Please consider downloading the latest version of Internet Explorer
to experience this site as intended.
Tools Search Main Menu

Rochester historian recognized with third book award

November 6, 2020

Brianna Theobald scores unusual ‘hat trick’ of academic accolades for her book on Native women’s reproductive histories and activism.

Brianna Theobald

Brianna Theobald, assistant professor of history. (University of Rochester photo / Rio Hartwell)

Brianna Theobald, an assistant professor of history at the University of Rochester, has won a third award for her first book, Reproduction on the Reservation: Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Colonialism in the Long Twentieth Century (University of North Carolina Press, 2019). In November, the American Society for Ethnohistory awarded Theobald the Erminie Wheeler-Voegelin Award, which—established in 1981—is given annually for the best book-length contribution to the field of ethnohistory.

“I’m honored that Reproduction on the Reservation is in the company of the truly excellent works of scholarship that have received the Wheeler-Voegelin Award in recent years,” says Theobald. At the virtual award ceremony the president of the American Society for Ethnohistory, Pete Sigal, a professor of history and gender, sexuality, and feminist studies at Duke University, highlighted Theobald’s extensive field work on the Crow Reservation. “That’s especially meaningful to me because I view Crow women’s stories as the heart of the book,” says Theobald.

The Rochester historian earlier won two other prizes for her monograph—the John C. Ewers Award from the Western History Association and the Armitage-Jameson Prize from the Coalition for Western Women’s History.

Reproduction on the Reservation traces the history of reproductive health care and reproductive politics on reservations during the last century, including what’s now considered a notorious period in the 1970s, when US doctors sterilized an estimated 25 to 42 percent of Native American women of childbearing age, some as young as 15, often without the women’s consent.

“Historical research and writing at its finest,” is how Laura Smoller, professor and chair of the Rochester Department of History, characterizes Theobald’s book. “Her pathbreaking work on reproduction and childbearing by Native American women challenges existing categories and eschews reductionist interpretations, all in accessible, beautifully crafted prose.”

Read more

historical photo of a Native woman with two childrenAccolades for work tracing Native women’s reproductive histories and their activism.
University of Rochester history professor Brianna Theobald wins two prizes for her first book.
historical photo of a Native American woman holding a babyNative Americans, government authorities, and reproductive politics
In her new book, Brianna Theobald traces the long history of efforts by federal and local authorities to manage the reproductive lives of Native families.
group of migrant women and childrenDetained migrants susceptible to a range of reproductive abuses and medical neglect
The history of eugenics in the US leaves today’s migrant women vulnerable, argues University of Rochester history professor Brianna Theobald in a Washington Post “Made by History” op-ed.


Tags: , , , ,

Category: University News

Contact Author(s)