Associate Professor of History
“Seeing Women in Politics: Visual and Material Representations of Women’s Political Participation in America, 1776-1876.”
The political history of America’s first century is most often told as a story of great men. While gender historians have documented many ways that women could indeed participate in politics in this era, both our master narrative and our mental image of early American politics remain stubbornly male-centered. However, there is ample visual and material evidence that can change this picture. Most images of political gatherings in this period include women, and there are sometimes subtle signs in women’s portraits of their political involvement. Women also advertised their political beliefs in their homes and on their bodies, using objects from teapots to hair comb adorned with the faces and slogans of their favored candidates. Indeed, once we look closely, it is easy to see women everywhere in early American political life.
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