The Robert G. Athearn Lecture Series

 The 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.

The 26th Athearn Lecture

Dr. Kate Brown

Department of History at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County

"We Are All Citizens of Plutopia:
The Militarization of the American and Soviet Landscapes"

Thursday, October 16th, 2014
5:00 pm
Humanities Building, Room 150

a reception will follow the lecture in HUMN 170.

Dr. Brown is Professor of History at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. She is the author of A Biography of No Place: From Ethnic Borderland to Soviet Heartland (Harvard 2004) which won a handful of prizes including the American Historical Association’s George Louis Beer Prize for the Best Book in International European History. Brown’s Plutopia: Nuclear Families in Atomic Cities and the Great Soviet and American Plutonium Disasters appeared in 2013 with Oxford University Press.  Plutopia won the the 2014 George Perkins Marsh Prize from the American Society for Environmental History (ASEH) and the 2014 Ellis W. Hawley Prize from the Organization of American Historians (OAH). To read more about Kate Brown’s new book Plutopia, see  She is a 2009 Guggenheim Fellow, and has been awarded grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Social Science Research Council, the National Council for East European and Eurasian Research, the International Research and Exchange Board, the Eurasia Foundation, the American Council of Learned Societies, Harvard University’s Davis Center, UMBC’s Dresher Center and the Kennan Institute in Washington.

26th Athearn Lecture - Downloadable Flyer (.pdf file)


Previous Athearn Lectures:

Lecture Lecturer Affiliation Title of Lecture
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, 19211978"
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, 17631815"
15th David Gutierrez Univ. of California, San Diego
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, RedBaiting, 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"
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, 19601970"
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 19501960