Parker Symposium Examines Frontier Life

Cynthia Ann and Quanah Parker
Cynthia Ann and Quanah Parker

Pulitzer Prize winner Glenn Frankel, author of the recent bestseller, The Searchers: The Making of an American Legend, will take part in a two-day symposium, “A Frontier Odyssey: The Lives and Legacy of Cynthia Ann and Quanah Parker.”

The symposium, hosted by the Center for Southwestern Studies, will take place April 17-18 in the Sixth Floor Parlor of the Central Library.

On Thursday, April 17, at 12:30 p.m., F. Todd Smith (University of North Texas), Joaquín Rivaya-Martínez (Texas State University) and Todd Kerstetter (Texas Christian University) will examine the lives of Cynthia Ann Parker and Quanah Parker in the larger context of 19th century Comanche-Anglo relations.

On Friday, April 18, at noon, Frankel, Randi Tanglen (Austin College), and Dustin Tahmahkera  (Southwestern University) will examine the ways in which these events have been portrayed in popular culture, focusing on the captivity narrative in American literature and film.

Frankel, who is chair of the School of Journalism at the University of Texas at Austin, will discuss his book, a history of the Parker Raid in 1836 and its development as an iconic western by film director John Ford featuring John Wayne, at a Friends of the Library meeting at 7:30 p.m. April 18. All events will be free and open to the public.

In conjunction with the symposium, the Center for Southwestern Studies will bring to campus the photographic exhibit, “The Story of Cynthia Ann and Quanah Parker,” a collection of 45 photographs on loan from the Texas Lakes Trail Heritage Program. The exhibition will be on display in the Library Parlor through May 2014.

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