Disruptive Acts by Mary Louise Roberts
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Disruptive Acts
By Mary Louise Roberts

Disruptive Acts

The New Woman in Fin-de-Siecle France

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Format: Paperback

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Disruptive Acts by Mary Louise Roberts

Book Description

In fin-de-siecle France, politics were in an uproar, and gender roles blurred as never before. Into this maelstrom stepped the "new women," a group of primarily urban, middle-class French women who became the objects of intense public scrutiny. Some remained single, some entered nontraditional marriages, and some took up the professions of medicine and law, journalism and teaching. All of them challenged traditional notions of womanhood by living unconventional lives and doing supposedly "masculine" work outside the home. Mary Louise Roberts examines a constellation of famous new women active in journalism and the theater, including Marguerite Durand, founder of the women's newspaper" La Fronde"; the journalists Severine and Gyp; and the actress Sarah Bernhardt. Roberts demonstrates how the tolerance for playacting in both these arenas allowed new women to stage acts that profoundly disrupted accepted gender roles. The existence of "La Fronde" itself was such an act, because it demonstrated that women could write just as well about the same subjects as men even about the volatile Dreyfus Affair. When female reporters for "La Fronde" put on disguises to get a scoop or wrote under a pseudonym, and when actresses played men on stage, they demonstrated that gender identities were not fixed or natural, but inherently unstable. Thanks to the adventures of new women like these, conventional domestic femininity was exposed as a choice, not a destiny. Lively, sophisticated, and persuasive, "Disruptive Acts" will be a major work not just for historians, but also for scholars of cultural studies, gender studies, and the theater."

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780226721255
ISBN-10: 0226721256
Format: Paperback
(228mm x 165mm x 23mm)
Pages: 354
Imprint: University of Chicago Press
Publisher: The University of Chicago Press
Publish Date: 3-May-2005
Country of Publication: United States

Other Editions...

Books By Author Mary Louise Roberts

D-Day Through French Eyes by Mary Louise Roberts D-Day Through French Eyes, Hardback (June 2014)

Though they yearned for liberation, the French in Normandy nonetheless had to steel themselves for war, knowing that their homes and land and fellow citizens would have to bear the brunt of the attack. In this book, the author turns the usual stories of D-Day around, taking readers across the Channel to view the invasion anew.

What Soldiers Do by Mary Louise Roberts What Soldiers Do, Paperback (April 2014)

Presents a devastating new perspective on the Greatest Generation and the liberation of France, one in which the US military use the lure of easy, sexually available French women to sell soldiers on the invasion, thus unleashing a "tsunami of male lust" among the war-weary GIs.

Civilization without Sexes by Mary Louise Roberts Civilization without Sexes, Paperback (January 1994)

After World War I, newly blurred boundaries between male and female created fears among the French that theirs was becoming a civilization without sexes. This book examines how, through public debates concerning female identity, French society came to grips with the horrors of the Great War.

» View all books by Mary Louise Roberts


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Author Biography - Mary Louise Roberts

Mary Louise Roberts is a professor of history at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. She is the author of "Civilization without Sexes: Reconstructing Gender in Postwar France, 1917-1927," also published by the University of Chicago Press.

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D-Day Through French Eyes by Mary Louise Roberts
What Soldiers Do by Mary Louise Roberts
Civilization without Sexes by Mary Louise Roberts
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