Andrew Graybill becomes SMU’s new Clements Center director

Andrew R. Graybill, director of the Clements Center for Southwest Studies at SMUAndrew R. Graybill, an expert on the American West, has been appointed director of SMU’s Clements Center for Southwest Studies. The Clements Center in the University’s Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences is internationally known as an incubator for research, writing and programming related to the American Southwest.

Graybill arrived at SMU Aug. 1, 2011, after eight years at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where he directed its interdisciplinary Program in Nineteenth-Century Studies and served as associate professor of history.

The San Antonio native returns to familiar hallways on the Hilltop. Graybill completed his first book, Policing the Great Plains: Rangers, Mounties and the North American Frontier, 1875-1910 (University of Nebraska Press, 2007), while a fellow at the Clements Center in 2004-05. He also collaborated with the Clements Center in 2006-07 to coordinate its symposium, “Bridging National Borders in North America: Transnational and Comparitive Histories,” and to co-edit the resulting collection of papers.

Graybill earned his Master’s degree and Ph.D in history from Princeton University. He is the author of numerous scholarly articles, essays, chapters and introductions on topics ranging from environmental history to changing racial landscapes in the American West to the Texas Rangers. His second book, A Mixture of So Many Bloods: A Family Saga of the American West, is under contract with W.W. Norton & Co. and due to be published in 2013. Graybill was awarded a 2010-11 National Endowment for the Humanities fellowship to support completion of the book.

Graybill succeeds Clements Center founding director David J. Weber, the Robert H. and Nancy Dedman Professor of History, who died Aug. 20, 2010.

“Andy Graybill comes to SMU with top-notch scholarly credentials and a passion for the Southwest,” says William Tsutsui, dean of Dedman College. “He understands well what makes the Clements Center so special, not just for Dedman College and SMU, but for Texas, the region and the historical profession more broadly.”

Graybill calls directing the Clements Center “the opportunity of a lifetime.”

“The study of the borderlands is poised to go global,” he says. “I’d like the Clements Center to be a leader in that conversation.”

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