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Trading Women, Traded Women

A Historical Scrutiny of Gendered Trading

by Gönül Bakay (Volume editor) Mihaela Mudure (Volume editor)
Edited Collection 392 Pages

Summary

For the scholarly reader it is a truism that trade, in its widest sense (exchange, interchange, deal) is the basis of human society, it is part of the human interaction which is the very texture of society. The French anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss demonstrated in his seminal essay «The Elementary Structures of Kinship» that human society relies on the exchange of women by men. But women are not only the passive object of this trade among men. They also try and often succeed in trading goods, ideas, and changing their subject position by getting the upper hand in this crucial exchange. Little attention has been given to genderizing the connection between trade and the British Enlightenment and to its subsequent influence on women’s history and/or literary or visual representations of women by women or men. The contributors in this collection focus on women as physical or symbolic traded objects, as subversive women trading in spite of cultural and social stereotypes, and as women empowered in the cultural, political, and social trade.

Table Of Content

  • Cover
  • Title
  • Copyright
  • About the editors
  • About the book
  • his eBook can be cited
  • Contents
  • Acknowledgments
  • Foreword (Gönül Bakay / Mihaela Mudure)
  • References
  • Before and during the Long Eighteenth Century
  • Captivity Alla Turca: W.A. Mozart’s The Abduction from the Seraglio (Esra Almas)
  • Alla Turca: Representing the Other
  • W. A. Mozart and The Abduction from the Seraglio
  • Captive and Captor in dialogue: masters
  • Captive and Captor in opposition: servants
  • Conclusion
  • References
  • Women Writers and the Evolution of the British Literary Marketplace during the long Eighteenth Century (Begoña Lasa-Alvarez)
  • 1. Introduction
  • 2. Patronage
  • 3. Literary circles
  • 4. Dealings with editors and printers
  • 5. Conclusions
  • References
  • Moll and Roxana: Defoe’s Criminals or Female Merchants? (Gönül Bakay)
  • References
  • Metropolitan High life and Exchange of Knowledge: Women’s Patronage and Networks in the Eighteenth-Century England (Burcin Cakir)
  • Montagu as a Businesswoman: Philanthropy and Social Reform
  • Becoming Public: Friendship, Correspondence and Patronage
  • References
  • Beyond the Long Eighteenth Century
  • Trading Places: Early African American Women’s Travel Writing (Oana Cogeanu)
  • References
  • Intersectional Narratives of Marriage and Slavery in Oroonoko and The Woman of Colour (Başak Demirhan)
  • Oroonoko
  • The Woman of Colour
  • References
  • Performativity, Writing, Narrative Voice and Agency in Samuel Richardson’s Clarissa or, The History of a Young Lady (Simla Ayse Dogangun)
  • References
  • Oppression and Resistance: Woman as an Exchanged Object in Marriage in Mary Wollstonecraft’s Maria: or, The Wrongs of Woman (1798) (Sevinç Eleman Garner)
  • Introduction
  • Maria, the Wrongs of Woman
  • Conclusion
  • References
  • Trading “several laughable Subjects, droll Figures, and sundry Characters” (Mihaela Irimia)
  • References
  • The Propagandistic Pill and Its Gilded Coat – Cicely Mary Hamilton on Women, Marriage and Free Choice (Ileana Oana Macari / Iulia Andreea Milică)
  • Introduction
  • Franchise, liberal feminism and marriage in Victorian and Edwardian Britain
  • Cicely Mary Hamilton – liberal feminist
  • The Propagandistic Pill: Cicely Mary Hamilton in Marriage as a Trade
  • The Gilded Coat: Marriage on the Stage
  • Conclusions
  • References
  • Men and Women or the Matrimonial Trade in Eliza Haywood’s NovelThe History of Jemmy and Jenny Jessamy (Mihaela Mudure)
  • References
  • Trading Places: Global Feminine Sensibility and the Figure of the Migrant Woman in Contemporary Anglophone Film (Adriana Neagu)
  • References
  • The Japanese Picture Bride Phenomenon in North America (Oana-Meda Păloșanu)
  • References
  • From (Self-)trading Moll to Traded Moll, or the Radical Transformation of Moll Flanders in Sentimental Hollywood (Veronica Popescu)
  • Introduction
  • Defoe’s Moll: survival strategies and female empowerment
  • Pen Densham’s Moll, or “a different kettle of feminist fish”6
  • References
  • Fate and the Economic Value of Women in Aphra Behn’s Fiction (Amelia Precup)
  • References
  • Paule Marshall’s Female Prototypes (Smaranda Ștefanovici)
  • Introduction
  • Marshall’s Dual Female Prototypes of Black Cultural Identity
  • Conclusion
  • References
  • Debates over Women’s Status in the Eighteenth-Century English Society (Sebnem Toplu)
  • References
  • Becoming Evelina: The Quest for Selfhood and Identity in Frances Burney’s Evelina (Hatice Övgü Tüzün)
  • The Young Heroine Enters the World: From Automatic to Controlled Self-Presentation
  • Evelina’s Construction of Self
  • References
  • Women in Trading: Gender, Public Space and Political Representation in the Late Eighteenth Century (Tsai-Yeh Wang)
  • A. The Nature of Women’s Role
  • B. Travel and the Pursuit of Future Perfectibility
  • C. Travel and Political Representation during the Revolution
  • 4. War and National Consciousness
  • 5. Conclusion
  • References
  • Notes on Contributors

Gönül Bakay / Mihaela Mudure (eds.)

Trading Women, Traded Women

A Historical Scrutiny of Gendered Trading

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About the editors

Gönül Bakay is an Associate Professor at Bahçes¸ehir University, Turkey. Her teaching expertise covers Women’s Studies, Gothic Novel and English literature from the 18th century to the present. She is a member of the Women’s Studies Center of I˙stanbul University, of M.S.E.A, BSECS and a member of the board of directors of K.A.D. (cultural studies club).

Mihaela Mudure is a Professor at «Babes-Bolyai» University in Romania. She has also taught in Turkey and the Czech Republic and is a member of the Beatrice Bain Research Group at the University of California at Berkeley. Her research interests include the British Enlightenment, the intersection of gender and ethnicity, and ethnic literatures in the USA.

About the book

For the scholarly reader it is a truism that trade, in its widest sense (exchange, interchange, deal) is the basis of human society, it is part of the human interaction which is the very texture of society. The French anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss demonstrated in his seminal essay The Elementary Structures of Kinship that human society relies on the exchange of women by men. But women are not only the passive object of this trade among men. They also try and often succeed in trading goods, ideas, and changing their subject position by getting the upper hand in this crucial exchange. Little attention has been given to genderizing the connection between trade and the British Enlightenment and to its subsequent influence on women’s history and/or literary or visual representations of women by women or men. The contributors in this collection focus on women as physical or symbolic traded objects, as subversive women trading in spite of cultural and social stereotypes, and as women empowered in the cultural, political, and social trade.

This eBook can be cited

This edition of the eBook can be cited. To enable this we have marked the start and end of a page. In cases where a word straddles a page break, the marker is placed inside the word at exactly the same position as in the physical book. This means that occasionally a word might be bifurcated by this marker.

Contents

Acknowledgments

Gönül Bakay and Mihaela Mudure

Foreword

Before and during the Long Eighteenth Century

Esra Almas

Captivity Alla Turca: W.A. Mozart’s The Abduction from the Seraglio

Begoña Lasa-Alvarez

Women Writers and the Evolution of the British Literary Marketplace during the long Eighteenth Century

Gönül Bakay

Moll and Roxana: Defoe’s Criminals or Female Merchants?

Burcin Cakir

Metropolitan High life and Exchange of Knowledge: Women’s Patronage and Networks in the Eighteenth-Century England

Beyond the Long Eighteenth Century

Oana Cogeanu

Trading Places: Early African American Womens Travel Writing

Başak Demirhan

Intersectional Narratives of Marriage and Slavery in Oroonoko and The Woman of Colour

Simla Ayse Dogangun

Performativity, Writing, Narrative Voice and Agency in Samuel Richardson’s Clarissa or, The History of a Young Lady

Sevinç Eleman Garner

Oppression and Resistance: Woman as an Exchanged Object in Marriage in Mary Wollstonecraft’s Maria: or, The Wrongs of Woman (1798)←5 | 6→

Mihaela Irimia

Trading “several laughable Subjects, droll Figures, and sundry Characters”

Ileana Oana Macari and Iulia Andreea Milică

The Propagandistic Pill and Its Gilded Coat – Cicely Mary Hamilton on Women, Marriage and Free Choice

Mihaela Mudure

Men and Women or the Matrimonial Trade in Eliza Haywoods Novel The History of Jemmy and Jenny Jessamy

Adriana Neagu

Trading Places: Global Feminine Sensibility and the Figure of the Migrant Woman in Contemporary Anglophone Film

Oana-Meda Păloșanu

The Japanese Picture Bride Phenomenon in North America

Veronica Popescu

From (Self-)trading Moll to Traded Moll, or the Radical Transformation of Moll Flanders in Sentimental Hollywood

Amelia Precup

Fate and the Economic Value of Women in Aphra Behns Fiction

Smaranda Ștefanovici

Paule Marshalls Female Prototypes

Sebnem Toplu

Debates over Women’s Status in the Eighteenth-Century English Society

Hatice Övgü Tüzün

Becoming Evelina: The Quest for Selfhood and Identity in Frances Burney’s Evelina

Tsai-Yeh Wang

Women in Trading: Gender, Public Space and Political Representation in the Late Eighteenth Century

Notes on Contributors

←6 | 7→

Acknowledgments

We thank all our colleagues and friends who made this collection possible.

Mihaela Mudure and Gönül Bakay.←7 | 8→ ←8 | 9→

Gönül Bakay and Mihaela Mudure

Foreword

For the scholarly reader, it is a truism that trade, in its widest sense (exchange, interchange, deal) is the basis of human society, it is part of the human interaction which is the very texture of society. The French anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss demonstrated in his seminal essay The Elementary Structures of Kinship that human society relies on the exchange of women by men. But women are not only the passive objects of this trade among men. They also try and often succeed in trading goods, ideas, and changing their subject position by getting the upper hand in this crucial exchange. Feminist thinkers, such as Gayle Rubin, Cora Kaplan or Luce Irigaray, followed in the footsteps of Lévi-Strauss and turned the position of women as “exchanged objects” within the marriage system as a tenet of their ideology. This trade, which is a fundamental pattern in human history, became even more obvious during the British Enlightenment.

In British history, the social, economic, political, and cultural changes that occurred after 1670 and culminated in the British Enlightenment put trade at the basis of society. More than during any previous historical period, mercantilism influenced not only economic thought but also the ethics of human relations. The thinkers of the (British) Enlightenment insist on the importance of trade. Daniel Defoe is a champion in this respect. His works: Tour thro’ the Whole Island of Great Britain, Plan of the English Commerce, and The Complete English Tradesman justify the Enlightenment interest in trade as the basis of individual and common wealth. Defoe presents trade as an inevitable practice in modern society that aims at taking advantage of the new horizons opened by the exploration of America, Africa, and Asia by the Europeans. Geographical exploration is followed by the economic exploitation of these territories which are called “new” from a Eurocentric perspective. In his classic essay An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes and Wealth of the Nations, Adam Smith theorizes on the economy of this new world, based on the laws of the market, and he links material wealth and liberty under the law to the freedom of trade. In a famous essay, “Of the Balance of Trade”, philosopher David Hume insists that the new←9 | 10→ market economy means liberty for all members of society, unlike the freedom enjoyed only by the few within the market economy developed during the Roman Empire. Hume finds the explanation of these two historical situations in the slave based Roman economy and in the social relationships that do not grant freedom to all in ancient Rome1. In 1793 British readers could finally read an English version of Turgot’s treatise Reflexions sur la formation et distribution des richesses (Reflections upon the Formation and Distribution of Wealth),2 one of the first expositions of the principles of economic liberalism. Originally published in France between 1769–1770, this essay influenced Adam Smith as well.

Roy Porter sums up the contributions of all these thinkers who “thought commercial society brought a wholly new and superior form of freedom, that of liberty under the law, the true hallmark of civilization” (2000, p. 391). Recent contributions to the study of the British Enlightenment, in relation to trade and trading, discuss the influence of Adam Smith on the sentimental economy, and the mentalities of his time both in England and in Scotland (see John Dwyer, Sidney M. Greenfield, Tatsuya Sakamoto, and Hideo Tanaka); others consider the changes in the public sphere which were obliged to open to trading practices (see Peter Lake and Pincus Steve, Jeremy Black); the losers and the winners of the emerging market economy during the eighteenth century were assessed by Tim Hitchcock, Pramond K. Nayar, Linda Levy Peck, and Justin Roberts, while Clare Brant discussed the influence of the new commodities on eighteenth century lifestyles.

Much less attention has been given to genderizing the connection between trade and the British Enlightenment and to its subsequent influence on women’s history and/or literary or visual representations of women by women or men. This is the purpose of the present collection, in which the contributors – female scholars from various countries (Romania, Turkey, Spain, and Taiwan), at different stages in their careers, and using diverse scholarly strategies – focus on women as physical or symbolic traded ob←10 | 11→jects, as subversive women trading in spite of cultural and social stereotypes, and as women empowered in the cultural, political, and social trade.

The articles collected here are divided into two sections and are arranged chronologically: namely, essays on Enlightenment or pre-Enlightenment works, and essays on texts created after the long eighteenth century. This chronological criterion was chosen because of the importance of this period in the development of the market economy in British history and in the evolution of the enlightened political economy which came to influence life, culture, and thought. The long eighteenth century is truly a watershed in two different understandings of trade and trading agents. At this point, we fully agree with Montgomery and Chirot who consider that the Enlightenment is “not merely ‘a work in progress’ but a source for the modern world” (2016, p. 72). The idea of political and social freedom, which is fundamental for any real or symbolic trade in the modern world, cannot be understood without taking into account the Enlightenment in general, and the British Enlightenment in particular. From this point of view, as Vincenzo Ferrone competently argues in his essays from the collection The Enlightenment: History of an Idea, this cultural period has never shunned or ended. We still live under the sign of the Enlightenment, whether we admire the Enlightenment or reject it3.

The desires of the heart and the marriage market, the pursuit of wealth and happiness in marriage, and the body as a means of production are some of the topics discussed in this collection, which hopefully will be inspirational for other researchers. The variety of approaches and methods is remarkable. The British writers of the (late) seventeenth and the long eighteenth centuries, and the trade in women or the trading of/by women have inspired several essays, which introduce political economy and ethical issues linked to wealth and money into literary analysis.

Amelia Precup discusses women as subjects and/or objects in Aphra Behn’s work. She draws attention to the common law whereby a married woman could not enter into contracts, sue or be sued or write a will. Başak Demirhan deals with Aphra Behn’s fiction Oroonoko, The Royal Prince, which chronicles the life of an African prince who leads a slave revolt and←11 | 12→ is executed by the cruel and treacherous slave holders, and the anonymous epistolary novel The Woman of Colour, A Tale in order to find the intersections and changes in the discourse on the Atlantic slave trade and women’s status during the long eighteenth century. Gönül Bakay puts two of Defoe’s most famous female characters, Moll Flanders and Roxana, to the test of honesty in order to show how they hover between criminality and trade and she stresses their importance as the first two female capitalists of fiction. Veronica Popescu offers an interesting analysis of Moll Flanders in trade with the sentimental Hollywood. She states that the film version of Moll Flanders can be considered a political act that completely transforms Defoe’s Moll Flanders into a film about the 1990 American cultural context and ideology. Simla Ayşe Doğangün explores how Clarissa, one of the best-known heroines of Samuel Richardson, trades her agency and voice in an oppressive social environment that tries to limit her performativity. She also examines Clarissa’s act of radical self-determination in her letters, particularly where she explicates her will into agency. Hatice Övgü Tüzün follows Frances Burney’s Evelina on her quest for identity and selfhood in the trading British society of the eighteenth century. Mihaela Mudure and Sevinç Eleman Garner analyze the matrimonial trade in some of the novels of the eighteenth century. The former uses Eliza Haywood’s novel The History of Jemmy and Jenny Jessamy as her case study where she stresses the importance of the couple knowing each other well before marriage, while the latter interprets Mary Wollstonecraft’s fiction Maria: or, The Wrongs of Woman. Garner stresses that Wollstonecraft’s aim in this novel was to convey the misery and oppression peculiar to women that arise out of the partial laws and customs of society and to show the wrongs of different classes of women, were equally opressive. Esra Almas and Mihaela Irimia scrutinize the trade in women in other arts. Almas uses Mozart’s The Abduction from the Seraglio and examines the trade of women in the eighteenth century, while Irimia elaborates on the female gaze and the females in trade as they appear in Mary Darly’s 1762 collection of caricatures where she dealt with “several laughable subjects, droll figures and sundry characters”. Burcin Cakir, Begoña Lasa-Alvarez, Sebnem Toplu, and Tsai-Yeh Wang inspect the Enlightenment physical or symbolic trade in their bird’s-eye view essays. Cakir inspects elite women and their networks, Lasa-Alvarez competently places women wther riters in the literary←12 | 13→ market of the time, while Toplu very convincingly sums up the debates over women’s status. Last, but certainly not least in this section, Wang looks at educated and politically literate British women, such as Helen Maria Williams, Mary Wollstonecraft, Charlotte West, Frances Burney, and Charlotte Anne Eaton, as active agents in the political trade with France during the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars.

In the section that goes beyond the Enlightenment, Ileana Oana Macari and Iulia Andreea Milică co-author an article about the feminist and suffragist Cicely Mary Hamilton and her arguments in a famous piece that she authored: Marriage as a Trade. Oana Cogeanu, Oana-Meda Păloşanu, and Adriana Neagu focus on women trading places. Cogeanu deals with Black women’s travel writing as a journey of self-determination, spiritual growth, and escape from servitude. Păloşanu inspects the Japanese picture bride phenomenon, Kekkonshashin, and the underlying reasons for the continuation of this practice, while Neagu explores the figure of the migrant woman and her representations in today’s Anglophone film productions. She draws attention to the elements of violence and xenophobia embedded in the discourse of global forces. Finally, Smaranda Ştefanovici evaluates Paule Marshall’s heroines both in the slave trade and in their symbolic trade with new identities. She especially focuses on the relationship between the colonizing white male and the colonial black woman.

In both sections, the editors have preferred the alphabetical order to the thematic one so as to avoid any subjective and, consequently, irrelevant appreciations of the contributors’ work. The diversity and the richness of the contributors’ essays are remarkable and we thank them all for making this project possible.

References

Biographical notes

Gönül Bakay (Volume editor) Mihaela Mudure (Volume editor)

Gönül Bakay is an Associate Professor at Bahçeşehir University, Turkey. Her teaching expertise covers Women’s studies, Gothic Novel and English literature from the 18th century to the present. She is a member of the Women’s studies center of İstanbul University, of M.S.E.A, BSECS and a member of the board of directors of K.A.D. (cultural studies club). Mihaela Mudure is a Professor at «Babes-Bolyai» University in Romania. She has also taught in Turkey and the Czech Republic and is a member of the Beatrice Bain Research Group at the University of California at Berkeley. Her research interests include the British Enlightenment, the intersection of gender and ethnicity, and ethnic literatures in the USA.

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