William P. Clements Center for Southwest Studies
& The Stanton Sharp Symposium
Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas
You are invited to attend a public symposium presented by a superb group of historians, geographers, and a climatologist, who will reflect on the past of the South Plains and offer thoughts on future trends. Historically, this region—which includes West Texas, eastern New Mexico, the Oklahoma panhandle, and southeastern Colorado—has depended upon the oil and livestock industries. Neither has flourished in recent years. To complicate matters, the region’s economic development depends upon water, which is a resource that is dwindling fast as the South Plains continues to suffer from drought.
Elliott West, Dan Flores, John Miller Morris, John Opie and Diana Olien, among others, will address issues such as the transition from family farm to corporate agribusiness, balancing regional growth with environmental constraints, creation of a Great Plains landscape aesthetic and the potential for tourism, drought over the millenia, the changing nature of petroleum production and its consequences for employment as well as public policy, the political culture of the Texas Panhandle, and the impact of Mexican descent people and Hispanic institutions on the South Plains.
Friday, April 6:
5:30 – 7:00 p.m: Keynote address: Elliott West “Trails and Footprints: Past Patterns of the Southern Plains”
(McCord Auditorium, 3rd floor, Dallas Hall)
Saturday, April 7:
Hughes Trigg Student Center: Forum (ground floor)
8:00 a.m.: Coffee
8:15 a.m. Welcome remarks
Session I 8:30 – 10:00 a.m.:
John Opie—“’The Future Isn’t What It Used to Be’: Wayne Wyatt and Fifty Years of Ogallala Aquifer Irrigation”
Opie is the author of "Nature's Nation: An Environmental History of the United States" (Harcourt College 1998), "Ogallala: Water for a Dry Land" (Nebraska 1993/2000), and "The Law of the Land" (Nebraska 1987/1994).
Connie Woodhouse—“Droughts of the Past; Implications for the Future?”
Currently a physical scientist with the NOAA National Geophysical Data Center's Paleoclimatology Program. Woodhouse also holds a research scientist position at the Univeristy of Colorado's Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research. She earned her Ph.D at the University of Arizona in 1996 and was awarded a National Research Council Associateship for her postdoctoral work at NOAA.
10:00-10:20: Coffee Break
Session II 10:30-Noon:
Jeff Roche – “Origins of the New Right: The Political Culture of the High Plains.”
Roche received his Ph.D. from the University of New Mexico. He is the author of Restructured Resistance: The Sibley Commission and the Politics of Desegregation in Georgia (Athens, Georgia, 1998) as well as several articles on conservatism in the twentieth century.
Yolanda Romero—“The Mexican-American Experience in Twentieth-Century Northwest Texas”
Romero grew up in Lubbock, Texas, and graduated from Texas Tech University. She teaches American History and Mexican American History at the North Lake campus of the Dallas County Community College District. Romero serves on the Board of the West Texas Historical Association. She is now working on a book about Tejanos in Vietnam.
Noon – 2:00: Luncheon in the Hughes Trigg Ballroom.
Speaker: Dan Flores, “The Elusively Beautiful Plains.”
Flores is the A. B. Hammond Professor of Western History at the University of Montana-Missoula and writes on the environmental history of the American West. His most recent book is Horizontal Yellow: Nature and History in the Near Southwest. His new book, The Natural West, will appear later this year.
Session Three 2:00-3:30:
Diana Davids Olien—“Petroleum in the Future of the Southern Plains.”
Olien is the author and co-author of six books on oil in Texas. She recently completed Oil in Texas: The Gusher Age, 1896-1945, with Roger M. Olien. It is the first volume of a two volume history of the petroleum industry in Texas.
John Miller Morris—“When Corporations Rule the Llano Estacado.”
Morris was born on the High Plains in Canyon, Texas. He is an Associate Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies and Social Geography at the University of Texas at San Antonio, specializing in historical geography of the Southwest. He is the author of three books, including El Llano Estacado: Exploration and Imagination on the High Plains of Texas and New Mexico, a work honored with seven book awards.
3:30 - 4:00: Concluding Remarks.
The Stanton Sharp Symposium is supported by a generous gift from Ruth Sharp Altshuler honoring her son, Stanton Sharp. The Sharp Fund enhances faculty research and teaching in the William P. Clements Department of History. Inaugurated in 1991, the Sharp Symposium brings to the SMU campus some of the nation’s most distinguished scholars for lectures, discussions,and interaction with students, faculty memebers, and the public.
The Sharp Symposium is free and open to the public. There is, however, a $25 charge for the luncheon.
Registration Form REGISTRATION DEADLINE: March 23.
Company or Institution:
Street, (Apt./Office No.)
City, State, Zip Code:
Please mark the sessions you plan to attend:
April 6: Keynote Address: Elliott West
April 7: Session One:
Fee: $25.00 (Please mail check to address below)
To register, or for additional information, please contact:
Clements Center for Southwest Studies
P.O. Box 750176
Dallas, TX 75275-0176
(214) 768-1233- office; (214) 768-4129 – fax.
Clements Center for Southwest Studies
Dallas, TX 75275-0176
(214) 768-1233 Email: email@example.com
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