By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – Beginning in August, the Oklahoma Historical Society, along with the Cherokee Strip Regional Heritage Center, will present “This Land is Herland,” a series of three programs on women’s activism in Oklahoma.
The programs, sponsored in part by the Oklahoma Humanities (OH) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), will take place on Thursday, August 13; Tuesday, September 22; and Thursday, November 5. All programs will begin at 7 p.m.
The August and September programs will be conducted virtually, with the option to move the November program online as well.
“This Land is Herland brings together nine notable women scholars to explore the activism of Oklahoma women in a series of three public programs,” said Jacob Krumwiede, director of the CSRHC, an OHS museum. “These programs are offered free of charge, but you must register to receive the program link. You can register at okhistory.org/herland. Following the presentations the scholars will be available to answer questions from the online audience.”
Each program will include presentations by three scholars.
“The focus is different for each program, but each takes a close look at Oklahoma women who have tried to affect change in the circumstances and environment in which they found themselves,” said Dr. Sarah Eppler Janda, one of the project scholars and co-editor with Dr. Patricia Loughlin of the forthcoming book “This Land is Herland: Gendered Activism in Oklahoma, 1870s–2010s.”
The August online program, “The Fluidity of Power,” will consider how women in early Oklahoma found ways to wield power. Topics and speakers for the evening are: “An ‘Intrepid Pioneer Leader’: The A-Suffrage Gendered Activism of Kate Barnard,” by Dr. Sunu Kodumthara, Southwestern Oklahoma State University; “‘My Heart Had Been Burdened for the Orphaned and Homeless Children’: Religious Imperative and Maternalism in the Work of Mattie Mallory,” by Dr. Heather Clemmer, Southern Nazarene University; and “A ‘Loyal Countrywoman’: Rachel Caroline Eaton, Alumna of the Cherokee National Female Seminary,” by Dr. Farina King, Northeastern State University.
There is no cost for this program but preregistration is required. Registration closes at 5 p.m. on August 12. Registrants should receive the link for the online program within 72 hours of registration.
The second program, “The Gendered Politics of Civil Rights,” on Tuesday, September 22, at 7 p.m., also virtual) will examine how Oklahoma women impacted the struggle for civil rights on several fronts. Topics and speakers for the evening are: “‘To Speak so Forthrightly as to Offend’: The Civil Rights Activism and Confinement of Rosalyn ‘Rosie’ Coleman Gilchrist,” by Dr. Sarah Eppler Janda, Cameron University; “Making History: Being an NAACP Plaintiff—Ada Lois Sipuel Fisher,” by Cheryl Wattley, University of North Texas Dallas College of Law; and “Barbara ‘Wahru’ Cleveland and Herland Sister Resources,” by Dr. Lindsey Churchill, University of Central Oklahoma.
“The CSRHC in Enid planned to host the program on September 22, but we have also decided to move this program online,” said Krumwiede. “Details about online registration for this program will be available in the coming weeks.”
The final program, “Contested Notions of Equality,” will be held Thursday, November 5 at 7 p.m. This program will bring the discussion of gendered activism to the present era, with presentations covering American Indian women’s activism, the Equal Rights Amendment and the resurgence of conservative politics. The topics and speakers for the evening are: “‘My Children Are More Important to Me Than Any Office I Might Hold’: Mary Fallin’s Use of Motherhood as a Conservative Political Strategy,” by Dr. Patricia Loughlin, University of Central Oklahoma; “‘Until We Organized’: Wanda Jo Peltier Stapleton and the Equal Rights Amendment Debate in Oklahoma, 1972–1982,” by Chelsea Ball, University of Oklahoma; and “LaDonna Harris: Comanche Leader, Activist, Matriarch,” by Dr. Amanda Cobb-Greetham, University of Oklahoma.
“We are hopeful that we will be able to hold this final program of the series in person at the Oklahoma History Center in Oklahoma City, but we will make that decision based on conditions in the state as we near the date,” said Krumwiede.
“Each of the programs will be recorded and made available on the OHS YouTube channel at the conclusion of the project,” continued Krumwiede. “Curriculum materials are being developed as a companion to the programs for classroom or homeschool use.”
There is no cost for this program but preregistration is required. Registration for the September event is available also at this time. Registrants will receive a link to the second program in September. The September link will not be included in the email which includes the link for the August program.
The mission of the Oklahoma Historical Society is to collect, preserve, and share the history and culture of the state of Oklahoma and its people. Founded in 1893 by members of the Territorial Press Association, the OHS maintains museums, historic sites, and affiliates across the state.
Through its research archives, exhibits, educational programs, and publications the OHS chronicles Oklahoma’s rich history.