The University of Oklahoma’s History Department has a long commitment to the study of the American West, its peoples, and its environment. That commitment continues to this day with a first-rate faculty, exceptional graduate students, and unparalleled research resources. Many faculty members publish in this field (as do some graduate students), and faculty and graduate students regularly present their findings at conferences throughout the nation.
Gary Anderson: (Ph.D., University of
Professor Gary Anderson's recent books include The
Conquest of Texas: Ethnic Cleansing in the Promised
Land, 1830-1875 and The Indian Southwest 1580-1830:
Ethnogenesis and Cultural Reinvention. Other publications
include Sitting Bull and the Paradox of Lakota Nationahood and Kinsmen of Another Kind: Dakota-White Relations
in the Upper Mississippi Valley, 1650-1862. He
has also co-authored a new textbook on the history of
the American West titled Power and Promise: The
Changing American West. Professor Anderson is currently
working on a biography of Will Rogers and a book on
Indians and the Great Plains Wars, 1830-1890. He regularly
teaches the U.S. Survey as well as courses on Native
American history at both the undergraduate and graduate
Kathleen A. Brosnan: (Ph.D., University of Chicago)
Kathleen Brosnan joined the History faculty in 2012 as the Travis Chair. Her research and teaching interests include the American West, environmental history, urban history, legal history, and public history. She is the author of Uniting Mountain and Plain: Cities, Law and Environmental Change along the Front Range and the co-editor of City Dreams, Country Schemes: Community and Identity in the American West (with Amy Scott) and the forthcoming Energy Capitals: Global Influence, Local Impact (with Joseph Pratt and Martin Melosi). Brosnan edited the prize-winning Encyclopedia of American Environmental History, which included some 365 authors, and has contributed articles to various edited volumes and journals, such as Environmental History and the Catholic Historical Review. As a public historian, she has worked on a Newberry Library exhibit and a National Park Service national landmark nomination and directed the creation of an online exhibit, To Bear Fruit for Our Race: the History of African American Physicians in Houston. Brosnan currently is writing an environmental history of the Napa wine industry. She has served on numerous editorial boards and held elected positions in the American Society for Environmental History and the Western History Association. Brosnan earned a J.D. from the University of Illinois and a Ph.D. in history from the University of Chicago.
Sterling Evans: (Ph.D., University of Kansas)
Dr. Evans joined the History faculty in 2009 as the Welsh Chair. He has research and teaching interests in the history of the trans-national Great Plains, the U.S-Mexican and U.S.-Canadian borderlands, agricultural history, and environmental history. These interests meet in his book Bound in Twine: The History and Ecology of the Henequen-Wheat Complex for Mexico and the American and Canadian Plains, which won the Theodore Saloutos Best Book Prize from the Agricultural History Society in 2008 and also the Caroline Bancroft Award in 2009. He also edited the books The Borderlands of the American and Canadian Wests: Essays on Regional History of the 49th Parallel and American Indians in American History, 1870-2001: A Companion Reader, and is the author of a number of articles in a variety of journals. He is active in such organizations as the Western History Association, the Agricultural History Society, the American Society for Environmental History, the Society for Latin American and Caribbean Environmental History, and the Rocky Mountain Council on Latin American Studies. His interest in the environmental history of Latin America prompted him to write The Green Republic: A Conservation History of Costa Rica, and to work on his current project, Damming Sonora: Water, Agriculture, and Environmental Change in Northwest Mexico. Evans received his doctorate in history from the University of Kansas.
R. Warren Metcalf: (Ph.D., Arizona State University)
Professor Warren Metcalf is the author of Termination's
Legacy: The Discarded Indians of Utah and is a
scholar of twentieth-century Native American history.
Focusing on the mixed-blood Ute Indians of Utah, this
book examines the motives of those who sponsored the
termination policy and its complicated impact on the
native population. He is now at work on two book-length
projects: one focuses on the mixed-blood tradition in
Oklahoma, and the other examines the relationship between
Mormons and Native Americans. Professor Metcalf teaches
a wide-range of courses, including the U.S. Survey,
a variety of offerings in Native American history, the
graduate "Methods" seminar, and a popular
course titled "Twentieth-Century America in Film."
William W. Savage, Jr.: (Ph.D., University of Oklahoma)
Professor Savage is a specialist in Western American history and Oklahoma history and has published,
among others, a highly regarded book on the cattle industry--one of the first to discuss Native Americans as
businessmen--and one on the mythic status of the cowboy in American culture, The Cowboy Hero.
His current interests include an examination of how mainstream American popular culture has
depicted the West.
David Wrobel (Ph.D., Ohio University)
David Wrobel teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on the American West, Modern American Thought and Culture, the Progressive Era, Historical Methods, and the U.S. Survey: 1865-Present. He is the author of Promised Lands: Promotion, Memory and the Creation of the American West (2002); The End of American Exceptionalism: Frontier Anxiety from the Old West to the New Deal (1993); and numerous articles and essays, including “Exceptionalism and Globalism: Travel Writers and the Nineteenth-Century American West, reprinted in David Roediger, ed., The Best American History Essays 2008 (2008). He is the co-editor of Seeing and Being Seen: Tourism in the American West (2001); and Many Wests: Place, Culture, and Regional Identity (1997). His current book projects are "Global West, American Frontier: 19th and 20th-Century Travelers’ Accounts" (for the University of New Mexico Press’s Calvin Horn Series); and “The West and America, 1900-2000: A Regional History” (for Cambridge University Press). He co-edits two book series: The Modern American West (University of Arizona Press) and The Urban West (University of Nevada Press).
Fay Yarbrough: (Ph.D., Emory University)
Professor Yarbrough is the author of several articles
as well as a new book, Race and the Cherokee Nation:
Sovereignty in the Nineteenth Century. The book
uses innovative data to pose big questions, specifically
the complex relationship between the construction of
sexual boundaries and the formation of tribal and racial
identities. The study analyzes how Cherokee lawmakers
used marriage laws to construct conceptions of race
and gender in the face of Jackson's Indian policies
and how the Civil War and Reconstruction reconfigured
the thinking of Cherokee legislators. Informed by a
sophisticated analysis of marriage records, district
clerk records, legal statutes, contemporary newspapers,
and personal papers, the book guides the readers into
the complex world of Cherokee communities, how marriage
laws functioned in the life of everyday people in the
Cherokee Nation, and how Cherokee and African-American
conceptions of sexuality and interracial sex differed.
Professor Yarbrough is also co-editing a collection
of essays, tentatively titled Gender and Sexuality
in the Indigenous Americas, 1400-1850, and has
embarked on a new study of marriage, sex, race, and
identity, this time among the Choctaws with the focus
primarily on one family, specifically that of William
Beams, a white man who married a Choctaw woman and had
several children with both her and, later, with a slave
woman of African descent. Her other new project is an
examination of the impact of the American Civil War
on the Choctaw Nation. Professor Yarbrough teaches courses
on nineteenth-century American history, including a
new offering titled the " Nineteenth-Century Black