Jeffrey Engel, Center for Presidential History, Is Sounding Presidential Important?

Presidential Historian Jeffrey Engel looks at the outcomes of Tuesday’s (April 26) primaries and notes the differences in the tones of victory speeches by Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump.

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International Symposium on Violence in the U.S.-Mexican Borderlands a Success

April 27, 2016

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Panel: Alfredo Corchado, DMN; Alan Knight, Oxford; Joaquin Rivaya-Martinez, Texas State University; Gerardo Gurza, Instituto Mora; Brandon Morgan, New Mexico Community College

Dallas, TX – SMU’s Clements Center for Southwest Studies, in partnership with the Instituto Mora of Mexico City, hosted a public forum on the history of violence along the U.S.-Mexico border on Saturday, April 16, at the Latino Cultural Center in Dallas.

Bringing together scholars and journalists from Mexico, the United States and Great Britain, the international forum focused on the long evolution of violence along the U.S.-Mexico border, from the role of the state in borderland violence, drugs and smuggling, to refugees, migrants and mob violence. Over 200 people attended the afternoon conference featuring panel discussions centered on the evolution of violence along the border from the 1800s to the modern drug wars.

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Sherry Smith welcomes and introduces symposium

“Because of the modern drug wars, the border today has an enduring reputation as a site of brutal violence,” noted Andrew J. Torget, a professor of history at the University of North Texas and one of the organizers of the event. “But what people tend to forget is that border violence has changed dramatically during the past two centuries, and there is nothing inevitable about today’s situation. This public event will present historical background for the modern situation, as we discuss how border violence has evolved over time.”

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Group photo of presenters on the steps of Dallas Hall

Sponsored by the William P. Clements Center for Southwest Studies at SMU in partnership with Instituto Mora of Mexico City, and with support from SMU’s Embrey Human Rights Program and the Latino Cultural Center, a division of the City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs.

LEARN MORE: The official program brochure with presenter names and affiliations. HERE

Watch the public forum on the history of violence along the U.S.-Mexico border.

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Part 2: 
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Part 3:
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The Center for Presidential History has become a hub for current, in depth and innovative research.

SMU NEWS

Originally Posted: April 19, 2016

DALLAS (SMU) – When SMU’s Center for Presidential History (CPH) arrived on campus in 2012, Founding Director Jeffrey Engel had great expectations for bringing to life – and to Dallas – the detailed history of America’s chief executives.

In less than four years, CPH has become a hub for current, in depth and innovative research in presidential history. Through postdoctoral fellowships, on-campus writing fellowships, community engagement, a unique Collective Memory Project and publishing volumes based on its own work, the center provides a unique understanding of both history and public affairs. READ MORE

SMU recognizes outstanding achievement at 2015-16 Hilltop Excellence Awards, Honors Convocation

Congratulations to the Dedman College faculty and students who were recognized at the 2016 Awards Extravaganza on Monday, April 18.

Recipients of the Outstanding Professor Awards presented by the Rotunda yearbook include:

B. Sunday Eiselt, associate professor and director of undergraduate studies, Department of Anthropology
Laurence Winnie, senior lecturer and director of undergraduate studies, William P. Clements Department of History

Receiving the Extra Mile Awards, presented by Students for New Learning for graciousness and sensitivity to students with learning differences:

Sheri Kunovich, associate professor, Department of Sociology
• Laurie Nuchereno, adjunct lecturer, Department of Economics

For the full list of faculty, staff and student award recipients click here.

 

 

Associate dean for General Education addresses questions about UC-2016

SMU Daily Campus

Originally Posted: April 16, 2016

By: Peter Moore, associate dean, General Education

Let me take a moment to address the issues Noah Bartos raised in his editorial regarding UC-2016.

Noah is rightly concerned about the potential headaches various groups will face regarding two very similar curricula (UC-2012 and UC-2016). We are too. He notes the increase in paperwork. That comes in three forms: 1) course proposals that faculty must write; 2) assessment; and 3) student petitions.

He is right in pointing out that in the near-term faculty will have some additional work to do. A significant portion of that has already been completed this spring and I hope that most of the rest will be finished by December. There is a sense of fatigue, but this is offset to some extent by the improvements he notes in the structure which allow for new opportunities for participation. Regarding assessment, my expectation is that this will actually decrease initially (while eventually returning to the current level).

My biggest concern is with student petitions that will arise through confusion between the two curricula. Noah notes this problem as well regarding the mixture of requirements in the same course. This mixture does not involve Proficiencies and Experiences which are identical in both curricula. We are aware of the problem regarding pillars (UC-2012) and breadth and depth (UC-2016) and will be working to mitigate the headaches that are bound to result.

Noah also raises concerns with the new STEM requirements which he believes have the potential to unduly impact Meadows’ students. With regard to the lab-based portion (PAS under UC-2012) of this requirement the revision in UC-2016 is closer to the original intent of the UC adopted in 2010, that students complete two lab-based courses. The TM requirement, however, should not be an additional burden for most Meadows’ students who will be able to complete it in the major (e.g., Theater Lighting).

Noah notes the advantages from the simplified Second Language requirement which should prove beneficial across all majors. The changes in UC-2016 are designed to lessen the need for double-counting pillar courses by opening up courses in the major.

For example, I expect Cox majors to benefit when ITOM 3306 (a required course for all Cox students) satisfies the TM requirement. In this case the number of UC requirements met in the Cox major will increase from two to three. The modifications introduced in UC-2012 were designed to address high-credit majors and enhance students’ ability to double major. Students should find the same advantages in UC-2016 along with a simplified structure.

Finally he argues that the language of the proposal does not provide an adequate description of content. The descriptions match the information provided in the original UC and are augmented by the Student Learning Outcomes. Together these do provide a good basis for determining what the new breadth and depth requirements are all about.

Nearly two years ago the University Curriculum Council responded to concerns about the original UC and introduced key modifications. Those modifications have helped the class of 2012 to graduate on time. However, the modifications led to some unintended consequences which UC-2016 addresses. We expect that our efforts this time around will be even more beneficial. READ MORE

Neil Foley, History, How Mexican immigration helped make America great

The Australian Broadcasting Network

Originally Posted: March 28, 2016

The following is from the March 29, 2016, edition of The Australian Broadcasting Network. SMU History Professor Neil Foley provided expertise for this story.

Donald Trump has some seemingly simple strategies to stop many Mexicans migrating to the US, but the relationship between the two North American neighbours is a complex one. As Annabelle Quince explains, much of south-west America was once part of Mexico, and without Mexican labour the US agricultural industry would be in trouble.

It’s obvious from the names of some of America’s biggest cities that they have a Spanish-speaking heritage. Settlements like Santa Fe, San Antonio, Los Angeles, and San Diego fall within the swathes of south-west America that were colonised by Spain and were then, for centuries, part of Mexico. READ MORE

 

John Chavez and Neil Foley invited to participate in ‘Envisioning American Studies’

 

SMU Department of History professors John Chavez and Neil Foley were invited to participate in ‘Envisioning American Studies, A Conference in Honor of American Culture’s 80th Year at Michigan.’ Recipients of Ph.D.’s from that interdisciplinary program, both professors were feted as significant alumni and asked to impart their wisdom to current students, fellow alumni, former mentors, old friends, as well as other conferees from many other campuses around the country.

Edward Countryman, Department of History, gives keynote address and is elected a fellow of MHS

Professor Edward Countryman, Department of History
University Distinguished Professor

a) Gave one of the plenary keynote addresses to the annual meeting of the Consortium on the Age of Revolutions 1750-1850, which met this year at Louisiana State University, Shreveport, February 25-27, 2016 The topic of his address was “The First American Civil War.”

b) He was elected a Fellow of the Massachusetts Historical Society, joining “a core group of elected supporters made up of distinguished scholars and civic leaders who have the privilege of shaping the Society.”

Two Dedman College professors discuss the Supreme Court nominee and the politics of a nomination in an election year

Fox 4

Originally Posted: March 16, 2016

Reaction to SCOTUS nominee Garland

Two SMU professors discuss the nominee and the politics of a nomination in an election year. WATCH