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Issue Details: First known date: 2016... 2016 Medium/Machine : The Writing of Rosa Praed and Nancy Harward
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'The nineteenth century witnessed the arrival of new technologies such as the telegraph and typewriter, of which women were thought to be suitable operators because of their nimble fingers. Some were so efficient that their bodies seemed like machines, a notion which aligned with nineteenth-century conceptualisations of communications technology as a nervous system. Spiritualism also became popular at this time, and the cultural association of femininity and passivity offered many women an opportunity to become mediums. Some women combined the roles of typist and medium and, when their employers died, they continued to take dictation from the spiritual world. This essay examines how Nancy Harward, the lifelong companion of nineteenth century Australian novelist Rosa Praed, acted as both secretary and medium in their literary partnership. Harward's capacity to fall into a trance and speak as a slave girl in ancient Rome facilitated access to a literary authority which was otherwise denied to her. The essay also touches upon the queer intimacy provoked by new technologies such as the the telegraph, which allowed operators to figuratively touch its listeners, just as mediums affected their listeners in sittings. It concludes with a contemplation of the similarities between cyberspace and the spiritual realm of the nineteenth century, suggesting that these spaces enable women to articulate authoritative selves.' (68)

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    y separately published work icon Hecate vol. 42 no. 1 2016 10753075 2016 periodical issue

    Hecate has from the mid-1970s published work from cross-disciplinary perspectives that contest hegemonic received ideas regarding gender, class, ethnicity and race, and sexualities, and how these things have played out at particular times in particular places. In this issue, Fiona Duthie's article discusses some female characters in Janette Turner Hospital's novels who aim at 'interesting forms of internationalism' and who challenge 'cultural and political systems that seek to enforce division,' so that the can try 'to achieve the truth and justice thy so earnestly desire against the backdrop of the general bleakness.' While this could be said of many fictional female characters in much of the literature of the past decades, the reference her to 'bleakness' seems particularly apposite when 'interpreting the world' in 2016.' (Editorial 4)

    pg. 69-83
Last amended 22 Feb 2017 13:12:10
69-83 Medium/Machine : The Writing of Rosa Praed and Nancy Harwardsmall AustLit logo Hecate