Women have been involved in party politics in the U.S. in a variety of ways since the American Revolutionary War. They began as participants from within the home and grew to have leadership roles within partisan organizations themselves. This evolution in role was possible because of the rhetorical efforts of party women during the Gilded Age. Through case studies of Populist Party leader Mary Elizabeth Lease, Prohibition Party founder Frances Elizabeth Willard, key Republican Party player Judith Ellen Foster, and presidential candidate Belva Bennett Lockwood, the narrative of female political activism is expanded and nuanced. All four women acted with political agency inconsistent with their contemporary dominant socio-political system. By deepening the archive of female historical discourse and through analysis of rhetorical patterns of party women in the late nineteenth century, scholars gain insight into the political culture, the power of rhetorical agency, and the rhetorical power of women. This history creates a model of rhetorical discourse for political women of the future, putting historical rhetorical practice in conversation with contemporary rhetorical strategies.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. December 2012. Major: Communication studies. Advisor: Karlyn Kohrs Campbell. 1 computer file (PDF); vi, 247 pages.
Paup, Emily Ann Berg.
"A new woman in old fashioned times": party women and the rhetorical foundations of political womanhood.
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