Stanford historian, MacArthur Fellow, to give OSU lecture


CORVALLIS - Richard White, a historian from Stanford University whose work has been nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, will give a free public lecture at Oregon State University on Thursday, May 9.

His talk, "What You Don't Know Can't Hurt Us: The Transcontinental Railroads and the Control of Information," begins at 4 p.m. in Dearborn Hall Room 118. It is part of OSU's American Culture and Politics Speakers Series, coordinated by the university's Department of History and the Horning Endowment.

A recipient of a prestigious MacArthur Fellowship, White is among a group of scholars who has reconfigured and re-energized the field of American West history. Their scholarship has focused on the West as a region that has been the site of conflicts by successive cultures, from the Sioux of the Great Plains, to the Spanish, Mexicans, Europeans, Asians and African Americans who came into the region.

White is the author of five books, including one called "The Middle Ground: Indians, Empires and Republics in the Great Lakes Region, 1650-1815," which was a finalist for the 1992 Pulitzer Prize. Another book, "The Organic Machine," is a history of the Columbia River that examines a range of ideas, from the river's hydrological characteristics to its influence on agricultural, industrial and urban growth.

He also has written on western environmental and social history, the frontier and the myths surrounding it, and economic and cultural influences on the West.

A graduate of the University of California, Santa Cruz, White also has a master's degree and a doctorate from the University of Washington.