Friday, November 13, 2009, 3:00–5:00 p.m.
Targeting Women in the 1950s
Commentator: Elizabeth Fraterrigo, Loyola University
An Odd, Emotional Girl: How Psychological Profiling and Gender Shaped Security Risk Assessment
Elizabeth Collins, Triton College
This paper explores the case of Marcia Harrison, a federal employee fired from the State Department in 1951. Harrison’s case is notable because she was one of only two employees on McCarthy’s list to have been fired as a security risk. The case was complex. Like many targets of the second red scare, she dabbled in left wing groups in the late 1930s. But in the end, she lost her job not because of her actions but because of her “personality.” My larger research contends that red scare politics and gender conservatism were interlocking ideologies. Furthermore, cases involving women cannot be fully explained without engaging questions of gender. In this article I will argue that psychological profiling and gender conservatism played a central role in providing grounds to terminate Harrison’s employment.
"Let Her Eat Out": The Politics of Gender and Domesticity in the Postwar Restaurant
Nicolaas Mink, University of Wisconsin–Madison
By the 1950s, the terms “Eating out,” “and “Dining out” had entered the popular lexicon, suggesting that many white, middle-class Americans were increasingly using restaurant dining as a way to escape the confines of their suburban home. This type of culinary escapism is quite remarkable considering that through World War II the restaurant industry worked tirelessly to present what was now called dining out as an ideological, culinary, and physical extension of dining rituals performed in the home. While centering my analysis on the foods and foodways that restaurants produced, my paper argues that this new culture of dining out had both expected and unexpected consequences for women, gender, and families. As one might expect, this culture enhanced the gendered fantasies extant in the postwar period. At the same time, however, the new consumer ideals that restaurants shaped and reshaped created a world that subverted feminine culinary authority--an authority that is often seen as unchallenged during this era.
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 email@example.com, 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
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