Congratulations to Tracey Hanshew, winner of the Peg Strobel Berkshire Conference Travel Grant

headshot of Tracy HanshewThe NCWHS is pleased to announce the recipient of the 2014 Peg Strobel Berkshire Conference Travel Grant, Tracey Hanshew!  

A PhD student at Oklahoma State University, Hanshew is preparing a dissertation exploring “Rural Feminism and Rodeo Cowgirls During the Golden Age of Radio,” that is, the first third of he twentieth century.  “Competition in the arena during the Golden Age of Rodeo,” she argues, “opened doors for women to develop careers and become financially independent.   These cowgirls launched fashion trends, facilitated careers and helped lay the groundwork for the feminist movement to follow.  Hanshew’s research at present focuses on Lucille Mulhall, “America’s first cowgirl,” as a vehicle to explore women in Oklahoma’s economy and early tourism industry.  Mulhall made national headlines when she began competing in Oklahoma rodeos, promoting rodeo within Oklahoma’s ranching culture while establishing a place for women in it.  She has also explored connections between “feminism and equestrienne practices” in a paper on debates over side saddles at the end of the nineteenth century, which considered appropriate riding apparel as well as the implications of riding astride, raising along the way questions about women’s bodies, health and freedom.

Her Berkshire Conference paper “Frontier Feminism: The Quiet Resistance of Women in Rodeo” at the Sunday morning (8:45-10:45) session will present her early thinking on this topic, as part of a larger session that asks “Is there a rural feminism?”  The “frontier feminism” of rodeo cowgirls, Hanshew contends, contrasts the urban feminism that has received comparatively greater scholarly attention. Her paper will join others on rural women from around the world, from the 1890s to the present, in a reconsideration of rural women and social change broadly defined.

The National Collaborative for Women’s History Sites (NCWHS) created the Peg Strobel Travel Award to support a student/scholar of women’s/public history who works and studies the preservation, interpretation, and promotion of sites and locales that record women’s participation in American life. The travel grant will help defray costs associated with attending the 2014 Berkshire Women’s History Conference in Toronto, Ontario May 22-25, 2014. Heather Huyck, chair of the NCWHS board of directors, notes that “we are delighted that Ms. Hanshew is presenting at the Berkshire Conference and want to recognize her being evidence of the next generation of scholars” and the high quality of their work. 

Peg Strobel, for whom the grant was named, is a past NCWHS President, still serving on the NCWHS board. Peg has long been one of the unsung heroes in the field of women’s history. Her indefatigable ways, her living of her beliefs, her great generosity, her ability to encourage and work with all kinds of people, her steadiness, and, especially, her insights, make her a remarkable colleague and friend. There are people we have in our lives we can only give thanks for knowing: Peg is one such person. The funds for the Peg Strobel Travel Scholarship were raised through donations from friends and colleagues who recognize and appreciate Peg’s gifts.

The Strobel Travel Grant selection committee also acknowledged the work of two applicants with “honorable mention.”  Monica Mercado of the University of Chicago will present “Closeted/Out in the Quadrangles: Building Archives in Gender and Sexuality at the University of Chicago” in the session “Collecting on the Edges: Gender and Sexuality in the University Archives,”(Sunday, 11:00 am – 1:00 pm). And Rachel Kline, a historian for the USDA Forest Service, will be entering the PhD program at the University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, where she plans to write an “environmental history of the female body in nineteenth-century British India.”

News Congratulations to Tracey Hanshew, winner of the Peg Strobel Berkshire Conference Travel Grant