Nov 14th 2018

Women with the World at Their Feet?

@ Glass Curtain Gallery

1104 S Wabash Ave, 1st Floor, Chicago, IL 60605

Opening Wednesday, November 14th, from 5:30 PM - 7 PM

On view through Friday, February 15th

Come to the culminating scholar-in-residence talk, “Women with the World at their Feet? Representing Women at Chicago World’s Fairs” presented by TJ Boisseau, Associate Professor of Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies Program, Purdue University.

Arguably no women were more successful at representing themselves and taking advantage of the format of the international exposition to put forth their own vision of womanhood as those female organizers of fairs held in Chicago.

At the same time, Chicago fairs present turning points in the public display of women’s bodies and the consumption of female beauty as sign. Professor Boisseau explores this fractured history through exposition art and ephemera.

This talk is part of Where the Future Came From, a program focusing on the role of feminist artist-run activities in Chicago from the late 19th century to the present.


TJ Boisseau is a historian of U.S. women, former director and Associate Professor at Purdue University, where she currently serves as the Amelia Earhart Faculty-in Residence. Most recently she was a 2017 Fulbright Senior Scholar to the University of Iceland where she taught fellows in the Gender Equality Studies Training Programme.

Dr. Boisseau received her PhD in U.S. women’s history from Binghamton University, her M.A. in U.S. History from Georgetown University, and her B.A. in History and Women’s Studies from Suffolk University.

Her research explores a variety of cultural texts—including mass news media, travel literature, autobiography, popular film, and worlds’ fairs—for their contributions to the formation of American feminism. Her principle publications include historical monographs, various articles and essays and numerous edited collections; her works has appeared in: Feminist Teacher, Women’s History Review, thirdspace, Anthropology and Education Quarterly, Gender & History, and Signs (1995).
Her co-edited publications have focused on feminism in law, fairs and politics.

She is currently working on a book examining women’s representation at and participation in American world’s fairs and expositions entitled, “Women with the World at their Feet.”

This project is part of Art Design Chicago, an initiative of the Terra Foundation for American Art exploring Chicago’s art and design legacy, with presenting partner The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation. Where the Future Came From is funded by the Terra Foundation for American Art and partially funded by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency.

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