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Press Announces Winners of Emerging Scholars Research Grant

by Jennifer McIntyre published 2022/02/14 12:08:51 GMT-5
Press Announces Winners of Emerging Scholars Research Grant

SDHS Press is thrilled to announce the winners of its inaugural Emerging Scholars Research Grant. This grant enables graduate students and early career scholars to conduct research at the State Archives and share new perspectives on South Dakota’s history. Congratulations to our cohort of emerging scholars, whom we introduce below.

grant winner photo simmons.jpgJessica Simmons

Jessica Simmons is a graduate student at Oklahoma State University. She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Sioux Falls. While an undergraduate, she gave two presentations at Augustana University’s Center for Western Studies examining the life of Bishop William Hobart Hare and the experiences of students at Sioux Falls College during the influenza pandemic of 1918, known to many at the time as “Spanish Flu.” Her current research primarily focuses on South Dakotan Episcopalians during the Progressive Era and World War I.

Many Episcopalians from South Dakota—both of Indigenous and Euro-American descent—served in the military during World War I. The families of these soldiers often worked tirelessly alongside one another on home front efforts such as raising money for the Red Cross. Simmons’s research explores the experiences of Lakota, Dakota, Nakota, and non-Indigenous soldiers and families who navigated the struggles of war, a pandemic, and the political uncertainty of the early 1920s, both as family units and members of the Episcopal Church.

grant winner photo kemp.jpgKatherine Kemp

Katherine Kemp is from Spearfish, South Dakota. She is a first-year master’s program student at the University of South Dakota. She currently works as a graduate assistant in the history department and spends her summers with family in the Black Hills. Kemp graduated from Black Hills State University in 2021 with a double major in history and American Indian Studies.

Influenced by recent research at the Rapid City Indian School, Kemp’s project revolves around settler-colonial policies at the Sisseton Manual Labor boarding school. Her research asks: How did on-reservation Native boarding schools use the manual labor of the Native students to support settler colonialism? Was there cultural crossover among clergy, agents, and students? What was the role of the Catholic church? Kemp’s work explores the intersection of curriculum, labor, and education at Sisseton and the unique role of South Dakota. She looks to unpack these conflicting views of identity, race, religion, and how Native students used education and labor at Sisseton boarding schools as a method of tribal preservation.

Grant winner photo menefee.jpgHeather Menefee

Heather Menefee is a doctoral student in Native American and U.S. History at Northwestern University. She researches transformations of Indigenous sovereignty and U.S. citizenship since the early nineteenth century, Dakota history, and the relationship of federal Indian policy to U.S. imperialism.

Through the Emerging Scholars Research Grant, Heather will work with English- and Dakota-language documents at the South Dakota State Archives to investigate three interrelated questions. First, how did Dakota people shape Wašíču efforts to translate and systematize their language in the late nineteenth century? Second, how did settler citizens and government officials invest in the dispossession of Indigenous people in the former Dakota Territory, and what strategies did Dakota people develop for recovering and sustaining their political and economic strength? Third, how did Dakota people navigate settler frameworks of gender and political authority? Through the State Archives  collections, Heather hopes to document Dakota people’s multigenerational involvement in translation projects that shaped social, religious, and political lives in South Dakota. 

We look forward to reading these talented scholars’ work and are excited to welcome them to Pierre. SDHS Press is proud to financially support the next generation of historians of South Dakota.