Lance R. Blyth receives Weber-Clements Prize for his examination of “communities of violence” in northern Mexico

'Chiricahua and Janos' book coverA book examining the history of violence on the Mexico border, and how it has provided cohesion as well as disturbance to some communities, has received the 2014 David J. Weber-William P. Clements Prize for the Best Non-Fiction Book on Southwestern America.

SMU’s Clements Center for Southwest Studies will present the annual book prize Wednesday, April 2, to historian Lance R. Blyth for Chiricahua and Janos: Communities of Violence in the Southwest Borderlands, 1680 to 1880 (University of Nebraska Press, 2012). The Weber-Clements Prize honors both the center’s founding director and founding benefactor.

Blyth is deputy director of the Office of History at U.S. Northern Command and a research associate professor at the Latin American and Iberian Institute at the University of New Mexico. He will be honored at a 6 p.m. reception, followed by a 6:30 p.m. lecture and book-signing in DeGolyer Library. The event is free and open to the public, but seating is limited. Call 214-678-3684 to register.

In Chiricahua and Janos, Blyth examines two centuries of violence in northern Mexico between the Chiricahua Apaches and the Hispanic garrison community of Janos. He demonstrates how violence became the primary means by which relations were established, maintained, or altered both within and between communities.

In selecting the book, judges wrote, “Chiricahua and Janos begins with the foundational premise that violence can build as much as disrupt communities. From this premise, it constructs a riveting narrative about how the communities, economies, and families of Chiricahua Apaches and Spaniards at Janos presidio became intricately entwined through two centuries of reciprocal violence and accommodation.”

The Weber-Clements Book Prize is presented by the Western History Association and the Clements Center and is administered by the Western History Association. The $2,500 award 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.

Written by Nancy George

> Visit SMU’s Clements Center for Southwest Studies online

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