Event Title

America in Wonderland: Defining the Nation in the Early Amusement Parks of Minneapolis/St. Paul

Presenter Information

Kathleen Thornton, Oberlin College

Location

Science Center, A155

Start Date

4-24-2015 2:45 PM

End Date

4-24-2015 3:45 PM

Abstract

Amusement parks were ubiquitous across America at the turn of the 20th century. Largely considered stomping grounds of the working class, such parks gained reputations as liberal sites of integration and debauchery. This analysis of the founding, layout, clientele, and attractions of two parks in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis/St. Paul demonstrates that this was rarely the case. As a microcosm of urban crowdedness, consumption, and modernity, these parks served as blueprints for an urbanizing, modernizing America. These parks also served as sites of liberalization and intense social policing, ultimately defining and reinforcing “appropriateness” in terms of class, sexuality, and whiteness.

Notes

Session 2, Panel 9 - Discipline and Power: The Amusement Park, the Bicycle, and the Association for the Advancement of Women
Moderator: Pablo Mitchell, Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences

Major

History

Advisor(s)

Pablo Mitchell, History

Project Mentor(s)

Pablo Mitchell, History

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 
Apr 24th, 2:45 PM Apr 24th, 3:45 PM

America in Wonderland: Defining the Nation in the Early Amusement Parks of Minneapolis/St. Paul

Science Center, A155

Amusement parks were ubiquitous across America at the turn of the 20th century. Largely considered stomping grounds of the working class, such parks gained reputations as liberal sites of integration and debauchery. This analysis of the founding, layout, clientele, and attractions of two parks in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis/St. Paul demonstrates that this was rarely the case. As a microcosm of urban crowdedness, consumption, and modernity, these parks served as blueprints for an urbanizing, modernizing America. These parks also served as sites of liberalization and intense social policing, ultimately defining and reinforcing “appropriateness” in terms of class, sexuality, and whiteness.