Lost in the (national) archive: the Modern Girl, literary cultures, and the magazine

Kuttainen, Victoria (2019) Lost in the (national) archive: the Modern Girl, literary cultures, and the magazine. Modernism/Modernity, 4 (2).

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This essay forms part of a special online issue of modernism/modernity focusing on methods of reading the magazine, using the case study of Canada's "Western Home Monthly." It focuses on the way in which national, aesthetic, and sexual politics shape and exclude certain figures and stories from literary history, on the one hand; and on the opportunities afforded by studying magazines for revising traditional understandings of national literary history, and literary modernity, on the other. Once sidelined as merely commercial artefacts, magazines were long considered enemies of women and literary culture, both of which they promiscuously courted and entangled. More recent scholarship of magazines—beginning with important work of Margaret Beetham on Victorian periodials, and extending into the Modernist Journals Project, which inspired the Canadian equivalent Modern Magazines Project (out of which this essay cluster arises)—have highlighted their value in assisting scholars to understand what was widely read in its own time and place, in ways that force serious reconsiderations of the literary past. As Anne Ardis has observed, these reconsiderations have have important implications for understandings of literary modernism, more wedded as it typically is to the logics of cultural scarcity, and for broader understandings of literary modernity, including literary feminism. This essay is self-reflexive methods-based reading of one full year of this monthly periodical, October 1931-October 1932, which raises issues about how its stories featuring the Modern Girl (more typically known as the Flapper), challenge established understandings of literary, cultural, and feminist history of Canada.

Item ID: 55819
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1080-6601
Keywords: advertisements; magazines; archives
Copyright Information: © Johns Hopkins University Press.
Additional Information:

This article is freely available via the publisher's website.

Funders: Margaret and Colin Roderick
Date Deposited: 05 Nov 2018 23:58
FoR Codes: 47 LANGUAGE, COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE > 4705 Literary studies > 470523 North American literature @ 75%
47 LANGUAGE, COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE > 4701 Communication and media studies > 470107 Media studies @ 25%
SEO Codes: 95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9505 Understanding Past Societies > 950506 Understanding the Past of the Americas @ 40%
95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9502 Communication > 950204 The Media @ 10%
95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9502 Communication > 950203 Languages and Literature @ 50%
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