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William L. Clements Library pres.

The Women’s Suffrage Movement in Photographs

Allison K. Lange

"Suffrage Paraders" "Suffrage Paraders"
"Suffrage Paraders"
Since the nation’s founding, Americans have used images to define political power and gender roles. Popular pictures praised male political leaders, while cartoons mocked women who sought rights. In the mid-nineteenth century, women’s rights activists like Sojourner Truth and Susan B. Anthony challenged these powerful norms by distributing engraved and photographic portraits that represented women as political leaders. Over time, suffragists developed a national visual campaign to win voting rights. Their photographs captured their public protests and demonstrated their dedication to their cause for mass audiences. Allison Lange’s talk is based on her book, "Picturing Political Power: Images in the Women’s Suffrage Movement," published in May 2020 by the University of Chicago Press. The book focuses on the ways that women’s rights activists and their opponents used images to define gender and power during the suffrage movement.

Presented in partnership with the Michigan Photographic Historical Society.

Allison K. Lange is an assistant professor of history at the Wentworth Institute of Technology. She received her PhD in history from Brandeis University. Various institutions have supported her work, including the National Endowment for the Humanities, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Library of Congress, and American Antiquarian Society. Her writing has appeared in Imprint, The Atlantic, and The Washington Post. Lange also engages in public history. She has worked with the National Women’s History Museum and curated exhibitions for the Boston Public Library’s Leventhal Map Center. In preparation for the 2020 centennial of the Nineteenth Amendment, she is curator of exhibitions at the Massachusetts Historical Society and Harvard’s Schlesinger Library.
"Suffrage Paraders" "Suffrage Paraders"
"Suffrage Paraders"
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