Dirty Magazines, Female Pills, and the Price of Bread: Gender and Sexuality in Local Responses to Transnational Processes
How did average people experience the growth of empire and other transnational processes from the eighteenth to twentieth centuries? How did economic and military efforts across the globe affect their health, marriages, and families? Conversely, how did aspects of local daily life in Britain, Continental Europe, and the United States reverberate through transnational systems? Focusing specifically on questions of gender and sexuality, this panel interrogates the relationship between the local and the transnational in European empires and nation-states. The first panelist, Sofia Zepeda, analyzes the relationship between the imperial contest of the Napoleonic Wars and the survival of naval families in Britain. Moving forward to the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, Kyle Fernandez explores the Atlantic economy in abortifacients. Finally, Jamie Stoops identifies the linkages between imperial and transnational pornography distribution networks and the development of localized sexual subcultures in the British Empire. As a scholar of the pharmaceutical industry in colonial Francophone Africa, chair and commentator Donna Patterson brings to the panel her expertise on the transnational processes and their effect on gender and everyday life. Each panelist examines the local ramifications of transnational events, incorporating large processes into an examination of ordinary life. While all of these papers focus on gender and sexuality, each scholar offers his or her own distinct method of interpreting transnational processes at the local level. In keeping with the 2016 Annual Meeting's theme of "Global Migrations: Empires, Nations, and Neighbors," this panel will foster a lively dialogue about the different ways in which people, commodities, and concepts flow across national and imperial borders. The papers presented at this panel will be of interest not only to British and European historians, but also scholars concerned more broadly with studies placing shifting sexual norms and gender categories in a transnational context. In addition, the presentations and discussions provided in this panel provide important insights into methods useful for studying transnational processes through a quotidian lens.