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Sexual transgression in the age of the flapper

This book looks at the highly publicised, sensational trials of several young female protagonists in the period 1918-1924. These cases, all presented by the press as morality tales involving drugs, murder, adultery, miscegenation and sexual perversion, are used as a prism through which to identify concerns about modern femininity. The book first examines a libel case, brought by a well-known female dancer against a maverick right-wing MP for the accusation of lesbianism. One aspect of this libel trial involved the drawing up of battle-lines in relation to the construction of a new, post-war womanhood. The book then looks at two inquests and three magistrate-court trials that involved women and drugs; young women in relationships with Chinese men were also effectively in the dock. One way of accessing court proceedings has been via the account of the trial published as part of the Notable British Trial Series. There are no extant trial transcripts. But there are prosecution depositions lodged at the National Archives, much press reportage, and a number of relevant memoirs, all giving a keen sense of the key issues raised by the trial. The book also focuses on an extraordinary divorce case, that of Christabel Russell, involving cross-dressing, claims of a virgin birth, extreme sexual ignorance, and a particular brand of eccentric modern femininity.

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Lucy Bland

relation to their use in each chapter. In my first chapter I examine���������������������������������������������� a libel case, brought by a well-known female dancer against a maverick right-wing MP for the accusation of lesbianism. Although the MP was supposedly on trial, it was the dancer who ended up pilloried and defamed, accused of treachery.����������������������������� I have had access not to of-­ ficial trial transcripts, but to a ‘verbatim’ report of the libel trial published by the libeller himself. Read alongside press reportage, including that of The Times

in Modern women on trial
Dolores Tierney

México, Las abandonadas and Víctimas del pecado are based. It has attempted to show how the unacceptable ‘other’ (the liberated sexuality of the lone female dancer) is not necessarily the opposite but in fact an integral part of the image of the nation. In the case of Salón México, through a focus on camera work, this analysis has shown the slippages between the college and the dance hall, the respectable world and the

in Emilio Fernández
Marcela Iacub
Vinay Swamy

, theaters were filled with nude female dancers, models from art studios exposed their breasts at parties, directors staged imitations of sexual scenes, nudists undressed in the great outdoors. Certainly, these daring dancers, models, and directors were well and truly worried about the court and, if the nudists were not, it was because they set up their spaces such that they could not be seen from the outside. Nevertheless each of these contemporaneous movements constituted a true force of resistance against Article 330. And they ended by winning, at least in part, in the

in Through the keyhole
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A history of northern soul

This book is a social history of northern soul. It examines the origins and development of this music scene, its clubs, publications and practices, by locating it in the shifting economic and social contexts of the English midlands and north in the 1970s. The popularity of northern soul emerged in a period when industrial working-class communities were beginning to be transformed by deindustrialisation and the rise of new political movements around the politics of race, gender and locality. The book makes a significant contribution to the historiography of youth culture, popular music and everyday life in post-war Britain. The authors draw on an expansive range of sources including magazines/fanzines, diaries, letters, and a comprehensive oral history project to produce a detailed, analytical and empathetic reading of an aspect of working-class culture that was created and consumed by thousands of young men and women in the 1970s. A range of voices appear throughout the book to highlight the complexity of the role of class, race and gender, locality and how such identities acted as forces for both unity and fragmentation on the dance floors of iconic clubs such as the Twisted Wheel (Manchester), the Torch (Stoke-on-Trent), the Catacombs (Wolverhampton) and the Casino (Wigan).

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Richly illustrated with over 110 colour and black and white images, the book productively contests the supposedly exclusive feminine aspect of the style moderne (art deco). It explores how alternative, parallel and overlapping experiences and expressions of decorative modernism, nationalism, gender and sexuality in the heady years surrounding World War I converge in the protean figure of the deco dandy. As such, the book significantly departs from and corrects the assumptions and biases that have dominated scholarship on and popular perceptions of art deco. The book outlines how designed products and representations of and for the dandy both existed within and outwith normative expectations of gender and sexuality complicating men’s relationship to consumer culture more broadly and the moderne more specifically. Through a sustained focus on the figure of the dandy, the book offers a broader view of art deco by claiming a greater place for the male body and masculinity in this history than has been given to date. The mass appeal of the dandy in the 1920s was a way to redeploy an iconic, popular and well-known typology as a means to stimulate national industries, to engender a desire for all things made in France. Important, essential and productive moments in the history of the cultural life of Paris presented in the book are instructive of the changing role performed by consumerism, masculinity, design history and national identity.

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Gender, sexuality and the representation of popular dance
Allison Abra

of this?11 Nor were female dancing enthusiasts the only ones to argue that women could be industrious, devoted to family and fun-loving at the same time; to be ‘dreamgirl’ and ‘butterfly’ simultaneously. About a week after Pearson’s original article appeared, the Daily Express printed another opinion piece on the question of British femininity by editor A. Beverley Baxter. Baxter was also a veteran who acknowledged Pearson’s dreamgirl as a common fantasy during the war, but went on to argue that this was an emotional reaction to the front lines, and that ‘this

in Dancing in the English style
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Tango music and dance in Japan, 1913–40
Klaus Nathaus
James Nott

Japan during the 1920s and 1930s was the commodification of couple dancing, which had, as we have seen, initially arrived in Japan as an upper-class diplomatic social custom. One of the key movements was the introduction of the ‘dance ticket system’ in 1926, brought to Japan from the United States by Hyōjirō Katō, a Japanese dance aficionado and wealthy kimono shop owner. In this dance ticket system, each dance hall employed professional male and female dancers to dance with their customers, who paid for this

in Worlds of social dancing
Laura Jeffery

flamboyant and sexually provocative, whereas in Rodriguan sega, male and female dancers maintain a greater distance from each other. Mauritian and Rodriguan sega dancing is based on an elliptical hip movement aided by quick footwork, whereas in Chagossian sega, dancers twirl one way and then the other and shuffle their feet on the ground, which I was told was because they were used to dancing on sand. The outfits worn by the sega dancers also have characteristics specific to each island. At cultural events I attended, there was little variation among male dancers, who wore

in Chagos islanders in Mauritius and the UK
Elza Adamowicz

-presentation is also present in Blumenfeld’s self-portrait, Bloomfield, President – Dada – Chaplinist (1921; figure 8.1), sent to Tzara (the phrase ‘à mon cher Tzara!’ is handwritten over the top left of the image) for inclusion in Dadaglobe. It is a photocollage consisting of a turn-of-the-century postcard of an exotic female dancer covered in a thin veil, over which Blumenfeld has pasted his head, shirt and tie, topped by a woman’s turban. Blumenfeld’s self-portrait, reproducing the extraverted mise-en-scene of an exploded fictional identity, was accompanied by a letter sent

in Dada bodies