Louise Pound


Louise Pound

Scholar, Athlete, Feminist Pioneer

Robert Cochran

334 pages
19 photographs


May 2009


$40.00 Add to Cart
eBook (PDF)
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May 2009


$40.00 Add to Cart

About the Book

Louise Pound (1872–1958) was a distinguished literary scholar, renowned athlete, accomplished musician, and devoted women’s sports advocate. She is perhaps best remembered for her groundbreaking work in the field of linguistics and folklore and for her role as the first woman president of the Modern Language Association. A member of a distinguished Nebraska family that included her brother, the prominent legal scholar Roscoe Pound, Louise completed her undergraduate education at the University of Nebraska. When American universities wouldn’t admit her for graduate study, she went on to obtain a PhD in Heidelberg, Germany. She returned to the University of Nebraska–Lincoln to teach in the English department for the next forty-five years.
As a scholar Louise crusaded for the serious study of American English and founded the field’s leading journal, demolished a powerfully defended approach to the study of American folk song, and fought tirelessly to open athletic and professional opportunities for women. She was, in short, what one admirer called a “universal wonder.” She befriended and played an influential role in the life of the young Willa Cather during Cather’s years at the University of Nebraska; H. L. Mencken praised her extravagantly; and scholars of literature, folklore, and dialect studies elevated her to the presidency of their professional societies. Readers of varied interests will find her story compelling.

Author Bio

Robert Cochran is a professor of English and director of the Center for Arkansas and Regional Studies at the University of Arkansas. He has written many books, including A Photographer of Note: Arkansas Artist Geleve Grice and Singing in Zion: Music and Song in the Life of an Arkansas Family.


"This well-written biography details all aspects of Pound's life as scholar, athlete, and advocate for women's sports."—J. C. Tucker, CHOICE

"Cochran's straightforward biography is a pleasure to read."—William M. Clements, Journal of Folklore Research

"Cochran's well-researched and well-written book places Louise Pound securely in her time and place and reveals much about the plight of women in higher education in a not-so-distant  past. . . . It is an invaluable work on the history of women in the professions in the early twentieth century."—Shirley Anne Leckie, Journal of American History

"Robert Cochran serves his subject well in this biography of Louise Pound."—Catriona Parratt, Annals of Iowa

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations



1. "I have always been satisfied with Nebraska"

2. "The iridescent glamor of life beginning"

3. "A genuine Nebraska cyclone"

4. "She's an athlete; she's a scholar"

5. "Incapable of orderly thought"

6. "There is always zest"

7. "First woman again"





2010 Nebraska Book Awards, honor book, nonfiction category.

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