FashionNation: The Politics of Dress and Gender in 19th Century Argentine Journalism (1829-1880)
The dissertation examines fashion narratives in Argentine periodicals ranging from 1829 to 1880. It considers how both male and female writers, from conservative as well as liberal political camps, created an entire discourse of fashion for specific political and/or ideological purposes. My hypothesis is that while fashion commentaries appear to offer little insight into the dynamics of social relations and politics, upon closer inspection, they reveal an entire network of negotiations and strategies that often involved issues of race, class and gender (all of which were highly political topics in the period of Argentine nation formation from the early 1830s to the late 1800s). Fashion was also a place where the meaning of modernity in a peripheral context was negotiated vis-à-vis metropolitan conceptions of the term as well as a place where the political and cultural strategies that would modernize Argentina were often debated.
The dissertation first considers the years 1829-1852 marked by the Federalist Juan Manuel de Rosas domination of Argentine politics, economics and social life and by the emergence of the prestigious Generation of 1837. The dissertation first examines how this Generation (whose members were principally from the Unitarist ranks) incorporated fashion into its writing and how fashion served to articulate many of its anxieties over nation formation, modernization and the changing gender roles brought about by Independence. The dissertation then considers writings from members of the Federalist ranks and how these latter writers used fashion and traditional dress for their own projects of state.
The second part of the dissertation considers periodicals published after 1852 and it focuses on the emergence of women writers and the major female fashion journals that flourished during this period. Whereas female journalism was practically inexistent before 1852, now these writers used fashion narratives to metaphorically discuss topics ranging from nation formation and politics, to changing gender roles after the Rosista dictatorship to modernity and the role of consumption in creating an ideal sense of citizenship and finally to public health, hygiene and womens immoral participation in the public sphere through prostitution.
Advisor:Susan Andrade; Mabel Morana; Jerome Branche; Gerald Martin
School:University of Pittsburgh
School Location:USA - Pennsylvania
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Keywords:hispanic languages and literatures
Date of Publication:06/01/2006