From Colonial to Modern: Transnational Girlhood in Canadian, Australian, and New Zealand Literature, 1840-1940
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.
- World Rights
- Page Count: 280 pages
- Dimensions: 6.3in x 1.0in x 9.3in
"This is a useful examination of girlhood in colonial girls’ texts. It gives voice to girls whose lives remain less studied than their British, adult, and male counterparts and sets a precedent for future research."
International Research in Children's Literature
"From Colonial to Modern examines a century of books and magazine pieces for British colonial girls. Reclaiming material overlooked by scholars, Michelle J. Smith, Kristine Moruzi, and Clare Bradford describe the continuities and discontinuities within the print culture of Empire, particularly regarding the construction of girlhood and nation through a variety of axes including race, work, education, nature, the family, the Great War, and modernity."
Claudia Nelson, Professor, Department of English, Texas A&M University
"Examining children’s literature in the settler societies of Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, From Colonial to Modern impressively maintains a balance between these three places and their literatures admirable – as a New Zealander I am used to being a footnote and appreciate the careful attention my country’s own literature has received, and the extent of archival work unearthed, both of literature and of contemporary critical commentary."
Jane Stafford, Professor, School of English, Film, Theatre, and Media Studies, Victoria University of Wellington
Author InformationMichelle J. Smith is a Senior Lecturer in Literary Studies at Monash University, Australia.
Clare Bradford is a professor emeritus in the Faculty of Arts and Education at Deakin University.
Kristine Moruzi is a lecturer in the School of Communication and Creative Arts at Deakin University.
Table of contents
Empire and Transnational Flows
- Colonial Girls’ Print Culture
- Girlhood in the British Empire
National and Transnational Dynamics
- The Colonial and Imperial Family
- Environment and the Natural World
- Race and Texts for Girls
Modernity and Transnational Femininities
- Work and Education
- Girlhood and Coming of Age during the First World War
- Modernity and the Nation
Subjects and Courses