Hannah Soukup



Download Audio Interview (135.8 MB)

Download Transcript of Tobie Weist Interview, September 18, 2020 (343 KB)


Tobie Weist describes how she was hired as an anthropology professor at the University of Montana before she finished her dissertation. She recalls that the makeup of the anthropology department in the 1970s and ‘80s was mostly men. She discusses her interactions with some her colleagues including Carling Malouf, Frank Bessac, Charline “Sandy” Smith, as well as their areas of study. Weist talks about teaching overseas in South Korea, Botswana, and Tanzania. She notes that the pressure to research, write, and teach often became overwhelming so it helped to travel where she could interact firsthand in the countries and cultures she taught. Weist also details the pressure to juggle multiple roles of wife, mother, and professor. She recalls feeling guilty for not spending enough time with her family and acknowledges that there was no one in the department she could talk to about it. Weist then recounts her work on an ethnohistory of Plains Indian women and her focus on the role of women in communities—including in Africa and farming communities in Montana. She recalls the political upheaval of the 1970s on campus with the Vietnam War, and she describes the establishment of the Black Studies and Native American Studies programs at UM.


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Document Type

Oral History


Subjects: Women anthropologists; Women anthropologists – Biography; Women anthropologists – Interviews; Anthropology; Anthropology--Montana; Native American women; Indigenous women; Indian women – Great Plains; Cheyenne women; Women farmers – Montana; Vietnam War, 1955-1975; Kinship systems; Cheyenne Indians -- Social life and customs; Indians of North America – Montana; Tsis tsis'tas; Cheyenne Nation; Indians of North America -- Rites and ceremonies; Korean women; Sex role – Korea; Tanzanian women; Botswanan women; Anthropology – South Korea; Anthropology – Botswana; Anthropology – Tanzania; Sex discrimination; Gender identity; Sex role; Man-woman relationships

Personal Names: Katherine M. Weist, 1937- ; Thomas Weist; Carling Malouf; Frank Bessac; Charline Smith; Diane Sands; Maxine Van de Wetering

Corporate Names: University of Montana—Missoula; Smithsonian Institution; University of California-Berkeley; Seoul National University; University of Botswana

Geographical Names: Missoula (Mont.); Seoul (Korea); Botswana; Tanzania

Occupations: Anthropologists--Montana

Original Date


Time Period

Twentieth century

Geographic Coverage




Original Collection

Katherine "Tobie" Weist Oral History Project, OH 471

Holding Institution

University of Montana. Mansfield Library. Archives and Special Collections

Digital Publisher

University of Montana--Missoula. Mansfield Library

Rights Statement

In Copyright

Rights Holder

Copyright to this collection is held by the interview participants and by the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library, University of Montana-Missoula. Permission may be required for use. For more information, please contact Archives and Special Collections at the University of Montana, Mansfield Library.

Oral History Number

OH 471-002

Media Type

Sound; Text

Original Format

1 MP3 file (01:38:52): digital + 1 transcript (22 pp.: 28 cm.)

Digital Format

audio/mp3; application/pdf

Run Time

01:38:52 minutes

Local Filename

OH_471_002.mp3; OH_471_002.pdf