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Women, Periodicals and Print Culture in Britain, 1830s-1900sThe Victorian Period$
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Alexis Easley, Clare Gill, and Beth Rodgers

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781474433907

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474433907.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 31 May 2020

Avatars, Pseudonyms, and the Regulation of Affect: Performing and Occluding Gender in the Pall Mall Gazette

Avatars, Pseudonyms, and the Regulation of Affect: Performing and Occluding Gender in the Pall Mall Gazette

Chapter:
(p.336) 20 Avatars, Pseudonyms, and the Regulation of Affect: Performing and Occluding Gender in the Pall Mall Gazette
Source:
Women, Periodicals and Print Culture in Britain, 1830s-1900s
Author(s):

Fionnuala Dillane

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9781474433907.003.0021

In this essay, Fionnuala Dillane draws upon theories of affect to show how the affective space of the letters page functioned to reinforce ‘structures of feeling in nineteenth-century emotional economies,’ which had especial significance for women writers, who ‘could make their mark on public discourse more readily and more regularly than in other periodical publication formats’ (p. 337). One of the consequences of women’s intervention in the public space of the periodical was that male journalists attempted to regulate their contributions. As Dillane demonstrates, copy produced by male writers in ‘avatar mode’ to the letters page of the Pall Mall Gazette functioned not only to underpin the paper’s ‘clubby, homosocial’ atmosphere but also, more egregiously, to ‘censor and restrict women’s access to public spaces and public debate’ (p. 343). Moreover, the use of avatars and pseudonyms in a space more readily associated with signature calls our attention to the performative qualities of letters pages, which are ‘amongst the most fictive, manipulative spaces of the press, playing regularly on the feeling reader’ (p. 347).

Keywords:   Affect, Pall Mall Gazette, Letters pages, Avatars, Pseudonyms, Performativity, Journalists

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