Dorothy Gibson: The Woman Who Survived The Sinking of the Titanic and a Nazi Prison

Dorothy Winifred Gibson (1889-1946) is arguably one of the most fascinating women of the twentieth century. Her story is more than deserving of its own film or TV show and yet, if it was to ever appear on the screen, … Continue reading

Did Films Reflect or Shape Gender Roles in the Second World War? Part 5

While wartime films did open up passage of gender exploration for both film-makers and audiences, the war itself meant that the discourse could not be as radical or far-reaching as some might have hoped. For the sake of both national … Continue reading

Did Films Reflect or Shape Gender Roles in the Second World War? Part 4

The question of female identity inevitably encouraged both film-makers and audiences to explore ideas of masculinity, in particular the relationship between heroism and men in non-combatant roles. If men had to fight to prove their masculinity, what did that mean … Continue reading

Did Films Reflect or Shape Gender Roles in the Second World War? Part 3

A crucial concern of the wartime discourse on gender was that of duty versus desire, explored in the melodramas and Brief Encounter. L. K. Gordon of Leicester wrote to the Leicester Evening Mail in 1943 stating that ‘the war had … Continue reading

Did Films Reflect or Shape Gender Roles in the Second World War? Part 2

The anxious discourse on female mobilisation during the war also concerned the perceived necessity of protecting the femininity of these women. Gender distinctions rest largely on appearance, thus “these trouser-clad androgynies destabilised the polarisation upon which gendered identity normally rested”[1]. … Continue reading

Did Films Reflect or Shape Gender Roles in the Second World War? Part 1

Categories of social difference are identified by how they juxtapose each other. Women are women because they are not men; masculine is masculine because it is not feminine. Gender is perceived in binary terms and this relationship is highlighted in … Continue reading

Ancient Greek Tragedies, The RMS Titanic and Cultural Immortality

Nearly two and a half thousand years ago, c. 429BC, Sophocles’ Oedipus the King was first performed at the Athenian Dionysia. Audiences listened with morbid fascination as a messenger revealed the awful suicide of Oedipus’ wife and mother, Jocasta, and … Continue reading