Media, Modernity and the Middlebrow

‘Secrets of the Film World’: Archives, Cinema Writing and Interwar Intermedia

Lisa Stead, Tuesday 1 Mar 2016, CEIR Seminar Series

The Centre was delighted to host Dr Lisa Stead earlier this month, whose paper addressed how women’s fictional writing, primarily from the 1930s, and other media forms, such as film and fan magazines, collectively produce a fascinating account of women’s experience of the cinema and of cinema-going in the interwar period.

Stead - 1

Dr Carrie Smith introduces Lisa’s paper


Reminder: Lisa Stead’s paper on interwar cinema is tomorrow!


Visiting Speaker, 1 Mar 2016: Lisa Stead on interwar cinema

Lisa Stead (University of Exeter) will be presenting her paper, ‘ “Secrets of the Film World”: Archives, Cinema Writing and Interwar Intermedia’, at 5.30pm on Tuesday, 1 March 2016. The talk will take place in the Cardiff University’s John Percival Building, Room 4.43, and will be followed by a wine reception.

This talk will explore the relationship between women’s writing and filmic cultures in interwar Britain. Film and literary media created new identities for women as both the creators and consumers of interwar movie culture, intervening in how women saw and thought about themselves, and how they navigated the everyday experiences of modernity in spatial, behavioural and emotional terms. The paper will focus on the diverse textual forms and archival ephemera that constituted a larger, gendered print culture of cinema, and examine the role that archives in particular play in creating access to a gendered film world behind and around the silver screen. Exploring a rich network of print media from newspapers and magazines to middlebrow and modernist fictions, the paper considers how women created networks of storytelling media around practices of filmgoing. It will touch upon the writings of figures such as Winifred Holtby, Stella Gibbons, Elizabeth Bowen, Jean Rhys, Elinor Glyn, C. A. Lejeune and Iris Barry, alongside lesser-known columnists, magazine and short story writers—in doing so, it seeks to illuminate a literary preoccupation with the figure of the female cinemagoer, and the experience of cinemagoing. In turning to archival traces of this literary movie culture and its creative figures, the paper will consider the dual process of reclaiming and reframing these writers and their works, foregrounding recent project work seeking to bring these materials to life in new digital and audio visual forms for new audiences.

Gender and genre in The Lady’s Magazine

‘The world is a large volume’: The Lady’s Magazine and Romantic Print Culture

Jennie Batchelor, Tuesday 1 Dec 2015, CEIR Seminar Series

When I met Jennie Batchelor (University of Kent) in the CEIR office about an hour before she was due to speak, it was with an air of excitement that she, jokingly, asked if the paper could wait: she was having far too much fun in Cardiff’s Special Collections and Archives, examining copies of The Lady’s Magazine. Her research into this publication is part of a two-year Leverhulme-funded project entitled The Lady’s Magazine (1770–1818): Understanding the Emergence of a Genre’, which aims to provide a bibliographical, statistical and literary–critical analysis of one the first recognisably modern magazines for women. The project aims to produce a host of publications about the contents of and contributors to the magazine, as well as a fully annotated index available online. Thankfully, Batchelor did go ahead with the talk in Cardiff, offering fascinating insights into The Lady’s Magazine and its position in romantic print culture. (more…)

Reminder: Jennie Batchelor’s talk on The Lady’s Magazine tomorrow