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Influential women: English academics share expertise in the media

Published: 26 April 2013
Queen Mary I by Master John

Spring has been a busy time for Southampton staff in the media, with our academics called upon for expertise in areas from adolescence to elegance to illness.

In ‘What is it About Judy Blume’ (Radio 4, Easter Sunday), Devorah Baum brought her psychoanalytic and deconstructive work on post-war American Literature to bear on the popular children’s and teen author, Judy Blume. Exploring questions of sexuality, peer-group formation, agency and difference, Devorah highlighted the impact that Blume has had on a generation of professional and intellectual women, now coming of age, who read her in the 1980s.

Emma Clery was interviewed by Rachel Johnson for ‘How to Be a Lady - an Elegant History’ (BBC4, 26th March). Emma suggested that there is a strongly egalitarian edge to the notion of 'ladyhood' we find in the works of Jane Austen and other early novelists. Their emphasis on the importance of fortitude in a lady was a tacit acknowledgement of the hardships and inequalities facing women in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.

Meanwhile, in 'Fit to Rule: How Royal Illness Changed History' (BBC 2, 8 April), Alice Hunt spoke to Lucy Worsley about the relationship between the personal life of Mary I and her religious beliefs, and her fitness to rule as England’s first queen.

Oil on panel, 1544, copyright National Portrait Gallery, London
Queen Mary I by Master John
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