Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version

Summer 2012


Great Plains Quarterly 32:3 (Summer 2012).


Copyright © 2012 Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska.


Despite over thirty years having elapsed since Joan Jensen and Darlis Miller, in "The Gentle Tamers Revisited," called for new approaches to western women's history, popular stereotypes of what constitutes a Great Plains woman remain deeply ingrained in the general public's imagination. Although three decades of scholarship have slowly chipped away at the typecast, until recently no one piece has consolidated the diversity of women's experiences within the Canadian and American Great Plains.

We should herald, therefore, the arrival of Women on the North American Plains. This long-needed collection delivers a powerful corrective to scholarship's and popular imagery's shortcomings. The contributors recognize that there was, and is, no all-inclusive Great Plains woman. Her characteristics have always varied; she did not live in a certain time or place, have a particular religion, belong to one race or ethnicity. She was not always married, or even heterosexual. There was, and is, no one type.