Historical gender representations

Today I met professor Nicole Pellegrin from France, who has just been inaugurated as the new “Belle van Zuylen” (or Isabelle de Charrières)-professor at Utrecht University, and who focuses in her research on representations of femininity in word and image. She showed me the website of a virtual exhibition she worked on at the University of Angers in France, which is devoted to historical representations of masculinity and femininity.

The site is in French, has been produced with fantastic attention to detail and to the possibilities of the virtual medium. It contains wonderful material on representations of Jeanne d’Arc (researched by Nicole Pellegrin), on gender and football, women in colonialist postcards, and historical women dressing like men, to name but a few subjects. The illustration I copied from the site (© BM Rouen) is from a paper doll game, in which children can dress Jeanne d’Arc either as a (feminine) shepherdess or as a (masculine) warrior.

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