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“O What a Happy Meeting it Was!” Women, Alcohol, and Power in the Civil War Era

Author(s): Maggie Yancey

Year: 2014

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From the questions we ask to the sources we consider, historians must constantly navigate myriad possibilities. Whose narrative do we privilege? Where do the centers of power lie? What were the options, the possible constructions of reality circumscribed within a woman’’s ‘sphere?’ Was there a sphere? Who traversed the boundaries, and why? Feminist questions change more than research design’; they inform answers. They challenge standard narratives, they contest the boundaries and force us to reevaluate the narrative power of the collective ‘”we.’” The study of alcohol in the Civil War era is transformed by the application of feminist questions. Rather than merely relegated to vice status, alcohol becomes a window on whole worlds. Brandy drinking becomes more than consumption: it shows us the fault lines of power and fractures simple understandings.

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“O What a Happy Meeting it Was!” Women, Alcohol, and Power in the Civil War Era. Maggie Yancey. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. 2014 ( tDAR id: 437193)

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): SYM-64,08

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America