Let 'er Buck: Gender and Animal History in Twentieth-Century American Rodeo
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction, presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Abstract“Let ‘er Buck” explores the entwined history of gender and human-animal relationships within twentieth-century mainstream American rodeo. It presents six stories from rodeo’s past: three that foreground questions of gender norms across three generations of cowgirl contestants, and three that focus more centrally on the role of human-animal relationships in rodeo across three distinct scales – organizational, social, and evolutionary. All six stories decenter the cowboy figure to interrogate the dominant narrative of rodeo as the realm of masculine men and their manly struggle with animals in the arena. Individually and collectively, the stories presented in “Let ‘er Buck” demonstrate the multiple ways in which women have historically contested the normative masculinity of rodeo, how rodeo relies on human-animal cooperation as much if not more than human-animal conflict, and the interconnections between gender norms and relations between humans and nonhuman animals. In doing so, this dissertation offers a different way to remember rodeo’s past, to know about its present, and to envision its future.
Degree ProgramGraduate College