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Grant number like: FB-51913-05

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Susan Lynn Branson
University of Texas, Dallas (Richardson, TX 75080-3021)

Fellowships for College Teachers and Independent Scholars
Research Programs

[Grant products]

$40,000 (approved)
$40,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
8/1/2005 – 7/31/2006

Class, Gender, and Criminality in the Early American Republic

Taking the tell-all crime memoir, "The History of the Celebrated Mrs. Ann Carson" (1823) as a starting point, I explore the interdependence of gender roles and class identity during a crucial period in the development of the American middle class. I trace the trajectories of Carson and her ghost writer, Mary Clarke Carr, to explain how both women used notoriety to their advantage. The activities of Carson and Carr show us two things: first, the importance of interrelated sexual and economic ideologies in the articulation of class identity, and second, that a consciousness of the implications of gender ideology gave women a hook with which to grapple with it and modify it for their own ends.