The Great Plains is a region that is difficult to define and often overlooked and misunderstood. Historian Andrew Graybill will trace one early effort to give the region its due in his talk “What’s So Great About the Great Plains?” at 5:30 p.m. Feb. 7 at the Center for Great Plains Studies.
In his most important book, “The Great Plains” (1931), leading western historian Walter Prescott Webb (1888-1963) emphasized the significance of the environment as a historical actor. Yet the book is marred by several shortcomings, among them Webb’s wincing racism. In this talk, highlighting the new 2022 edition of the book (University of Nebraska Press), Graybill will explore the book’s considerable limitations while arguing for its enduring vitality.
Graybill is a professor of history and director of the William P. Clements Center for Southwest Studies at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. He is the author or editor of four books, including “The Red and the White: A Family Saga of the American West” (Liveright, 2013). He taught at Nebraska from 2003-2011 and is an affiliate fellow of the Center for Great Plains Studies.
The event is part of the center’s Paul A. Olson lecture series and is free and open to the public. The lecture is supported by the Department of History, University of Nebraska Press and Faculty Senate Convocations Committee. Learn more.