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“What’s so Great about the Great Plains?”

A Paul A. Olson lecture

5:30 pm–6:30 pm
Center for Great Plains Studies
1155 Q St.
Lincoln NE 68588
Directions: 11th and Q streets
Katie Nieland, (402) 472-3965,
The Great Plains is a region that is difficult to define and often overlooked and misunderstood.

Historian Andrew Graybill traces one early effort to give the Great Plains its due. 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 in its own right. Yet the book is marred by several shortcomings, among them Webb’s wincing racism. In his talk highlighting the new 2022 edition of the book (University of Nebraska Press), Graybill explores 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 UNL from 2003-11 and is an Affiliate Fellow of the Center for Great Plains Studies.

This event is part of the Center for Great Plains Studies’ Paul A. Olson lecture series and is free and open to the public. This lecture is supported by UNL History Department, the University of Nebraska Press and the UNL Faculty Senate Convocations Committee.

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This event originated in Center for Great Plains Studies.