Media @ McGill

Jaclyn Reid

Submitted by Susana on

Visual Culture and Prostitution in the 19th Century, focusing on the intersection of commercial media and representations of women This research explores the ways in which the female prostitute was socially and visually constructed during the latter half of the nineteenth century.

By comparing and contrasting institutional texts with mass-produced visual representations of the prostitute, it explores the connection between mass visualizations of the prostitute and the emergence of consumer culture. Far from depicting the streetwalker as a source of pity and disease, I will argue that commercial culture complicated both institutional discourse and contemporary theory by redefining the image of the prostitute as a source of ambiguous visual pleasure. This topic aims to give insight into the complex relationship between media, vision, and culture, and encourages examining the history of marginalized women in conjunction with the mediation of their images.