GSWS Graduate Student Colloquium with Thomas Brinkerhoff and Didem Uca
Friday, October 3, 2014 - 10:30am

Join us for the semester’s first Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies (GSWS) Graduate Student Colloquium in Cohen Hall 436. The colloquium will feature presentations from Thomas Brinkerhoff (History) and Didem Uca (German).  Descriptions of the presentations are included below 

This monthly interdisciplinary colloquium is open to graduate students working on all things women, gender, queer and sexuality studies. It allows graduate students to workshop parts of chapters, articles, essays, or practice conference papers and presentations. Please join us and participate in the discussion, and consider presenting your work at future colloquia! Email smourad@asc.upenn.edu if you are interested.

 

Thomas Brinkerhoff (History)

Born to Make Homes, Not for the Street: Working-Class Women and the Politics of Peronist Desire in the Childrens Magazine Mundo Infantil, 1949-1955

 This project focuses on a rich subset of the Argentine children’s magazine Mundo Infantil, printed between 1949 and 1955 by the government of Juan Domingo Perón, to address the specific questions: how did changing notions of consumption spurred by economic vicissitudes lead to changes in Peronist ideals of ‘proper’ womanhood; how did Mundo Infantil strive to transform and mobilize children into agents of government rhetoric to inform the economic and gendered consciousness of their working-class parents, specifically mothers? WhileMundo Infantil was at heart a children’s periodical, I will focus primarily on how the Peronist state attempted to use the magazine and children as a medium to transmit Peronist ideals of working-class consumption and ‘proper’ womanhood to women. Depictions of working-class femininity were more prevalent in Mundo Infantil than those of working-class masculinity and the magazine’s messages regarding consumption—by which I mean the process of purchasing as well as using and transforming consumer goods—were primarily directed toward working-class women. 

 Didem Uca (German)

"Rahel Varnhagens Working Relationships"

 In this paper, I use Feminist and Marxist critical theory as a lens to understand how and why the cultural production of German-Jewish writer and socialite Rahel Varnhagen (1771-1833) has been largely ignored by traditional German Studies scholarship. Varnhagen is, without question, one of the most prolific letter-writers of all time, and she also hosted two wildly successful literary salons that served as meeting points for intellectuals and artists. Despite these accomplishments, Varnhagen, along with other women engaged in similar activities, is rarely lauded for her significant creative productivity. My paper seeks to draw connections between gender and the valuation of creative labor by focusing on Varnhagen’s cultivation of her letter-writing craft and her salon—activities that I argue are often rendered invisible due to their emotional and collaborative natures.