shorn Women: Gender and Punishment in Liberation France' trans. John Flower (La France 'virile': les femmes tondues à la Libération) (2002)
Empire is the Enemy of Love: Edith Noor’s Progress and Other StoriesLAURA TABILI
Cases discovered in the British Colonial Office archives of the 1920s and 1930s show how different branches of the imperial state struggled with interracial couples and families to define their rightful place in the empire. As discursive analysis historically contextualised shows, state servants striving to maintain colonial power relations held assumptions about racial and cultural differences that reacted in unpredictable ways with their deeply gendered and classed judgements about interracial marriages and the women in them. This evidence reveals that racial distinction or ‘whiteness’ was neither the sole nor even the primary variable driving these decisions. Discourses of gender, class, culture, sexual danger and spatial location were equally powerful.
White Women and Men of Colour: Miscegenation Fears in Britain after the Great WarLUCY BLAND
This article examines miscegenation fears in Britain in the period after World War I, noting three dominant discourses: that miscegenation leads inevitably to violence between white and black men (focusing on the 1919 race riots), that these relationships involve sexual immorality (analysing the 1920 ‘Black Horror on the Rhine’, a case involving a white woman, a Chinese man and drugs and a trial of a white woman for killing her Egyptian husband) and that miscegenation has ‘disastrous’ procreative consequences. It is suggested that miscegenation stood as one British boundary marker, separating the nationally acceptable and the nationally threatening. The parties concerned- the ‘primitive’ man of colour, the white woman of a ‘low type’ and the ‘misfit’ offspring –were each pathologised in terms of their deviant sexuality. Yet interracial relationships did not decrease, quite the contrary. The move in Britain towards a more racially mixed community began in the years after the Great War, when certain white women made choices against the norms of respectable femininity.
Women, Gender and Migration along a Mediterranean Migratory Frontier: Pre-Colonial Tunisia, c.1815–1870JULIA CLANCY-SMITH
This paper investigates gendered mechanisms for regulating migrants and migration in a pre-colonial Muslim state, Tunisia, from the end of the Napoleonic Wars to the eve of colonialism. Trans-Mediterranean migration to, and permanent settlement in, nineteenth century Tunis, the capital city, constituted a major stimulus for political, cultural and social transformations that endured into the colonial period. Employing diverse documentation, the case study analyses this Mediterranean migratory current of ordinary women and men to test the theoretical literature based primarily on trans-Atlantic movements, which has emphasised the ‘diversity of social positioning’ for women migrants. The paper argues that for pre-colonial Tunisia, a state that was both an Ottoman province and a part of the larger Mediterranean world, the system of diplomatic protection represented a critical form of positioning. Moreover, Mediterranean states, both European and Muslim, had a long tradition of controlling the movements of women in port cities. Two distinct historical moments in the settlement of women from the Mediterranean islands in pre-colonial Tunisia are compared. This approach not only enables an assessment of whether women’s movements across international borders can attenuate, if only momentarily, patriarchal authority, but also encourages reflection on how gender explains historical variations in global migratory displacements as well as to what extent colonialism serves as an satisfactory explanatory framework for the gendering of communal boundaries.
Women’s Admission to Guilds in Early-Modern England: The Case of the York Merchant Tailors’ Company, 1693–1776S. D. SMITH
The admission of women into the York merchant tailors’ is a remarkable episode in the history of post-medieval guilds. Within England, the York experience was probably exceptional; across Europe more generally, it can be classified as a rare phenomenon. The article analyses male and female merchant tailors and apprentices in order to identify the gender-specific characteristics of women guild members. It argues that the decision of the York Company to admit women illustrates that guilds could be flexible in their responses to female employment, depending on local conditions, particularly the attitude of the civic corporation. In consequence, generalisations about the relationship between guild regulation and women’s work need to be tested against the results of specific case studies.
‘Unfortunate Objects’: London’s Unmarried Mothers in the Eighteenth CenturyTANYA EVANS
Unmarried mothers in eighteenth-century London captivated the public imagination in unprecedented ways. Using the petitions for admission into London’s Foundling hospital, this article argues that unmarried mothers did not have to conform to a model of female sexual passivity, of ‘respectable illegitimacy’, in order to receive charitable relief in the eighteenth-century metropolis. The governors of the Foundling Hospital could be indiscriminate in the petitions that they passed. This did not mean, however, that petitioners were unaware of how best to represent their case in their attempts to find a home for their child. But throughout the eighteenth century, ‘proper objects of charity’ included petitioners with many different stories to tell. These were determined by the concerns and questions of the Foundling Hospital’s authorities and were not unproblematic representations of poor women’s mental maps, but this piece emphasises that the circumstances of their lives rarely required embellishment to convince others of their necessity. Economic need rather than shame was the all-important criterion in the admission of a child into the Foundling Hospital. Women’s accounts of their lives provided overwhelming evidence that they, rather than the fathers of their babies, were the ‘unfortunate sex’, but they were neither hopeless nor without desire. The language of the petitions was intimately related to the everyday lives of London’s poor. What framed most of the accounts presented by petitioners was not seduction, shame or secrecy but misfortune.
Mothers and Non-Mothers: Gendering the Discourse of Education inSouth AsiaNITA KUMAR
This essay brings together and complicates three stories within South Asian education history by gendering them. Thus modern education was actively pursued by mothers for their sons; indigenous education should be understood as continuing at home; and women were crucial actors in men’s reform and nationalism efforts through both collaboration and resistance. Gendered history should go beyond the separate story of girls and women, or the understanding of women as mothers and mothers as the nation, to see these three processes as gendered. The paper argues for the coming together of historical and anthropological arguments and for using literature imaginatively.
‘‘I Just Like to Kill Things’’: Women, Men and the Gender of SportHunting in the United States, 1940–1973ANDREA L. SMALLEY
This paper examines women’s place in sportsmen’s magazines and their role in the creation of sport hunting’s image in the post-war United States. It argues that sport-hunting women were not challenging post-war constructions of femininity or domesticity. Nevertheless, sportsmen attacked women’s attempts to construe hunting as heterosocial recreation, fearing that they would undermine hunting’s cultural significance. Instead, the dominant, male-authored discourse connected authentic hunting to a new post-war formulation of masculinity that revolved around militarism and the emotional bonds between men developed through battlefield experiences. This analysis takes seriously both men’s and women’s interpretations of a cultural practice historically associated with one sex, in order to reveal how gender identities are constructed and contested.
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