Sandoz and Cather, Colorado College featured in Great Plains Quarterly


In the spring issue of Great Plains Quarterly, a scholarly journal published by the Center for Great Plains Studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, researchers wrote about domestic violence in Mari Sandoz's "The Tom-Walker," land maps in Willa Cather "O Pioneers!," and scandal at Colorado College in the early 20th century.

In "Collateral Damage: Veterans and Domestic Violence in Mari Sandoz's 'The Tom-Walker,'" Kathy Bahr writes about how Sandoz associated domestic violence on a national scale with the domestic violence of veterans returning home after the Civil War and two world wars. "In the context of life in the Great Plains, the stories of three men offer a fresh perspective on the shameful treatment of American veterans dating back to the Civil War and the collateral damage war inflicts on families in the form of intimate, personal, domestic violence brought on by post-traumatic stress syndrome," writes Bahr, a Chadron State College English professor.

Karen Ramirez looked at "Narrative Mappings of the Land as Space and Place in Willa Cather's 'O Pioneers!'" Drawing on the use of county plat maps, Ramirez wrote, "This utilitarian form of mapping reflects a nationalistic spatial understanding of western geography as empty space, and it is one form of mapping that Cather draws on and responds to in 'O Pioneers!' -- a novel centrally concerned with how to map out the land." Ramirez is associate director of the Sewall Residential Academic Program at the University of Colorado, Boulder.

In "Scandal on the Plains: William F. Slocum, Edward S. Parsons, and the Colorado College Controversies," Joe P. Dunn presents a story about a scandal that took place on the western frontier, a sexual harassment crisis involving one of the giants of late 19th- and early 20th-century education and the disgraceful treatment of the man who pursued the case. The charges brought against Slocum, then president of the college, divided the faculty and the trustees and brought an independent investigation about the ensuing dismissal of his antagonist by the newly founded American Association of University Professors. Dunn is professor and chair of history and politics at Converse College in Spartanburg, S.C.

Great Plains Quarterly is published by the Center for Great Plains Studies at UNL. Current issues of the journal may be purchased in the Great Plains Art Museum gift shop at 1155 Q St., or by calling the center at (402) 472-3082. Order forms are available online at

- Linda Ratcliffe

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