Gender and Identity in the American West

Symposium: Gender and Identity in the American West

Friday, October 12, 2018
9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Check-in begins at 8:30 a.m.

Join us as we explore gender and identity in the West from multiple perspectives, expand on historical narratives and further the dialogue about the human experience at our upcoming symposium on October 12.

Gilcrease Museum holds a rich collection of artwork depicting the western United States. Created throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries, many of these artworks perpetuate a Euro-American narrative of the West as a wild frontier destined to be tamed by rugged, independent, heterosexual white males. Backed by the pseudoscience of the day that stressed the mental and physical superiority of white males, historical imagery of the American West often confirms and perpetuates this masculine ideal.

However, Gilcrease is also home to various art and archival collections that reveal a more nuanced, complex, rich and diverse American West. These collections show that distinct communities challenged hegemonic manhood by creating new ideals of gender and masculinity in the West.

Hear from panelists from around the country as we take a deeper dive into gender and identity in the West.


Laura Arata, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of History, Oklahoma State University
Topic: “Whitewashing and White Hats: Creating the American Cowboy”

Wade Blevins (Cherokee Nation), M.A.
Cherokee language teacher, artist
Topic: “Gender in Pre-Columbian Cultures and Native American Communities Today”

Johanna Blume, M.A.
Associate Curator of Western Art, Eiteljorg Museum
Topic: “Lillian Smith and the Miller Brothers 101 Ranch Wild West Show”

Tracey Hanshew, Ph.D.
Clinical Assistant Professor of History, Washington State University Tri-Cities
Topic: “Wear a Bigger Bow: Working Cowgirls Accentuating Femininity in their Masculine Work”

Gregory Hinton, B.A.
California-based author, filmmaker, historian and lecturer
Topic: “Curatorial Angst or The Terrible Doubt of Appearances”

Amy L. Scott, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of History and Director of Women’s and Gender Studies, Bradley University
Topic: “Alice Robertson and Gender Ideals in the Early 20th Century”


Seating is limited, and registration is required.


Tickets: $25/Gilcrease Museum members; $35/not-yet-members; $10/students & educators
Lunch option: $20

A limited number of complimentary tickets are available for TU faculty and students. Please contact Alex Patterson at 918-631-6412 or to reserve your seat.

Optional Lunch Menu

Garden Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette and Ranch Dressing
Chicken Francaise with Lemon Caper Cream Sauce
Beer Battered Codfish with Tartar Sauce
Roasted Parmesan Potatoes
Broccoli with Baby Carrots
Rolls & Butter
Gilcrease Bread Pudding with White Chocolate Bourbon Sauce

For more information, please contact Alex Patterson at 918-631-6412 or


Above: Cowgirls Trick Ridin, Wichita Falls, Texas. Detail, 4327.8151. 1921. Tulsa: Gilcrease Museum