Summer Research Grants Available at Michigan State Special Collections

The deadline for summer research travel grants at Michigan State University Libraries, Special Collections & University Archives, has been extended to 7 February 2020. As the EHC has reported before, MSU has an extensive collection on the history of veterinary medicine, including many rare books related to equine studies. The collection includes over 1,400 manuscripts and books, dating as far back as the fifteenth century, making it one of the largest collections of its kind in the United States. See also our previous post announcing their 2019 fellowships.

The University Libraries will be awarding five grants of $3,000 each, and applications from equine history scholars are welcome! For more information, visit https://lib.msu.edu/spc/research/travel-grants/.

Horses & Heritage of Saxony (Germany) in July 2020

An opportunity for presenting equine research and exploring equestrian cultural heritage sites in Europe on private tour is on offer from Alexandra Lotz, founder of Horses & Heritage. We caught up with Alexandra to find out what it took to put this program together, and what you might expect from 6 of days with like-minded equine scholars, heading behind the scenes at some of the best-preserved equestrian cultural heritage sites in Germany!

Alexandra Lotz
M.A. World Heritage Studies
M.Sc. Building & Conservation
Dipl.Ing. Interior Architect

1. How did this event come about?

During the past years, I participated in several conferences and study programmes related to horses and history in England and the US. I absolutely loved meeting fellow researchers from other parts of the world and feel that we all hugely benefit from getting to know each other. The Horses & Heritage Study Programme is an occasion to meet, present your own pieces of research, and discuss common issues of our field during the symposium — all while visiting places significant to horses in history.

There are a lot of fascinating equine historical heritage sites in Europe, but many of them are only little known or difficult to access for an international audience. Many of them are operating only in their mother tongue, which makes it difficult for people who are not fluent in German to get information. That’s why I have designed the Horses & Heritage Study Programme for English speaking participants.

2. What is current state of preserving equine historical heritage sites in Europe?

This is very different. Some are increasingly prominent, some are neglected or transformed to different uses. Actually, the horsy history of places is often overlooked, mostly due to a lack of awareness or economic pressure.

The Horses & Heritage Study Programme 2020 will focus on Saxony, located in the very east of Germany. During the past 30 years after German Reunification the state capital Dresden and the surrounding region have undergone an incredible development. The palaces we will visit have regained their former glory and house first class collections, including precious carriages, saddles, harnesses or paintings illustrating horses in history.

We will visit both Saxon State Studs, which belong to the most significant institutions of their kind. They are living heritage sites with some hundred years of tradition. Besides being managed as active horse breeding and training institutions they are increasingly perceived as heritage sites and enjoy high preservation standards.

3. Who are you hoping will participate?

I hope for participants who are enthusiastic about horses in history, curious to explore some first class sites in central Europe and happy to share their own experiences.

The symposium on the first day is an opportunity for getting to know each other’s focus. It is not mandatory to give a presentation but I thought that for some people it might be helpful when trying to raise travel funding.

(Note to readers: This first program will be capped at 25 participants.)

4. Which activities are exclusive to the event?

All activities mentioned in the programme are exclusively arranged for this event. It includes a symposium in the Dresden Museum of Transport, which is located in the former Royal Mews, a magnificent 16th century Renaissance building, and visits to the State Art Collections of Dresden Palace, and the State Studs at Graditz and Moritzburg.

The program fees include all entries and guided tours around Dresden, a boat trip on the river Elbe, a carriage ride at Moritzburg, special dinners at special Moritzburg and Pillnitz, and a wine-tasting at the oldest and most prestigious Saxon Winery, “Schloss Wackerbarth”. (Accommodation is not included.)

The full program can be found here.

5. What do you hope this event might generate?

Depending on the response, I would like to offer a Study Programme in different regions and countries every year. There is so much to see, to learn and to discuss! If enough people are interested in this sort of exchange, we can build a strong network strengthening our field of research and passion.


Horses & Heritage of Saxony (Germany)

Horses and Heritage_Logo

Dates: July 6th to 11th, 2020

Location: Dresden, Germany and surrounding areas

Deadline to make inquiries: February 15, 2020.

Application: Submit an application form to indicate your interest by February 15th: https://www.horses-and-heritage.net/english/study-programme/

Fees: 770 Euros, with initial deposit to reserve spot by February 29th, 2020.

The Big Day – ‘Soldiers and their Horses’ is finally here! — Soldiers and their Horses

Check out the latest work from EHC scholar Dr. Jane Flynn!

After weeks of proof checking. Chasing copyright and permissions. Having learned the mysterious art of indexing. Not to mention, writing it in the first place! Soldiers and their Horses is here. Tomorrow is the BIG day. Please spread the word! Flynn, J. (2020). Soldiers and Their Horses. New York: Routledge, https://doi.org/10.4324/9781003019350 https://www.taylorfrancis.com/books/9781003019350

The Big Day – ‘Soldiers and their Horses’ is finally here! — Soldiers and their Horses

EHC Elections!

We have our slate of candidates for officers of the Equine History Collective for the term 2020-2022. The EHC Bylaws state that, “The Officers…shall be elected by the Board at the annual meeting of the Corporation for a term of two years, and each shall serve at the discretion of the Board until his or her successor shall be elected, or his or her earlier resignation or removal. Officers may be elected for two consecutive terms of the same office.” Thank you to these individuals for agreeing to stand for election!

Voting will begin February 1 and close February 15. The official ballot will be sent via email on February 1 to members, researchers, and followers of the EHC. (If you would like to make sure you are included in the email to vote, please fill out the EHC Contact Form before February 1.)

Candidates For President

Nominees: Erica Munkwitz, Chelsea Shields-Más, Carolyn Willekes

Chelsea Shields-Más, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of History & Philosophy, SUNY Old Westbury, NY

As president of the Equine History Collective, I would be honored to represent and lead the organization. In this capacity, I would work to continue EHC’s growth in building its membership base, seeking funding opportunities and developing existing and new ideas for engaging its membership as well as the wider academic and equine communities. I believe that I would be suited for this role as I am not only a lifelong horse lover (who seeks any opportunity to bring horses into my academic life), but I am also hosting the 2020 EHC conference at my institution, and as such will be closely involved with the organization over the course of the next year. Thank you for your time and consideration!

Image result for chelsea shields mas

Candidates For Treasurer

Nominees: Amber Roberts Graham, Christian Kreuger, Carolyn Willekes

Carolyn Willekes, Ph.D. Professor of History, Mount Royal University, Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

I believe strongly in the purpose behind the EHC and the need we have for an organization that strives to bring together researchers, scholars, and general equid enthusiasts from around the world. It is amazing to see the growing interest in animal studies across various disciplines (including my own and I feel that the EHC has a significant role to play in promoting the history of culture of equids.  I think one of the key features of the EHC is its cross-disciplinary and inclusive nature, something not often found in academic/research groups.  As an officer in the organization I would have two main priorities:

  1. Ensuring the financial stability and growth of the EHC
  2. Broadening the reach and scope of the EHC to draw in new members, and hopefully research, funding, outreach, and academic opportunities as well.

Christian Krueger, M.A. (Ms.) Doctoral Student, President of the History Graduate Student Organization, Department of History, Marquette University, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

I have served on executive boards since a very early age, including several terms as the president, secretary, treasurer, etc. of my local 4-H club and the larger county 4-H Horse & Pony Project. As adult, I have taken on greater responsibilities that further combine my love of horses with my passion for history and education— for the past four years, I have overseen and managed the barns and horse show at the Winnebago County Fair as its Horse Superintendent. During the current academic year, I became the president of Marquette University’s History Graduate Student Organization. In both of these positions, I strive to foster environments that promote growth and development not only in the broader community, but also in the invested individuals.

Were I elected the treasurer of the Equine History Collective, I would continue to work for the betterment of the group and its members as I managed the organization’s funds. I would furthermore seek out innovative, mission-oriented ways to generate income in order to maximize the EHC’s accessibility and impact. As a horsewoman and an academic, I have access to wide networks of people and would use those to the Collective’s advantage. In short, my executive experience in combination with practical horse knowledge and academic awareness makes me an ideal candidate for this position. Thank you for your consideration.

Candidates For Secretary

Nominees: Janice Gunther Martin

Janice Gunther Martin, MA History, MS Chemistry, Doctoral Candidate University of Notre Dame, Secretary of the EHC

I am a co-founder of the Equine History Collective, and am excited about all we have accomplished in a short amount of time: two successful conferences, relationships with important institutions, and an active online community. To help ensure the long-term success of the EHC in a second term as secretary, I would apply insights from my experiences both with the EHC and in other administrative posts, which include managing an undergraduate research program at the Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Study, and serving as an assistant in the Executive Office of the History of Science Society. These latter roles exposed me to the organization and planning required behind the scenes to ensure successful programming and to build institutions. My specific goals include: establish regular communication with members and those interested in the EHC; update our email management system to help facilitate this communication; and continue to establish best-practices for documenting and archiving our records to ensure smooth operations. Thank you for your time and consideration! 

CFP: Equine Cultures in Transition 2020, Deadline January 31

There is still time to submit an abstract to the Equine Cultures in Transition Conference – Past, Present and Future Challenges (deadline: January 31). This conference will be held June 16–18 at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences in Uppsala and the Swedish Equestrian Centre of Excellence at Strömsholm, Sweden. From the conference website:

“Questions regarding past, present and future challenges in relation to horse – human activities and interaction are in focus for the conference, with the following sub-themes:

  • Psychological, pedagogical and didactic perspectives on the relation between human and horse. The theme also includes challenges for equestrian coaching.
  • Historical, philosophical and ethical perspectives on human-horse relationships
  • Consequences for the human-horse relationships connected to the lifestyle of modern humans – for example leisure, sport, tourism, technology and media.
  • Issues related to equine assisted therapy, in relation to the human body, mind and social work
  • We will also organize open sessions for those of you who would like to address an issue outside of the sub-themes.”

For more information about the conference sessions and themes, and to learn how to submit an abstract, visit https://www.slu.se/globalassets/ew/org/inst/hippo/pdf/equine-transition/call-for-paper-equine-cultures-in-transition-2020.pdf.

Registration for the conference opens February 17 and closes May 28.

2019 Equine History Conference Recap

Above: The group after the tour of the W.K. Kellogg Arabian Horse Center

The second Equine History Conference (#EqHist2019) brought together a fantastic group of scholars Nov. 13–15, 2019 at Cal Poly Pomona (see final program). Hosted by the W.K. Kellogg Arabian Horse Library, the event opened with a welcome from Emma Gibson, Interim Dean of the University Library at CPP. The theme of the conference, “Embodied Equines,” invited papers that explored how people have understood, shaped, sustained, and used equine bodies.

On the first day, Sandra Swart gave the keynote address on “The Equine Experiment“—the role of both horses and race in producing the colonial hierarchies of South Africa, despite the immense difficulty of transporting and raising horses there—the role of blood taking on an ominous configuration with respect to racehorses and apartheid.

Conference attendees had the opportunity to tour the W.K. Kellogg Arabian Horse Library to view the “Miniature Menageries” exhibit of Hagen-Renaker figurines, examine new additions to the Library’s collections, and browse the Library’s many books and journals. 

The first conference session included discussions of Arabian horsebreeding: Margaret Derry’s analysis of competing registries, John Schiewe’s discussion of best practices, and Tobi Lopez Tayor’s explanation of how Cold War politics influenced the importation of Russian and Polish Arabians to the US. The next session examined the human-horse bond and different styles of horsemanship. 

Members of a Spanish-led team of scientists and archaeologists presented work on the myth and reality of Pizarro’s horse, excavations an Iron Age site with sacrificed horses in Iberia, and studies of the genetic inheritance of curly-coated horses around the world and of the Spanish colonial horse in American horse populations.

Papers on the long-distance trade and transport of horses – from New England to the sugar colonies, and in nineteenth-century U.S. military supply chains – were followed by Kat Boniface’s impassioned plea for productive interdisciplinary research and communication between equine scientists and historians. Another session addressed horses and social prestige, war, and morality in nineteenth-century America: the relationship between horses and status based on archaeological research at Montpelier, the procurement of horses in Kentucky during the Civil War, and how the urban middle-class applied the rhetoric of morality and efficiency to horse-drawn streetcar drivers and their horses.

In addition, speakers addressed the consequences of equine embodiment in the context of war: the types and concentration of horses in England after the Norman Conquest, the impact of equine disease in the Civil War, the mule-soldier relationship in World War I, and the use of condemned U.S. army horses as military dog food. Other papers highlighted the significance of horses in Arabic language poetry and ethics, and the commemoration of the horse body both in the ancient Greek and Roman world and in contemporary trophies of horse hooves re-purposed to serve a role in the home.

The conference closed with a paper on a little-known project of the W. K. Kellogg Arabian Horse Center at CPP to cross Shetland ponies with Arabians for the “Araland” cross, a history both unique and local. Attendees had breakfast that morning with Mary Jane Parkinson, longtime co-editor of Arabian Horse World and author of The Romance of the Kellogg Ranch, which was available for purchase. The day concluded with a tour of the Arabian Horse Center, which emphasized the student learning environment and beautiful batch of yearlings. 

Those with an extra day viewed selected texts from the collection of racing enthusiast Edward Lasker at the Huntington Library, which included a rare first edition of Markham’s Cavelrice, bound in horse hide and horse hair.

The conference provided wonderful opportunities for cross-disciplinary conversation and exchange across fields such as archaeology, history, genetics, and linguistics. The book table gathered together recent titles in equine topics, and generous sponsors provided a fantastic spread of raffle prizes. Our non-conference attendees found an active social media presence with Facebook Livefeed video clips and live-tweeting of talks when approved by the speaker (see #EqHist2019). 

If you have stories to share about your experience of #EqHist2019 to share with us for a NiCHE (@NiCHE_Canada) thread in Twitter or a blog post, let us know! 

The EHC would like to thank our 2019 Conference sponsors:

The EHC’s purpose is to foster equine history research and its dissemination, and promote collaboration between equine historians in all disciplines. This includes, but is not limited to, scholars in disciplines other than history, like agriculture, archaeology, art history, and literature, and researchers in non-academic settings, such as public historians and independent scholars.

Join us online at Facebook, Twitter (@Equine_History), Instagram (@equinehistorycollective), and equinehistory.org.

Support an equine historian. Buy a tshirt: https://equinehistory.wordpress.com/2018/09/08/shirts-on-demand/

#EqHist2020 will be hosted at SUNY Old Westbury, NY.  Stay tuned for the announcement of dates, and a CFP in the early spring!