Noted Environmental Historian to Speak at MSU History Series

Dr. Sterling Evans, a distinguished environmental historian, will headline the Phi Alpha Theta Honor Society History Speaker Series Thursday, Nov. 21, at 5:30 p.m. in Dillard College of Business 101.

Evans' presentation, "Nothing New About NAFTA: North American Connections in Historical Perspective," will address the different angles involved in North American commerce, industry, and agriculture in the late 19th and early 20th centuries in Mexico, the United States, and Canada. Great Plains farmers in the United States and Canada became dependent on Mexico for harvesting crops, and in Mexico, Indians were forced into a brutal labor regime to accommodate this dependency, forming a pre-NAFTA (North American Free Trade Act) trade pattern between the three nations that had industrial, diplomatic, economic, political, labor, and environmental effects. The story is prophetic of similar policies today with NAFTA ù comparisons that Evans will highlight.

Evans currently holds the Louise Welsh Endowed Chair in Oklahoma, Southern Plains, and Borderlands History and is the Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of History at the University of Oklahoma. His research interests include Modern Latin America, the American West, and environmental and agricultural history, especially how these fields connect through transnational analysis. He is the author of The Green Republic: A Conservation History of Costa Rica; Bound in Twine: The History and Ecology of the Henequen-Wheat Complex for Mexico and the American and Canadian Plains, 1880-1950; and the soon-to-be released Damming Sonora: Water, Agriculture, and Environmental Change in Northwest Mexico. Bound in Twine won the Agricultural History Society's Theodore Saloutos Best Book Prize and the Denver Public Library's Caroline Bancroft Award.

This series is sponsored by the MSU History Department, Phi Alpha Theta History Honor Society, and Prothro-Yeager College of Arts and Sciences at MSU.

For more information, contact Dr. Leland Turner at (940) 397-4153.