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English professor receives North American Indian Prose award

New Mexico State University assistant English professor Amanda J. Cobb has been selected as a recipient of the 1998 North American Indian Prose Award for her book manuscript, "Listening to Our Grandmother's Stories: An Historical Analysis of the Literacy Curricula at Bloomfield Academy/Carter Seminary for Chickasaw Females, Indian Territory /Oklahoma, 1852-1949."


The Bloomfield Academy was established in 1852 by missionaries and the Chickasaw tribe. Doing so, Cobb said, prevented the female tribal members from having to attend one of the many federally-run boarding schools in operation during the period of strict assimilation in United States history.

Cobb's late grandmother, Ida Mae Pratt Cobb, attended the academy in the late 1920s. The book is "not about my grandmother, it is a scholarly, historical project about the academy and the type of education it offered Chickasaw girls; however, the book is a memorial to her." Cobb also focuses on the identity and language issues that mixed-blood students faced.

The book, "Listening to Our Grandmother's Stories," is scheduled for release in the summer of 2000.

Cobb also was one of 16 people nationwide to participate in the 1998 Americans for Indian Opportunity Ambassadorship Program. As an ambassador, Cobb represented NMSU and the Chickasaw tribe at leadership gatherings in Albuquerque, Washington, D.C., Caracas, Venezuela, and Flathead, Mont.