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.
The Union Pacific Railroad Museum is located at 200 Pearl St. in Council Bluffs. The lecture is free and open to the public.
About the Union Pacific Railroad Museum
The mission of the Union Pacific Railroad Museum is to provide quality exhibits and educational programming to a diverse audience about the past, present, and future of America's premier railroad, Union Pacific, promoting a sense of connectedness showed through generations of people whose personal and family histories have been touched by the railroad. To accomplish this mission, the museum will preserve, protect, and promote the Union Pacific Railroad Historical Collection. The Union Pacific Railroad Museum is located in downtown Council Bluffs, Iowa, in the beautiful and unique Beaux Arts-style building that formerly housed the Council Bluffs Carnegie Free Public Library.
About the University of Nebraska at Omaha
Located in one of America’s best cities to live, work and learn, the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) is Nebraska’s premier metropolitan university. With more than 15,000 students enrolled in 200-plus programs of study, UNO is recognized nationally for its online education, graduate education, military friendliness and community engagement efforts. Founded in 1908, UNO has served learners of all backgrounds for more than 100 years and is dedicated to another century of excellence both in the classroom and in the community.
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