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McEuen speaking at Kentucky Book Fair

History professor Melissa McEuen is one of seven featured authors who will conduct a symposium on their new works at the 30th annual Kentucky Book Fair on Saturday, November 12, at the Frankfort (Ky.) Convention Center. She is one of 185 authors scheduled to appear at Kentucky’s premier literary event.

McEuen will discuss her book, Making War, Making Women: Femininity and Duty on the American Home Front, 1941-1945, at 9:15 a.m. and will be available to sign books until 4:30 p.m. The book fair is free and open to the public and runs from 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

Drawing on war propaganda, popular advertising, voluminous government records, and hundreds of other accounts written by women in the 1940s, McEuen's book shows that women were led to believe that the nation’s success in war depended on their efforts—not just on factory floors, but at their dressing tables. Women understood that their faces, clothes, and comportment would indicate how seriously they took their responsibilities as citizens. They were encouraged to fill their arsenals with lipstick, nail polish, creams, and cleansers in their battles to meet the standard of womanhood touted in magazines, newspapers, billboards, pamphlets, and pinup photos.

McEuen is also the author of Seeing America: Women Photographers between the Wars, which won the 2000 Emily Toth Award for best single work in women’s issues from the Popular Culture Association and American Culture Association. She joined the Transylvania faculty in 1995.
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