University of Iowa Honors Theses

Thesis Title

Herstory Untold

Major Department

Journalism and Mass Communication

College

College of Liberal Arts & Sciences

Degree

BA (Bachelor of Arts)

Session and Year of Graduation

Spring 2018

Honors Major Advisor

Travis Vogan

Thesis Mentor

Brian Ekdale

Abstract

Herstory Untold is an online blog and historical archive. On the blog, one can find long-form narrative accounts of women throughout American history, favoring those whose stories are extraordinary or widely unknown.

History has always been dominated—and often told—by those in power. Rarely are there accurate accounts of people of color or of women, and I felt it necessary to try to fix that imbalance. Not only is this project an attempt to highlight minority groups throughout history, but it also puts an emphasis on particularly captivating individuals with stories to match. Whether the women presented on this blog had accomplished something completely out-of-the-ordinary, experienced unbelievable events, or just fell victim to the hands of time and history’s white male bias, they were deemed worthy of attention.

Though the blog primarily offers written narratives, I occasionally took advantage of the digital medium to include video and audio components.

Posts on Herstory Untold are separated into several categories, ranging from ambiance-inspired classifications to designation of the women to other minority groups. These categories exist to allow the audience to take their personal preferences into account, while also giving them an idea of what sort of experience the documented women may have had.

Over time, the project evolved to better fit my academic and professional needs. At first, the histories I had written were fun, heavily sarcastic pieces of writing that were blatantly told from my own point of view. While that style of writing is enjoyable and appropriate for an online blog, I decided to alter my writing style in preparation for my future. As an English and journalism major, I enjoy all genres of writing, but I have the most fondness of and skill in creative nonfiction. I wanted this project to become an exercise in that unique narrative style. Writing more story-like accounts of these women not only benefited me, but I believe it benefited the potential audience. The new writing style brought with it a new point-of-view, removing me from the story and placing the reader within the world of the woman being written about, as if she were a character. Overall, the evolution of the project helped me improve my craft and made reading the historical account a more immersive and engaging experience.

Keywords

digital media, history, women's history, america, narrative history, creative nonfiction

Copyright

Copyright © 2018 Laura Alexander

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COinS
 

URL

https://ir.uiowa.edu/honors_theses/126