Liberty and the Great Plains: Willa Cather and Laura Ingalls Wilder


The colloquium revolved around two novels written in the first third of the twentieth century: Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House on the Prairie (1935) and Willa Cather's O Pioneers! (1913). Conferees considered the impact of settlement on native inhabitants; interactions among individuals, family, and community; the idea of manifest destiny; the role of first-generation immigrants in expanding the country; and the relationship between the land and individuals.


Conference Readings

Willa Cather: Stories, Poems, and Other Writings. Edited by Sharon O’Brien. New York: Library of America: Viking Press, 1992.

The Selected Letters of Willa Cather. Edited by Andrew Jewell and Janis Stout. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2013.

The Selected Letters of Laura Ingalls Wilder. Edited by William Anderson. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 2016.

Cather, Willa. O Pioneers!. New York: Barnes & Noble Classics, 2003.

Wilder, Laura Ingalls. Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography. Edited by and annotated by Pamela Smith Hill. Pierre: South Dakota Historical Society Press, 2014.

Wilder, Laura Ingalls. Little House on the Prairie. New York: Harper Trophy, HarperCollins Publishers, 1935, 1963, 1971.

Wilder, Laura Ingalls and Rose Wilder Lane. A Little House Sampler. Edited by William Anderson. New York: University of Nebraska Press; reprinted by HarperCollins Publishers, 1988, 1995.