Seeing the American Woman, 1880–1920
The Social Impact of the Visual Media Explosion
About the Book
From 1880 to 1920, the first truly national visual culture developed in the United States as a result of the completion of the Pacific Railroad. Women, especially young and beautiful ones, found new lives shaped by their participation in that visual culture. This rapidly evolving age left behind the “cult of domesticity” that reigned in the nineteenth century to give rise to new “types” of women based on a single feature—a type of hair, skin, dress, or prop—including the Gibson Girl, the sob sister, the stunt girl, the hoochy-coochy dancer, and the bearded lady. Exploring both high and low culture, from the circus and film to newspapers and magazines, this work examines depictions of women at the dawn of “mass media,” depictions that would remain influential throughout the twentieth century.
About the Author(s)
Katherine H. Adams is a professor emerita of the Department of English at Loyola University New Orleans.
Michael L. Keene is a professor emeritus of English at the University of Tennessee Knoxville.
Jennifer C. Koella lectures at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
Katherine H. Adams, Michael L. Keene and Jennifer C. Koella
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Bibliographic Info: 30 photos, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2012
Table of Contents
1. Public Women, Public Depictions 5
2. Woman as Child, Child as Woman 23
3. The Gibson Girl 55
4. The Stunt Girl 85
5. The (Comedic) Victim of Violence: The Constantly Imperiled Pauline 113
6. Evil Lone Dancers: The Salomé and Her Sisters 133
7. Women on Scientific Display: Natives, Oddities, and Grotesqueries 162
8. A Modern Amalgam: The Political Woman 183
Works Cited 215
Book Reviews & Awards
“Valuable”—Journal of American Studies.