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Domesticating cosmopolitanism: Charmian Clift’s women’s column in the Sydney Morning Herald and Melbourne Herald in the 1960s

journal contribution
posted on 2014-12-01, 00:00 authored by Tanja Luckins
When novelist Charmian Clift returned to Australia in 1964 after 14 years
in England and Greece, she was commissioned to write a women’s column in
the Sydney Morning Herald and Melbourne Herald. Her topics ranged widely,
from food and drink, migrants and hospitality, famine and peace, children
and religion, pop music and Aborigines to travel and housewives. By all
accounts Clift struck a chord with her readers, her feel for connecting the
vagaries of everyday life with historical and global events and social shifts
made hers a distinctive voice in the daily press. This article explores the
cosmopolitan outlook of Clift’s newspaper column: a world of hospitality
and travel based on a common humanity, a perspective that neither feared
nor favoured class, caste and colour, all the while not shying away from
criticisms of the moral ambiguities of a sophisticated worldliness. It argues
that Clift’s cosmopolitan perspective offered women a moral space that
circumscribed local conditions. The article adds to an emerging body of
knowledge on the gendered dimensions of cosmopolitanism and seeks to
understand what kind of cosmopolitan world for women existed in 1960s
Australia.

History

Journal

History Australia

Volume

11

Issue

3

Pagination

97 - 115

Publisher

Monash University ePress

Location

Melbourne, Vic.

ISSN

1833-4881

eISSN

1449-0854

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2014, Monash University ePress

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