The imperial woman’s colonising mission: making space in three colonial crises

PhD Thesis

Sengstock, Anne L.. 2020. The imperial woman’s colonising mission: making space in three colonial crises. PhD Thesis Doctor of Philosophy. University of Southern Queensland.

The imperial woman’s colonising mission: making space in three colonial crises

TypePhD Thesis
AuthorSengstock, Anne L.
SupervisorDewhirst, Catherine
Connors, Libby
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
Qualification NameDoctor of Philosophy
Number of Pages208
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

The aim of this thesis is to apply a postcolonial gender perspective to the writings of British women during crises in the nineteenth century. Using this theoretical framework, this thesis addresses a gap in research as it explores the perspectives and actions of women across three colonial outposts of the British Empire, to understand how crises in a concentrated span of time affected the roles and perceptions of these women. By tracking patterns and inconsistencies across the case studies of conflicts in Australia, India and New Zealand, the thesis highlights how crises could and did affect each other, providing incentive and space for British women to grow into roles previously denied them in a male-dominated world. Having positioned the women within the intersectional categories of class, race and gender, this thesis provides a wider purview of the barriers British women encountered and how Victorian femininity was used to create space for their politically independent perceptions, new opportunities and public voices. Crises are found to have been an opportunity for British women to adapt and change their actions and perceptions. This examination of select diaries, memoirs and letters gives insight into how these literate women manipulated and expanded the category of femininity to promote their wide range of capabilities.

Keywordsgender history, empire, women's history, transnational study, women's writings, crises
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020430302. Australian history
430309. Gender history
430323. Transnational history
430320. New Zealand history
430301. Asian history
430304. British history
430313. History of empires, imperialism and colonialism
Byline AffiliationsSchool of Humanities and Communication
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