Picturing Political Power

Images in the Women’s Suffrage Movement

Allison K. Lange

Picturing Political Power

Allison K. Lange

Publication supported by the Neil Harris Endowment Fund

320 pages | 105 halftones | 6 x 9 | © 2020
Cloth $45.00 ISBN: 9780226703244 Will Publish May 2020
E-book $45.00 ISBN: 9780226703381 Will Publish May 2020
For as long as women have battled for equitable political representation in America, those battles have been defined by images—whether illustrations, engravings, photographs, or colorful chromolithograph posters. Some of these pictures have been flattering, many have been condescending, and others downright incendiary. They have drawn upon prevailing cultural ideas of women’s perceived roles and abilities and often have been circulated with pointedly political objectives.

Picturing Political Power offers perhaps the most comprehensive analysis yet of the connection between images, gender, and power. In this examination of the fights that led to the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment in 1920, Allison K. Lange explores how suffragists pioneered one of the first extensive visual campaigns in modern American history. She shows how pictures, from early engravings and photographs to colorful posters, proved central to suffragists’ efforts to change expectations for women, fighting back against the accepted norms of their times. In seeking to transform notions of womanhood and win the right to vote, white suffragists emphasized the compatibility of voting and motherhood, while Sojourner Truth and other leading suffragists of color employed pictures to secure respect and authority. Picturing Political Power demonstrates the centrality of visual politics to American women’s campaigns throughout the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, revealing the power of images to change history.
Contents
Introduction

Chapter 1. Setting the Standards
Chapter 2. Dominant Images of Gender and Power in Antebellum America
Chapter 3. Portraits as Politics
Chapter 4. A “Fine Looking Body of Women”: Female Political Leaders on the Rise
Chapter 5. Competing Visual Campaigns
Chapter 6. White Public Mothers and Militant Suffragists Win the Vote

Epilogue

Acknowledgments
Notes
Bibliography
Index
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