'This article explores the performance of emotions in relation to gender identity in the fulfilment of public duties in the modernist era. It explains how emotions were knowingly expressed and evoked in public appearances by Eleanor Roosevelt (Eleanor) to political purpose. The article outlines the formal and informal connections between the Americans, Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, and the Australians, Herbert and Mary Alice (Mary Alice) Evatt, developed in the play Eleanor and Mary Alice and how these influenced national alliances in wartime and the subsequent United Nations' refugee policies. The article further explains how gendered attitudes to emotion both facilitated these processes as it blinkered recognition of their vital function and obscured the contributions of Eleanor and Mary Alice. Cast in a motherly, caring role as the President's wife, Eleanor contradictorily showed considerable courage - as did Mary Alice - as well as leadership.
'It is argued that the consideration of emotions in modernist politics and within its gendered patterns can be framed as an identifiable theatrical process and by utilising the idea of substitution. While these historical events proved foundational to subsequent alliances between Australia and the United States, the emotional dynamics surrounding political events remain implicit. Yet such examples of performed emotion as a controlled condition offer crucial insights about political decision-making.' (Publication abstract)