Friday, May 15, 2009, 3:00–5:00 p.m.
"The Dove Has Claws": Anticruelty Reform and Masculine Sentimentalism in Gilded Age America
Susan Pearson, Northwestern University
Commentator: Tinothy Gilfoyle, Loyola University
This paper examines the men involved in organizations to protect animals and children from cruelty in the years following the American Civil War. I argue that, rhetorically, such men created a masculinized version of sentimental humanitarianism that mirrored the institutional hybridity of anticruelty organizations. Combining moral suasion with police work, anticruelty societies were willing to arrest recalcitrant “cruelists.” By advocating law enforcement as the appropriate response to sympathy with suffering, anticruelty organizations went beyond the existing charity tradition and the antebellum humanitarian ideal to create an active, masculinized vision of the humanitarian.
All papers are pre-circulated electronically to those who plan to attend the seminar in person. For a copy of the paper, e-mail Heather Radke at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 312-255-3524. Please do not request a paper unless you plan to attend.
The Newberry Library Seminar on Women and Gender is co-sponsored by the History Departments of Northeastern Illinois University and the University of Illinois at Chicago, and the Karla Scherer Center for the Study of American Culture at the University of Chicago
Scholl Center for
American History and Culture
60 W. Walton St.
Chicago IL 60610
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