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Programme for Sonic Cyberfeminisms is now online…

Following on from the post on the Call for contributions: SONIC CYBERFEMINISMS   The conference will begin later this week.  Check it out here.

Call for contributions: SONIC CYBERFEMINISMS

SONIC CYBERFEMINISMS
UNIVERSITY OF LINCOLN, UK
5-6th MAY 2017

DEADLINE FOR PROPOSALS: 12 FEBRUARY 2017

Details here:  https://soniccyberfeminisms.wordpress.com/

New Article: “Innovation, women’s work and the documentary impulse: pioneering moments and stalled opportunities in public service broadcasting in Australia and Britain” by Virginia Madsen

Another dispatch from Australia:

 

Virginia Madsen has just published a new article comparing women’s work on features in Australian and Britain in Media Australia International.  (And indeed, do check out all of Media International Australia, Volume 161, Issue 1, dealing with women’s work)

 

Abstract

This article explores the roles of some of the key women producers, broadcasters and writers who were able to work within the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) and Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) from their foundational periods to the 1950s. Despite the predominantly male culture of radio broadcasting from the 1920s to the 1970s, this article considers the significance and long-term impacts of some of these overlooked female pioneers at the forefront of developing a range of new reality and ‘talk’ forms and techniques. While the article draws on primary BBC research, it also aims to address these openings, cultures and roles as they existed historically for women in the ABC. How did the ABC compare in its foundational period? Significantly, this paper contrasts the two organisations in the light of their approaches to modernity, arguing that BBC features, the department it engendered, and the traditions it influenced, had far reaching impacts; one of these relating to those opportunities opened for women to develop entirely new forms of media communication: the unrehearsed interview and actuality documentary programmes.

Australian Women in Radio online at the NFSA

Carla Teixeira has authored a new online feature for Australia’s National Film and Sound Archive  about “Women in Radio” chronicling the lives and work of many of Australia’s women radio pioneers.   Through texts and sound clips from seven key women in the early years of Australian wireless, it highlights the roles of women not only as presenters and performers but also as writers and producers from the earliest years.

 

 

 

Women hams ride the radio wave in India

Fascinating story on Scroll.in about amateur radio in India, including some references as well to the peculiar culture of gender that has evolved since the earliest days:

 

The term YL, or young lady, meaning an unmarried woman of any age, was coined in 1920 as a concession to the growing number of female hams. In time, when women married, they became known as XYLs, or ex-young ladies. After women operators in 1940 took umbrage to the second term, it became convention to call any licensed female ham, regardless of marital status, YL. Unlicensed wives of operators are XYLs. Men, regardless of marital status, are OM or old man.

Prasad is something of a trailblazer in the world of hams in India, with more awards and felicitations than she can list.

She became a ham in 1980, when there were perhaps only 50 YLs in India. She was a science student, but not familiar with electronics. Nor did she know English at the time, having studied in her first language, Telugu, until then. When she expressed interest in joining up, she faced stiff opposition from her community.

“Because my family are Brahmins, the Brahmins said, ‘No, no, you should not talk to gents. When you go on the radio, you will talk to gents only, no ladies’,” said Prasad. “But my brother-in-law supported me and said that if I become a ham, as a YL, I would be very popular. So I said okay.”

Prasad worked overtime to pick up the skills she needed. Today, she is among the most prominent hams in the country. Her call sign, or unique identifier with which she introduces herself while operating her radio, is VU2RBI.

Do check out the whole article!

Listen to the Sound of My Voice

Sounding Out!

Betrayal

I first realized there was a problem with my voice on the first day of tenth grade English class. The teacher, Mrs. C, had a formidable reputation of strictness and high standards. She had us sit in alphabetical order row after row, and then insisted on calling roll aloud while she sat at her desk. Each name emerged as both a command and a threat in her firm voice.

“Kelly Barfield?”

“Here,” I mumbled quietly. I was a Honor Roll student with consistent good grades, all A’s and one B on each report card, yet I was shy and softspoken in classes. This was an excellent way to make teachers amiable but largely go unnoticed. The softness of my voice made me less visible and less recognizable.

Mrs. C repeated my name. Caught off guard, I repeated “here” a little more loudly. She rose to her feet to…

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The pioneering women of the BBC’s early years

A new article by Kate Murphy on pioneer has just been published in the BBC news magazine, outlining the position of women at the BBC.  Paid maternity leave, no marriage bar (until 1932) and thus – not surprisingly – a wide range of highly educated, pioneering broadcasters.  Also splendid photographs showing women engaged at all levels of production.  Check it out.