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Women's mobility


Adrien Rannaud
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 6
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Dear Faye, thank you for this rich and engaging presentation, I found there several aspects summoned in your book written with Michelle Smith. I am very curious about that image of the woman alone on a boat coming back from one magazine to another. It's clear that these magazines are trying to promote women's mobility, and yet, as far as I know, these periodicals (notably La Revue populaire) focus more on the reproduction of the traditional conjugal model, and not on the model of what Nathalie Heinich calls "the unattached woman" or "the single woman”. Do magazines encourage travel for single women in both information and advertising? In other words, are single women encouraged to travel, and for what purpose? And is there a difference between French and English magazines on this subject?

Faye Hammill
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 25

Thank you Adrien: this is an especially good question - I think it will be very useful for my current project on ocean liners. Actually yes, in going back through the archive that Michelle and I collected, looking for material for this new project, I have found more items relating to single women as opposed to family travel. This is still, as you rightly note, the exception rather than the norm, but they are intriguing items. More often, they are pictures rather than pieces of writing. But I have particularly enjoyed finding essays by Claire Wallace (1930s), Margaret vollmer (1950s) and others. Certainly, as you would expect, the magazines from the mid-century offer more representations of women travelling than do those from the interwar years. I must admit that so far, my examples are almost all  from the anglophone magazines, but this may be accidental. I think Victoria Kuttainen may have more to say on this: her research has focused a lot on the figure of the travelling girl.