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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:'One Woman's Battle for God: Literacy, Modernity and the Turn-of-the-Century American Women's Missionary Movement (Angola)
Author:Rohan, Liz
Periodical:Le Fait Missionnaire: Social Sciences and Missions
Geographic term:Angola
Subjects:missionary history
Christian press
History and Exploration
Women's Issues
Religion and Witchcraft
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Politics and Government
Cultural Roles
Education and Training
About person:Janette Miller (1879-1969)
Abstract:This article describes the first decades of Janette Miller's lifetime missionary career in Angola, showing how the secularization of American culture in the early 20th century affected the literate practices - writing, translating, publishing - of one woman among many who shaped and worked for one of America's first and largest female administrated service institutions - foreign missions. Overall, Miller's experiences in Ovimbundu-Angola provide an example of how missionary work enabled complex and extensive female authorship opportunities. The author argues that text production was central to the building of a female administrated international missionary empire, and shows why the ethos of women authors like Miller was fundamentally fragile. A post-World War I secular America and - ironically - modern feminism ultimately led to the material and ideological collapse of mission work run by women for women. Miller experienced this transformation acutely because it parallelled legislation affecting literacy in Angola - further crippling her brand of missionary work practised under that particular Portuguese colonial regime. As a result, Miller's experience also outlines a complex racial script as she shared a theoretical power struggle with her African constituents. Notes, ref. [ASC Leiden abstract]