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Treacherous Texts

An Anthology of U.S. Suffrage Literature, 1846-1946
Mary Chapman (Editor), Angela Mills (Editor)
352 pages, 10, 6.125 x 9.25
Cloth, April 2011 $74.00   Out of Stock
Web PDF, April 2011 $36.50   EBOOK VERSION AVAILABLE
Paper, June 2012 $36.50   ADD TO CART
epub, April 2011 $32.50   EBOOK VERSION AVAILABLE
Subject Area:
History: US, Literary Studies, Women's Studies
Winner of the Popular Culture/American Culture Association's 2012 Susan Koppelman Award for the Best Edited Volume in Women's Studies


Treacherous Texts collects more than sixty literary texts written by smart, savvy writers who experimented with genre, aesthetics, humor, and sex appeal in an effort to persuade American readers to support woman suffrage. Although the suffrage campaign is often associated in popular memory with oratory, this anthology affirms that suffragists recognized early on that literature could also exert a power to move readers to imagine new roles for women in the public sphere.

Uncovering startling affinities between popular literature and propaganda, Treacherous Texts samples a rich, decades-long tradition of suffrage literature created by writers from diverse racial, class, and regional backgrounds. Beginning with sentimental fiction and polemic, progressing through modernist and middlebrow experiments, and concluding with post-ratification memoirs and tributes, this anthology showcases lost and neglected fiction, poetry, drama, literary journalism, and autobiography; it also samples innovative print cultural forms devised for the campaign, such as valentines, banners, and cartoons. Featured writers include canonical figures such as Stowe, Fern, Alcott, Gilman, Djuna Barnes, Marianne Moore, Millay, Sui Sin Far, and Gertrude Stein, as well as writers popular in their day but, until now, lost to ours.


"This exciting anthology has no competitors. With an impressive historical range and a great diversity of primary documents and useful reference materials, Treacherous Texts offers an original contribution to scholarship and an important classroom teaching tool."
—Ann Ardis, University of Delaware

"Treacherous Texts highlights diversity and contestation within the U.S. suffrage movement by mining activists' innovative use of literature and print culture. This rich and varied collection addresses critical issues in the suffrage campaign in ways that will engage history and literature students and scholars alike."
—Nancy A. Hewitt, Rutgers University

"Treacherous Texts is an invaluable resource, one that reminds twenty-first-century readers of the richness, complexity, innovation, and experimentation of the American suffrage movement and makes a strong argument for the continued study of this burgeoning field."

Author / Editor Bio

Mary Chapman is an associate professor of English at the University of British Columbia. She is the coeditor of Sentimental Men: Masculinity and the Politics of Affect in American Culture.

Angela Mills is a former assistant professor of English at Brock University.


Reading Prisoners
Jodi Schorb
Ethnic Historians and the Mainstream
Alan M. Kraut, David A. Gerber
Raising the Race
Riché J. Daniel Barnes
Strangers in the Land
John Higham