Author: Yun Zhang
In Engendering the Woman Question, Zhang Yun adopts a new approach to examining the early Chinese women’s periodical press. Rather than seeing this new print and publishing genre as a gendered site coded as either “feminine” or “masculine,” this book approaches it as a mixed-gender public space where both men and women were intellectually active and involved in dynamic interactions to determine the contours of their discursive encounters.

Drawing upon a variety of novel textual modes such as polemic essays, historical biography, public speech, and expository essays, this book opens a window onto men’s and women’s gender-specific approaches to a series of prominent topics central to the Chinese woman question in the early twentieth century.
Nordic Inheritance Law through the Ages – Spaces of Action and Legal Strategies explores the significance of inheritance law from medieval times to the present through topical and in-depth studies that bring life to historical and contemporary inheritance practices. The contributions cover three themes: status of persons and options in the process of property devolution; wills, gift-giving and legal disputes as means to shape the working of the law; processes of inheritance legislation.

The authors focus on instances where legal strategies of various actors particularly reveal inheritance law as a contested and yet constrained space of action, and somewhat surprisingly show similar solutions to family law issues dealt with in other Western European countries.

Contributors are: Simone Abram, Gitte Meldgaard Abrahamsen, Per Andersen, Agnes S. Arnórsdóttir, John Asland, Knut Dørum, Thomas Eeg, Ian Peter Grohse, Marianne Holdgaard, Astrid Mellem Johnsen, Már Jónsson, Mia Korpiola, Gabriela Bjarne Larsson, Auður Magnúsdóttir, Bodil Selmer, Helle I. M. Sigh, and Miriam Tveit.
Travellers and Trendsetters, 1870-1970
Destination for artists and convalescents, playground of the rich, site of foreign allure, the French Riviera has long attracted visitors to its shores. Ranging through the late nineteenth century, the Belle Epoque, the ‘roaring twenties’, and the emancipatory post-war years, Rosemary Lancaster highlights the contributions of nine remarkable women to the cultural identity of the Riviera in its seminal rise to fame. Embracing an array of genres, she gives new focus to feminine writings never previously brought together, nor as richly critically explored. Fiction, memoir, diary, letters, even cookbooks and choreographies provide compelling evidence of the innovativeness of women who seized the challenges and opportunities of their travels in a century of radical social and artistic change.
The Dispute over Israel's Holiest Jewish Site, 1967–2000
The Western Wall—Judaism’s holiest site—occupies a prominent position in contemporary Jewish and Israeli discourse, current events, and local politics. In The Western Wall: The Dispute over Israel's Holiest Jewish Site, 1967–2000, Kobi Cohen-Hattab and Doron Bar offer a detailed exploration of the Western Wall plaza’s evolution in the late twentieth century. The examination covers the role of archaeology in defining the space, the Western Wall’s transformation as an Israeli and Jewish symbol, and the movement to open it to a variety of Jewish denominations. The book studies the central processes and shifts that took place at the Western Wall during the three decades that followed the Six-Day War—a relatively short yet crucial chapter in Jerusalem's extensive history.
The collection Imperial Middlebrow, edited by Christoph Ehland and Jana Gohrisch, takes middlebrow studies further in two ways. First, it focuses on the role middlebrow writing played in the popularisation and dissemination of imperial ideology. It combines the interest in the wider function of literature for a colonial society with close scrutiny of the ideological and socio-economic contexts of writers and readers. The essays cover the Girl’s Own Paper, fiction about colonial India including its appearance in Scottish writing, the West Indies, the South Pacific, as well as illustrations of Haggard’s South African imperial romances. Second, the volume proposes using the concept of the middlebrow as an analytical tool to read recent Black and Asian British as well as Nigerian fiction.
Author: Samuel Caddick

Abstract

Set in the summer capital of the British Raj, Sara Jeannette Duncan’s short story “An Impossible Ideal” is a narrative that is directly engaged with concepts of high and low art in the colonial context. “An Impossible Ideal” provides Duncan with the opportunity to interrogate concepts of taste, distinction, and pretension in the colonial context. This chapter reads “An Impossible Ideal” as both a colonial fiction that is concerned with cultural capital and also a middlebrow work explicitly contending with artistic value.

In: Imperial Middlebrow

Abstract

While the plot of Bithia Mary Croker’s Anglo-Indian ghost stories is often conventional, their unsettling horror lies in the depiction of social pressure British memsahibs encountered upon their arrival in India. Here, they were introduced into communities, which were ruled by minute social requirements. In doing so Croker’s ghost stories not only translate middle-class values into an Indian setting, they also illustrate the volatility of the imperial mind-sets British memsahibs had to navigate.

In: Imperial Middlebrow

Abstract

This chapter analyses Somerset Maugham’s most spectacular sensation – Sadie Thompson, within the context of Americanised, commercial mass culture as it expands across the Pacific in the 1920s. While acknowledging the complex colonial dynamics at stake in Somerset Maugham’s famous story “Rain” in which Sadie features, this chapter argues that Maugham knowingly deploys the colonial Pacific, and the female body, as sites of spectacle and projection. In this way, Maugham’s ironic narrative of the fast-talking, hooch-drinking, lipsticked American Modern Girl can be read as a commentary about the ways that her body becomes a site of contestation, as with those of others absorbed by the logic of the imperial project and commercial, touristic desire. Moreover, as Maugham’s understated ironic narrative style is subsumed by the growing commercial market for his works adapted to stage and screen, Maugham’s creation becomes increasingly caught between new regimes of judgment, in ways that cleverly parallel the transformation of his own literary reputation from “England’s playwright” to “commercial hack.”

In: Imperial Middlebrow
Author: Jochen Petzold

Abstract

The Religious Tract Society created the Girl’s Own Paper in 1880 as a middlebrow alternative to “pernicious literature.” The magazine’s focus was on domestic issues but Imperialism and the British Empire did play a role in three fields: gop became increasingly supportive of emigration to the colonies; it presented the colonies as a location for (armchair) travelling; it supported the effort to maintain the empire’s integrity in the South African War (1899–1902).

In: Imperial Middlebrow
Author: Jana Gohrisch

Abstract

Combining a gendered postcolonial with a generic approach, this essay demonstrates how the British Empire is being domesticated and normalised in middlebrow fiction about the British West Indies from the end of the nineteenth century until the late 1930s. In their novels, Augusta Zelia Fraser and Margaret Long merge the conventions of domestic realism and the Bildungsroman as well historical romance, Gothic and crime to translate imperial concerns about gender, social class and race into the language of their white and female middle-class readers in the metropolis.

In: Imperial Middlebrow