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WVU English professor wins award for 'The Newspaper Warrior'

Sometimes, things just fall together in a way that seems like destiny.

At least that’s how it feels to Cari Carpenter, associate professor of English at West Virginia University, who co-edited “The Newspaper Warrior: Sarah Winnemucca Hopkins’s Campaign for American Indian Rights, 1864-1891.”

In March, she will be awarded the Susan Koppleman Award for the Best Anthology, Multi-Authored, or Edited Book in Feminist Studies in Popular and American Culture by the Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association.

After meeting at a conference and discovering their complementary research on Winnemucca, Carpenter and fellow editor Carolyn Sorisio, professor of English at West Chester University, worked together to assemble the anthology from hundreds of newspaper articles, letters to the editor, advertisements, book reviews and editorial comments.

“I really hope that it is a way for scholars and students to see [Winnemucca] in a more complicated way, perhaps, than they have before,” Carpenter said.

Once an influential voice of Northern Paiute culture at a time when American Indian authors were marginalized, Carpenter said Winnemucca’s work was greatly forgotten and lost. This book, she added, serves to preserve her work and evidence of her political activism while revealing the truth about her work and life. Because she was such a prominent figure and political activist, rumors about her circulated, giving her a false reputation for wrongdoings.

“I’m really hoping this helps contextualize certain stereotypes about her, emphasizing her resilience in the face of these representations,” said Carpenter.