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

Hernández’ Border Patrol history wins 2010 Clements Book Prize

Kelly Lytle HernandezThe untold history of the U.S. Border Patrol will be honored with SMU’s William P. Clements Prize for Best Non-Fiction Book published in 2010 in a series of campus events Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2011.

Kelly Lytle Hernández (right) earned this year’s Clements Book Prize for Migra! A History of the U.S. Border Patrol (University of California Press), which presents the Border Patrol’s story from its beginning in 1924 to its emergence as a professional police force.

The public is invited to a reception at 6 p.m., with an award ceremony, lecture and book signing at 6:30 p.m. in SMU’s DeGolyer Library.

Migra! greatly expands our knowledge of the formation, imperatives, and internal architecture of the U.S. Border Patrol, a surprisingly understudied organization,” says Andrew Graybill, director of the Clements Center for Southwest Studies in SMU’s Dedman College. “But Professor Hernández’s book does far more than merely fill a gap in the historical literature – rather, Migra! revolutionizes our understanding of the Border Patrol by exploring its evolution from an ad hoc collection of federal officers to a professional constabulary that had profound (and in many cases, unintended) effects in shaping both policy and perception along the U.S.-Mexico border.”

Book cover of 'Migra! A History of the U.S. Border Patrol' by Kelly Lytle HernandezHernández, associate professor of history at UCLA, is also co-director of K-12 programs in its National Center for History in the SchoolsMigra!, her first book, received honorable mention from the American Studies Association’s 2011 Lora Romero First Book Prize and John Hope Franklin Book Prize.

The $2,500 Clements Book Prize 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.

> Read more about the 2010 Clements Book Prize from SMU News