By Martha H. Patterson

ISBN-10: 0252075633

ISBN-13: 9780252075636

Challenging monolithic photographs of the hot girl as white, well-educated, and politically innovative, this learn makes a speciality of very important neighborhood, ethnic, and sociopolitical changes within the use of the hot lady trope on the flip of the 20 th century. utilizing Charles Dana Gibson's "Gibson women" as some extent of departure, Martha H. Patterson explores how writers corresponding to Pauline Hopkins, Margaret Murray Washington, Sui Sin a long way, Mary Johnston, Edith Wharton, Ellen Glasgow, and Willa Cather challenged and redeployed the hot girl photograph in gentle of alternative "new" conceptions: the "New Negro Woman," the "New Ethics," the "New South," and the "New China."

As she seems in those writers' works, the hot lady either can provide and threatens to impact sociopolitical swap as a client, an instigator of evolutionary and fiscal improvement, and, for writers of colour, an icon of winning assimilation into dominant Anglo-American tradition. interpreting a various array of cultural items, Patterson exhibits how the possible celebratory time period of the recent lady turns into a trope not just of innovative reform, purchaser energy, transgressive femininity, glossy power, and glossy remedy, but additionally of racial and ethnic taxonomies, social Darwinist fight, imperialist ambition, assimilationist pressures, and glossy decay.

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Extra resources for Beyond the Gibson Girl: Reimagining the American New Woman, 1895-1915

Example text

In an article for the New York World entitled “Here Is the New Woman” (1895), the newspaper presents a “composite made from the photographs of twelve of the most advanced women of the day” including Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, Francis Willard, Belva Lockwood, and the minister and suffrage leader Anna Howard Shaw. In the accompanying article, the writer concedes that the composite face is “strong” and “intellectual” but laments its “stern, unyielding” aspect, later playfully speculating whether “the Old Man .

In “A Suffragette’s Husband” (1911), for example, Gibson depicted a bespectacled double-chinned woman casting a stern gaze on her beleaguered but resigned husband, whose dog sits nearby in mute sympathy (Other People). 2 In 1910, for example, it ran a fictional column describing the trials of an ambitious suffragette by “a practical pragmatist, a theoretical Socialist, but as yet . . not . . a connubialist, ‘Miss Priscilla Jawbones,’” whose visage—gaptoothed, dowdy, and bespectacled—accompanied many of her columns (“A New Member” 429).

Indd 33 9/1/05 8:50:34 AM 34 beyond the gibson girl of the race. Working-class women could embrace Gibson Girl images as they sanctioned unchaperoned heterosocial environments. While engaging in emerging forms of commercial entertainment, these women could experiment “with new cultural forms that articulated gender in terms of sexual expressiveness and social interaction with men, linking heterosocial culture to a sense of modernity, individuality, and personal style. Creating this style was an assertion of self, a working-class variant of the ‘New Woman’” (Peiss 6).

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Beyond the Gibson Girl: Reimagining the American New Woman, 1895-1915 by Martha H. Patterson


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