‘They Opened up a Whole New World’: Narrative, Text and Image in British Women’s Magazines in the 1930s

Hackney, Fiona (2007) ‘They Opened up a Whole New World’: Narrative, Text and Image in British Women’s Magazines in the 1930s. Working Papers on Design, 2. pp. 1-24. ISSN 1470-5516

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Abstract / Summary

Hackney's article untangles the inter-connected relationship between looking, fantasy and memory involved in reading a new style of women’s magazine composed of different orders of juxtaposed image and text, which emerged in the 1930s. The research draws on theories of narrative (Giles, 2002) to interpret reading through women’s words, arguing that magazines function as ‘memory texts’: cultural productions that operate at the intersections between personal memories and public events (Kuhn, 1995).

The metaphor of the ‘magazine-as-window’ is used to conceptualise the possibilities for transformation magazines offered, and also the tensions they foregrounded at a time of rapid social, economic and cultural change. Reception theory and Joke Hermes’ (1995) work on ‘reading repertories’ is used to identify a particular emotional economy which characterised women’s magazine reading in these years as both pleasurable and compromised, signalling subjectivities that were at once feminine and modern.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is a single authored article published in Show/Tell: Relationships between Text, Narrative and Image edited by Grace Lees-Maffei. A peer reviewed online journal, the volume emerges from an international conference hosted by the ‘theorising Visual Art and Design’ (tVAD) Research Group (http://www.herts.ac.uk/artdes1/research/tvad/event160905.html), which explores the interconnectedness of text, narrative and imagery. Understanding of how these three phenomena work together is in its infancy, and the publication includes contributions from international scholars working in the fields of literature, art and design history, material culture and graphic arts. Related arguments about feminine modernity and subjectivity are explored in Hackney's review of The Parlour and the Suburb, Domestic Identities, Class, Femininity and Modernity by J. Giles in the Journal of Design History, Oxford University Press, October 2006, and Hackney's work in the area is acknowledged by Penny Tinkler in her book Smoke Signals: women, smoking and visual culture, Berg, 2006.
ISBN: 1470-5516
ISSN: 1470-5516
Depositing User: Fiona Hackney
Date Deposited: 11 Aug 2014 12:48
Last Modified: 11 Aug 2014 12:48
URI: http://repository.falmouth.ac.uk/id/eprint/425

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