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About the Lecture Series

ruth and calvinThe C. Ruth and Calvin P. Horn Lecture Series makes a singularly invaluable contribution — it enriches students, faculty, and the community. Since its creation in 1985, this distinguished lecture series has brought to our community leading scholars who interpret the West in ways that both enlighten and entertain. 

This endowed lecture series was established as the “Calvin Horn Lecture on Western History and Culture” in the fall of 1985 with the purpose of honoring the memory of U.S. President John F. Kennedy and to support the study of history, a passion of both Mr. and Mrs. Horn. This endowed lecture series — the only endowed lecture series in the Department of History at UNM — was originally organized by the University of New Mexico Press and honors Calvin and Ruth Horn’s passion for American Western history. The Center for the Southwest  has now transitioned as the coordinating organization for the event, which offers a generous honorarium of $1,000 to the featured Calvin Horn lecturer. If you would like to contribute to the C. Ruth and Calvin P. Horn Series, please visit our donation page.

Calvin and Ruth’s vision for the series was to provide the campus and the larger community access to inspiring speakers who brought history to life by providing perspective on the West. By understanding the past we gain new insight into the history of such matters as land use, conservation, access to water, our regional identity, the creative arts, and the actions of historical figures. 

Current Lecturer

2019     Annette Gordon-Reed, Charles Warren Professor of American Legal History at Harvard Law School, and Dr. Peter S. Onuf, Thomas Jefferson Foundation Professor of History, Emeritus, at the University of Virginia  More info here.

Past Lecturers

2018     Dr. Megan Kate Nelson, Historian/Author/Cultural Critic, "Why the Civil War West Mattered"

2017     Dr. Ari Kelman (UC Davis), "For Liberty and Empire:  How the Civil War Bled Into the Indian Wars"

2016     Dr. John Mack Faragher (Yale), "Violence and Justice in Frontier Los Angeles," You can view the lecture here.

2015     John Gray, Director, National Museum of American History, "American History: What Kind of People Do We Want To Be?"

2014     Dr. Brenda Stevenson (UCLA), "Rethinking the L.A. Riots of 1992: Contested Images of the 'Female' in the Murder Trial of Soon Ja Du"

2013     Dr. Ned Blackhawk (Yale), "The Indigenous West of Mark Twain: Samuel Clemens and the American Empire, 1861-1866"

2012     Dr. Martha Sandweiss (Princeton), "Lost Tales, Forgotten Women, and the Violence of Everyday Life in the Nineteenth Century West"

2011     Dr. Andrew Kirk (UNLV), "Doomtown: Picturing Home on the Nevada Test Site"

2010     Dr. Stephen Aron (UCLA), "Can We All Just Get Along: In Search of an Alternative History of the American West"

2009     Dr. Dan Flores (Univ. of Montana), "Art and Regional Identity in the Northern Rocky Mountain West"

2008     Dr. Sherry L. Smith (SMU), "Discovering the Nations Within: Indians, the Counterculture, and the New Left in the ‘Sixties’ West"

2007     Dr. Paul Hutton (UNM), "Kit Carson's Ride."

2006     Lucy R. Lippard (Art Critic, Author), “Five Acres: Disputed Land and Disappearing Landscapes in the Galisteo Basin” 

2005     Dr. Philip Deloria (Univ. of Michigan), “Reading Mount Rushmore: A tour of Landscape and Nationalism at Mount Rushmore” 

2004     Dr. David Wrobel (Univ. of Oklahoma), “Through Traveler’s Eyes: Visions of Western America in the Travel Narrative

2003     Dr. Marc Simmons (Author), “Kit Carson: The Family Man”

2002     Dr. Hal K. Rothman (UNLV), “Tourism and the Next Stage of Capitalism: How Experience Became Currency and Entertainment Replaced Culture”

2001     N/A

2000     Dr James P. Ronda (Univ. of Tulsa), “Roads to Santa Fe” 

1999     Dr. Richard Etulain (UNM), “Telling Western Stories” 

1998     Dr. William deBuys (Writer, Conservationist), “West as Southwest”

1997     Dr. Vicki Ruiz (UC Irvine), “Conquests and Migrations” 

1996     Dr. Patricia Limerick (Univ. of Colorado-Boulder), “A Just and Honorable West”

1995     Dr. Glenda Riley (Ball State Univ.), “Family Life on the Frontier” 

1994     Dr. Elliott West (Univ. of Arkansas), “Going West” 

1993     Dr. Donald Worster (Univ. of Kansas), “Environmental Change in the American West”

1992     Dr. Joan M. Jensen (NMSU), “Creativity and Western Women”

1991     Dr. Gerald D. Nash (UNM), “Western Historians”

1990     Dr. William H. Goetzmann (Univ. of Texas-Austin), “Did Modern Art Kill the Myth of the West?” 

1989     Dr. Rennard Strickland (Univ. of Oregon), “Indian Images” (1988-1989)

1988     Dr. David J. Weber (SMU), “The Hispanic Southwest” 

1987     Dr. Juan Gómez-Quiñones (UCLA), “Contemporary Chicano Political History” 

1986     Dr. Robert M. Utley (Fmr. Chief Historian, NPS), “The Lincoln County Wars”