About Persistent Frontiers

This website borrows the idea of a "persistent frontier" put forth by the Western historian Howard Lamar. In his presidential address at the Western History Association in 1972, Lamar said that, contrary to popular belief, frontiers did not lose their relevance at the end of the nineteenth century; frontiers -- historical, cultural, and academic -- remained especially relevant to the twentieth-century West.

Persistent Frontiers takes Lamar's idea and personalizes it. Assembled by Andrew Offenburger, Assistant Professor of History at Miami University, this website documents the people, places, and ideas encountered in studying and teaching the U.S. West, the U.S.-Mexico borderlands, and global frontiers.

Offenburger earned an M.A. in African Studies (2008) and an M.Phil. and Ph.D. in U.S. history (2010, 2014) from Yale University. His manuscript—which brings a global perspective to the history of the U.S.-Mexican borderlands between 1880 and 1920—received the Frederick W. Beinecke Prize and is under contract to be published by Yale University Press in its Lamar Series in Western History. Offenburger spent the 2014-2015 academic year as the David J. Weber Postdoctoral Fellow at Southern Methodist University's Clements Center for Southwest Studies

His research on frontiers, borders, colonialism, and indigenous history connects the past of the U.S. West with similar processes in Latin America and Africa. Coming from this perspective, from 1999 to 2013, Offenburger founded, developed, and directed—in collaboration with an international editorial board—the quarterly academic journal Safundi: The Journal of South African and American Studies, which Routledge acquired in 2007 and continues to publish in print and online.