Selling Women's History
Packaging Feminism in Twentieth-Century American Popular Culture
Before Women's History became an academically recognized pursuit, it developed in the marketplace. Westkaemper presents a fascinating and trenchant account of how women toiled across multiple popular sites to make history.'
Westkaemper argues convincingly that the very assertion that women had a history was a feminist message, and that public history could build feminist community. This book is a valuable and beautifully researched addition to an underwritten period in U.S. women’s history.'
Highly original and beautifully written and researched… Effectively put[s] to bed tired assumptions about the commercialization of politics and the apolitical nature of consumer culture in modern America.’
Selling Women’s History is dense with information, skillfully weaving together the influence of adwomen, the emergence of the female consumer and the rise of feminism into this diverse collection of women’s historical legacy.
[Westkaemper's] extensive research and creative attention to marginalized spheres effectively shape our understanding of the development of U.S. women’s history as a field of inquiry and of the intersections of popular culture and feminism across time, as well as of histories of women, feminism, and cultural production.
The book’s real strength lies in its accounts of the commodification of women’s history for various purposes, feminist or not....Westkaemper’s book is best understood as a work of media history focused on how historical appeals were deployed to inspire gender consciousness—women’s sense of themselves as a group sharing social and political interests—among media producers and consumers.'
Through this considerably detailed look into the parallels between women’s social roles and the changes in mass media, Westkaemper paints a sweeping picture of feminism through history and how the fight for equality is undeniably linked with changes in communication tactics. This book is informative, but in-depth, and would be useful for scholars already familiar with mass communication history. From there, scholars can jump into Westkaemper’s writing as a building block to preliminary media knowledge.
Deeply informed in foundational scholarship on consumer culture.
Westkaemper compellingly demonstrates 'the variety of twentieth-century feminism’ that traffics through mass media, with feminism here defined by ‘the shared logic that women’s history merits documenting.'
The strengths are in the use of a wide range of archival material including letters, business documents, scrapbooks, cartoons, and photographs....A researcher studying women’s roles in media and business, especially before and after World War II, would do well to consult this list, the careful notes, and the excellent index.
Feminism and Popular Culture
Investigating the Postfeminist Mystique
No Permanent Waves
Recasting Histories of U.S. Feminism
Edited by Nancy A. Hewitt Introduction by Nancy A. Hewitt Contributions by Marisela Châvez, Dorothy Cobble, Leela Fernandes, Ednie Garrison, Stephanie Gilmore, Roberta Gold, Martha Jones, Nancy MacLean, Premilla Nadasen, Whitney Peoples, Ula Taylor, Becky Thompson, Anne Valk, Lara Vapnek, Judy Wu and Leandra Zarnow
Point of Sale
Analyzing Media Retail
Edited by Daniel Herbert and Derek Johnson Contributions by Daniel Herbert, Derek Johnson, Emily West, Greg Steirer, Heikki Tyni, Olli Sotamaa, Elizabeth Affuso, Avi Santo, Ethan Tussey, Meredith A. Bak, Courtney Brannon Donoghue, Tim J. Anderson, Lynn Comella, Benjamin Woo, Nasreen Rajani, Erin Hanna, Evan Elkins and Marc Steinberg
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