Tuesday, May 15, 2018

New Book Release: From Colonial to Modern

My new co-authored book is now available from University of Toronto Press. It's been many years in the making with two wonderful colleagues, Kristine Moruzi and Clare Bradford (Deakin University), and focuses on dozens of novels and magazines from colonial Australia, Canada and New Zealand that have been largely excluded from studies of children's and national literatures to date.

Here's the book blurb:

Through a comparison of Canadian, Australian, and New Zealand texts published between 1840 and 1940, From Colonial to Modern develops a new history of colonial girlhoods revealing how girlhood in each of these emerging nations reflects a unique political, social, and cultural context.

Print culture was central to the definition, and redefinition, of colonial girlhood during this period of rapid change. Models of girlhood are shared between settler colonies and contain many similar attitudes towards family, the natural world, education, employment, modernity, and race, yet, as the authors argue, these texts also reveal different attitudes that emerged out of distinct colonial experiences. Unlike the imperial model representing the British ideal, the transnational girl is an adaptation of British imperial femininity and holds, for example, a unique perception of Indigenous culture and imperialism. Drawing on fiction, girls’ magazines, and school magazine, the authors shine a light on neglected corners of the literary histories of these three nations and strengthen our knowledge of femininity in white settler colonies.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Electric Girlhoods: ACMI Alice in Wonderland Event

I'll be part of an event to coincide with ACMI's Winter Masterpieces Wonderland exhibition on Tuesday 15th May at 6:30 pm.  The event is titled: Electric Girlhoods and Alices Past and Future

Alice was first brought to life by Lewis Carroll, but she's sparked imaginations and been immortalised on screen many times since.

Join film critic and author Alexandra Heller-Nicholas in conversation with Dr Michelle Smith (Monash University) and Dr Dan Golding (Swinburne University of Technology) as they discuss these 'electric' Alices and the unique representations of girlhood across time, space and media, exploring historical significance, contemporary potency and what Alice might mean in the future.

A photo from the event