Former Clements Center Fellow Juliana Barr wins book prize

Cover of 'Peace Came in the Form of a Woman' by Juliana BarrJuliana Barr, a former Fellow of SMU’s William P. Clements Center for Southwest Studies in Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, has won the Center’s Clements Prize for the Best Non-Fiction Book on Southwestern America published in 2007. She is the first former Clements Center Fellow to receive the Clements Book Prize.

Barr, an associate professor of history at the University of Florida-Gainesville, received the honor for Peace Came in the Form of a Woman: Indians and Spaniards in the Texas Borderlands (University of North Carolina Press). She will accept the award in a ceremony at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 28 in McCord Auditorium, Dallas Hall. A 6 p.m. reception precedes the award ceremony and lecture, with a book signing to follow.

In her book, which she researched during her Clements Center fellowship in 1999-2000, Barr argues that Indians not only retained control over their territories but also imposed control over Spaniards. Because native systems of kin-based social and political order predominated, Indian concepts of gender cut across European perceptions of racial difference, she writes.

“The Barr book soars,” wrote the Clements Book Prize judging committee, an independent panel of judges not affiliated with SMU. “It not only takes on some large historiographical questions, but makes its argument in clear and lively prose.”

Barr’s book has received other major awards including the 2008 Berkshire Conference First Book Prize from the Berkshire Conference of Women Historians; the 2007 Liz Carpenter Award from the Texas State Historical Association; the 2007 Murdo J. MacLeod Prize, Latin American and Caribbean Section, of the Southern Historical Association; and the 2007 Charles S. Sydnor Award of the Southern Historical Association.

The $2,500 Clements Book Prize honors fine writing and original research on the American Southwest. The competition is open to any nonfiction book, including biography, on any aspect of Southwestern life, past or present.

The ceremony is free and open to the public, but space is limited. To make a reservation, call 8-3684 or register online.

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