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Distant SistersAustralasian Women and the International Struggle for the Vote, 1880-1914$
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James Keating

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781526140951

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.7765/9781526140968

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Shaking hands across the seas: The Australasian women’s advocacy press

Shaking hands across the seas: The Australasian women’s advocacy press

(p.133) 4 Shaking hands across the seas: The Australasian women’s advocacy press
Distant Sisters

James Keating

Manchester University Press

This chapter details the rise of Australasian women’s advocacy newspapers – rivalled only by the contemporary British and American feminist press in their range and proliferation – as the colonial suffrage campaigns transformed into organised movements in the late 1880s. Considering these titles as a coherent entity for the first time, it reveals the filaments that connected authors, editors, and audiences in a Tasman world and to a wider ‘imperial commons’. It finds that cooperative production, regional circulation, and communal reading practices engendered transnational solidarity, if not always collective action, among readers. Along with its analysis of these papers’ operation and decline, the chapter considers the racial, geographic, and ideological limits of Australasian publications. It concludes with a comparative content analysis of five representative newspapers between 1894 and 1902, finding that the worldview presented to readers was neither as expansive nor as cosmopolitan as its producers and later historians have claimed.

Keywords:   Australia, circulation, imperial commons, New Zealand, reading, Tasman world, women’s advocacy press

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