From American Indian Princess to Schoolgirl

Elizabeth Thompson

Elizabeth Thompson, a 2008 doctoral graduate from the University of Tulsa Department of English, has brought to light the little known past of American Indian girls and their experiences in the early American school system.

In 2007, Thompson received an American Dissertation Fellowship from the American Association of University Women (AAUW) in the amount of $20,000 to continue her research. She was one of 63 AAUW fellows nationwide to win the award that year and the only one from a university in Oklahoma.

The nationally competitive year-long fellowship supported Thompson as she completed her dissertation, “From Princess to Schoolgirl: American Indian Girls and Anglo Depictions of their Conversions.” This project, which made extensive use of archival materials in TU's McFarlin Library’s Special Collections, studied portrayals of Native American girls and young women in the British American colonies and United States through the early twentieth century.

“The Faculty of English are very proud of Elizabeth,” said her dissertation director, Laura Stevens, associate professor of English. “We consider this prestigious award to be a sign of the excellent contributions she promises to make to the field, as well as of the growing prominence of our graduate program.”