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dc.contributor.advisorCanning, Charlotte, 1964-
dc.creatorKokai, Jennifer Anne
dc.date.accessioned2012-02-17T20:05:23Z
dc.date.available2012-02-17T20:05:23Z
dc.date.created2008-12
dc.date.issued2012-02-17
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/2152/14843
dc.descriptiontext
dc.description.abstractThis dissertation constructs a cultural history of women's performances in Boston from 1762-1823, using materialist feminism and ethnohistory. I look at how "woman" was historically understood at that time, and how women used those discourses to their advantage when constructing performances that allowed them to intervene in political culture. I examine a broad range of performance activities from white, black, and Native American women of all classes. Chapter two discusses three of Boston's elite female intellectuals: Mercy Otis Warren, Judith Sargent Murray, and Sarah Wentworth Apthorp Morton. Though each woman's writings have been examined individually, I examine them as a community. With the connections and public recognition they built, they helped found the Federal Street Theatre where they could have a ventrioloquized embodied performance for their ideas on women's rights, abolition, and political parties. Chapter three looks at the construction of three solo performances: Phillis Wheatley performing her poetry in 1772; the 1802 theatre tour of Deborah Sampson Gannett, who fought as a man in the revolution; and the monologues and wax effigy creations of Patience Lovell Wright circa 1772. These women depended on their performances for sustenance, and in Wheatley's case, to secure her freedom from bondage. I look at the way these women created a mythology about themselves and crafted a marketable image, both on and off the stage. In particular, I examine the ways each grappled with a charged discourse surrounding their bodies. In chapter four I look at fashion as performance. I explore homespun dresses as political propaganda, Native American and black women's use of clothing to express cultural pride that white Anglo society had attempted to erase, and the way that women used mourning costumes to perform and create nationalism at the mock funerals held for Washington after he died in 1799. In my conclusion I contrast the 2008 miniseries John Adams with a solo performance of Phillis Wheatley. I briefly trace the trajectory of the history of women during this time. I argue that focusing on performance identifies and legitimizes other sources of evidence and locates examples of women's agency in shaping popular culture.en_US
dc.format.mediumelectronic
dc.language.isoengen_US
dc.rightsCopyright is held by the author. Presentation of this material on the Libraries' web site by University Libraries, The University of Texas at Austin was made possible under a limited license grant from the author who has retained all copyrights in the works.
dc.subjectWomenen_US
dc.subjectBoston, Massachusettsen_US
dc.subjectPerformanceen_US
dc.subject18th centuryen_US
dc.subject19th centuryen_US
dc.subjectPolitical cultureen_US
dc.subjectPoliticsen_US
dc.subjectIntellectualsen_US
dc.subjectMercy Otis Warrenen_US
dc.subjectJudith Sargent Murrayen_US
dc.subjectSarah Wentworth Apthorp Mortonen_US
dc.subjectFederal Street Theatreen_US
dc.subjectPhillis Wheatleyen_US
dc.subjectDeborah Sampson Gannetten_US
dc.subjectPatience Lovell Wrighten_US
dc.subjectFashionen_US
dc.subjectNative American womenen_US
dc.subjectBlack womenen_US
dc.subjectWhite womenen_US
dc.subjectFeminismen_US
dc.subjectEthnohistoryen_US
dc.subjectTheatre performanceen_US
dc.subjectPopular cultureen_US
dc.titleEven in their dresses the females seem to bid us defiance : Boston women and performance 1762-1823en_US
dc.description.departmentTheatre and Danceen_US
thesis.degree.departmentTheatre and Danceen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineTheatreen_US
thesis.degree.grantorThe University of Texas at Austin
thesis.degree.levelDoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.nameDoctor of Philosophyen_US
dc.rights.restrictionRestricted


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