The people in the neighborhood [electronic resource] : samaritans and saviors in middle-class women's social settlement writings, 1895-1914 /Show full item record
|Title||The people in the neighborhood [electronic resource] : samaritans and saviors in middle-class women's social settlement writings, 1895-1914 /|
|Author||Lock, Sarah Jo|
|Description||Title from dissertation title page (viewed Nov. 10, 2008).
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Texas Christian University, 2008.
Department of English; advisor, Daniel E. Williams.
Includes bibliographical references.
Text (electronic thesis) in PDF.
This project examines U.S. women's diverse literary contributions to the social settlement movement at the turn of the twentieth century. Beginning with Jane Addams's Twenty Years at Hull-House (1910) and examining other fictional and non-fictional considerations of the settlement project, I explore the ways in which the authors in my study individually and collectively confront a Progressive-Era ideal of societal regeneration.^Working with well-known authors such as Addams and Anna Julia Cooper, as well as with rare and archival texts by writers such as African American activist Fannie Barrier Williams, Social Gospel writers like Vida Scudder, and regional novelists such as Elia Peattie, I analyze the writers' use of social, scientific, and religious arguments in service of urban reform work.^I consider the interrelationships between text, activism, and identity for these women writers, and I argue that in writing about the settlement movement, each middle-class author in this study offers her own vision of what a Woman Reformer is and should be. Though Addams's memoir identifies the female activist as a singular, individualistic, and somewhat masculine figure along the lines of Abraham Lincoln and Leo Tolstoy, other writers challenge this identity even as they refer and defer to Addams and her dominance.^Most of the writers emphasize the importance of factors such as community, partnership, and religion through their texts, but ultimately, the literature as a whole largely relies on an image of a (usually white) middle-class heroine who will help save industrial America, and the final text I examine, Peattie's The Precipice, extends that idea to a eugenics-based reform program.^"The People in the Neighborhood" shows that--for its pervasiveness, its position at the nexus of Progressive-Era culture, and its discourse over gender, race, and class--the settlement movement and its literature is a crucial area of study that provides an avenue for scholars to examine the long and sometimes subtle history of prejudice in radical movements.
|Subject||Social settlements United States History.
Women social reformers United States History.
Women authors, American Political and social views.
Women in literature.
Race in literature.
United States Race relations.
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- Theses and Dissertations