The 2012 Brainpower & Brownbags Lecture Series

Editor | - October 13, 2011

"Series takes on a Centennial theme..."

In celebration of our 100th year as a state, the New Mexico History Museum’s Fray Angélico Chávez History Library is devoting its 2012 Brainpower & Brownbags Lecture Series to Centennial speakers. All of the lectures are held at noon in the John Gaw Meem Room of the museum, which you enter through the Washington Avenue doors. The lectures are free and, yes, you may bring a lunch to enjoy.

On Wednesday, Jan. 11th at noon, Richard Melzer, a history professor at the University of New Mexico’s Valencia Campus, will speak on “Political Cartoons and New Mexico's Struggle for Statehood 1850-1912." Melzer is the author of several books, including New Mexico: Celebrating the Land of Enchantment (Gibbs Smith, 2011), an official product of the state’s Centennial celebration, focusing on the social and political elements through essays and archival photography.

Dennis Reinhartz, professor emeritus of history and Russian at the University of Texas at Arlington, speaks on: “The Graphics of Statehood:  The Mapping of New Mexico,” at noon on Wednesday, Feb. 15th. Professor Reinhartz’s publications include Mapping and Empire: Soldier-Engineers on the Southwestern Frontier (University of Texas Press, 2005).

Other lectures in the noontime Centennial Series include:

Monday, March 12th: Jon Hunner, a history professor and director of the Public History Program at New Mexico State University, speaks on “New Mexico: The Stumble to Statehood.”

Wednesday, April 18th: Noel Pugach, professor emeritus of history at the University of New Mexico, speaks on “Understanding William Howard Taft: The President Who Approved New Mexico’s Statehood.”

Friday, May 4th:  Robert Larson, professor emeritus of history at the University of Northern Colorado, speaks on “New Mexico: Early Attempts to Gain Statehood.”

Wednesday, June 13th: Brian Turo, a doctoral student of American history at the University of New Mexico, speaks on “1912: Statehood for New Mexico and Arizona.”

Wednesday, July 18th: Fred Friedman, former Railroad Bureau chief at the Department of Transportation, speaks on “The Impact of Railroads on New Mexico’s Transition from Territory to Statehood, 1880-1914.”

Wednesday, Aug. 17th: Robert J. Tórrez, New Mexico’s state historian from 1987-2000, speaks on "The Struggle for Statehood: The Search for Law and Order along New Mexico's `Lawless Frontier.’"

Wednesday, Sept. 26th: David Holtby, from the Center for Regional Studies at the University of New Mexico, speaks on “Four Forgotten Ones in the Struggle for Statehood: Aldrich, Luna, Hitchcock, and the Woman's Christian Temperance Union."

Wednesday, Oct. 17th: Paul Hutton, a history professor at the University of New Mexico, speaks on “The Volunteers of the Spanish American War New Mexico and its Rough Riders.”

Wednesday, Nov. 14th: Sandra Schackel, a professor emerita at Boise State University, speaks on “New Mexico Women: The Road to Statehood.”

Monday, Dec. 12th: Elmo Baca, a board member of the New Mexico Humanities Council, speaks on “Nuevomexicanos and the Rhetoric of Statehood.”

Whew! That’s a lot to remember. Just get these great events into your calendar and remember: my pop quiz on these will not be until the end of the series in December 2012.

Image above: The then-New Mexico State Capitol flies the 47-star flag in 1912. The building was renovated with a Territorial style in the 1950s and now serves as the Bataan Memorial Building. Photo courtesy Palace of the Governors Photo Archives, #51277.