City of Spectacles: Gender Performance, Revolutionary Reform and the Creation of Public Space in Mexico City, 1915-1939

Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/194775
Title:
City of Spectacles: Gender Performance, Revolutionary Reform and the Creation of Public Space in Mexico City, 1915-1939
Author:
Sluis, Ageeth
Issue Date:
2006
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Abstract:
In the wake of the Mexican Revolution, the new State sought to reinvigorate and civilize Mexico City through a series of urban reforms and public works. This dissertation focuses on the intersection of revolutionary reform and the formation of urban space by asking how revolutionary leaders -concerned about acceptable roles for women--envisioned a new city, and how women of different social classes contested these ideas. Through a study of performance and visual culture, I analyze the depiction and concern over "public women," to understand larger debates about gender and urbanization in Mexico City during the 1920s and 1930s.After World War I, a global ideal of the New Woman emerged through which women claimed both political and social mobility. This ideology was articulated through a radically different aesthetic of femininity that postulated a new way of discerning physical beauty. The Deco body, as I call this phenomenon, marked a shift from the ideal of full-figured female bodies to the sleek, elongated lines that dominated nascent fashion and beauty industries, populated the pages of the city's popular magazines, and structured the imagined metropolis, a city where modernity literally was seen and debated in terms of acceptable forms of femininity. By looking at what and who constituted spectacle, I examine how the visibility and invisibility of women in public space influenced urban reform.The Revolution created some new spaces in which women could exercise agency, yet by the mid 1930s, this window of opportunity gradually closed. Despite large cross-class alliances, mobilization, and activism, women did not achieve either gender parity or the right to vote. Modern ideas of femininity ran up against the "cult of masculinity" that glorified war heroes as the quintessential Revolutionary Family. Gender issues occupied an ambiguous place in context of the reformist agenda of the new leadership that sought to return women to traditional roles of wife and mother. In contrast, the Deco bodies of the stage served to symbolize Mexico City's claim to modernity, bridged the gap between Indigenismo and Mestizaje, and paved the way for a mestizo modernity.
Type:
text; Electronic Dissertation
Keywords:
History
Degree Name:
PhD
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
History; Graduate College
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Advisor:
Beezley, William H.
Committee Chair:
Beezley, William H.

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoENen_US
dc.titleCity of Spectacles: Gender Performance, Revolutionary Reform and the Creation of Public Space in Mexico City, 1915-1939en_US
dc.creatorSluis, Ageethen_US
dc.contributor.authorSluis, Ageethen_US
dc.date.issued2006en_US
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en_US
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en_US
dc.description.abstractIn the wake of the Mexican Revolution, the new State sought to reinvigorate and civilize Mexico City through a series of urban reforms and public works. This dissertation focuses on the intersection of revolutionary reform and the formation of urban space by asking how revolutionary leaders -concerned about acceptable roles for women--envisioned a new city, and how women of different social classes contested these ideas. Through a study of performance and visual culture, I analyze the depiction and concern over "public women," to understand larger debates about gender and urbanization in Mexico City during the 1920s and 1930s.After World War I, a global ideal of the New Woman emerged through which women claimed both political and social mobility. This ideology was articulated through a radically different aesthetic of femininity that postulated a new way of discerning physical beauty. The Deco body, as I call this phenomenon, marked a shift from the ideal of full-figured female bodies to the sleek, elongated lines that dominated nascent fashion and beauty industries, populated the pages of the city's popular magazines, and structured the imagined metropolis, a city where modernity literally was seen and debated in terms of acceptable forms of femininity. By looking at what and who constituted spectacle, I examine how the visibility and invisibility of women in public space influenced urban reform.The Revolution created some new spaces in which women could exercise agency, yet by the mid 1930s, this window of opportunity gradually closed. Despite large cross-class alliances, mobilization, and activism, women did not achieve either gender parity or the right to vote. Modern ideas of femininity ran up against the "cult of masculinity" that glorified war heroes as the quintessential Revolutionary Family. Gender issues occupied an ambiguous place in context of the reformist agenda of the new leadership that sought to return women to traditional roles of wife and mother. In contrast, the Deco bodies of the stage served to symbolize Mexico City's claim to modernity, bridged the gap between Indigenismo and Mestizaje, and paved the way for a mestizo modernity.en_US
dc.typetexten_US
dc.typeElectronic Dissertationen_US
dc.subjectHistoryen_US
thesis.degree.namePhDen_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineHistoryen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen_US
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen_US
dc.contributor.advisorBeezley, William H.en_US
dc.contributor.chairBeezley, William H.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberBarickman, Berten_US
dc.contributor.committeememberGosner, Kevinen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberRubenstein, Anneen_US
dc.identifier.proquest1587en_US
dc.identifier.oclc137356018en_US
All Items in UA Campus Repository are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.