Title of Oral/Poster Presentation

The Revival of America’s First Genre: Exploring The Panther Narrative’s Feminist Principles in Post-Revolutionary War America

Presenter Information

Abigail BentleyFollow

Class

Article

Graduation Year

2017

College

College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Department

English Department

Faculty Mentor

Keri Holt

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Abstract

This research capstone is a requirement for the Utah State University Honors program. It is a literary analysis paper focused on the resurgence of captivity narratives in the New Republic, and how these texts conveyed political ideas to the public. In this paper, I introduce my research regarding early American captivity narratives, most notably Mary Rowlandson’s narrative, and why they became popular again during the American Revolution. Then I connect this shift in literary interest to the proto-feminist ideas circulating during the war and before the Constitution was written. This paper is primarily focused on two works that display proto-feminist thought before and after the Constitution was ratified. The first, The Panther Narrative, is a radical work published without an author. It demonstrates that there were radical ideas regarding the equality between men and women circulating before the New Republic was formed. The work representing the muted feminist ideology after the Constitution was put into place is Judith Sargent Murray’s “On Equality of the Sexes,” a famous proto-feminist essay which appeals for education equality opposed to female education. I am comparing these texts in the essay to suggest that the authors of the Constitution had a hand in limiting female participation in not only the government, but also society as a whole. Murray’s essay seems to be reforming the radical suggestions of the Panther Narrative and adapting them to appeal to conservative audiences of the New Republic. I have worked with both primary and secondary texts during this project, and I hope to add to the conversation surrounding women in early America. I have finished the research portion of this essay, and am currently writing the rough draft to be submitted to the honors program in May.

Location

Room 101

Start Date

4-13-2017 10:30 AM

End Date

4-13-2017 11:45 AM

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Apr 13th, 10:30 AM Apr 13th, 11:45 AM

The Revival of America’s First Genre: Exploring The Panther Narrative’s Feminist Principles in Post-Revolutionary War America

Room 101

This research capstone is a requirement for the Utah State University Honors program. It is a literary analysis paper focused on the resurgence of captivity narratives in the New Republic, and how these texts conveyed political ideas to the public. In this paper, I introduce my research regarding early American captivity narratives, most notably Mary Rowlandson’s narrative, and why they became popular again during the American Revolution. Then I connect this shift in literary interest to the proto-feminist ideas circulating during the war and before the Constitution was written. This paper is primarily focused on two works that display proto-feminist thought before and after the Constitution was ratified. The first, The Panther Narrative, is a radical work published without an author. It demonstrates that there were radical ideas regarding the equality between men and women circulating before the New Republic was formed. The work representing the muted feminist ideology after the Constitution was put into place is Judith Sargent Murray’s “On Equality of the Sexes,” a famous proto-feminist essay which appeals for education equality opposed to female education. I am comparing these texts in the essay to suggest that the authors of the Constitution had a hand in limiting female participation in not only the government, but also society as a whole. Murray’s essay seems to be reforming the radical suggestions of the Panther Narrative and adapting them to appeal to conservative audiences of the New Republic. I have worked with both primary and secondary texts during this project, and I hope to add to the conversation surrounding women in early America. I have finished the research portion of this essay, and am currently writing the rough draft to be submitted to the honors program in May.