Negotiating nursing explores how the Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Service (Q.A.s) salvaged men within the sensitive gender negotiations of what should and could constitute nursing work and where that work could occur. The book argues that the Q.A.s, an entirely female force during the Second World War, were essential to recovering men physically, emotionally and spiritually from the battlefield and for the war, despite concerns about their presence on the frontline. The book maps the developments in nurses’ work as the Q.A.s created a legitimate space for themselves in war zones and established nurses’ position as the expert at the bedside. Using a range of personal testimony the book demonstrates how the exigencies of war demanded nurses alter the methods of nursing practice and the professional boundaries in which they had traditionally worked, in order to care for their soldier-patients in the challenging environments of a war zone. Although they may have transformed practice, their position in war was highly gendered and it was gender in the post-war era that prevented their considerable skills from being transferred to the new welfare state, as the women of Britain were returned to the home and hearth. The aftermath of war may therefore have augured professional disappointment for some nursing sisters, yet their contribution to nursing knowledge and practice was, and remains, significant.
and concentrate more on the lived experience of all those involved in
colonial life, to analyse domestic and women’sspaces and see
beyond the “heroic” adventures of male travellers’. 45 Travel should
not be viewed as separate from the ‘everyday’. Indeed,
historically, immigration accounts for the greatest volume of
travellers. The IODE and other patriotic organizations were well aware
John Lydgate’s ‘Soteltes for the coronation banquet of Henry VI’
include Barbara A. Hanawalt and Michal
Kilbialka, eds, Medieval practices of space (Minneapolis: University of
Minnesota Press, 2000); Mayke de Jong, Frans Theuws, and Carine
van Rhijn, eds, Topographies of power in the Middle Ages (Leiden: Brill,
2001); Virginia Chieffo Raguin and Sarah Stanbury, eds, Women’sspace: patronage, place, and gender in the medieval church (Albany,
NY: State University of New York Press, 2005), and Geraldine Heng,
Empire of magic: medieval romance and the politics of cultural fantasy
(New York: Columbia University Press, 2003).
Postcolonial women writers in a transnational frame
the conventional national allegory, their practice can even
so be compared on the grounds of their shared concern to rework the national
space from their own particular political perspectives as women.
Gillian Rose’s still invaluable theory of women’sspace sheds further light on
this idea of shifting and multiply located identity. The emphasis in her work on
constellated locales and on diversiﬁed space as resistant to homogeneous, ‘masculine’ space, importantly nuances transnationalism’s possible association
with the system of global capitalism.16 In particular
interrogated and fought over, these debatable lands are Said’s ‘complex and
uneven topography’ (1993: 386), as much about women’sspace within the
nation as about the boundaries of Scotland.
22/3/02, 9:53 am
Debatable lands and passable boundaries
1 This chapter is based in part on an earlier essay, ‘Imagined Corners to Debatable
Land: Passable Boundaries’ (Christianson 1996).
2 In 1850, Dinah Mulock Craik applied it to that other liminal geographical space
in Scotland, the northern side of the rift valley that delimits highlands from
discipline and polite exchanges of some women’sspaces or
workspaces, the case study presented below helps to illuminate the ways
in which Afro-Caribbean men and women in the diaspora draw from both
value systems to mark their home culture. Afro-Caribbean men and women
generally inhabit distinct cultural spheres, and the cricket grounds and
the club’s associated parties and picnics are
primarily spaces of