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The 2012 Brainpower & Brownbags Lecture Series Takes on a Centennial Theme

Santa Fe - 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 in the JohnGaw Meem Room of the museum; enter through the Washington Avenue doors. The lectures are free and, yes, you may bring a lunch to enjoy.

The schedule:

Wednesday, Jan. 11:
Richard Melzer, “Political Cartoons and New Mexico's Struggle for Statehood 1850-1912"

Melzer is a history professor at the University of New Mexico’s Valencia Campus and author of several books, including New Mexico: Celebrating the Land of Enchantment (Gibbs Smith 2011), an official product of the state’s Centennial celebration. The book focuses on the social and political elements through essays and archival photography.

Wednesday, Feb. 15: Dennis Reinhartz, “The Graphics of Statehood: The Mapping of New Mexico"

Reinhartz is professor emeritus of history and Russian at the University of Texas at Arlington. His publications include Mapping and Empire: Soldier-Engineers on the Southwestern Frontier (University of Texas Press, 2005). He received the 1996 Adele Mellen Prize for The Cartographer and the Literati, a Friends of the UTA Libraries Faculty Award; and the 1987 Presidio La Bahia Award for The Mapping of the American Southwest.

Monday, March 12: Jon Hunner, “New Mexico: The Stumble to Statehood”

Hunner is a history professor and director of the Public History Program at New Mexico State University. His publications range from Time Traveling through New Mexico History: The Spanish Colonial Period (Public History Program, NMSU, 2004) to Chasing Oppie: J. Robert Oppenheimer and the Atomic West (University of Oklahoma Press, under contract).

Wednesday, April 18: Noel Pugach, “Understanding William Howard Taft: The President Who Approved New Mexico’s Statehood”

Pugach is a professor emeritus of history at the University of New Mexico. He has taught on Jewish history, foreign relations, and American diplomacy.

Friday, May 4: Robert Larson, “New Mexico: Early Attempts to Gain Statehood”

Larson is professor emeritus of history at the University of Northern Colorado. He has written books on Populism in the West and is the author of New Mexico’s Quest for Statehood, 1846-1912 (University of New Mexico Press, 1968).

Wednesday, June 13: Brian Turo, “1912: Statehood for New Mexico and Arizona”

Turo is a doctoral student of American history at the University of New Mexico.

Wednesday, July 18: Fred Friedman, “The Impact of Railroads on New Mexico’s Transition from Territory to Statehood, 1880-1914”

Friedman worked as the state’s Railroad Bureau chief at the Department of Transportation for 30 years and volunteers with the Fray Angélico Chávez History Library organizing its railroad maps.

Wednesday, Aug. 17: Robert J. Tórrez, "The Struggle for Statehood: The Search for Law and Order along New Mexico's `Lawless Frontier’"

Tórrez served as New Mexico’s state historian from 1987-2000. His books include A History of New Mexico Since Statehood (University of New Mexico Press, 2011) and UFOs Over Galisteo and Other Stories of New Mexico's History (University of New Mexico Press, 2004).

Wednesday, Sept. 26: David Holtby, “Four Forgotten Ones in the Struggle for Statehood: Aldrich, Luna, Hitchcock, and the Woman's Christian Temperance Union"

Holtby works for the Center for Regional Studies at the University of New Mexico. He is retired as editor in chief and associate director of the University of New Mexico Press, and in 2006 received the New Mexico Historical Society’s Edgar Lee Hewett Award for public service.

Wednesday, Oct. 17: Paul Hutton, “The Volunteers of the Spanish American War: New Mexico and its Rough Riders”

Hutton is a history professor at the University of New Mexico and offers film classes ranging from “Western Film” to “War on Film.” Author of numerous books on Western, military and popular-culture topics, he has written, appeared in, or narrated more than 150 television documentaries.

Wednesday, Nov. 14: Sandra Schackel, “New Mexico Women: The Road to Statehood”

Schackel is a professor emerita of women’s history and the American West at Boise State University. Her doctorate is from the University of New Mexico. Among her publications is Working the Land: The Stories of Ranch and Farm Women in the Modern American West (University of Kansas Press, 2011).

Monday, Dec. 12: Elmo Baca, “Nuevomexicanos and the Rhetoric of Statehood”

Baca serves on the board of the New Mexico Humanities Council and owns a Las Vegas, N.M., consulting firm that specializes in downtown revitalization services.

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.

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