WREN Anya Luscombe has just published an article based on a paper presented on a WREN panel last year.
‘Eleanor Roosevelt as “Ordinary” Citizen and “Expert” on Radio in the Early 1950s’
Eleanor Roosevelt, former First Lady of the United States, used radio to communicate on a wide variety of issues that she felt the American public, and women in particular, should know or think about. She had been a radio pioneer, broadcasting from the 1920s onward and starting with her own radio show in 1932. By the 1950s, radio as a technology began facing increasing competition from television. Yet, as a medium to reach mass audiences and women in particular, radio continued to play a vital role. From October 1950 until August 1951, Eleanor Roosevelt together with her son Elliott hosted a daily show on the National Broadcasting Company (NBC) called The Eleanor Roosevelt Program. Focusing on this 1950-1951 program, this article seeks to examine the way in which Mrs. Roosevelt communicated with her listeners and successfully blended that which at first sight might seem opposites: the domestic with the global, the informal mode of address with the serious topics, the public with the private, and the ordinary woman’s view with that of the expert international stateswoman.
The article is available online at SAGE OPEN (for free)
In May, I had the privilege of attending a workshop on women in ICT at my former workplace, the Institut des Sciences de la Communication (ISCC). This was organized between two research strands at the LabEx EHNE, my former colleagues at the Strand 1: Europe as a product of material civilisation and strand 6, devoted to writing a gendered history of Europe The workshop took a long-term perspective, exploring women’s roles in a number of communication technologies, from telegraphy, discussed by the brilliant Simone Müller-Pohl, to the roles of women in computing – back when ‘computer’ meant a person – usually an underpaid woman, who was performing the massive series of calculations needed to conduct science the the mid-20th century.
As part of this effort, a number of people were interviewed, including me, on my research on women and radio. Of course WREN was a big part of this…
You can see it online at LabEx strand 6, or below:
First Call for Papers
23rd Women’s History Network Annual Conference
5-7 September 2014 at the University of Worcester
Offers of papers are invited which draw upon the perspectives of women’s and gender history to discuss practical and emotional survival on the Home Front during war and conflict. Contributions of papers on a range of topics are welcome and may, for example, explore one of the following areas:
- Food, domesticity, marriage and the ordinariness of everyday life on the Home Front
- The arts, leisure and entertainment during military conflict
- Women’s working lives on the Home Front
- Shifting relations of power around gender, class, ethnicity, religion or politics
- Women’s individual or collective strategies and tactics for survival in wartime
- Case studies illuminating the particularity of the Home Front in cities, small towns or rural areas
- Outsiders on the Home Front including attitudes to prisoners of war, refugees, immigrants and travellers
- Comparative Studies of the Home Front across time and geographical location
- Representation, writing and remembering the Home Front
Although the term Home Front was initially used during the First World War, and the conference coincides with the commemorations marking the centenary of the beginning of this conflict, we welcome papers which explore a range of Home Fronts and conflicts, across diverse historical periods and geographical areas. Abstracts of no more than 300 words should be sent electronically firstname.lastname@example.org by 1 April 2014.