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

Iraqi women meet with former President and Mrs. Bush at SMU

Former President and Mrs. Bush with Iraqi women at SMUFormer President George W. Bush and Laura Bush met with eight Iraqi women at SMU on May 14 as part of the delegation’s visit to the United States under the U.S. Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program.

The exchange, which included several U.S. cities, was coordinated by World Learning Visitor Exchange Program in cooperation with the World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth. The women are officials in Iraq representing professions ranging from public works administration to nursing education.

Several SMU faculty members attended the event – Crista DeLuzio of the Clements Department of History and Carolyn Smith-Morris of the Department of Anthropology, both in Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences; Maria Minniti, Cox School of Business; Jenia Turner, Dedman School of Law; and Susanne Scholz, Perkins School of Theology. SMU student Natalie Kashefi also attended. Gail Turner, wife of SMU President R. Gerald Turner, hosted a reception for the group; and Brad Cheves, SMU vice president for development and external affairs, was among those welcoming the delegation to campus.

The World Affairs Council was represented by its president, Jim Falk, and executive vice president Beth Huddleston, who also serves as a member of the board of the National Council for International Visitors. The Council serves as the Department of State’s coordinator of the International Visitor Leadership Program in Dallas and Fort Worth.

“Both President and Mrs. Bush spoke about the vital role women play in building and maintaining civil society and about how essential the guarantee of women’s rights is to a healthy democracy,” said DeLuzio. “The Iraqi women spoke eloquently about their courageous attempts to empower women and to further women’s rights in their country.

“I teach about the long and ongoing struggle for gender equality in the United States. This exchange inspired me to try to do more to educate my students about women’s movements around the world and to encourage them to think comparatively about women’s work on behalf of social justice and gender equality across time and place.”

Read more and see additional photos from SMU News

Four 2009-11 Altshuler Distinguished Teaching Professors named

SMU's 2009-11 Altshuler Distinguished Teaching ProfessorsFour outstanding educators have been named 2009-11 Altshuler Distinguished Teaching Professors by SMU’s Center for Teaching Excellence. This year’s honorees are Crista DeLuzio, History; Robert Howell, Philosophy; Thomas Knock, History; and Thomas Osang, Economics. All four honorees teach in Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences.

The four new members of SMU’s Academy of Distinguished Teachers will join returning members Olga Colbert, Foreign Languages and Literatures (Spanish); Ian Harris, Statistical Science; Larry Ruben, Biological Sciences; and David Willis, Mechanical Engineering.

Each year since 2001, the Altshuler Distinguished Teaching Professor Awards recognize four SMU faculty members for their commitment to and achievements in fostering student learning. “These are faculty whose concerns for higher education go beyond classroom boundaries and often the boundaries of their own discipline,” according to the CTE website. “They represent the highest achievement in reaching the goals of higher education.” The professorships are named for SMU Trustee Ruth Altshuler.

Each recipient receives a $10,000 award and membership in SMU’s Academy of Distinguished Teachers for the two years of their appointment as Altshuler Professors. Members participate actively with other members of the Academy to address issues in classroom teaching.

Read more about the new Altshuler Professors under the link. Left, the new Altshuler Professors were honored by the SMU Board of Trustees during its May meeting (left to right): SMU President R. Gerald Turner, Thomas Knock, Thomas Osang, Crista DeLuzio, Robert Howell and Ruth Altshuler.

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Woodward honored at Fall General Faculty Meeting

Statistical Science Chair Wayne Woodward was honored as the 2006-07 United Methodist Church University Scholar/Teacher of the Year at SMU’s fall General Faculty Meeting Aug. 29. President R. Gerald Turner updated the faculty on important developments in campus life and the status of the George W. Bush presidential library complex. More under the link.

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