1st Edition

The Masculine Modern Woman
Pushing Boundaries in the Swedish Popular Media of the 1920s

ISBN 9780367110260
Published December 19, 2018 by Routledge
256 Pages - 9 B/W Illustrations

USD $155.00

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Book Description

This book takes a fresh approach to one of the most popular cultural symbols of modernity in the 1920s—the "masculine" modern woman. Uncovering discourses on female masculinity in interwar Sweden, a nation that struggled to become modern but not decadent, this study examines cultural representations and debates across several arenas including fashion, film, sports, automobility, medicine and literature. Drawing on rich empirical material, this book traces not only how the masculine modern woman reshaped the imaginary space of what women could be, do and desire, but also how this space was eventually shrunk in order to fit into an emerging vision of a family-oriented "people’s home."

Table of Contents


Part I: Telling Stories: Film, Fashion and "Funny Complications"

1. The M-Word: Modern or Masculine?

2. "La Garçonne is Dead!—Long Live Femininity!"

Part II: Changing Stories: Negotiating Masculinities in Sports and Automobility

3. "What We Have Learned from Our Sporting Ladies": Making Sense of the Female Athlete

4. The Chauffeuse Who Wished for a Racecar: Stories of Masculinized Women Behind the Wheel

Part III: Unfinished Stories: Queer Female Masculinities

5. In No Certain Terms: Female Masculinities and Queer Desires

6. The Desire to Desire: The Masculine Modern Woman in Fiction


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Jenny Ingemarsdotter holds a PhD in the History of Science and Ideas from Uppsala University and has recently concluded a postdoctoral fellowship funded by the Swedish Research Council, hosted by the Centre for Gender Research at Uppsala University, Sweden, and the Centre for the Study of Sexuality and Culture, University of Manchester, UK.