Australian women working in British broadcasting in the 1930s and 1940s

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This article analyzes the connections between gender, labor, and mobility by
tracing the transnational careers of two Australian women who began working at the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) in the 1930s and 1940s: Peggie Broadhead and Muriel Howlett. Both participated in the production of media content aimed at British diasporic audiences while at the same time negotiating their own Australian national identity and sense of belonging, within an imperial framework. A close study of institutional and private archives reveals that these professional responsibilities and tensions resulted in the formation of a new transnational identity of “Dominions broadcaster.” This article reveals the agency and adaptability of Australian women working in international broadcasting, and argues that through their labor and mobility they inscribed and made real the idea of imperial and Commonwealth networks.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)140-167
Number of pages28
JournalFeminist Media Histories
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2019

Bibliographical note

Published as: Baker, J., 2019. Australian Women Working in British Broadcasting in the 1930s and 1940s. Feminist Media Histories, 5(3), pp.140-167. © 2019 by the Regents of the University of California. Copying and permissions notice: Authorization to copy this content beyond fair use (as specified in Sections 107 and 108 of the U. S. Copyright Law) for internal or personal use, or the internal or personal use of specific clients, is granted by the Regents of the University of California for libraries and other users, provided that they are registered with and pay the specified fee via Rightslink® or directly with the Copyright Clearance Center,


  • Broadcasting
  • National identity
  • Mobility
  • Labour
  • Commonwealth
  • British Commonwealth
  • Labor


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