This upcoming Friday, 2/12, is an embarrassment of riches for UT AMS as both graduate student Emily Roehl and instructor (and almuna!) Dr. Jeannette Vaught are giving talks. At 11:00am in the Glickman Conference Center (CLA 1.302D), Emily Roehl will participate in a conversation about Stephanie LeMenager’s book Living Oil, alongside the author and professor of English Ann Cvetkovich. That event follows a talk, cosponsored by UT AMS, that Dr. LeMenager is giving TONIGHT (Thursday, 2/11) at 6:00pm in the Glickman Conference Center (CLA 1.302B).
At 12 PM in WAG 316, Dr. Vaught will be giving a talk, entitled “Feet not Fat: Eugenic Beef and Anxious Husbandmen, 1940-1945,” to the The University of Texas History and Philosophy of Science Colloquium. We’ve included Dr. Vaught’s description of her talk, below.
Shortly before 1940, a well-established veterinary surgeon from Colorado State University was hired as the first Head Veterinarian at the Wyoming Hereford Ranch just outside of Cheyenne, Wyoming. The surgeon, Dr. H. H. Kingman, was charged with revolutionizing this famous beef herd’s breeding program through a combination of eugenic selection and a new technology: artificial insemination. This talk will use Kingman’s daily record of his work as a window into the myriad biological and cultural difficulties of this process between 1940 and 1945. Kingman is a transitional figure—a man poised between evaluating bodies by sight, as cattlemen habitually did, and by an animal’s ability to carry fat, and later by statistics. By focusing on genetics over nutrition, Kingman’s work on the Wyoming Hereford Ranch destabilized the conventions of animal expertise. This instability is especially apparent through his conflicts with the ranch’s husbandmen, who often flummoxed—intentionally or not—his efforts to “scientize” the herd. Considering Kingman’s mixed legacy at the Wyoming Hereford Ranch helps us understand broader shifts in human-animal knowledge and American understandings of nature and the natural that accompanied a postwar transition into an industrial agricultural system.
We hope to see you on Friday!