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United States History Commons

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Other American Studies

Theses/Dissertations

William & Mary

Publication Year

Articles 1 - 2 of 2

Full-Text Articles in United States History

Self-Made Freak: The Exceptionalism Of General Tom Thumb, The Celebrity Body, And The American Dream, Megan Sonner Apr 2017

Self-Made Freak: The Exceptionalism Of General Tom Thumb, The Celebrity Body, And The American Dream, Megan Sonner

Undergraduate Honors Theses

This essay seeks to explore bodily difference’s cultural significance at a time when the freak show took center stage in the theater of American amusement, while modern American capitalism took shape from the Antebellum era to the Gilded Age. Why did the wedding of two freak show performers enrapture the nation? In seeing and talking about dwarf freak show performer General Tom Thumb (born Charles Stratton), Americans interrogated disability’s entanglement with American cultural identity, national unity, and the evolving relationship between individual body and capitalist economy. Thumb’s wedding operates as a pivotal moment in which American celebrity ...


Black Genocide, Reproductive Control, And The Crisis Pregnancy Center Movement: A Conspiracy Narrative Of Racial Hegemonic Order, Jordan Taffet Apr 2016

Black Genocide, Reproductive Control, And The Crisis Pregnancy Center Movement: A Conspiracy Narrative Of Racial Hegemonic Order, Jordan Taffet

Undergraduate Honors Theses

Over the past several decades, many individuals, organizations, and movements have brought attention to the role of race within the setting of reproduction by highlighting the possibility of black genocide. In particular, the crisis pregnancy center movement has appropriated this narrative in order to fulfill a pro-life agenda. By tracing and comparing the histories of the black genocide narrative and the crisis pregnancy center movement, I underline the various vulnerabilities within the crisis pregnancy center movement's use of the black genocide narrative.