Gay Rodeo Oral History Project University of Idaho Seed Grant uri icon

Overview

abstract

  • The Gay Rodeo Oral History Project is dedicated to collecting and preserving the personal stories of the men and women involved with the International Gay Rodeo Association. Gay rodeo started forty years ago in 1976, sparking decades-long debates about masculinity, sexuality and the cowboy. Today, active members who can recall the early days of gay rodeo are passing away or becoming less active in the association. The experiences of these western gay women and men are at risk of being forgotten. I will be working directly with the rodeo association’s archives committee to conduct, transcribe and archive their oral histories. This project is an integral part of my larger research agenda and will contribute significantly to my current book project, which focuses on marginalized communities’ use of rodeo as a space to construct and contest notions of manhood, nation and authenticity. Also, by digitizing and incorporating the collection into western gay and lesbian archives, this project will allow me to develop important professional skills in the areas of public and digital history. In these ways, the Gay Rodeo Oral History Project ultimately seeks to work with a community to save a vital piece western history.

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