We Are the Web: Letter-Writing and the 1980s Women's Peace Movement

Jolly, Margaretta (2003) We Are the Web: Letter-Writing and the 1980s Women's Peace Movement. Prose Studies, 26 (1-2). pp. 196-218. ISSN 0144-0357

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This essay considers the unsung role of letter-writing in the construction of feminist communities formed in protest. Using the example of the Greenham and Seneca womens peace protests of the early 1980s, I show that the vibrant sense of community symbolised by the womens web was partly constructed through personal letters and epistolary publicity sent to and from peace camps. Like the web, letter-writing was symbolic as well as practical, the virtual extension of a profound identification across an international network of women. However, as a means of outreach and negotiation, letters also show conflicts with locals and within the movement itself to reveal the adversarial and unconscious dimensions of community-making as well as the more manipulative aspects of letters. In either case, letter-writing functions simultaneously as a basic technology of campaigning and a form of creative life-writing, testifying to the interdependence of writing and political direct action.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Also published in Womens Life Writing and Imagined Communities, ed. Cynthia Huff, Routledge, 2005.
Schools and Departments: School of Business, Management and Economics > Centre for Community Engagement
Research Centres and Groups: Centre for Life History and Life Writing Research
Depositing User: Margaretta Jolly
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 18:22
Last Modified: 30 Jul 2018 15:55
URI: http://srodev.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/16026
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