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A Dream of the FutureRace, Empire, and Modernity at the Atlanta and Nashville World's Fairs$
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Nathan Cardon

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190274726

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190274726.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 04 December 2021

New Women, New South

New Women, New South

(p.66) 3 New Women, New South
A Dream of the Future

Nathan Cardon

Oxford University Press

Chapter 3 surveys the role women played at the Atlanta and Nashville fairs. The Cotton States and Tennessee Centennial transformed the gendered nature of public space in the South. Within their controlled and ordered boundaries, southern white women were set free from male chaperones and traditional constraints. At the fairs’ Woman’s Buildings, southern white women embraced the New Woman, while simultaneously celebrating the mythic role played by southern women in the domestic culture of the region. This chapter also explores African American women’s presence at the fairs. Southern black women created a shadow Woman’s Board and invited prominent black female speakers to the expositions. On the other end of the spectrum, black women worked in the fairs’ nurseries and kitchens. The expositions provided an opportunity for black women to speak for themselves, while constraining them in the popular stereotypes of the late nineteenth century.

Keywords:   Woman’s Building, New Woman, class, femininity, womanhood, mammy, international exposition

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