Sunbelt prisons are focus of 2012 Clements Center Symposium

Clements Center Public Symposium

Sunbelt prisons are focus of 2012 Clements Center Symposium

Logo image for 2011-12 Clements Center SymposiumDeclaring that today’s racially disproportionate rates of incarceration represent “a New Jim Crow,” scholar Michelle Alexander has argued that “we have not ended racial caste in America; we have merely redesigned it.” This assertion, and its exploration, provide the theme of the 2011-12 Annual Public Symposium presented by SMU’s William P. Clements Center for Southwest Studies.

“Sunbelt Prisons and the Carceral State: New Frontiers of State Power, Resistance and Racial Oppression” is cosponsored by the Clements Center, SMU’s Embrey Human Rights Program and The Center for the American West at the University of Colorado. It will take place 8:15 a.m.-5 p.m. March 24 in McCord Auditorium, 306 Dallas Hall.

The event brings together historians, legal experts, civil rights veterans and formerly imprisoned activists to discuss “The Age of Mass Incarceration” in the American Southwest. The international slate of presenters and panelists includes U.S. Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson ’76 and 2010 Clements Book Prize winner Kelly Lytle Hernández.

The symposium is open to the public and has been approved for Continuing Education Credit for teachers.

The $10 registration includes the conference fee, refreshment breaks and a light buffet lunch. Read more about how to register or contact the Clements Center for Southwest Studies, 214-768-3684.

Find a complete schedule at the Clements Center Annual Symposium homepage

March 21, 2012|Calendar Highlights, News|

‘Contested Spaces’ key to 2010-11 Clements Center symposium on the early Americas

Antonio Pereiro map, 1545, courtesy of the John Carter Brown LibraryThe common history of the Americas – bridging conceptions of borderlands both continental and hemispheric – is the theme of the 2010-11 Annual Public Symposium, presented by SMU’s William P. Clements Center for Southwest Studies.

“The Contested Spaces of Early America” is cosponsored by the McNeil Center for Early American Studies at the University of Pennsylvania and the Clements Center. It will take place 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. April 2 in McCord Auditorium, 306 Dallas Hall.

This year’s event takes as its model and inspiration the work of the late David J. Weber, Clements Center founding director and Dedman Professor of History in SMU’s William P. Clements Department of History. The symposium theme was originally organized to honor Weber upon his retirement.

“We wanted a theme that would transcend some of our usual models for understanding the histories of the Americas and the borderlands,” says symposium co-organizer Juliana Barr, associate professor of history at the University of Florida and former Clements Center Fellow. “David was expansive in his own work in using a larger framework to understand the histories of those lands that were colonies of New Spain, as well as the borders of Mexico and the U.S. Southwest.

“There are a number of interesting commonalities across the histories of North and South America,” she adds. “It’s a good exercise to step back and take a larger look and think in new ways about framing these histories.”

An initial meeting and program took place in Fall 2010 at the McNeil Center. The participants will gather at SMU this Saturday to present their revised papers.

One highlight of the conference is its diversity of both scholars and scholarship, Barr says. “Our presenters include a Canadian scholar who specializes in the history of New France, scholars from Mexico and Argentina, a literature scholar, a Native American scholar, one former Ph.D. student of David Weber’s, and three former Clements Center Fellows, as well as traditional ethnohistorians,” she says. “With that kind of diversity, you begin to build bridges among these seemingly disparate areas of scholarship. It’s the conversation among them all that will be the most exciting.”

The symposium is open to the public and has been approved for Continuing Education Credit for teachers. “Texas teachers face a lot of challenges in the classroom,” says Barr, herself a native Texan. “The state is such a crossroads for so many histories. It’s one of the most fascinating states to teach about because of its own diversity. How can we look at all these individual communities and link them across borders that include everything from European empires to Native American lands?

“These larger frameworks may help teachers help their students create those bridges between the histories of the larger American and global worlds.”

Preregistration cost is $5 for general admission ($20 including lunch at the SMU Faculty Club) and $2 for graduate students ($10 including lunch). Register online or contact the Clements Center for Southwest Studies, 214-768-3684.

> Find a complete schedule at the Clements Center Annual Symposium homepage

Above, Antonio Pereira’s 1545 map of the Americas, courtesy of the John Carter Brown Library.

March 30, 2011|Calendar Highlights, News|

SMU symposium studies ‘Love and Power’ in the American West

Clements Center 2010 Public Symposium poster imageThe family histories of the U.S. West include characters as diverse as Comanche warriors, Pueblo Indian women, Catholic priests, children of the fur trade, Mexican mothers and Washington policy makers. The ways in which these men, women and children were linked by bonds of love, power and obligation will be the focus of the 2009-10 Annual Public Symposium presented by SMU’s William P. Clements Center for Southwest Studies.

On the Borders of Love and Power: Families and Kinship in the Intercultural American West” is cosponsored by the Center for the Southwest at the University of New Mexico, the Institute for the Study of the American West at the Autry National Center and the Clements Center. It will take place 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Feb. 27 in McCord Auditorium, 306 Dallas Hall.

The symposium explores the relationship between family life and larger structures of social and political power in specific times and places in the history of the American West, says SMU History Professor Crista DeLuzio, the symposium co-organizer (with David Wallace Adams of Cleveland State University). “Participants will learn about what happened when people from different backgrounds, whether compelled by force or drawn by affection, forged family ties with one another,” she says.

“They will learn something about the ways in which family relations have been shaped by the imperatives of economic, social and political relations in the West. And, conversely, they will learn about the role the family has played in reproducing, mediating and challenging social order and power relations in the West.”

The symposium presentations will be published as a book of essays for course adoption as well as for the general public.

Programs like the Clements Center Symposium “are vital to furthering the University’s mission of contributing to the advancement of knowledge and also to the sharing of that knowledge across various constituencies,” DeLuzio adds. “That includes the SMU community and those of our neighboring academic institutions; the Metroplex community; and – with the publication of the essays – with scholars and readers throughout the nation and the world.”

The symposium is open to the public and has been approved for Continuing Education Credit. High school and middle school teachers “can expect to take back to their classrooms some knowledge about the ways in which family life has been defined and experienced in the history of the West,” DeLuzio says.

“We hope participants will leave with a more complex understanding of the history of family life in the United States and of the vital ways in which family dynamics in the intercultural and interracial American West have shaped our national story.”

The preregistration cost is $5 for general admission ($20 including a lunch at the SMU Faculty Club) and $2 for graduate students ($10 including lunch). Register online or contact the Clements Center for Southwest Studies, 214-768-3684.

Find a complete schedule at the Clements Center Annual Symposium homepage

February 10, 2010|Calendar Highlights, News, Save the Date|
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