Since well before ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment in 1920 secured their right to vote, women in Oklahoma have sought to change and uplift their communities through political activism. This Land Is Herland brings together the stories of thirteen women activists and explores their varied experiences from the territorial period to the present. Organized chronologically, the essays discuss Progressive reformer Kate Barnard, educator and civil rights leader Clara Luper, and Comanche leader and activist LaDonna Harris, as well as lesser-known individuals such as Cherokee historian and educator Rachel Caroline Eaton, entrepreneur and NAACP organizer California M. Taylor, and Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) champion Wanda Jo Peltier Stapleton.

Edited by Sarah Eppler Janda and Patricia Loughlin, the collection connects Oklahoma women’s individual and collective endeavors to the larger themes of intersectionality, suffrage, politics, motherhood, and civil rights in the American West and the United States. The historians explore how race, ethnicity, social class, gender, and political power shaped—and were shaped by—these women’s efforts to improve their local, state, and national communities.

Underscoring the diversity of women’s experiences, the editors and contributors provide fresh and engaging perspectives on the western roots of gendered activism in Oklahoma. This volume expands and enhances our understanding of the complexities of western women’s history.

About The Author
Sarah Eppler Janda is Professor of History at Cameron University in Lawton, Oklahoma, and the author of Beloved Women: The Political Lives of LaDonna Harris and Wilma Mankiller.
Patricia Loughlin is Professor of History at the University of Central Oklahoma and the author of Hidden Treasures of the American West: Muriel H. Wright, Angie Debo, and Alice Marriott, named the Outstanding Book on Oklahoma History by the Oklahoma Historical Society.

Reviews & Praise
This Land Is Herland probes the state’s conflictive history through the lens of Indigenous, Black, and settler white women activists and scholars to spotlight thirteen courageous women, past and present, who attempted to create a better world. It accomplishes this free of boosterism, romanticization, or fear of exposing the demons of white supremacy and settler-colonialism.”—Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, author of Red Dirt: Growing Up Okie

“This exemplary collection is a model of scholarship on western women’s history. A pleasure to read, the rich essays reveal an exciting diversity of women whose hard work and political engagement have shaped the present-day state of Oklahoma and tribal nations.”—Cathleen D. Cahill, author of Recasting the Vote: How Women of Color Transformed the Suffrage Movement

Book Information
21 b&w illus.
318 Pages
Paperback 978-0-8061-6926-2
e-pub 978-0-8061-7859-2
Published July 2021
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