Jennifer Scanlon is the William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies at Bowdoin College. Her research interests include women's and feminist history, women's relationships to social movements, biography, and consumer culture. An award-winning teacher and scholar, she is the author of Until There Is Justice: The Life of Anna Arnold Hedgeman (2016), Bad Girls Go Everywhere: The Life of Helen Gurley Brown (2009), and Inarticulate Longings: The Ladies' Home Journal, Gender, and the Promises of Consumer Culture (1995), and the editor of Significant Contemporary American Feminists (1999) and The Gender and Consumer Culture Reader (2000). She has also written many scholarly articles on women's and girls' cultural and consumer practices. Among other accolades, Bad Girls Go Everywhere was named a "Book of the Times" by the New York Times, "Book of the Week" by The Week, and Business Book of the Year by Marketplace.
Women's print magazines are ephemeral, no doubt, but what of their messages? Are the messages they deliver as ephemeral as the magazine's own pages pages, not worth holding on to beyond the month of their release? This talk explores the role magazines play in women's lives-- historically and in contemporary life. Arguably, the ways in which magazines are constructed-- in small parts, mixed together, as an eclectic set of messages-- match the reading habits and the lifestyles of female readers and are a proven means of communicating gendered identity.