Uncle Johnny’s Girl Farm: Escapism Through Utopian Fantasy

Dr. Molly Jessup speaking about mid-twentieth century male escapism and pulp fiction fantasies

When: Sunday, March 19, 1 p.m.

Where: Oneida Community Mansion House, 170 Kenwood Ave.

Today, the Oneida Community is known for its utopian social practices, including equality between women and men. But in the 1950s and 1960s, a number of men’s magazines, such as Man’s Conquest and Men, published salacious stories about “Uncle Johnny’s girl farm” and “the sex cult that rocked New York.” Those pulp-fictional stories not only misrepresented the lived history of the Oneida Community, they also expressed mid-twentieth century notions of male gender roles and monogamous marriage in their sensational re-inventions of ‘utopian’ alternatives.

Jessup, historian and curator of education for Oneida Community Mansion House, explores how the authors of twentieth-century pulp fiction sought to influence popular attitudes about gender roles and equality. The wide-ranging discussion takes place at the Mansion House on Sunday, March 19, and is supported in part by Humanities New York.

The program is free to members of OCMH; $7 for non-members, including house admission.

The Oneida Community Mansion House (OCMH) was once home to the 19th-century utopian Oneida Community (1848 – 1880), in which men and women shared their life and work on equal terms. Today, OCMH preserves, collects and interprets the material culture, intangible heritage, architecture and landscapes of that period. The Mansion House is a National Historic Landmark and history museum chartered by the state Department of Education.

The House is open for visitors Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday from noon until 5 p.m. Guided tours are provided Wednesday through Saturday at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., and Sunday at 2 p.m.

Oneida Community Mansion House is located at 170 Kenwood Ave., Oneida. More information: 315.363.0745 or visit www.oneidacommunity.org.

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