Amy Canfield is an Associate Professor of history at Lewis-Clark State College. She earned her Ph.D. from Washington State University in 2008. She teaches courses in women's history, American Indian history, history of the American West, and U.S. popular culture. She has published articles in the Journal of the West, Idaho Yesterdays, and the Journal of American Culture. She has also served as a consultant for the Center for the State of the Parks, conducting cultural resource assessments on the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail, Grand Canyon National Park, Vicksburg National Military Park, and Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park.
The history of the west has been shaped in almost every way by water: processing it, using it, appropriating it, and corralling it. The task of irrigating arid and semi-arid regions proved difficult, especially on American Indian reservations as ore non-Indians moved onto reservation lands. Examining the events surrounding irrigating the Fort Hall Indian Reservation demonstrates the legal, practical, environmental, and moral questions that plagued irrigation projects on reservations. Different federal officials who purported to have the tribe's best interests at heart routinely compromised Shoshone-Bannock control of its valuable water resources, resulting in harmful consequences for tribal landholdings and finances.
In the late 19th century, American Indians were the targets of assimilationist policies. Policy makers and social reformers believed that the goal of "civilizing" Indians was paramount to solving the "Indian problem", but assimilation took different forms for women and men. Each gender faced different challenges during assimilation, specifically when considering the public versus the private spheres. Gendered language and the nature of assimilation impacted women on an intimate level and daily basis. The women's experiences within the Shoshone-Bannock tribe provide specific examples of the gendered nuances of assimilation, as well as how the women responded to these "civilizing" procedures.
Awareness of domestic abuse grew during the feminist movement of the 1960s and 1970s, but during the more conservative 1980s, levels of reported domestic abuse increased dramatically. This increase coincided with a national "backlash" against feminism. Many images in popular culture reflected this backlash, but ironically it is in the horror genre that brought the issue of domestic abuse back to the forfront and challenged the backlash. This presentation examines the rold of feminism in "discovering" domestic abuse and the subsequent backlash against feminism, using two of Stephen King's novels as a lens through which to view changing ideas.
The 1960s were a time of questioning authority, society, politics, and sexuality. Women were integral participants in this generational turmoil. In the 1950s, popular culture taught females "correct" roles of innocence and submissiveness. By the early 1960s, women began questioning these roles, questioning their sexuality, and questioning why their voices had been muted for so long. Examining early hits of girl groups and female singers reveals this questioning, and it also reveals the importance of women within the music industry, calling attention to the changing issues that were going to boil over with the feminist movement and the sexual revolution.
In 1951, the Idaho Legislature voted to close a teachers' training school (Northern Idaho College of Education) in Lewiston, Idaho. This closure (and a concurrent one at the state's other teachers' school in Albion) came at a time when the need for trained educators was rapidly increasing due to the baby boom. Students, faculity, and staff at NICE fought against the closure, but ultimately they lost. The school remained closed until 1955, when it reopended under a new name. This presentation examines the rationale behind the closure and what this decision reveals about the role of education in the state.