Rebecca S. Wingo

current research

rebecca s. wingo

Current Research


Homesteading the Plains: Towards a New History
(University of Nebraska Press, 2017)

This co-authored manuscript (with Richard Edwards and Jacob K. Friefeld) offers a bold new look at the history of homesteading, overturning what for decades has been the orthodox scholarly view. We begin by noting the striking disparity between the public's perception of homesteading as a cherished part of our national narrative and most scholars' harshly negative and dismissive treatment. Our manuscript reexamines old data and draws from newly available digitized records to reassess the current interpretation's four principal tenets: homesteading was a minor factor in farm formation in the West; most homesteaders failed to prove up their claims; the homesteading process was rife with corruption and fraud; and homesteading caused Indian dispossession. For more information, please visit our website where we summarize our results and make available our data. See also, praise for Homesteading the Plains

Housing the Crows: Adult Indian Education and Cultural Conflict [in progress]

This manuscript uses housing as a microcosm of settler colonialism on the Crow Reservation in Montana. It examines house-building policy on the Crow Reservation and the ways in which housing also impacted the land, the home, and the health of the residents. It explores the enforcers of these changes, including the Indian agents who translated national policy into local application, farmers and field matrons who turned Indian agent orders into daily surveillance of Crow lives, and the white religious leaders who often functioned in tandem with agency officials to enforce “civilization” policies. This study relies on different photographic collections in each chapter to reconstitute this history and reads “along the archival grain,” as Ann Laura Stoler puts it, to highlight the moments in which the Crows both passively and actively resisted their colonizers.

Digital Community Engagement: Partnering Communities with the Academy [in progress]

This (tentatively titled) co-edited volume (with Jason A. Heppler and Paul Schadewald) attempts to set forward the best practices of community engagement through case studies of explemplary digital projects. Often these research or pedagogically-based projects carry with them advice for future researchers, teachers, students, and community partners. We see this volume as filling a void in the current digital humanities and community studies historiography and hope this volume encourages vibrant discussion.

Articles and Book Chapters

Rebecca S. Wingo and William G. Thomas, III, "Building Communities, Reconciling Histories: Can We Reach a More Honest History?," in Handbook of Digital Public History, edited by Serge Noiret and Mark Tebeau. De Gruyter Press [in progress]

Rebecca S. Wingo and Kalani Craig, "Looking Back at Digital History's Future: What the AHA's Digital History Workshop Participants Can Tell Us About 2018," Perspectives on History, American Historical Association [forthcoming].

Rebecca S. Wingo and Amy Sullivan, "Remembering Rondo: An Inside View of the History Harvest," Perspectives on History, American Historical Association, March 2017.

Rebecca S. Wingo, "Picturing Indian Health: Dr. Ferdinand Shoemaker's Traveling Photographs from the Crow Reservation, 1910-1918," Montana: The Magazine of Western History (Winter 2016): 23-43.

Rebecca S. Wingo, "'The Forgotten Era': Dime Novels and Ann Stephen’s Victorian West," Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies [forthcoming]