Manuscripts in Process
Small, N. & Gernant, A. Sustained role-playing games for cultivating critical empathy. Accepted for publication in L. Blankenship & E. Leake (Eds.) Empathy and the Other: Difference, Connection, and the Teaching of Writing. Accepted, in process.
Conway, A., Pifer, E., Powell, K. W., Small, N. Bale: Annotated Bibliography of Storytelling and Narrative. In process with the Repository at CSU Press/WAC Clearinghouse. August 2022.
Acosta, K., Cowan, M., Rickly, R., Sinor, S., Small, N., & Stone, E. M. Positionality in Writing Studies Research: Pedagogies and Practices for Relational Accountability. Proposal accepted by Practices and Possibilities, CSU Press/WAC Clearinghouse. Currently soliticiting chapter proposals.
Kinney, K., Small, N. & Stewart, J. Both/And in Wyoming: Dislocation, uncertainty, and expanding masters-level graduate assistantships in composition and rhetoric. Under revision.
Fishmann, J., LaFrance, M., Rickly, B., & Small, N. Unsettling stories: A feminist narrative inquiry. Article in development.
Current Book Project
After moving to Wyoming in 2016, I began noting the state’s pride in its women’s accomplishments: the list of “Wyoming women’s firsts,” being nicknamed “the Equality State,” being the first territory in the USA where women legally voted in general elections, etc. As I learned more about Wyoming, I began to recognize that the state’s stories commonly are not known outside of the region. For example, most folks don't know Wyoming had affirmed full woman suffrage rights in December 1869, a full fifty years prior to the 19th amendment to the US Consititution. In 2019, when I visited centennial suffrage displays in Washington DC museums, Wyoming was all but absent from the national narrative. Simultaneously learning more about the state and realizing its absence from discourses of women’s progress and empowerment, the seedling of this project began to grow.
Monograph's Working Title
“Pantaloonatics of Wyoming: Rhetoric and Public Memory”
Speak back to and complicate what we remember as a nation. The US suffrage narrative defaults to being set in the East, catalyzed via the Seneca Falls Convention and starring Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucretia Mott, Carrie Chapman Catt, and Alice Paul. While the NWSA-AWSA-NAWSA efforts are one story of the suffrage movement, theirs is not the only story. This book will be another effort at revising and resisting the singular national master narrative.
Strategically contemplate how we remember together. As other scholars in rhetoric, public memory, and material culture have been arguing, our sites of public memory shape who is remembered, how they are remembered, and who is forgotten and erased from our landscapes of culture and belonging. This transdisciplinary book will challenge readers and scholars to continue considering the mechanisms for how memory circles through time.
Expand inclusion of who is remembered in a more inclusive storying of women’s suffrage and contemporary women’s agency. As communities, we live together in entangled narratives. By recuperating lesser-known Wyoming women of the past and relating their stories through recent research on contemporary Wyoming women’s perspectives in the present, this book will more fully tell the story of the West from the West.
To accomplish my goals, I examine sites of public memory through different rhetorical containers or vessels:
Master narratives (national museum displays)
Material rhetoric (commemorative statue)
Discursive patterns of the past (“first woman” trope)
Community memory books (city directories/family books)
Discursive patterns of the present (contemporary art and reflections)
Current Chapter Summaries
Preface and Introduction—Establish the research puzzle, methodology, and methods of the project. Situate the project in scholarly conversations of public memory and feminist rhetorical practices, and as resisting the over-simplification of the US master narrative of women’s rights/suffrage. Introduce the book as a means of exploring contemporary women’s agencies and self-conceptions as rhetorically constructed/controlled and as circling through time.
Ch 1: The Fringes of the Frontier—Asserts Wyoming’s absence from the US narrative via critique of 2019 Washington DC suffrage commemorative displays at the National Archives and the Portrait Gallery. Re-examines the rhetorical construction of the national suffrage narrative by rhetorically analyzing foundational texts regarding the movement's history. Re-asserts Wyoming’s role in the suffrage movement, including a review of the complicated nature of suffrage in Wyoming (the “gift” argument, the role of empire building, etc.).
Ch 2: The Woman in the Cage—Turns to Louisa Swain as a case study of an important figure who has been generally erased from the US master narrative. Adds to what we might know about Swain through adjacent resources such as news stories about her son and daughter-in-law’s public activities while in Laramie, material analysis of a baby dress she made, and more thorough investigation of her childhood and years as an orphan. Presents a rhetorical analysis of Swain’s statue and courtyard as a living site of public memory.
Ch 3: The Trope of “The First”— Unsettles the trope of "the first woman" through the story of Estelle Reel, the first woman in Wyoming elected to state-wide office (Superintendent of Public Instruction, 1894-1899) and the first woman to be confirmed by the US Senate when she was appointed Superintendent of Indian Schools (1898-1910). Reel has been called “the first liberated woman in America,” yet contemporary reflection forces us to reconsider if that’s the kind of liberation we desire and to account for how stories of our "firsts" are told.
Ch 4: Presence on the Page—Examines city directories and "prominent families" books as containers of self-ascribed public memory, where local families record their own storied memories which are then published as town histories. Adds to ongoing diversification of historic women's public engagement via Cheyenne, Wyoming's "Search Light Club" and other stories of folx of color foundational to the West.
Ch 5: Contemporary Wyoming Women—Engages other texts, including a 2016 presidential election gathering, art exhibitions, and a Casper Star-Tribune project “what is a Wyoming woman,” to (re)examine how contemporary Wyoming women conceive of themselves as agents in relation to the rhetorical concepts laid out in chapters 1-4.