Transnational Girlhood in Australian, New Zealand, and Canadian Print Cultures (1840-1940)
This project began in 2011 and will run until the end of 2013 with the support of the Australian Research Council. I am collaborating with Dr Kristine Moruzi at the University of Alberta and Professor Clare Bradford at Deakin University, Australia.
'From Colonial to Modern' aims to create new histories of colonial girlhood in the print cultures of Australian, New Zealand, and Canadian girls between 1840 and 1940. It will examine representations of girls in colonial and British texts to trace how colonial authors transformed British feminine norms to produce transnational ideals and, subsequently, modern, nationalised femininites. The first comparative study of texts for and about colonial girls, this interdisciplinary project's focus on colonial girlhood will extend our knowledge of the interplay of gender, empire, indigeneity and class in these three print cultures.
A fuller description of the scope and aims of our project is also available at our Canadian Writing Research Collaboratory page.
Colonial Girlhood/Colonial Girls conference
Conference website: http://www.avsa.unimelb.edu.au/colonialgirls.html
In 2012 we are hosting the 'Colonial Girlhood/Colonial Girls' conference and the SSHRC-funded '(Trans)National Girlhoods' workshop at the University of Melbourne (13-15 June). Our keynote speakers for the conference are Professor Angela Woollacott (Australian National University) and Associate Professor Cecily Devereux (University of Alberta). The combined program includes more than 50 speakers from Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, India, Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Singapore, Austria and Belgium.
In addition to producing an edited collection as an outcome of the conference, the team has several forthcoming publications resulting from the first year of the project. Kristine and Michelle have chapters forthcoming in Girls, Texts, Cultures (eds. Mavis Reimer and Clare Bradford, Waterloo, ON: Wilfrid Laurier UP, 2012) on British representations of Canadian and Australian girls respectively. Both also have forthcoming articles in Narratives and Repetition (ed. Mavis Reimer, Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan, 2013) on the Victorian School Paper and national and imperial identifications (Smith) and serialising girlhood in the periodical press (Moruzi). Finally, Michelle has a forthcoming article entitled "The 'Australian Girl' and the Domestic Ideal in Colonial Women's Fiction' in Victorian Settler Homes: Antipodal Domestic Fiction (Ed. Tamara S. Wagner) and Kristine has an article forthcoming in Jeunesse: Young People, Texts, Cultures on Canadian girlhood.
Images: Top: Cover illustration, The Black Cockatoo, Bessie Marchant, Religious Tract Society, 1910; Below: 'The New Zealand Girl', Girls' Realm, 1900, 151.