`SHE WILL NOT SUBMIT TO BE IGNORED': KATE DOUGLAS WIGGIN AND PERFORMING AMERICAN FEMININITY AT THE TURN OF THE TWENTIETH CENTURY
Cole, Carrie Jane
Nathans, Heather S
"`She Will Not Submit to Be Ignored': Kate Douglas Wiggin and Performing American Femininity at the Turn of the Twentieth Century" seeks not only to reintroduce Wiggin as an important American figure of her era, but to do so as an example of the complex restructuring of women's roles in early twentieth-century American culture via the public performance of self. This dissertation explores how Wiggin performed her different personae throughout her life, how she shifted between the different roles she personified, and how the fluctuation of the definition of "appropriate" feminine behavior affected when and how she performed. The multiple facets of Kate Douglas Wiggin's public personae have never received scholarly attention; this examination offers an ideal opportunity to simultaneously reinvigorate interest in her work and to develop scholarship based on theories of self-representation and performance. By defining and explicating a theory of the performance of self based on discrete acts of self expression, I open the door for scholars in theatre, performance studies, literature, history, and gender studies to re-interrogate and renegotiate previously held conceptions of women's roles in society in general and within the theatrical sphere in particular.