Aimée Boutin : Moving forward, or Standing still? Women Writers and the Railway in Nineteenth-Century France

On The March 8, 2021

10h00  - 12h00

This project on nineteenth-century French women writers explores how the railway increased their freedom of movement while also imposing and exposing unequal norms for male and female passengers. The presentation also examines the impact of locomotion on French women’s writing, to dispel the image of the woman writer as a bystander of industrial modernity.

Women’s mobility in the 19th century was more constrained than it is today, but it is hard to imagine the limitations imposed on female travelers. With the expansion of the railway in 19th -century France, mobility came to define the modern man. Modernities and mobilities are mutually dependent; yet for men and women writers, modernities moved at different speeds.

Aimée Boutin teaches French and Francophone studies at Florida State University since 1998 and is a 2020/2021 fellow at the Collegium de Lyon

Illustration: Giuseppe De Nittis "The train passes"