Engendered Encounters


Engendered Encounters

Feminism and Pueblo Cultures, 1879-1934

Margaret D. Jacobs

Women in the West Series

284 pages
Illus., map


March 1999


$27.50 Add to Cart

About the Book

In this interdisciplinary study of gender, cross-cultural encounters, and federal Indian policy, Margaret D. Jacobs explores the changing relationship between Anglo-American women and Pueblo Indians before and after the turn of the century. During the late nineteenth century, the Pueblos were often characterized by women reformers as barbaric and needing to be "uplifted" into civilization. By the 1920s, however, the Pueblos were widely admired by activist Anglo-American women, who challenged assimilation policies and worked hard to protect the Pueblos’ "traditional" way of life.
Deftly weaving together an analysis of changes in gender roles, attitudes toward sexuality, public conceptions of Native peoples, and federal Indian policy, Jacobs argues that the impetus for this transformation in perception rests less with a progressively tolerant view of Native peoples and more with fundamental shifts in the ways Anglo-American women saw their own sexuality and social responsibilities.

Author Bio

Margaret D. Jacobs is a professor of history and the director of the Women’s and Gender Studies Program at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. She is the author of White Mother to a Dark Race: Settler Colonialism, Maternalism, and the Removal of Indigenous Children in the American West and Australia, 1880-1940 (Nebraska, 2009).


"Irony and white female ethnocentrism dominate this excellent gender study."—Choice

"[Jacobs's] engagement with broader themes of race, gender, and sexuality make this book a superb study."—American Historical Review

"Well-written and researched, Jacobs's work is a balanced and careful study of the impact of romantic stereotyping on the inhabitants of the 'Land of Enchantment.'"—Western Historical Quarterly

"Jacobs has done a commendable job of utilizing a wide range of primary and secondary sources to produce a book that illuminates aspects of American Indian policy in new and interesting ways. . . . By holding the mirror of American society up to Pueblo cultures Jacobs gives the reader a glimpse of changing values in both."—American Indian Quarterly

"Jacobs demonstrates in clear and insightful prose how centering on women's experiences transforms the tale historians tell . . . . Jacobs proves how active women were in the southwestern branch of that famous marketplace of ideas, and her analysis of their thoroughly intertwined attitudes about gender and race effectively untangles their legacy of stereotypes."—Journal of American History

"A compelling book for academics and general readers alike who are interested in southwestern and women's history, gender issues, and Native American material culture."—Journal of Arizona History

"What marks this [book] as exemplary is the way in which Jacobs has woven what were long scattered and loose threads into a larger and rich narrative tapestry. . . . This is an important contribution to the new Western history, to the history of gender in the U.S., and to the emerging fields of cultural and postcolonial studies."—Ramón A. Gutiérrez, author of When Jesus Came, the Corn Mothers Went Away


2000 Frances Richardson Keller-Sierra Prize, sponsored by the Western Association of Women Historians, winner
2000 Gaspar Pérez de Villagrá Award, sponsored by The Historical Society of New Mexico, winner

2000 Sierra Prize, sponsored by the Western Association of Women Historians, winner

Also of Interest