LMU Library News

Faculty Pub Night Featuring Cara Anzilotti

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Please join us on October 16 at 5:30 p.m. for our second Faculty Pub Night of the 2018-2019 season! Cara Anzilotti, Associate Professor of History at LMU’s Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts, will discuss her recent book, She-devil in the City of Angels: Gender, violence, and the Hattie Woolsteen murder case in Victorian era Los Angeles.

RSVP Today!

About the Author’s Work

In 1887, Hattie Woolsteen killed a man and got away with murder—an outcome that revealed 19th-century attitudes in American society about class and gender. This study of the American public’s response to the fate of accused murderer Hattie Woolsteen uses the case to examine the complexities of gender history and societal fears about the changing roles of women during the Victorian era.

In October of 1887, a young woman named Hattie Woolsteen was accused of murdering her married lover, Los Angeles dentist Charles Harlan. The subsequent trial captivated the public as few incidents had done before. The idea of a female murderer was particularly disturbing in 19th-century America, and the public quickly labeled her a fiend and a “she-devil.” But despite the overwhelming evidence against the accused, Hattie Woolsteen was not only acquitted of the charge, but emerged as the victim in this sordid drama. As the public grappled with the details of Hattie’s alleged crime, she became a symbol of female victimization and gender inequality—as well as an unlikely champion of women’s rights.

About the Author

Anzilotti’s research and teaching interests focus on issues of gender and class in early American history. She is the author of two books on that topic. The first, In the Affairs of the World: Women, Property and Power in Colonial South Carolina, examines public perceptions of women in the lower south during the eighteenth century. Her current project, She-Devil in the City of Angels: Gender, Violence and the Hattie Woolsteen Murder Case in Victorian Era Los Angeles, explores the complicated intersection of class, gender and social convention regarding women’s proper sphere in the late nineteenth century

About Faculty Pub Night

Students, staff, faculty, alumni, and any members of the public are all invited to the 2018-2019 series of Faculty Pub Night at the William H. Hannon Library. Eight LMU professors (four per semester) are selected annually to discuss their latest publication or project in a comfortable setting and format that welcomes diverse perspectives for an inclusive conversation aimed to educate the entire community. All Faculty Pub Nights are free and open to the public. Pub refreshments and snacks will be served courtesy of the William H. Hannon Library.

For more information about this event, contact John Jackson, Head of Outreach & Communications for the William H. Hannon Library, at (310) 338-5234 or john.jackson@lmu.edu.