Andrew J. Torget’s history of cotton, slavery and the Texas Revolution wins 2015 Weber-Clements Book Prize

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Andrew J. Torget’s history of cotton, slavery and the Texas Revolution wins 2015 Weber-Clements Book Prize

'Seeds of Empire' coverSMU’s Clements Center for Southwest Studies will present its annual Weber-Clements Book Prize to historian Andrew J. Torget for Seeds of Empire: Cotton, Slavery, and the Transformation of the Texas Borderlands, 1800-1850 (University of North Carolina Press, 2015).

Torget will be honored Tuesday, Sept. 27 at a 5:30 p.m. reception, followed by a 6 p.m. lecture and book-signing in McCord Auditorium, 306 Dallas Hall. The event is free and open to the public, but seating is limited. To register, call 214-768-3684 or visit the Clements Center website.

In addition, Torget will discuss his work on KERA 90.1’s “Think with Krys Boyd” during the noon-1 p.m. hour on Thursday, Sept. 22. Listen live. audio or podcast

The David J. Weber-William P. Clements Prize for the Best Non-Fiction Book on Southwestern America honors both the Center’s founding director and founding benefactor. The $2,500 prize, administered by the Western History Association, is given for fine writing and original research on the American Southwest and is open to any nonfiction book, including biography, on any aspect of Southwestern life, past or present.

Andrew J. Torget, 2015 Weber-Clements Book Prize winner

Andrew J. Torget, SMU’s 2015 Weber-Clements Book Prize winner. Photo credit: Jun Ma/UNT

Torget, associate professor of history at the University of North Texas and the Clements Center’s inaugural David J. Weber Fellow, has won nine major book awards for Seeds of Empire, including the Weber-Clements Prize. The book explores the roles cotton and slavery played in fomenting the Texas Revolution, which was in part a reaction against abolitionists in the Mexican government, and in shaping Texas’ borderlands into the first fully-committed slaveholders’ republic in North America.

In selecting the book from a large field of entries, judges wrote: “Torget’s deep archival work brings a fresh perspective to the conflicts over slavery in Texas on the eve of the Civil War. The book’s most notable accomplishment is the emphasis on cotton and slavery as a world-wide system that bound Texas history to larger economic and political forces in the U.S., Mexico, and Europe. He challenges the traditional interpretation that the westward movement in the early nineteenth century was primarily motivated by ideologies of racial supremacy that characterized Manifest Destiny. Instead, Torget demonstrates that, although westering Americans felt superior to the people whose lands they invaded, they mainly migrated to take advantage of the opportunity to participate in the trans-Atlantic cotton economy that the Mexican government had established by offering them free land.”

Finalists for the Weber-Clements Book Prize included Emily Lutenski for West of Harlem: African American Writers and the Borderlands; and former Clements Fellow John Weber for From South Texas to the Nation: The Exploitation of Mexican Labor in the Twentieth Century.

September 21, 2016|Calendar Highlights, For the Record, News|

SMU is ‘Home in the Heart of Texas’ for 2016 Family Weekend, Sept. 23-25

SMU Family Weekend 2016 bannerSMU family members from around the Metroplex and across the country will join their students in celebrating a beloved Hilltop tradition Sept. 23-25, 2016. SMU Family Weekend is coordinated by the Student Foundation‘s Family Weekend Committee.

Student research, creativity and innovation will be on display during the Fall 2016 Engaged Learning Symposium and Big iDeas Pitch Contest, scheduled for Friday, Sept. 23 in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Forum. Engaged Learning Fellows show their work 8:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., and Pitch Contest teams will hold forth from 2-5 p.m. for the opportunity to win $1,000 in seed money for their projects.

Find the full schedule for 2016 SMU Family Weekend

Limited quantities of Boulevard BBQ tickets will be on sale at the Friday event from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. on the Clements Hall South Lawn. Faculty and staff members can claim four free football tickets for the 7 p.m. Battle for the Iron Skillet against TCU at the Ford Stadium ticket window with SMU ID. Tickets may also be purchased by calling 214-768-GAME or by visiting the Athletic Department website.


SMU Boulevard celebrationClear bag policy at Ford Stadium:
The only bags permitted on Game Day are those made of clear plastic, vinyl or PVC that do not exceed 12-by-6-by-12 inches; one-gallon clear plastic freezer bags (Ziploc or similar), or small clutch bags (about the size of a hand) with or without a strap. See the complete list of SMU Ford Stadium Game Day policies.

Giving back: In keeping with this year’s “Home in the Heart of Texas” theme, the SMU Student Foundation is partnering with Family Gateway, an organization that provides transitional housing and services for homeless families with children in Dallas County. Collection boxes for household items are available in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center and other locations.

Parking: On Friday, Sept. 23, Game Day parking is in effect. Please watch your e-mail on Thursday morning and plan to move your car if you usually park near Ford Stadium. Refer to www.smu.edu/athletics for a parking map.

— Sarah Hanan

September 21, 2016|Calendar Highlights, News|

SMU honors fallen 9/11 first responders with honor guard, bell ceremony at 9 a.m. Friday, Sept. 9, 2016

Scene at the SMU flagpole on Sept. 11, 2001

Scene at the SMU flagpole on Sept. 11, 2001.

The SMU Police Department and first responders from the surrounding community will commemorate the 15th anniversary of 9/11 with a solemn ceremony honoring the police officers and firefighters who lost their lives in the line of duty during the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

University police officers, along with members of the Highland Park and University Park Police and Fire Departments, will participate in a combined honor guard and bell ceremony for the fallen. The ceremonies begin at 9 a.m. Friday, Sept. 9, 2016, at the flagpole on the Main Quad. The event is free and open to the public.

To symbolize the first responders’ devotion to duty, the bell ceremony includes a special signal of three rings, three times each, representing the end of duty and a return to quarters. The signals ring out that “those who have selflessly given their lives for the good of their fellow man, their tasks completed, their duties well done … are going home.”

The remembrance will also feature remarks from SMU President R. Gerald Turner and Police Chief Rick Shafer and a benediction by University Chaplain Stephen Rankin, as well as bagpipe performances of “Amazing Grace” and “America the Beautiful.”

“We welcome the community to come and help us remember those who gave their lives while protecting those they served,” said Chief Shafer.

The remembrance ceremony is one of several opportunities for campus community members, both in-person and virtual, to reflect on and remember the events of Sept. 11, 2001:

> Christina Rancke and Osama Bin Laden’s death
> Journal entries written by the SMU community 15 years ago

September 8, 2016|Calendar Highlights, News, Tune In|

Sports: Rescheduled SMU Football Fan Day includes scrimmage Saturday, Aug. 27, 2016

SMU Football red chrome helmetAfter a postponement for inclement weather, the rescheduled SMU Football Fan Day will take place Saturday, Aug. 27 in Ford Stadium. Gates will open at 5:30 p.m., and all activities are free and open to the public.

Posters, schedule cards and #GetHereForGameday yard signs will be available at the event. In addition, fans will be able to come onto the field after the intersquad scrimmage for autographs and photos with the Mustangs.

SMU will play Liberty University in the 2016 home opener Saturday, Sept. 17. Other home games include five opponents who were ranked in 2015, including Houston, USF, Navy, Memphis and TCU, who come to Dallas xxx for the 2016 Battle For the Iron Skillet.

The team’s 2016 season begins Saturday, Sept. 3 at the University of North Texas. The Mustangs take on the Mean Green at 6 p.m. in Apogee Stadium, Denton.

Season tickets are still available. For information on faculty-staff discounts, call the Athletics Department Ticket Office at 214-768-4263 (214-SMU-GAME) or visit GetHereForGameday.com.

August 25, 2016|Calendar Highlights, Sports|

Save the date: 2016 Fall General Faculty Meeting takes place Wednesday, Aug. 24

SMU President R. Gerald Turner will address the University faculty at the Fall General Faculty Meeting Wednesday, Aug. 24 in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center. The meeting will begin at 3:45 p.m. in the Hughes-Trigg Theater, following a reception beginning at 3 p.m. in Centennial Hall and the Theater foyer.

Newly tenured faculty will receive their regalia during the meeting. In addition, 2016-17 Faculty Senate President Jeanne Stevenson-Moessner will give the Senate’s report. Provost Steven Currall will make his first address to the General Faculty Meeting and announce the winner of the 2015-16 Scholar/Teacher of the Year Award from the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry of The United Methodist Church.

August 22, 2016|Calendar Highlights, News, Save the Date|
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