Date of Award
Master of Science (MS)
School of Theatre and Dance: Theatre
The New Woman is the term used to describe the changing social norms around women's involvement in public life during the fin-de-siècle. New Women were bold and brash, educated and independent, and, importantly young; the term encapsulated any particular woman who stepped outside of her mother's Victorian social norms. The New Woman was as much a construct of the time as it was a description. The playwright and suffragette Elizabeth Robins performs "new womanhood" on the stage, and her play Votes for Women! enacts this struggle between New Women and the older generation. Djuna Barnes started her career as a journalist in New York City, embodying the role of the New Woman in her writing and willingness participate in her own journalism. The Baroness Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven, Dada performance artist and poet, performed a womanist Dadaism, one largely forgotten today. While none of these women identified themselves as New Women, an outside observer can, not unfairly, apply the term to them. In disparate yet connected ways, they each managed to construct the identity of the New Woman through the ways they performed themselves in public.
Feda, Michelle, "Women of the Future: the Performative Personhood of Elizabeth Robins, Djuna Barnes, and the Baroness Elsa Von Freytag-Loringhoven" (2018). Theses and Dissertations. 917.