Monday, March 25, 2013

President of the Louisiana Historical Association

Janet Allured Speaks on Louisiana Womens's History
I attended this weekend the annual meeting of the Louisiana Historical Association held in Alexandria, Louisiana. This was a special time for me because I was installed as the president of this organziation. I joined this association back when I was a graduate student at Tulane University in New Olreans. Two of my graduate professors earlier served as president of this association: my dissertation advisor Hugh F. Rankin and Bennet H. Hall, who was a significant influence of my career as an historian. For many years, I have been an author of Louisiana: A History, a long-standing history textbook currently published by John Wiley and Sons. Ben  Wall was the originator of this textbook back in the 1960s. Over the years, I have attended many annual meetings of this group, published in its journal, served on its board of directors, and regulary served as one of its book reviewers in addtion to reading papers, presiding, and commenting on academic sessions held during its annual meeting. I will serve as president of this group between now and its annual meeting in March of 2014, at which time I will deliver the presidential address at a a formal banquet. This year, the presdient was my friend Janet Allured of McNeese State University. She gave an excellent presidential address dealing with women's history in the state of Louisiana.

Friday, March 15, 2013

The Liz Carpenter Award

Jan Reed and Light Cummins at the TSHA 
Contributors to Women and the Texas Revolution at the
Awards Luncheon
The Texas State Historical Association’s Liz Carpenter Award for this year went to two books, Jan Reed’s Let the People In: The Life and Times of Anne Richards and Women of the Texas Revolution, edited by Mary L. Shccr. The award was presented during the Women’s History luncheon of the association recently held in Fort Worth, Texas. I wrote one of the essays contained in Sheer’s Women of the Texas Revolution. Jan Reed, one of the most respected journalists in Texas, has been an editor at Texas Monthly for over three decades. He is the author of ten books and dozens of articles, the latter of which have been published in a wide variety of high-circulation magazines and newspapers. His book on Anne Richards draws both from the extensive biographical research he conducted for this volume in addition to reflections and insights from his having known Governor Richards personally across the entire course of her career. His book is a balanced, rich, and full examination of Richards that captures her personality and while it provides an even-handed assessment of her career in Texas politics. A  review in the Washington Post notes that in chronicling Ann Richard’s story “Reid, a veteran of Austin literary and political circles, tells it with sympathy, insight and a deep knowledge of contemporary Texas politics." The other prize winner, Women and the Texas Revolution, contains six essays by historians familiar with that era of the state’s history. Each article examines some aspect of female participation in that conflict. My essay deals with women and the Runaway Scrape. Other essays assess various important ways in which women participated in the Revolutions. The additional authors are Mary L. Kelley, Jean Stuntz, Lindy Eakin, Angela Boswell, and Dora Elizondo Guerra

Click here for more on Let the People In: The Life and Times of Anne Richards

Click here for more on Women and the Texas Revolution

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Writing the Story of Texas

I have a biographical essay in a new book entitled Writing the Story of Texas. This book contains a biography of fourteen Texas historians of the twentieth century who have helped to shape the literature dealing with the history of the Lone Star State. As the press information for this book notes: "Edited by esteemed historians Patrick Cox and Kenneth Hendrickson, this collection includes insightful, cross-generational examinations of pivotal individuals who interpreted our history. On these pages, the contributors chart the progression from Eugene C. Barker’s groundbreaking research to his public confrontations with Texas political leaders and his fellow historians. They look at Walter Prescott Webb’s fundamental, innovative vision as a promoter of the past and Ruthe Winegarten’s efforts to shine the spotlight on minorities and women who made history across the state. Other essayists explore Llerena Friend delving into an ambitious study of Sam Houston, Charles Ramsdell courageously addressing delicate issues such as racism and launching his controversial examination of Reconstruction in Texas, Robert Cotner—an Ohio-born product of the Ivy League—bringing a fresh perspective to the field, and Robert Maxwell engaged in early work in environmental history." I wrote the essay dealing with Charles Ramsdell. 

Click here for more information on Writing the Story of Texas including a full list of the authors and their biographical essays.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Essays Honoring Randolph B. Campell

I have the honor of having an essay in a new book that is being published in honor of Randolph B. Campbell, a distinguished professor of History at the University of North Texas and the Chief Historian of the Texas State Historical Association. The title of my essay is "History, Memory, and the Rebranding of Texas as Western during the Centennial of 1836." The promotional material for this book from the University of North Texas Press notes: "In this collection of seventeen original essays, Campbell’s colleagues, friends, and students offer a capacious examination of Texas’s history—ranging from the Spanish era through the 1960s War on Poverty—to honor Campbell’s deep influence on the field. The first section addresses questions of Texas identity and the ongoing struggle of historians to define the southern and western heritage of the region. The second section focuses on defining influences and people—Spaniards, Mexicans, Indians, Anglo Americans, African Americans—who continually remade Texas throughout the early nineteenth century. The third section focuses on one of the defining moments in Southern and Texas history, the Civil War and its legacies through the Reconstruction era. The fourth section addresses Texas in the late nineteenth century, as the region became a crucible of the economic, political, and social upheavals that overtook the United States during those years. The final section examines an urbanizing Texas that struggled to find a balance between the heritage of the nineteenth century and the challenges of the twentieth century.”

Click here for more about Randolph B. Campbell

Click here for information on This Corner of Canaan