This field-defining work opens the study of world's fairs to women's and gender history, exploring the intersections of masculinity, femininity, exoticism, display, and performance at these influential events. As the first global gatherings of mass numbers of attendees, world's fairs and expositions introduced cross-class, multi-racial, and mixed-sex audiences to each other, as well as to cultural concepts and breakthroughs in science and technology. Gendering the Fair focuses on the manipulation of gender ideology as a crucial factor in the world's fairs' incredible power to shape public opinions of nations, government, and culture.
Established and rising scholars working in a variety of disciplines and locales discuss how gender played a role in various countries' exhibits and how these nations capitalized on opportunities to revise national and international understandings of womanhood. Spanning several centuries and extending across the globe from Portugal to London and from Chicago to Paris, the essays cover topics including women's work at the fairs; the suffrage movement; the intersection of faith, gender, and patriotism; and the ability of fair organizers to manipulate fairgoers' experience of the fairgrounds as gendered space. The volume includes a foreword by preeminent world's fair historian Robert W. Rydell.
Contributors are TJ Boisseau, Anne Clendinning, Lisa K. Langlois, Abigail M. Markwyn, Sarah J. Moore, Isabel Morais, Mary Pepchinski, Elisabeth Israels Perry, Andrea G. Radke-Moss, Alison Rowley, and Anne Wohlcke.