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Stories of Subversion, Resistance, and Acceptance
October 12 @ 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Hollywood’s big screen and the pages of countless regional novels simplify the complexities of gender in the classic American West with one-dimensional characters such as the lone cowboy, the gun-slinging marshal, the fated cavalry officer, the schoolmarm and the little-house-on-the-prairie mother. Such artless representations have also become the archetypal stalwarts of America’s westward advance, trail-blazers and prepares for a civilization yet to come. But in his presentation, Peter Boag offers a different view of the Old West through sharing stories of individuals whose truths subvert common wisdom about the region’s gender stereotypes, whose lives of resistance to societal norms question masculinity and femininity, and whose oft-times acceptance by their communities counters the hatred, prejudice, and even violence that those who don’t seem to match up to accepted gender (and sexual) stereotypes still experience in the American West of today.
Peter Boag earned his Ph.D. at the University of Oregon in 1988. Since then, he has served on the faculties at Idaho State University and the University of Colorado-Boulder. Since 2009 he has served as Columbia Chair in the History of the American West at Washington State University’s Pullman and Vancouver campuses. He is the author of three books, including Re-Dressing America’s Frontier Past, from which he draws his stories this evening. His current research project focuses on rural children of the American West who murdered their parents during the agrarian crisis of the 1890s.
Free and open to the public.