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Austin College?s Randi Tanglen to Speak at UT-Arlington Event
Randi Tanglen, Austin College assistant professor of English, will be an invited speaker at the University of Texas at Arlington symposium "Frontier Odyssey: The Lives and Legacy of Cynthia and Quanah Parker" in Central Library on the UTA campus April 17-18. The symposium, presented by the UTA Center for Greater Southwest Studies, will feature Pulitzer-Prize winning author Glenn Frankel and his recent bestseller The Searchers: The Making of an American Legend. All sessions of the event are free and open to the public.
Tanglen will join the author and Dustin Tahmahkera of Southwestern University for a session Friday, April 18, at 1 p.m. in an examination of the ways in which the lives of Cynthia Ann Parker and Quanah Parker and Comanche-Anglo relations have been portrayed in popular culture, focusing on the captivity narrative in American literature and film. Tanglen's talked is entitled "The Literary and Cultural Significance of the Nineteenth-Century Indian Captivity Narrative." She will discuss the 1838 captivity narrative of Mrs. Rachel Plummer, who also was taken captive at Fort Parker with her cousin Cynthia Ann Parker.
According to The Handbook of Texas Online, Cynthia Ann Parker was one of five captives taken from Fort Parker, Texas, in 1836 after a raid by Caddo, Comanche, and Kiowa Indians. Within six years all the captives were returned to their families, except Cynthia, who remained with the Indians for nearly 25 years and became thoroughly Comanche, marrying a young chief and having three children. Texas history indicates that Cynthia was discovered among the Indians by Texas Rangers after a raid on the Indians' hunting camp in 1860. She was taken back to her family, though she continually tried to escape to her Indian family.
Cynthia refused to speak of her Comanche life and never re-adjusted to her white family. After receiving word of the deaths of two of her children, she often refused to speak or eat, and died in 1870 of influenza. Serving as a link between whites and the Comanche, her son Quanah Parker became the most influential Comanche leader of the reservation era.
Tanglen has been a member of the Austin College English faculty since 2008. She earned her bachelor's degree in English education at Rocky Mountain College, a master's degree in English at University of Montana, and a Ph.D. in English with a concentration in American literature and culture at University of Arizona. Her research specializations include 19th-century American literature and cultures, 19th-century American women writers, and feminist and gender theories.
Austin College, a private national liberal arts college located north of Dallas in Sherman, Texas, has earned a reputation in academic excellence, international study, pre-professional preparation, leadership development, and hands-on, adventurous learning opportunities. One of 40 schools profiled in Loren Pope's influential book Colleges That Change Lives, Austin College boasts a welcoming community that embraces diversity and individuality, with more than 36 percent of students representing ethnic minorities. A residential student body of 1,250 students and a faculty of more than 100 allow a 12:1 student-faculty ratio and personalized attention. The College is related by covenant to the Presbyterian Church (USA) and cultivates an inclusive atmosphere that supports students' faith journeys regardless of religious tradition. Founded in 1849, the College is the oldest institution of higher education in Texas operating under original name and charter.
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