Making Waves across the Pacific Women, Radio Broadcasting, and Australian-US Relations Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • This article examines how women's broadcasting promoted consciousness and appreciation of the United States during the 1930s and 1940s. These were decades in which Australians had limited access to US news and culture, and Hollywood dominated local imaginings of US society. In this climate, Australians who had lived Stateside were hailed as authorities on the nation and its people, and they often spoke on radio. Among these “America educators” were significant numbers of women. Armed with firsthand knowledge of the wider world, these female travelers could claim space in a broadcasting landscape otherwise dominated by men. Through their radio broadcasts, they aspired to foster transpacific understanding and friendship. Women's broadcasting was therefore a cultural force at the vanguard of Australia's “turn to America.” More than a manifestation of US popular culture, radio depicted the United States as an ally of and model for Australia during an era of entrenched British allegiance.

publication date

  • 2019