Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master Art in Art History and Visual Culture



First Advisor

Kelly Scheffer

Second Advisor

Trenton Olsen

Third Advisor

Matthew Bailey


While men served their country through military duty during the second World War, women were encouraged to do their part in ways that challenged their traditional roles as the American housewife. Because so many men were off at the front, the United States government had to create new ways to manipulate and persuade American women to join the workforce. Posters and other media featured strong, relatable women and phrases that encouraged women to serve. Propaganda not only suggested how women should act, but also manipulated society’s view of women’s role in the war efforts. Most people are familiar with iconic figures like Rosie the Riveter, but in reality, most WWII propaganda aimed at women was more in keeping with their traditional roles within the domestic sphere. It is the goal of this analysis to provide a further look inside the visual characteristics, messages, and modes of depiction of women within American graphics of the Second World War, specifically media featuring domestic themes and aimed toward housewives.