Public in a domestic sense: Sex work, nation-building, and class identification in modern Europe
© The Author(s) 2018. In their contributions to this AHR Forum, Joanne M. Ferraro, Emma Griffin, and Rebecca Jinks explore intimate and affective aspects of women's lives in three European settings over two centuries, taking on the formidable task of investigating the thoughts and emotions of subjects who themselves are no longer alive and left no archival traces of their own. The articles range in geographic area-from Britain to Venice to Armenia- and in topical focus-from labor and commerce to emotions and families to nation-building and humanitarianism. They also range methodologically, drawing on autobiographies, semi-judicial cases, and relief workers' reports. Ultimately, though, the authors are left attempting to discern the voices of refugees, sex workers, and working-class mothers through the mediations of reformers, notaries, and the women's own children.1All three of these essays continue a return to materiality, not in the sense of the neo-materialist critique of anthropocentrism, but rather in the sense of highlighting actions, experiences, and structures more than discursive, cultural, or symbolic aspects of human experience. None of the authors ignores these latter elements, but they all understand such factors as inextricable from more quotidian considerations such as violence, budgets, commercial relations, and labor conditions.
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