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Woman Traveller in the Age of Empire: Thérèse (Th.) Bentzon and The Politics of Feminist Selfhood in the Nineteenth-Century Atlantic World

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Woman Traveller in the Age of Empire: Thérèse (Th.) Bentzon and The Politics of Feminist Selfhood in the Nineteenth-Century Atlantic World

Di Bartolomeo, Jacqueline (2017) Woman Traveller in the Age of Empire: Thérèse (Th.) Bentzon and The Politics of Feminist Selfhood in the Nineteenth-Century Atlantic World. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

Throughout the nineteenth century, women travellers influenced ideas about women’s rights in three respects: being in motion had a formative impact on their own notions of rights; they would put these ideas to paper; and these travelogues would then be published and circulated, contributing as cultural mediators to meaning-making about women elsewhere in the world. This thesis suggests that through the prism of the life and work of French writer and traveller Marie-Thérèse de Solms Blanc (1840-1907), better known under her pen name Thérèse (Th.), Bentzon, the relationship between an emerging feminist subject and travel can be apprehended. It holds that for Bentzon travel occurred along three axes: temporal, spatial, and imaginative. In considering her travelogues to North America, Les Américaines chez elles (1896) and Nouvelle-France et Nouvelle-Angleterre (1899), this study asks how this tripartite mechanism manifested itself via her travel accounts. More specifically, this thesis examines the ways in which these travelogues serve as practical examples of how ideas about womanhood (even if not specifically operating under the umbrella of the ‘feminist’ movement) circulated in a transatlantic context; how the production of difference via travel writing along racialized, gendered, classist, and national lines fed into transnational networks of feminist ideas; and finally, how imagination itself served as an anchor for Bentzon’s project of centering women’s lives and contributions to society, her representations of people and places, space and time, and the very medium and genre she chose to work with, that of the travelogue.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > History
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Di Bartolomeo, Jacqueline
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:History
Date:August 2017
Thesis Supervisor(s):Lorenzkowski, Barbara
ID Code:982851
Deposited By: JACQUELINE DI BARTOLOMEO
Deposited On:09 Nov 2017 20:43
Last Modified:09 Apr 2018 17:48
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