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Type: Journal article
Title: 'That's the Modern Girl': Missionary Women in Modernity in Kolkata, c.1907 - c.1940
Author: Allen, M.
Citation: Itinerario: International Journal on the History of European Expansion and Global Interaction, 2010; 34(3 Sp Iss):83-96
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Issue Date: 2010
ISSN: 0165-1153
Statement of
Margaret Allen
Abstract: In 1923, three young single western women—Margaret Read, Iris Wingate, and Eleanor Rivett—made an adventurous summer trip riding and trekking from Kalimpong in West Bengal, right up to Sikkim. Read and Wingate, both wearing riding breeches and with hair bobbed, were somewhat more adventurous, continuing their trip to Tibet. This was a holiday from their work in Kolkata (formerly Calcutta), the great cosmopolitan city of the British Raj in India. Surely these independent and mobile women were reminiscent of “the Modern Girl” that has been “singled out as a marker of ‘modernity’”. However, these women were not in the sites where “the Modern Girl” has hitherto been located, for they were working in the Christian missionary movement in India. Eleanor Rivett, an Australian and the oldest in the trio, was principal of United Missionary Girls High School (UMGHS) while Iris Wingate and Margaret Read, both British, were working with the Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA) in Kolkata.
Rights: Copyright © Research Institute for History, Leiden University 2010. © Cambridge University Press 2011
RMID: 0020105534
DOI: 10.1017/S0165115310000707
Appears in Collections:Gender Studies and Social Analysis publications

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