The Sum of Our Past: Revisiting Pioneer Women 


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The history of pioneer Utah women is not typically considered a progressive topic, but Judy Shell Busk—author, retired teacher and descendent of pioneers—is helping to advance our notions.

In her book The Sum of Our Past: Revisiting Pioneer Women, Busk probes the one-dimensional stereotype—hardy, self-sacrificing pioneer women fiercely committed to duties of family and church—to uncover their more telling inner lives. Part historical account, personal memoir and treatise on women’s shared experiences across time, Busk’s book shows that pioneer women’s lives were nuanced in ways not suggested by the romanticized pioneer myth.

In her upcoming lecture, Busk will discuss The Sum of Our Past, focusing on a chapter of the audience’s choosing. Come with the quintessential question “Why study history?” in mind and leave with the sense that it is indeed necessary because the stories of those who have passed before us are our own.

The Sum of Our Past: Revisiting Pioneer Women @ Orem Senior Friendship Center, 93 N. 400 East, 801- 222-9961, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2:30 p.m.

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