WMST-L logo

Readings on Women's Magazines

The following suggested readings for a course on Women's Magazines and the
Construction of Gender were offered on WMST-L in November 2006.  For additional
WMST-L files available on the Web, see the WMST-L File Collection.
Date: Fri, 17 Nov 2006 08:53:46 -0500
From: dhlueker <dhlueker AT COX.NET>
Subject: Women's Magazine course
Hello. I'm working on a syllabus for an upper-level course on Women's
Magazines and the Construction of Gender and am wondering about suggested
readings in theory (vis-a-vis women and magazines/media) that seem to lend
themselves to undergraduates who won't have any theoretical background. The
course will look at contemporary newstand magazines (fashion mags, celebrity
titles, domesticity) plus alternative magazines and e-zines; we'll look back
a bit in history as well. Betty Friedan's a must, of course, and I have a
good text on Ms. and chapters from a number of works that look at
19th-century women's magazines.
Many thanks,

Donna Harrington-Lueker
Salve Regina University
Newport, RI
dhlueker AT cox.net
Date: Fri, 17 Nov 2006 08:28:11 -0600
From: "Morgan-Curtis, Samantha A." <scurtis AT TNSTATE.EDU>
Subject: Re: Women's Magazine course
This may not be the type of suggestions you were looking for, but here
goes: Have you seen the collection _Women's Magazines, 1940-1960_,
edited by Nancy Walker? It's a slim volume of excerpts arranged
thematically around the issues of marriage, motherhood, fashion, etc. It
might make a nice comparison piece for your current primary texts. I
plan to use it in a first-year writing class for rhetorical analysis. I
know that's a primary text option, but for my first-year students, I was
considering excerpts from Naomi Wolf's _The Beauty Myth_ and maybe Susan
Faludi's _Backlash_. I know these are "older" texts, but I thought they
might be interesting and accessible for my students.

Samantha A. Morgan-Curtis, PhD
Assistant Professor of English & Women's Studies
Dept. of Languages, Literature, & Philosophy
Tennessee State University
3500 John A. Merritt Blvd.

To acknowledge privilege is the first step in making it available for
wider use. Each of us is blessed in some particular way, whether we
recognize our blessings or not. And each of us, somewhere in our lives,
must clear a space within that blessing where she can call upon whatever
resources are available to her in the name of something that must be
                                 - Audre Lorde, A Burst of Light
Date: Fri, 17 Nov 2006 08:42:44 -0600
From: Michael Murphy <mjmurphy AT WUSTL.EDU>
Subject: Re: Women's Magazine course
Hi Donna,

Do you know of this:

Stein, Sally. "The Graphic Ordering of Desire: Modernization of a
Middle-Class Women's Magazine, 1919-1939," in Richard Bolton, ed., The
Contest of Meaning: Critical Histories of Photography (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT
Press, 1989), 145-161. It's unusual in that it engages the material
properties of magazines not just what's on the page.

Hope this helps!

Mike Murphy
Michael J. Murphy, M.A.
Doctoral Candidate, Art History and Archaeology
Instructor, Women and Gender Studies
mjmurphy AT wustl.edu

"Few tragedies can be more extensive than the stunting of life, few
injustices deeper than the denial of an opportunity to strive or even to
hope, by a limit imposed from without, but falsely identified as lying
~W Stephen Jay Gould
Date: Fri, 17 Nov 2006 09:46:24 -0500
From: Gail Dines <gdines AT WHEELOCK.EDU>
Subject: Re: Women's Magazine course
I suggest using "Decoding Women's Magazines: From Mademoiselle to Ms". by Ellen
McCracken. Although it is dated in its examples, the theory is very good and
written in a way that students can handle with  some help.


Gail Dines
Professor of Sociology and Women's Studies
Chair of American Studies
Wheelock College
35 Pilgrim Road
Boston, MA 02215
gdines AT wheelock.edu
Date: Fri, 17 Nov 2006 10:00:36 -0500
From: Ren Michele D. <mren2 AT RADFORD.EDU>
Subject: Re: Women's Magazine course
Amy Kaplan's article "Manifest Domesticity" offers an interesting historical
analysis of Sarah J. Hale (Godey's Ladies Book).  You'll never look at
Thanksgiving in the same light after reading this piece!
It's in :
American Literature, Vol. 70, No. 3, No More Separate Spheres!. (Sep., 1998),
pp. 581-606. 

Michele Ren
mren2 AT radford.edu
Date: Fri, 17 Nov 2006 13:23:42 -0500
From: Wendy A Burns <wburns AT GMU.EDU>
Subject: Re: Women's Magazine course
You might want to look at The Girl on the magazine cover: the origins of visual
stereotypes in American Mass Media.  It is a at once a history and media
studies text.  It is not deeply theoretical, but rather it traces the history
of the representations that traffic in women's magazines.

What a great idea for a course!

Dr. Wendy A. Burns-Ardolino, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor and Coordinator of Integrative Studies
Clayton State University
wburnsar AT clayton.edu
Date: Sat, 18 Nov 2006 11:13:39 -0500
From: Jane Curry <JCurry AT USFAMILY.NET>
Subject: Re: Women's Magazines Course
In addition to Nancy Walker's primary source book _Women's Magazines
1940-1960: Gender Roles and the Popular Press_ (1998), previously mentioned
in another post, I suggest Walker's critical book, _Shaping Our Mother's
World: American Women's Magazines_ (2000).

Jane Curry
Jane Curry
jane AT janecurry.com or jcurry AT usfamily.net
Minneapolis, MN

Nice Girls Don't Sweat
Miz Wizard's Science Secrets
Samantha "Rastles" the Woman Question
Just Say Know: Educating Females for the 21st Century
Sisters of the Quill and Skillet

For information about WMST-L

WMST-L File Collection

Top Of Page