Degree Type

Honors Capstone Project

Date of Submission

Spring 5-2017

Capstone Advisor

Pedro DiPietro

Honors Reader

Erin Rand

Capstone Major

Women's and Gender Studies

Capstone College

Arts and Science

Audio/Visual Component


Capstone Prize Winner


Won Capstone Funding


Honors Categories


Subject Categories

Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies


This paper argues that mail correspondence among 19th century suffragists functions as a practice of creating space for cultivating a political feminist consciousness and sustaining the first women’s rights movement. Using Michel de Certeau’s theory of space and Nancy Fraser’s work on feminist counterpublics, letters from a variety of suffragists, including Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, were analyzed. Through a close reading of these letters, this paper identifies alternative discursive patterns as they circulate within those epistolary spaces. The early suffragists used letters to reaffirm their identity as white, middle-class, educated, Protestant women at the same time as they subverted the meaning of “woman.”

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.



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