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Historical, cultural impact of family camping topic of Sept. 27 lecture

Posted September 20, 2007

What is the historical and cultural impact of family camping in the West? Peter Boag, Ph.D., will address this topic in the 2007 Idaho Yesterdays Lecture at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 27, at Idaho State University.

The free, public lecture sponsored by the Idaho State University American Studies Program will be held in the Pond Student Union Building Salmon River Suite.

Boag’s lecture, “Family, Gender, and Conservation, 1945-1970: How Outdoor Recreation Undermined and Reinforced the Post-War Consensus,” will examine a trend and an era close to home. According to Boag, the family camping craze in the baby-boom era seemed to reinforce traditional gender roles and family unity, but it also inadvertently undermined these social patterns. Boag also will address the impact of camping on development of the environmental movement. By camping, a generation of boomers were primed to embrace modern environmentalism in the 1960s and beyond.

A distinguished Western historian, Boag is chair of the history department and Gates Woodruff Senior Scholar in the Women’s Studies Program at University of Colorado, Boulder. Many Pocatellans will remember him from his years in the ISU Department of History, which he left in 2002.

Boag’s publications in environmental and gender history of the American West have helped redefine the field. Most recently his work has examined how those topics are interconnected, in publications such as his recent article, “Thinking Like Mount Rushmore:  Sexuality and Gender on the Republican Landscape.” His books include “Same-Sex Affairs: Constructing and Controlling Homosexuality in the Pacific Northwest” and “Environment and Experience: Settlement Culture in Nineteenth-Century Oregon.”

Through the Idaho Yesterdays Lecture Series, the ISU American Studies Program seeks to bring distinguished Americanists to campus. In addition to delivering a public lecture, Idaho Yesterdays lecturers meet with selected American history and culture classes, and Boag will also meet with the English and philosophy department’s Americanist Interest Group to discuss “Thinking Like Mount Rushmore.”

Idaho Yesterdays Lectures appear as lead articles in “Idaho Yesterdays,” a peer-reviewed, illustrated history and culture journal edited at ISU, produced at Boise State University, and published by the Idaho State Historical Society. Last year’s lecture by folklorist Elliott Oring will appear in the Fall/Winter 2007 issue, available later this semester, which will be a special issue devoted to Idaho folklore. Questions about the Idaho Yesterdays Lecture may be directed to Jennifer Eastman Attebery, Ph.D., director of the American Studies Program, (208) 282-2531.