October 9, 2006
Director of Media Relations

AMHERST, Mass.—Elliott West, Alumni Distinguished Professor of History at the University of Arkansas, will speak on “Disease and the Making of Empires: Why It Matters that Lewis and Clark Didn’t Get Sick (Or at Least Really Sick)” at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 26, in the Pruyne Lecture Hall (Fayerweather 115) at Amherst College. Sponsored by the history department and the dean of the faculty, this is the fifth annual lecture in a series named in honor of Anson D. Morse Professor of History and American Studies Hugh Hawkins, emeritus.

A specialist in the social and environmental history of the American frontier, West teaches and writes on the history of the American West. A native Texan, he received his doctorate from the University of Colorado. He has twice been chosen as teacher of the year at the University of Arkansas and was Arkansas’ teacher of the year in 1995.

West is the author of five books, including Growing Up with the Country: Childhood on the Far Western Frontier (1989); The Way to the West: Essays on the Central Plains (1995); and The Contested Plains: Indians, Goldseekers and the Rush to Colorado (1998), winner of the Francis Parkman Prize and the OAH Ray Allen Billington Prize, among others.