The Women’s Radio in Europe Network (WREN) is an initiative of the Tensions of Europe network, which is dedicated to exploring the transnational histories of technology in Europe.
We do this by ‘sounding out the boundaries’: exploring the way women have made dis/connections over borders in Europe by using the radio – as producers, technicians, experts, amateurs, listeners and a range of other capacities. In so doing, we will explore the way the media and identities were shaped and gendered as part of a shifting ensemble of media messages and (domestic) technologies. By following the paths of radio’s subtle embedding into a range of everyday encounters, we will explore new histories – and geographies – of Europe.
The initiative has two key aims. First of all, we will develop our transnational research agenda into an innovative programme of new research. We are in the process of developing a network of researchers around our key theme areas. See our members page to gain an overview of who is involved – and please contact us (womensineurope[at]gmail.com) if you are interested in joining!
Besides exploring existing cross-border connections, we are also looking to create them. We hope, in the coming months and years, to develop this website as a central information point for exchanging knowledge and experience. Watch this space!
PS… The acronym WREN was of course also used for the women’s navy forces both in the UK and Canada. Like many other women in armed forces, WRENs were very often in charge of radio operation. Our banner photo shows WREN Tel(S) Jaqui LaPointe, a Special Wireless operator and member of the Women’s Royal Canadian Naval Service (WRCNS) in a promotional photo from August 1945. (The photo is from the Canadian National Archives PA-142540 and is out of copyright. Please see Jerry Proc’s tribute site to the HMCS Coverdale for much more)