Robert G. AthearnThe late Prof. Robert G. Athearn (1914–1983) was a professor of Western History at the University of Colorado at Boulder from 1947 until his retirement in 1982. An extraordinarily productive scholar, his publications included Westward the Briton (1953), Union Pacific Country (1971) The Coloradans (1976), The Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad: Rebel of the Rockies (1977),The Mythic West in Twentieth Century America(1986), and William Tecumseh Sherman and the Settlement of the West (reprint 1995).

Professor Athearn was one of the founders as well as past president of the Western History Association, and during his career held numerous positions on historical committees, academic societies, and editorial boards. His impact as a teacher was equally great, he instructed thousands of undergraduate students over the years, and trained a score of contemporary Western historians in the profession he loved. As part of his legacy, Dr. Athearn endowed a lectureship in the Department of History at the University of Colorado at Boulder to be held on topics in Western history.

29th Athearn Lecture

Kelly Lytle Hernandez

University of California, Los Angeles

"City of Inmates: Conquest, Rebellion
and the Rise of Human Caging in Los Angeles"

Thursday, September 28, 2017, 5:00 PM
Benson Earth Sciences Building, Room 180

Kelly Lytle Hernandez is an associate professor in the UCLA Department of History. She is one of the nation’s leading historians of race, policing, immigration, and incarceration in the United States. Her award-winning book, MIGRA! A History of the U.S. Border Patrol (University of California Press, 2010), explored the making and meaning of the U.S. Border Patrol in the U.S.-Mexico borderlands, arguing that the century-long surge of U.S. immigration law enforcement in the U.S.-Mexico borderlands is a story of race in America. Her new book, City of Inmates: Conquest, Rebellion and the Rise of Human Caging in Los Angeles, 1771-1965   (University of North Carolina Press, 2017)is an unsettling tale that spans two centuries to unearth the long rise of incarceration as a social institution bent toward disappearing targeted populations from land, life, and society in the United States. It does so with six extraordinary stories detailing when, why, and how the dynamics of conquest made Los Angeles, California, the carceral capitol of the world. By the 1950s, she argues, incarceration was a complex and well-oiled machine of elimination targeting blacks, Natives, and Latinos. In the years ahead, the rise of mass incarceration amounted to mass elimination.

29th Athearn Lecture Poster (.pdf file, opens in Adobe Acrobat Reader)

Previous Athearn Lectures:

Lecture Lecturer Affiliation Title of Lecture
28th Dr. Charles F. Wilkinson University of Colorado School of Law

“Writing a Tribal History: My Long and Rewarding Journey with the Siletz Tribe of Western Oregon”  

View Poster for this event. (.pdf file, opens in Adobe Acrobat Reader)

27th Dr. David Igler University of California, Irvine

"Imagining a Different Pacific Ocean: Indigenous and European Representations in the Early 19th Century"

View Poster for this event. (.pdf format)

26th Dr. Kate Brown University of Maryland, Baltimore County "We Are All Citizens of Plutopia: The Militarization of American and Soviet Landscapes"
25th Dr. Philip J. Deloria University of Michigan "Toward an American Indian Abstract: What an Unknown Artist Might Tell Us about Celebrity, the 1930s, Anthropology, Politics, Modernism, and a Few Other Things Besides…"
24th Dr. Louis S. Warren University of California, Davis "The Rising of God's Red Son: The 1890 Ghost Dance Gospels and the Crisis of the Arid West"
23rd Mae M. Ngai Columbia University

"The True Story of Ah Jake: Language and Justice in Nineteenth-Century California"

22nd William F. Deverell University of Southern California "To Bind Up the Nation's Wounds:" The American West After the Civil War
21st Char Miller Pomona College "Streetscape Environmentalism: Flood Control, Social Justice, and Political Power in San Antonio, 1921–1978"
20th Ramón A. Gutiérrez University of Chicago "The Religious Thought of Reies López Tijerina and the Origins of the Mexican American Civil Rights Movement"
19th John R. Wunder University of Nebraska, Lincoln "Challenges to History and the Murder of Brandon Teena."
18th James Brooks School of American Research "Friction: Conflict & Creativity in Our American Southwest"
17th Virginia Scharff Univ. of New Mexico "The West As Home"
16th Alan Taylor Univ. of California, Davis "Thomas Jefferson's Pacific: Making a Global West, 1763–1815"
15th David Gutierrez Univ. of California, San Diego "Latinization of the West: Migration, Demographic Change, and the Future of Regional History."
14th Raymond DeMallie University of Indiana "On Writing Lakota History"
(In honor of Vine Deloria's retirement)
13th Katherine Morrissey Univ. of Arizona "Mining Stories: Environmental Conflicts in the 20th Century Rocky Mountain West."
12th Alan Bérubé  Author:
Coming Out Under Fire
"'No Race Baiting, Red–Baiting, or Queer Baiting!!' The Marine Cooks & Stewards Union from the Depression to the Cold War"
11th Duane A. Smith Ft. Lewis College "A Tale of Two Towns: A Mining and Farming Community in the 1890's"
10th Peggy Pascoe Univ. of Utah "'I belong to the white race I suppose:' Miscegenation Law, Appeals Court, and the Classification of 'Races' in the American West"
9th Quintard Taylor, Jr. Univ. of Oregon "From 'Freedom Now' to 'Black Power:' The Civil Rights Movement in Seattle, 1960–1970"
8th Donald E. Worster Univ. of Kansas "The Black Hills: Sacred or Profane?"
7th David Brion Davis Yale University "Exodus, Colonization and Promised Lands"
6th John Mack Faragher Mt. Holyoke College "The Custom of the Country: Indian-White Marriages in the Trans-Mississippi"
5th Gordon Hirabayashi Univ. of Alberta "Citizen or Non-Alien: An American Minority & the Constitution"
4th Howard Lamar Yale University "The West and Frontier Violence: An Enduring Debate"
3rd John W. Shy Univ. of Michigan "The Question of Violence in the American Revolution"
2nd William Elliot West Univ. of Arkansas "Growing Up Western: Childhood on the Frontier"
1st Gale McGee Former Senator, Wyoming "The New Politics of the Old West: Wyoming 1950–1960