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Scholars Day 2008, Wednesday, April 9

Sara Josepha Hale and American Journalism

Sara Josepha Hale (1788-1879) was one of the first women to edit a mass circulation magazine. She exerted a major influence on American taste during her 41-year reign as editor of Godey's Lady's Book, the most popular magazine of the mid-1800s. Like many well-educated women of her era, she had expected to live her life as a dedicated wife and mother. But that expectation changed in 1822 when she found herself widowed with five children. She turned her significant resources as a writer and organizer to serve as editor for what was then a new development in American journalism -- the mass circulation magazine, first at Ladies' Magazine and then at Godey's. This paper examines her work as editor at Godey's where she strived to educate women to become better wives and mothers through the publication of literature, how-to articles, and the latest information on fashion. It also explores her opposition to the women's rights movement and her more conservative approach to women's role in US. society.

Presenter: Angela Archunde (Undergraduate Student)
Topic: Communication
Location: 107 Holmes
Time: 2:45 pm (Session IV)