Women Journalists in the Russian Revolutions and Civil Wars: Case Studies of Ariadna Tyrkova-Williams and Larisa Reisner, 1917–1926
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This thesis examines the work and experience of women journalists in the Russian Revolutions and Civil Wars, 1917–1926. Adopting a comparative approach, it focuses on case studies of the Russian writer, journalist and liberal politician Ariadna Vladimirovna Tyrkova-Williams (1869–1962) and the young Bolshevik writer Larisa Mikhailovna Reisner (1895–1926) in order to examine and compare how women from opposing sides of the revolutions and civil wars used the press to shape the outcome of these conflicts. While women in Russia had contributed to the press in a range of roles, including as editors and publishers, since at least the eighteenth century and had long used journalism as a tool for social and political change, the revolutions and civil wars presented new opportunities for women to use journalism as a form of activism and, in some cases, to combine it with military and/or policy-making roles. At a time when the task of describing and participating in war, or indeed journalism in general, was predominantly viewed as a male pursuit in the West, the work of these women was particularly ground-breaking and unique in the context of journalism and women’s history. However, despite their seemingly emancipated position and the vital roles they played during this period, many Russian women working in the press (as well as in other historically male wartime roles) were nevertheless viewed by their contemporaries along traditional gender lines. By examining how and why women became, or continued to be, involved in journalism during the revolutions and civil wars, the opportunities and challenges they experienced, and how they were perceived by their contemporaries, this study provides a fresh perspective on the relationship between gender, activism and journalism during this period of conflict.
- Theses