Constructing the Persona of a Professional Historian. On Eileen Power's Early Career Persona Formation and Her Year in Paris, 1910-1911

Authors

  • Rozemarijn van de Wal University of Groningen, Netherlands

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.21153/ps2018vol4no1art702

Keywords:

biography, life-writing, scholarly persona, historian

Abstract

The medieval historian Eileen Power (1889-1940) was one of Britain’s most eminent female historians of the first half of the twentieth century. Becoming Professor of Economic History at the London School of Economics in 1931, Power gained academic recognition to a degree that was difficult for women to obtain in this period. Numerous writings on Power discuss the period 1920-1921, when she travelled around the world as an Albert Kahn Fellow, considering it a formative year in her career and indicating the importance of travel for achieving scholarly success. In contrast, little attention has been paid to the significance of Power’s first academic journey in 1910-1911, when she spent a year in Paris. This stay abroad would however be equally important since it was then that she decided to pursue a career in medieval history.

At the time, even if women had an academic degree, they were not self-evident, professional scholars. Therefore, the main question in this article is whether and how Power started to build her scholarly persona while in Paris, attempting to construct an identity for herself as a credible and reliable academic. This will be addressed by analysing her personal writings; specifically, her diary and her letters to her close friend, Margery Garrett.

Downloads

Download data is not yet available.

References

Anderson, CA 2008, ‘(Per)Forming Female Politics: The Making of The ‘Modern Woman’ in London, 1890-1914’, PhD Philosophy Thesis, University of Kansas, retrieved 13 June 2017, KU Scholar Works Database.

Berg, M 1996, A Woman in History Eileen Power 1889-1940, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

Berg, M 1995, ‘A Woman in History: Eileen Power and the Early Years of Social History and Women’s History’, in M O’Dowd & S Wichert (eds), Chattel, Servant or Citizen. Women’s Status in Church, State and Society, The Institute of Irish Studies The Queen’s University of Belfast, Belfast, pp. 12-21.

Boer, den P 2011, ‘Historical Writing in France, 1800-1914’, in Macintyre, S, Maiguashca, J & Pók, A (eds), The Oxford History of Historical Writing: Volume 4: 1800-1945, Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Bosch, M 2018, ‘Looking at Laboratory Life, Writing a Scientific Persona: Marianne van Herwerden’s travel letters from the United States, 1920’, L’Homme: Auto/Biographie, article accepted for publication in 2018.

Bosch, M 2013, ‘Persona and the performance of identity. Parallel developments in the Biographical Historiography of Science and Gender, and the related uses of Self narrative’, L’Homme: Auto/Biographie, vol. 24, no.2, pp. 11-22.

Bosch, M 2016, ‘Scholarly persona and twentieth-century historians: explorations of a concept’, BMGN – Low Countries Historical Review, vol. 131, no.4, pp.33-54.

Bosch, M 1987, ‘Egodocumenten: bronnen van kennis en plezier’, Tijdschrift voor vrouwenstudies, vol.2, no.2, pp.203-220.

Bradbrook, MC 1969, ‘That Infidel Place’ A Short History of Girton College 1869-1969, Chatto and Windus, London.

Cambridge University Library MS add. 8961/2/2 Paris and research on Queen Isabella, diary 1911.

Cambridge University Library MS Add.8961/1/4/3 Testimonial from J. P. Whitney, 1914.

Daston, L, Sibum, O 2003, ‘Introduction: Scientific Personae and their Histories’, Science in Context, vol. 16, no.1, pp.1-8.

Dunkley, S 2004, ‘Rice, Margaret Lois Spring (1887-1970)’, in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, Oxford. [http://www.oxforddnb.com.proxy-ub.rug.nl/view/article/74760, accessed 13 July 2017]

Etzemüller, T 2013, ‘Der >Vf.< als Subjektform. Wie wird man zum >Wissenschaftler< und (wie) lässt sich das beobachten?‘, in T Alkemeyer (ed), Selbst-Bildungen : soziale und kulturelle Praktiken der Subjektivierung, Transcript Verlag, Bielefeld, pp.175-196.

Fullbrook, M, Rublack, U 2010, ‘In Relation: The ‘Social Self’ and Ego-Documents’, German History, vol.28, no.3, pp.263-272.

Girton College Cambridge GCPP Power E 2/1/1, 2/1/2 and 2/1/3 Letters to Margery files 1, 2, 3.

Goffman, E 1990, The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life, The Penguin Press, London.

Grier, L 1937, Life of Winifred Mercier, Oxford University Press, London.

Hämmerle, C 2009, ‘Diaries’, in M Dobson, B Ziemann (eds), Reading primary sources: the interpretation of texts from nineteenth- and twentieth-century history, Routledge, London.

Jacobs, E 1998, ‘Eileen Power’s Asian journey, 1920-21: history, narrative, and subjectivity’, Women’s History Review, vol.2, no.3, pp. 295-319.

Jann, R 1983, ‘From Amateur to Professional: The Case of the Oxbridge Historians’, Journal of British Studies, vol. 22, no.2, pp. 122-147.

Kagle, SE, Gramegna, L 1996, ‘Rewriting Her Life: Fictionalization and the Use of Fictional Methods in Early American Women’s Diaries’, in SL Bunkers, CA Huff (eds), Inscribing the Daily: critical essays on women’s diaries, University of Massachusetts Press, Amherst.

Knighton, CS 2004, ‘Pepys, Samuel (1633–1703)’, in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, Oxford. [http://www.oxforddnb.com.proxy-ub.rug.nl/view/article/21906, accessed 26 June 2017]

Langlois, V, Seignobos CH 1898, Introduction to the Study of History, Duckworth & Co, London.

Levine, P 1986, The Amateur and the Professional, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

Macintyre, S, Maiguashca, J & Pók, A 2011, ‘Editors’ Introduction’, in S Macintyre, J Maiguashca & A Pók (eds), The Oxford History of Historical Writing: Volume 4: 1800-1945, Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Marks, P 2015, Bicycles, bangs and bloomers: the new woman in the popular press, The University Press of Kentucky, Lexington.

Megson, B, Linsay J 1960, Girton College 1869-1959. An Informal History, W. Heffer and Sons, Cambridge.

Melman, B 1996, ‘Under the Western Historian’s Eyes: Eileen Power and the Early Feminist Encounter With Colonialism’, History Workshop Journal, vol. 42, pp.147-168.

McLachlan, JO 1947, ‘The Origin and Early Development of the Cambridge Historical Tripos’, The Cambridge Historical Journal, vol. 9, no.1, pp.78-105.

Millim, A 2010, ‘The Victorian Diary: Between the Public and the Private’, Literature Compass, vol. 7, no.10, pp. 977-988.

Paul, H 2014, ‘What is a scholarly persona? Ten these on virtues, skills and desires’, History and Theory, vol.53, no.3, pp. 348-371.

Podnieks, E 2000, Daily modernism: the literary diaries of Virginia Woolf, Antonia White, Elizabeth Smart, and Anaïs Nin, McGill-Queen's University Press, Montreal (Quebec).

Pomata, G 2013, ‘Amateurs by Choice: Women and the Pursuit of Independent Scholarship in 20th Century Historical Writing’, Centaurus, vol. 55, no.2, pp.196-219.

Pomata, G 2004, ‘Rejoinder to Pygmalion. The Origins of Women’s History at the London School of Economics’, Storia delle storiografia, vol.46, pp.79-104.

Power, E 1928, The Goodman of Paris. A treatise on moral and domestic economy, Routledge, London.

Rosenwald, L 1988, Emerson and the art of the diary, Oxford University Press, New York.

Rossiter, MW 1984, Women Scientists in America. Volume 1 Struggles and Strategies to 1940, John Hopkins University Press, Baltimore.

Shapin, S 1994, A Social History of Truth: civility and science in seventeenth century England, University of Chicago Press, Chicago.

Simon-Martin, M 2016, ‘Barbara Bodichon’s travel writing: her epistolary articulation of Bildung’, History of Education, vol. 45, no.3, pp.285-303.

Simon-Martin, M 2013a, ‘Barbara Leigh Smith Bodichon’s Travel Letters: performative identity-formation in epistolary narratives’, Women’s History Review, vol. 22, no.2, pp. 225-238.

Simon-Martin, M 2013b, ‘More Beautiful than Words & Pencil can Express’: Barbara Bodichon’s Artistic Career at the interface of her Epistolary and Visual Self Projections’, in DR Gabaccia, MJ Maynes (eds), Gender History Across Epistemologies, Wiley & Sons Incorporated, New York.

Simons, J 1990, Diaries and journals of literary women from Fanny Burney to Virginia Woolf, Macmillan, Basingstoke.

Smith, BG 2001, The Gender of History. Men, Women, and Historical Practice, Harvard University Press, Cambridge.

Smith, S 1995, ‘Performativity, Autobiographical Practice, Resistance’, a/b: Auto/Biography Studies, vol. 10, no.1, pp.17-33.

Smith, S, Watson, J 2010, Reading Autobiography: A Guide for Interpreting Life Narratives, University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis.

Stephen, B 1933, Girton College 1869-1932, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

Stimpson, CR 1987, ‘The Female Sociograph: The Theater of Virginia Woolf’s Letters’, in DC Stanton (ed), The Female Autograph, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, pp.168-179.

Sutherland, G 2001, ‘Girton for Ladies, Newnham for governesses’, in J Smith, C Stray (eds), Teaching and Learning in 19th-Century Cambridge, The Boydell Press, Cambridge, pp.139-149.

Tickner, L 1989, The spectacle of women: imagery of the Suffrage Campaign 1907-14, Chatto & Windus, London.

Waaldijk, B 1993, ‘Reading Anne Frank as a Woman’, Women’s Studies Int. Forum, vol.16, no.4, pp.327-335.

Webster, C 1940, ‘Eileen Power (1889-1940)’, The Economic Journal, vol.50, no.200, pp. 561-572.

Weinbaum, AE, Thomas, LM, Ramarurthy, P, Poiger, UG, Yue Dong, M & Barlow, TE (The Modern Girl Around the World Research Group) 2008, ‘The Modern Girl as Heuristic Device: Collaboration, Connective Comparison, Multidirectional Citation’, in The Modern Girl Around the World Research Group (eds), The Modern Girl Around the World. Consumption, Modernity and Globalization, Duke University Press, Durham, pp.1-24.

Wesseling, E 2003, ‘Judith Rich Harris: The Miss Marple of Development Psychology’, Science in Context, vol. 17, no.3, pp.293-314.

Downloads

Published

2018-05-04

How to Cite

van de Wal, R. (2018). Constructing the Persona of a Professional Historian. On Eileen Power’s Early Career Persona Formation and Her Year in Paris, 1910-1911. Persona Studies, 4(1), 32–44. https://doi.org/10.21153/ps2018vol4no1art702

Issue

Section

Open Submission Articles