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Allison Lange
Wentworth Institute of Technology (Boston, MA 02115-5901)
The Visual Politics of the Woman Suffrage Movement from American Independence through the Nineteenth Amendment

A book-length study about the strategic use of images in the woman suffrage movement from the 1780s through 1920.

Images of Change will be the first book to demonstrate the centrality of visual politics—the strategic use of images to promote a cause or candidate—to US woman’s rights campaigns from the late 18th century through 1920, when the 19th Amendment granted women suffrage. Reformers used images to contest women’s relationships with the state, while opponents used them to reinforce existing ones. In response to pictures satirizing political women as masculine threats to society, suffragists changed their public image with visual campaigns that laid the foundations for modern ones. I analyze the visual and historical contexts of popular public images, ranging from engraved cartoons and photographic portraits to the earliest newspaper halftones and colorful propaganda posters. My work expands on recent studies of race, pictures, and politics by focusing on gender. This book and exhibition will promote a better understanding of the gendered political images that still spark public debates.

[Grant products][Media coverage]

Project fields:
Political History; U.S. History; Women's History

Summer Stipends

Research Programs

$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
5/1/2017 – 6/30/2017