Heather Fryer joined the Creighton faculty in 2004 after completing a two-year postdoctoral fellowship at Boston College. As a specialist in 20th century US social and cultural history, Dr. Fryer offers courses on migration, labor, gender, social identity and community, collective memory, and conceptions of what it means to be "American" in the post-Reconstruction era. Her interest in "encounter" in the post-frontier West forms the unifying theme of her varied scholarly work.
Her recent publications include Perimeters of Democracy: Inverse Utopias and the Wartime Social Landscape in the American West (University of Nebraska Press, 2010) which reveals the prevalence of federal "reservations" in the West as part of a patterned response to racial and political anxieties in wartime. The book has been noted as "the first searching assessment of how the federal government molded the West's social landscape during World War II," a "must-read for scholars and students of any single community addressed or of the twentieth-century West more generally," and "an indispensible text for historians of the American West and for scholars interested in the history of immigration and civil rights in wartime America." An article from her new book project--an examination of the intersections of race, class, gender, and religion in the professional and private writings of anthropologist Rosalie Hankey Wax--appears in the Spring 2010 volume of Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society.
As an extension of her historical research, Dr. Fryer served as principal curator and editor of the catalogue for the 2002 exhibition "Cowboys, Indians, and the Big Picture" at the McMullen Museum of Art. The exhibition presented thirty-eight images of the American West from multiple eras and viewpoints to form an inclusive picture of the region's visual traditions. The New York Times cited the exhibition as one example of "the new role that university museums have assumed in recent years" as innovators of ambitious, multi-disciplinary shows.
Dr. Fryer is a member of the national board of directors of the Peace History Society and sits on the college advisory boards of the Women and Gender Studies Program, the Native American Studies Program, and the Honors Program (after serving as assistant director from 2007-2011). She is also co-director of the American Studies Program.
Click here for Dr. Fryer's Curriculum Vitae.