My Fair Lady Proposed

My Fair Lady: An Analysis of the Congress of Representative Women at the 1893 Chicago World Fair, a digital public history project. My Fair Lady will take a closer look at the Congress of Representative Women at the Columbian Exposition in 1893. The Congress of Representative Women was a series of speeches given during the exposition that lasted around a week. The covered a range of topics from childcare, suffrage, education, and many other topics. The congress was a way for women to exercise freedoms that were not seen as appropriate for them at the time. A woman was intended to be genteel and feminine, discussing these topics were not considered appropriate for a genteel woman. The Congress of Representative Women opened an avenue for women to challenge such notions about societal expectations.

For this project, I plan to include several of the speeches given by the women throughout the course of the Congress of Representative Women. These speeches that women gave, were meant to empower the women, and I hope that through my project, and I can connect women through their words. My Fair Lady will present an introduction of the Chicago World’s Fair and Women’s Building, where the Congress of Representative Women took place. The Women’s Building was a monumental feature of ladies during this period. Famous suffragist such as Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, Lucy Stone, and many other women. My Fair Lady will attempt to explore the ways women discussed issues and how they were presented to the public.

I will create a digital exhibit on Scalar with a collection of the speeches and images of the women. Using the annotation feature within Scalar I want to annotate some of the images for better context to cut down on the historical writing that will already be present within my project. I would like to add in a slide show of some of the women or have them listed and a few linked to a bigger description page about them and the speech or speeches they gave at the Congress. With any of my items, I want the ability to embed them into the project, so for this purpose I am hoping that I can use tools such as Timeline by Knightlab. Scalar itself, allows the user to create galleries that allow the user to browse through materials. There is also the annotation tool when inserting media into scalar that the user can highlight certain parts of the image to write more information that shows when the image is highlighted.

My Fair Lady seeks to engage with students and women. The project will appeal to those who interact with digital media for the purpose of learning or exploring. Materials within the project will be presented with the intention of showcasing how women talked about issues of suffrage, femininity, roles within the home, race, and beyond. This description can fit those beyond the humanities, but also those that have hobbies pertaining to blogging or historical research. My Fair Lady deals with women’s participatory efforts before their right to even vote mid 1900’s. I aim to attract students of the humanities. The project will present itself as a section of history that students and women can learn from. My Fair Lady has the ability to reach those with interest or hobbies in history, but not exclusive to such interests. Women are another primary important part of my audience. This project deals with women as its primary focus and because of this, generates connections between women of the past and present. My Fair Lady will be a digital project that showcases women’s participatory efforts in the late 19th century and the challenges the women were speaking about.


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