Aug. 21, 2007

Historian to receive William P. Clements Prize
for the Best Non-Fiction Book on Southwestern America

Ned Blackhawk

Ned Blackhawk, an author and historian at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, is this year's recipient of the William P. Clements Prize for the Best Non-Fiction Book on Southwestern America.

Published in 2006, Blackhawk's Violence over the Land: Indians and Empires in the Early American West describes the violence and its consequences experienced by the Ute, Paiute, and Shoshone residing in what is now Utah, Nevada, New Mexico, Colorado, and California.

Blackhawk will receive the award from SMU's William P. Clements Center for Southwest Studies during formal ceremonies at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 7, in the DeGolyer Library on the SMU campus. The presentation will be preceded by a reception at 6 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

Blackhawk specializes in North American Indian history, culture, and identity from U.S. Colonial to 21st century, as well as race and multiculturalism, and comparative colonialisms. His current research and teaching interests include American Indian history, U.S. West, Spanish borderlands, comparative colonialism, and race and violence.

American Indians remain familiar as icons, yet poorly understood as historical agents. Violence over the Land ranges across Utah, Nevada, New Mexico, Colorado, and eastern California (a region known as the Great Basin) as Blackhawk places native peoples squarely at the center of a dynamic and complex story.

Blackhawk chronicles two centuries of Indian and imperial history that profoundly shaped the American West. On the distant margins of empire, Great Basin Indians increasingly found themselves engulfed in the chaotic storms of European expansion and responded in ways that refashioned themselves and those around them. Focusing on Ute, Paiute, and Shoshone Indians, Blackhawk illuminates this history through a lens of violence, excavating the myriad impacts of colonial expansion.

The $2,500 Clements Book Prize honors fine writing and original research on the American Southwest. The competition is open to any nonfiction book, including biography, on any aspect of Southwestern life, past or present.

The William P. Clements Center for Southwest Studies is part of SMU's Dedman College and affiliated with the Department of History. It was created to promote research, publishing, teaching and public programming in a variety of fields related to the American Southwest.

For more information about the Center or about the upcoming book prize event, please call (214) 768-3684 or see

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