Date Thesis Awarded
Honors Thesis -- Open Access
Bachelors of Arts (BA)
James P. Whittenburg
Kathleen Joan Bragdon
American women in the early decades of the nineteenth century lived in a tumultuous world of revolution, backlash, and complex social norms. Opinions on the traits that constituted masculinity and femininity split after the Revolutionary War into several different camps. Male and female authors, journalists, satirists, and correspondents hotly debated women's roles in the post-Revolutionary era, and many women actively broke from the traditional submissive, eighteenth-century stereotype. Bluestockings, Republican Mothers, or Enlightenment ladies alike, these women's use of visual aids provides a lens that helps to clarify a tumultuous past. The choices they made about vision aids made firm statements about their self-imaging and chosen roles within the fluctuating social construct of the Early American Republic.
Brandt, Laura E., "Boys Don't Make Passes at Girls Who Wear Glasses: Gender, Vision Aids, and Persona in the Early American Republic" (2008). Undergraduate Honors Theses. William & Mary. Paper 831.
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