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Laurel Thatcher Ulrich Brings Insights into Women's History to USU Lecture on March 15


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Historian Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

Who: Historian Laurel Thatcher Ulrich
When: 5 p.m., Wednesday, March 15
Where: Taggart Student Center auditorium
Cost: Free and open to all

For more information on the Tanner Talks series and upcoming speakers, visit

Pulitzer Prize-winner Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, who reminded us that “well-behaved women seldom make history,” brings her insight and wisdom about women’s history to Utah State University on March 15.

The appearance by Ulrich, author of “The Midwife’s Tale” as well as a new book that looks at women in early Mormon polygamy, is part of the Department of History’s recognition of Women’s History Month. Her lecture is also sponsored by the Tanner Talks Series in the College of Humanities and Social Science.

Ulrich will speak at 5 p.m. Wednesday, March 15, in the Taggart Student Center auditorium. A reception and book signing will follow at 6 p.m. The lecture is free and open to students and the community.

Ulrich’s lecture, titled “’What a Life of Wandering’: Insights from the Diary of Caroline Crosby,” focuses on the writings of a Mormon pioneer woman. The diaries were originally transcribed and edited by George Ellsworth, a former USU professor, alongside other editors. Some of the historical photographs used in the lecture are from the USU Merrill-Cazier Library’s Special Collections.

Ulrich gained international renown with the 1991 book, A Midwife’s Tale, which introduced us to the 18th-century healer Martha Ballard of Maine. Since that Pulitzer Prize winning book, Ulrich has earned a reputation as what The New York Times describes as “a historian’s historian.”

Ulrich, said Philip Barlow, a history professor who holds USU’s Leonard J. Arrington Chair of Mormon History and Culture, “is as influential a historian as we have in the nation now.”

Her newest release is A House Full of Females: Plural Marriage and Women’s Rights in Early Mormonism, 1835-1870, published in January by Knopf. Ulrich argues that this system was both complicated and empowering for the women in these relationships.

Among Ulrich’s other books is Well-Behaved Women Seldom Make History (2008, Vintage). She is the 300th Anniversary University Professor at Harvard University and resides in Cambridge, Mass.

Ulrich’s “dazzling” research and archival discoveries, according to a recent review in The New York Times Book Review, “allow us access to lost worlds.”
For more information on the Tanner Talks series and upcoming speakers, visit our tanner talks section.