Date of Award

Spring 2011

Project Type


Program or Major


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

First Advisor

Sarah Way Sherman


In "Competing Visions," I examine the works of women writers and male illustrators during what has been termed the "Golden Age of Illustration" (1880--1920). Due to advances in printing technology and the proliferation of mass-market magazines just before the turn-of-the-last century, novels and short stories were often published with images by illustrators like Howard Pyle and N. C. Wyeth, who subsequently gained enormous popularity and developed wide followings. At the same time, women writers enjoyed an unprecedented period of widespread exposure and political influence. Looking closely at the intersection of images and texts from early twentieth century periodical publications reveals where these two groups disconnect politically, socially, and aesthetically. Ultimately, scrutinizing the illustrations in texts by Elinore Pruitt Stewart, Edith Wharton, Pauline Hopkins, and Zitkala-Sa exposes how writers, illustrators, and readers made sense of some of the most important ideological debates of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.