Insurgées : les femmes-reporters

The first generation of women journalists modernized the image of the woman and gave a new representation to women in the press. Women effectively transgressed their passive role as the objects of dominant discourse on the opinion pages and instead became subjects writing the news or even writing themselves into the news in sensational stories and “performing” news stories in which they were the stars.

This change corresponds to a shift in the French press toward a factual, news-based press, creating a space for women to emerge as representatives or storytellers of modern life as they experienced it, a reflection of daily life.

In this course, we will consider pivotal moments in French culture, society, and history from the perspectives of women writing the news. Their writing, which relied heavily on their feelings and intimate experiences at the scene, exposed their empathetic bodies and led to hybridized journalistic forms.

Through their work in the daily press, we will explore the ways in which their writing created communities of care, exposed social injustices, and documented war and colonial imperialism. It is ultimately their engagement that motivated readers to unite and led to increased political activism and feminism in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Authors studied include George Sand, Séverine, Colette, Andrée Viollis, and Marcelle Capy.