USAO News Bureau

Library Society Lecture Features Women’s Historian Nov. 4

Wednesday, November 1, 2006

CHICKASHA – How did a women’s college in Mississippi influence the birth and early development of Oklahoma’s public liberal arts college?

Women’s history buffs and higher education aficionados will gather to explore the origins of the University of Science and Arts on Nov. 4. The second annual Jayne Nash Montgomery Library Society lecture series presents guest speaker Dr. Bridget Pieschel at 3 p.m. in the Nash Library, room 301.

Pieschel is a professor of English and resident scholar and director of the Southern Women’s Institute at the Mississippi University for Women (MUW). Her presentation focuses on the relationship between MUW and the Oklahoma College for Women (OCW) during the college’s formative years.

Early founders of OCW were greatly influenced by the Mississippi women’s institute, formerly the Mississippi Industrial Institute and College. During that time, the Oklahoma university was named the Oklahoma Industrial Institute and College for Girls.

The Nov. 4 lecture is free and open to the public.

At MUW, Pieschel directs an organization dedicated to studying and researching the traditional and nontraditional roles of women in history and culture. In this capacity, Pieschel also serves as director of the annual Eudora Welty Writers’ Symposium.

A product herself of MUW, Pieschel received both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English from MUW. She earned a doctorate from the University of Alabama. Her specific areas of study are 19th century American and British literature and women’s studies. Her research interests include history of women’s education, 19th century women’s culture and Southern literature.

Pieschel wrote Loyal Daughters: A Centennial history of Mississippi University for Women with her husband, Stephen. The work was published by the University Press of Mississippi in 1984.