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Mission and Approach


The Center for the Study of the Southwest at Texas State University strives to enrich learning about the Greater Southwest through curriculum developmentpublic outreach, and research.

The program engages faculty and students in the richness and diversity of the Southwestern United States and Northern Mexico and gives focus to intercultural studies through examining the region's people, institutions, history, and physical and cultural ecology.


An Intercultural, Interdisciplinary Approach

The Center's multicultural and multidisciplinary approach increases awareness of and sensitivity to the diversity of ethnic and cultural traditions of the area.  Through curriculum development, public outreach, and research, the Center achieves its objectives.  The program examines the Southwest as an arena for cultures in conflict and harmony from prehistory to the present and encompasses such issues and themes as:

  • the clash and cooperation of diverse cultures: the Anglo American, Mexican American, Native American, and African American Southwest
  • the tension between individual and community
  • the interaction of people and environment
  • the conflict between environment and technology
  • the significance of the frontier in American thought
  • the myth and reality of the cowboy
  • the geophysical definition and variety of the Southwest
  • the distinction between regionalism and provincialism
  • the relationship of region and ethnicity
  • the concept of region in contrast with the dominant culture
  • the social and cultural patterns in a region as expressed through history in literature, art, architecture, theater, film, music, clothing, food, etc.