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Grant number: FA-50336-04

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Thomas Augst
University of Minnesota, Twin Cities (Minneapolis, MN 55455-0433)

The Sobriety Test: Temperance, Manhood, and the Melodramas of Citizenship

This project will produce the first comprehensive study of the ways in which nineteenth-century temperance literature altered early American ideals of masculinity and, in the process, helped to define institutions, practices, and values of modern liberalism. It will survey portrayals of temperance and drinking in fiction, drama, silent film, and the lecture hall from approximately 1830 to 1920, and examine their relationship to social conduct and to emerging conceptions of responsibility and pathology in law, welfare policy, and the emerging social sciences. Through empirical research on popular leisure and mass culture, The Sobriety Test will demonstrate that temperance melodrama helped to make rational self-control integral to the performance of citizenship.

[Grant products]

Project fields:
American Literature

Fellowships for University Teachers

Research Programs

Total amounts:
$40,000 (approved)
$40,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2004 – 5/31/2005