Yale Launches Center for the Study of Frontiers and Borders

Yale University will inaugurate the Howard Lamar Center for the Study of Frontiers and Borders on September 8 and 9, with a conference on America’s national parks.

Participants range from anti-timber advocates to “free market environmentalists.”

Robin Winks, the Randolph W. Townsend Jr. Professor of History, will present the keynote address, “The Best Idea We Ever Had: Wallace Stegner, the National Parks and the West,” on Friday at 5:30 p.m. in Sudler Hall of William L. Harkness Hall, 100 Wall St. Winks is a member of the National Parks and Conservation Association and has been named Conservationist of the Year. In 1999, he received the first National Parks Association gold medal for contributions to public education on behalf of the nation’s national parks. This annual honor is now known as the Robin W. Winks Award.

A reception at the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, 121 Wall St., follows the talk.

On Saturday, the Lamar Center will sponsor a panel discussion on the social, political and environmental problems - past and present - surrounding the national parks. This event will take place at 10 a.m. in Rm. 101 of Linsly-Chittenden Hall, 63 High St.

Participants will be Mark Spence, Polly Welts Kaufman, P.J. Hill, Andy Kerr and Steven Stoll.

Spence, assistant professor of history at Knox College, is author of “Dispossessing the Wilderness: Indian Removal and the Making of the National Parks.”

Kaufman, associate professor of history at the University of Southern Maine, is author of “National Parks and the Women’s Voice: A History” and “Women Teachers on the Frontier.”

Hill, professor of economics at Wheaton College of Illinois and senior associate of the Political Economy Research Center of Bozeman, Montana, is a cattle rancher, advocate of free-market environmentalism and coauthor of “Eco-Sanity: A Common-Sense Guide to Environmentalism.”

Kerr, founder and president of Alternatives to Growth Oregon, consults for the Wilderness Society to achieve national protection for the 1.2 million-acre Steens-Alvord area in southeast Oregon. The Oregonian’s Northwest Magazine described him as the timber industry’s “most hated man in Oregon” and The Christian Science Monitor characterized him as “one of the toughest environmental professionals in the Pacific Northwest.”

Steven Stoll, assistant professor of history and American studies and director of undergraduate studies in the environment at Yale, will serve as the moderator for the discussion.

The Lamar Center honors Howard R. Lamar, the Sterling Professor Emeritus of History and former President of Yale University. Lamar, well known for his pivotal contributions to the field of Western history, continues to work as a scholar and adviser. The Yale University Press recently published the new “Encyclopedia of the American West,” a comprehensive work edited by Lamar.

The initial funding of the Lamar Center has been provided by a generous gift of Roland W. Betts (Yale Class of 1968). Betts, a member of the Yale Corporation, is the chair and chief executive officer of Chelsea Piers, L.P., which developed and operates the Chelsea Piers Sports and Entertainment Complex in New York City.

All of the Center’s inaugural events are free and open to the public. For further information, contact Jay Gitlin, executive coordinator of the Lamar Center, at jay.gitlin@yale.edu or lamar.center@yale.edu or call 203-432-0553 or 203-432-7573.

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Media Contact

Gila Reinstein: gila.reinstein@yale.edu, 203-432-1325