Lecture, Online Video     Series: History Pub

Bohemians West: Free Love, Family, and Radicals in Twentieth Century America

Portland's Charles Erskine Scott Wood and his lover Sara Bard Field stood in the thick of a grand cast of radicals and reformers fighting for a new America in the 1910s. They sought change not only in labor picket lines and at woman suffrage rallies but also in homes and bedrooms.

Event Type: Lecture, Online VideoAudience(s): Teachers, Researchers

This presentation explores the passionate and tumultuous relationship between Erskine and Sara that spanned decades. Self-described pioneers in free love, the pair exchanged hundreds of letters that charted a new kind of romantic relationship while simultaneously uncovering contradictions with their deeply engaged political lives and ideals. Their story provides a profoundly personal look at a dynamic, and amazingly relevant, period in American history.

Erskine and Sara, 1918, Huntington Library, Museums and Botanical Gardens, San Marino, California

Sherry L. Smith is a University Distinguished Professor of History (Emerita) at Southern Methodist University. A historian of the American West and Native America, Smith's award-winning books include Hippies, Indians and the Fight for Red Power and Reimagining Indians: Native Americans through Anglo Eyes, 1880-1940, both published by Oxford University Press. Her newest book, Bohemians West: Free Love, Family, and Radicals in Twentieth Century America, will be released in August 2020. She lives in Moose, Wyoming, and Pasadena, California.

Copies of Bohemians West are available for purchase through the OHS Museum Store, where member discounts apply, and your purchase supports the work of the Oregon Historical Society. Copies can also be ordered by calling 503.306.5230 or by emailing museumstore@ohs.org. Discover the over 1,000 titles available for sale through the OHS Museum Store at ohsmuseumstore.libib.com.

Sherry L. Smith. Photo by Zach Andres

About History Pub

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