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Transcript of Introduction
Grip/Catcher : issue or pattern usually associated with the Modern Girl and which can apply to the Modern Child as well.
between Chinese and American advertising
(Weinbaum ed, 2008 : 1-24)
perspective to examine the
aspects of the Modern Girl/Child phenomenon and modern advertising in general.
Inspired by the Modern Girl Research Group
(Weinbaum ed., 2008: 1-24)
and based on three main observations:
for case studies
which are straightforwardly concerned with women and children, then broadening the scope to include various types of products - less directly related or even antithetic to women and children.
for reasons of
and for allowing
between US-China :
Research Questions & Methodology
Materials - Sources
Skins beneath the surface:
in Shanghai (
) and the USA (
New York Times, Saturday Evening Post
Ladies' Home Journal
in the USA.
The three layers of the Modern Child advertising "skin"
From the surface to the depths
1st layer - Representations
of the Modern Child
2nd layer -
3rd layer -
Modern Child ?
ANATOMY OF THE DEMONSTRATION
The transcultural depths of the Modern Child's bodily appearances
in 1920-1930s American and Chinese advertising
materials primarily comes from the
J. Walter Thompson Collection
hosted by the John Hartman Center, Duke University, Durham, NC (http://library.duke.edu/rubenstein/hartman/)
of advertisements from the Shanghai press. 3 main sources : online database (Virtual Shanghai, Common People and the Artists) ; printed materials hold at the Academia Sinica, Modern History Library, scholars' publications and papers.
A double bias
: at this stage of my research, the US side is far better documented than the Chinese, both in terms of the quantity as well as the quality of the materials collected
(no archives from Chinese companies to document the making of advertising).
Archives - Collections
Specific devices for visual comparisons
The DNA model for single comparisons
model for double comparisons
Modern Girl/Child dividing line
America/China dividing line
AMG : American Modern Girl
AMC : American Modern Child
CMG : Chinese Modern Girl
CMC : Chinese Modern Child
focus on the interwar years (1920-1930s
) should not prevent us from venturing upstream / downstream - especially to highlight the
central role of wars
in the emergence and transformations of
the Modern Child/Girl's phenomenon
(Cells - pearls - bubbles)
The main challenge for historians:
to reveal the social-cultural meanings
and historical depths of advertising
for temporal analysis
(change/continuity, short/long, fast/slow)
for spatial analysis
Reverse process, revival ?
National-local adaptations/differentiations of global-national trends
National-local influences on global-national trends
Several "grips" have been identified in an attempt to catch the
between the Modern Child/Girl and between America and China : healthy-hygienic bodies, modernity, nationalism-patriotism, racialization, commodification/agency...
The Modern Child as a "heuristic device"
Women and children
as the "voiceless"
Deprived of written materials offering direct access to their experiences and feelings,
how to write their histories?
"Natural" and close relationship between children and women as mothers
the weaker sex
the weaker age
Simultaneous emergence of a
(commodities) and a
commercial visual culture
(images) surrounding children and women
in the 1920-1930s
Women and children both viewed as
symbol and agent
as well as
(Mittler, 2004: 219)