The prostitute, and her sister in sin - the so-called 'fallen' woman - were veritable obsessions of American Progressive Era culture. Their cumulative presence, in scores of controversial theatrical productions, demonstrates the repeated obsession with the prostitute figure in both highbrow and lowbrow entertainments. As the first extended examination of such dramas during the Progressive Era, Sisters in Sin recovers a slice of theatre history in demonstrating that the prostitute was central to American realist theatre. Such plays about prostitutes were so popular that they constituted a forgotten genre - the brothel play. The brothel drama's stunning success reveals much about early twentieth-century American anxieties about sexuality, contagion, eugenics, women's rights and urbanization. Introducing previously unexamined archival documents and unpublished play scripts, this original study argues that the body of the prostitute was a corporeal site upon which modernist desires and cultural imperatives were mapped.
Buy Sisters in Sin book by Katie N. Johnson from Australia's Online Bookstore, Boomerang Books.
(228mm x 152mm x 19mm)
Cambridge University Press
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
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Author Biography - Katie N. Johnson
Katie N. Johnson specializes in theatre, film, and gender studies in the English Department at Miami University of Ohio where she is Associate Professor. In 2003, she was awarded the Gerald Kahan Award for best essay in the field of theatre studies by a younger scholar. Her work has appeared in Theatre Journal, Theatre Survey, the Journal of American Drama and Research, American Drama, The Eugene O'Neill Review, The American Transcendental Quarterly, and the Encyclopedia of American Cultural and Intellectual History.