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Women's Periodicals and Print Culture in Britain, 1918-1939The Interwar Period$
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Catherine Clay, Maria DiCenzo, Barbara Green, and Fiona Hackney

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781474412537

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474412537.001.0001

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Ireland and Sapphic Journalism between the Wars: A Case Study of Urania (1916–40)

Ireland and Sapphic Journalism between the Wars: A Case Study of Urania (1916–40)

(p.388) 25 Ireland and Sapphic Journalism between the Wars: A Case Study of Urania (1916–40)
Women's Periodicals and Print Culture in Britain, 1918-1939

Karen Steele

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter examines the Irish dimension of the bi-monthly (later tri-annual) periodical Urania (1916-1940) through a focus on the influence of Eva Gore-Booth (1870-1926). Gore-Booth’s editorial vision and writing for Urania conveyed a radical message about gender and sexuality: ‘sex is an accident.’ On its pages, Urania assiduously collected a hidden history of lesbians, transsexuals, and intersexuality and advanced a transnational, cross-cultural critique of gender norms, gendered performances, and compulsory heterosexuality. Urania initially sought to broaden its appeal by supporting votes for women, but remained more intent on serving as a ‘queer archive’ dedicated to dismantling gender norms and documenting women’s past and present examples of transsexuality, intersexuality, cross-dressing, and lesbianism. In its remediation of the global press, Urania also constructed a composite, feminist portrait of a society free of gender essentialism and heterosexual normativity. The journal was affiliated with the Aëthnic Union, a small, radical organisation founded in 1911.

Keywords:   Urania, Eva Gore-Booth, Aëthnic Union, Ireland, transnational, queer archive, sexuality, intersexuality, transexuality, lesbianism

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