By Janet Galligani Casey
Modernity and urbanity have lengthy been thought of together maintaining forces in early twentieth-century the USA. yet has the dominance of the city imaginary obscured the significance of the agricultural? How have girls, specifically, appropriated discourses and pictures of rurality to interrogate the issues of modernity? and the way have they imbued the rural-traditionally considered as a locus for conservatism-with a innovative political valence?Touching on such various topics as eugenics, reproductive rights, ads, the economic climate of literary prizes, and the position of the digicam, a brand new Heartland demonstrates the significance of rurality to the creative development of modernism/modernity; it additionally asserts that girls, as items of scrutiny in addition to brokers of critique, had a different stake in that relation. Casey strains the beliefs informing America's notion of the agricultural throughout a large box of representational domain names, together with social concept, periodical literature, cultural feedback, images, and, such a lot specially, women's rural fiction ("low" in addition to "high"). Her argument is trained via archival learn, such a lot crucially via a cautious research of The Farmer's spouse, the only nationally disbursed farm magazine for girls and a bit identified repository of rural American attitudes. via this huge scope, a brand new Heartland articulates another mode of modernism by way of tough orthodox rules approximately gender and geography in twentieth-century the US.
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Additional resources for A New Heartland: Women, Modernity, and the Agrarian Ideal in America
In her chapter “Politics and National Organizations,” Atkeson laments the absence of the rural woman’s perspective from conventions and “general meetings for the advancement of women,” thereby staking for rural women a legitimate claim within broader discussions about women’s rights. “[T]he present assumption of leadership by so-called national groups of women which are not really national,” she asserts, “has its dangers for the nation as well as for the women’s cause” (293). Her insistence not only that rural women participate more fully in progressive movements, agricultural and otherwise, but also that city and town women acknowledge the necessity of accommodating the rural woman’s perspective, clearly indicates that her audience extends beyond the rural community, a point that Tugwell apparently misses.
Last year my son and I hoed ﬁfteen acres of cotton over three times. . I have had to do that ever since I was married, thirteen years ago. . It wouldn’t be so hard if [my husband] would show his appreciation of my work, and give me a little recreation and money. . He says a woman does not need money. . 52 That farm women could make such claims distinguished them sharply from middleclass women, who asserted their ﬁnancial rights, if they did so at all, on the basis of domestic work as an unrecognized but essential piece of the family economy.
Her insistence not only that rural women participate more fully in progressive movements, agricultural and otherwise, but also that city and town women acknowledge the necessity of accommodating the rural woman’s perspective, clearly indicates that her audience extends beyond the rural community, a point that Tugwell apparently misses. It also demonstrates that her views are not as simplistically romantic as they may at ﬁrst appear, since she promotes farm women’s participation in reform, even if that is rather vaguely, and conservatively, deﬁned.
A New Heartland: Women, Modernity, and the Agrarian Ideal in America by Janet Galligani Casey