Reading Children’s Book Editor Ursula Nordstrom: Archives of Literacy Sponsorship, Workplace Persuasion, and Queer Networks

Reading Children’s Book Editor Ursula Nordstrom: Archives of Literacy Sponsorship, Workplace Persuasion, and Queer Networks

Peitho Volume 20 Issue 1 Fall/Winter 2017

Author(s): Kelly Blewett

Abstract: This essay examines the rhetorical strategies of Ursula Nordstrom, a lesbian editor at Harper and Row from 1931-1980 who had a progressive vision for children’s literature. Nordstrom’s charismatic ethos enabled her to achieve professional success, as did a vital network of women. The essay asserts that Adrienne Rich’s concept of the lesbian continuum is relevant for understanding the role Nordstrom’s network played in her career. While positioning children’s publishing as a worthy site to study workplace communication, the essay also explores how the inaccessibility of women’s corporate archive, as well as the shifting intersubjective space between the researcher and the subject over time, impacts feminist historiography.

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