Clare Soper’s hat: New Education Fellowship correspondence between Bloomsbury and New Zealand, 1938–1946
Middleton, S. (2013). Clare Soper’s hat: New Education Fellowship correspondence between Bloomsbury and New Zealand, 1938–1946. History of Education: Journal of the History of Education Society, 42(1), 92-114.
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/6449
Broadening horizons beyond nations, transnational histories trace global flows connecting people and places. Historians have studied the New Education Fellowship (NEF) as a global network. Focused within the nation, research on New Zealand’s involvement with NEF has emphasised how its activities before the Second World War impacted on the Labour Government’s postwar policies. This paper’s focus is NEF’s transnational networking during the war. While previous discussions of correspondence between NEF’s Headquarters and New Zealand have emphasised its New Zealand side, my focus is on its London correspondent, Clare Soper, NEF’s International Secretary. Historians have studied NEF’s theorists, leaders and progressive teachers, but office staff who effected its circulation of texts, objects and people have not been researched. Locating Soper in her Bloomsbury Headquarters at the hub of NEF’s global web, I trace what her correspondence with two New Zealand Branch Secretaries reveals about everyday operations of NEF as a wartime educational resistance movement.
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