26 May 2021

, ,   |  No comments  |  

ZAND online seminar

‘But the climax of evil in a woman is the habit of drinking’. Was it all so bad? Representations of women’s drinking in Polish and British public discourses in the 19th century

The policing of women’s bodies and minds in the nineteenth century through the rhetoric of responsibility and moral duty was a marked feature of the articles and fiction published in the new periodicals. The choices of women regarding their personal consumption of alcohol were constrained, culturally and legally, by a perceived gender-specific responsibility to the family and community. Women's drinking culture was reduced to two extremes: the fallen drunken woman, ‘mother of destruction’ and the sober mother, ‘the angel of the house’. In our research, we seek the middle ground between these two extremes to focus on the recreational female drinkers and the rebels. Thereby we aim to nuance and balance our understanding of representations of women’s drinking by investigating two extremely different examples of European cultures: Britain, a powerful international player and the scattered nation of Poland fighting for independence after the partitioning.

This presentation will give an overview of the successful NCN Sonata project, ‘Between the drunken “mother of destruction” and the sober “angel of the house”’. Hidden representations of women’s drinking in Polish and British public discourses in the second half of the 19th century’ and some case studies on domestic spaces of alcohol consumption to give an insight into our planned approach.
8 June 2021, 3 pm Microsoft Teams