The Modern Girl Around the World: Consumption, Modernity, and Globalization

The Modern Girl Around the World: Consumption, Modernity, and Globalization

by The Modern Girl around the World Research Group
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0822343053

ISBN-13: 9780822343059

Pub. Date: 12/24/2008

Publisher: Duke University Press Books

During the 1920s and 1930s, in cities from Beijing to Bombay, Tokyo to Berlin, Johannesburg to New York, the Modern Girl made her sometimes flashy, always fashionable appearance in city streets and cafes, in films, advertisements, and illustrated magazines. Modern Girls wore sexy clothes and high heels; they applied lipstick and other cosmetics. Dressed in

Overview

During the 1920s and 1930s, in cities from Beijing to Bombay, Tokyo to Berlin, Johannesburg to New York, the Modern Girl made her sometimes flashy, always fashionable appearance in city streets and cafes, in films, advertisements, and illustrated magazines. Modern Girls wore sexy clothes and high heels; they applied lipstick and other cosmetics. Dressed in provocative attire and in hot pursuit of romantic love, Modern Girls appeared on the surface to disregard the prescribed roles of dutiful daughter, wife, and mother. Contemporaries debated whether the Modern Girl was looking for sexual, economic, or political emancipation, or whether she was little more than an image, a hollow product of the emerging global commodity culture. The contributors to this collection track the Modern Girl as she emerged as a global phenomenon in the interwar period.

Scholars of history, women’s studies, literature, and cultural studies follow the Modern Girl around the world, analyzing her manifestations in Germany, Australia, China, Japan, France, India, the United States, Russia, South Africa, and Zimbabwe. Along the way, they demonstrate how the economic structures and cultural flows that shaped a particular form of modern femininity crossed national and imperial boundaries. In so doing, they highlight the gendered dynamics of interwar processes of racial formation, showing how images and ideas of the Modern Girl were used to shore up or critique nationalist and imperial agendas. A mix of collaborative and individually authored chapters, the volume concludes with commentaries by Kathy Peiss, Miriam Silverberg, and Timothy Burke.

Contributors: Davarian L. Baldwin, Tani E. Barlow, Timothy Burke, Liz Conor, Madeleine Yue Dong, Anne E. Gorsuch, Ruri Ito, Kathy Peiss, Uta G. Poiger, Priti Ramamurthy, Mary Louise Roberts, Barbara Sato, Miriam Silverberg, Lynn M. Thomas, Alys Eve Weinbaum

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780822343059
Publisher:
Duke University Press Books
Publication date:
12/24/2008
Series:
Next Wave: New Directions in Women's Studies
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
448
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.20(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

1. The Modern Girl as Heuristic Device: Collaboration, Connective Comparison, Multidirectional Citation / The Modern Girl Around the World Research Group (Alys Eve Weinbaum, Lynn M. Thomas, Priti Ramamurthy, Uta G. Poiger, Madeleine Y. Dong, and Tani E. Barlow) 1

2. The Modern Girl Around the World: Cosmetics Advertising and the Politics of Race and Style/ The Modern Girl Around the World Research Group (Alys Eve Weinbaum, Lynn M. Thomas, Priti Ramamurthy, Uta G. Poiger, Madeleine Y. Dong, and Tani E. Barlow) 25

3. From the Washtub to the World: Madam C. J. Walker and the "Re-creation" of Race Womanhood, 1900-1935 / Davarian L. Baldwin 55

4. Making the Modern Girl French: From New Woman to Éclaireuse / Mary Louise Roberts 77

5. The Modern Girl and Racial Respectability in 1930s South Africa / Lynn M. Thomas 96

6. Racial Masquerade: Consumption and Contestation of American Modernity / Alys Eve Weinbaum 120

7. All-Consuming Nationalism: The Indian Modern Girl in the 1920s and 1930s / Priti Ramamurthy 147

8. The Dance Class or the Working Class: The Soviet Modern Girl / Anne E. Gorsuch 174

9. Who Is Afraid of the Chinese Modern Girl? / Madeleine Y. Dong 194

10. "Blackfella Missus Too Much Proud": Techniques of Appearing, Femininity, and Race in Australian Modernity / Liz Conor 220

11. The "Modern Girl" Question in the Periphery of Empire: Colonial Modernity and Mobility among Okinawan Women in the 1920s and 1930s / Ruri Ito 240

12. Contesting Consumerisms in Mass Women's Magazines / Barbara Sato 263

13. Buying In: Advertising and the Sexy Modern Girl Icon in Shanghai in the 1920s and 2930s / Tani E. Barlow 288

14. Fantasies of Universality? Neue Frauen, Race, and Nation in Weimer and Nazi Germany / Uta G. Poiger 317

Concluding Commentaries

15. Girls Lean Back Everywhere / Kathy Peiss 347

16. After the Grand Tour: The Modern Girl, the New Woman, and the Colonial Maiden / Miriam Silverberg 354

17. The Modern Girl and Commodity Culture / Timothy Burke 362

Bibliography 371

Contributors 405

Index 409

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