Episode 12: Dr. Kristen Tegtmeier Oertel

Dec 17, 2019

On this final installment in our Found@TU podcast series, which has explored all manner of faculty research being done here at the University, we welcome Dr. Kristen Tegtmeier Oertel, the Mary Frances Barnard Professor of 19th Century American History. She describes her research on slavery and abolition, especially in relation to race and gender. Growing up on the Kansas/Missouri border, as it turns out, led Dr. Oertel to explore how Native Americans, African-Americans, and women shaped the politics of that region during the Civil War. We discuss the joys and challenges of archival work, as well as how her biographical research (on Harriet Tubman and Clarina Howard Nichols) shows how studying race and gender in the Civil War era can be both depressing and inspiring...because it always includes both terrible and heroic acts. (More about Dr. Oertel is posted here.)