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Heroic Heroines and Reviled Rabble-Rousers: The Trouble-Making Women of the Victorian Era

April 29, 2018 @ 12:00 pm - 12:45 pm

Female figures such as Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, the Grimke sisters and others are revered today as brave women of the nineteenth-century who fought the status quo to improve women’s rights. However, at the time they were often reviled, criticized, and even outright attacked for speaking up. In addition, there were other more radical women such as Matilda Gage, co-author of The History of Woman Suffrage with Stanton and Anthony, and Carry Nation, who was notorious for attacking liquor establishments with a hatchet. This presentation highlights the women we view now as heroes and explores their roles as villains by their contemporaries.

Dr. Renea Frey is a professor of Rhetoric and the Writing Program Director in the English Department at Xavier University. Her research interests include the history of speaking and writing persuasively, especially in the Classical Greco-Roman eras and the nineteenth-century. A major part of her studies includes examining women’s rhetorical and composing practices from the latter half of the nineteenth-century to show how women moved from a state of enforced public silence and private obedience to altering centuries-held practices of women’s rights to speak, vote, and dress for themselves. Her interest in Steampunk arose directly from her research areas and a love for dressing up.


April 29, 2018
12:00 pm - 12:45 pm
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Salon C


Dr. Renea Frey