Gendering American abolitionism in nineteenth century print culture, 1827-1860

Dhakal, James (2016) Gendering American abolitionism in nineteenth century print culture, 1827-1860. BA dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    Abstract

    Gendering American abolitionism in print culture during 1827-1860 demonstrates how the antislavery print of female abolitionists was becoming more popular in the public sphere. An analysis of many contemporary historians will show how this increased feminisation of print resulted in the considerable destabilisation of masculinity in the northern states and of the male domination over print.
    Furthermore, multiple historians have also highlighted the importance of studying race, religion and public opinion and how these factors helped to feminise print, redefine conceptions of masculinity and unhinge the patriarchal oppression over slaves and the wider northern society. Other historians have countered such assumptions by arguing instead that the control of male abolitionists over print remained largely unchallenged and that the impact of women abolitionists on public opinion has in fact been greatly overstated. Alongside these debates, some historians have offered a more balanced argument by stating that although abolitionist print was becoming gendered through the increased feminisation of print, this process did have its limitations.
    Perspectives from sociology and psychology have also contributed to the debate over whether print was indeed becoming feminised or whether it remained masculinised. By analysing the role of antebellum print culture and how it influenced the position of American abolitionists and the public, it will be made clear that antislavery print was undergoing a process of great feminisation and racialisation. It will be shown that the use of print can no longer be viewed in terms of how white bourgeois male abolitionists attacked slavery. This study has also collected a range of valuable print material from the antebellum period that demonstrates this increase in female involvement in abolitionism and northern society.
    Overall, this dissertation will examine the themes of gender, race, religion and public opinion to explain the complex impact print had on abolitionism and how it represented the power struggles between male and female abolitionists and white and black people in America during this time.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Social, Historical and Literary Studies
    Depositing User: Beth Atkins
    Date Deposited: 20 Jun 2016 15:28
    Last Modified: 20 Jun 2016 15:28
    URI: http://eprints.port.ac.uk/id/eprint/20930

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