William H. Goetzmann

William H. Goetzmann Historian William H. Goetzmann, winner of the Pulitzer Prize in 1967, and emeritus professor at the University of Texas died on September 7, 2010. His book Exploration and Empire , a study of the 19th century scientific exploration of the American West, won both the Pulitzer and Parkman prizes in history in 1967. His book on the art of the American West, The West of the Imagination co-authored with son William N. Goetzmann was the subject of a PBS television series by the same name in 1985. His most recent work, Beyond the Revolution (2009) traced the development of post-Revolutionary American thought. His writings and scholarly interests ranged widely over his career, from ribald historical memoirs ( My Confession: The Recollections of a Rogue: Sam Chamberlain , 1993), to definitive contributions in American intellectual history ( The American Hegelians , 1973). A consistent theme of his work was the variety and vitality of the American experience. Bill Goetzmann taught History and American Studies for fifty years; first at Yale University and then at the University of Texas. As the chairman of the University of Texas History department in 1968-9 and later as director of the American Studies Program from 1964 to 1980, he played a key role in the racial integration of the university's faculty and in the development of multi-cultural studies in the humanities. In 1968, he recruited the College of Arts and Sciences' first African American faculty members, Dr. Henry Bullock and Dr. George Washington and instituted the university's first women's studies course, "The Intellectual Woman in America," taught by Professor Susan Conrad. In 1969, he instituted a course in Hispanic-American studies taught by Professor Raymund Paredes. He continued his vocal advocacy for minority recruiting until shortly before his retirement from the university in 2005. As an educator, Bill Goetzmann chaired more than 60 doctoral committees and taught 83 different undergraduate and graduate courses over the course of his career as an educator. He held the Jack S. Blanton Sr. Professorship in History and American Studies at the University of Texas until his retirement 2005. The son of Viola and Harry Goetzmann, Bill Goetzmann was born in Washington, D.C. in 1930 and passed away in his home in Austin, Texas. An only child, he is survived by his wife Mewes Goetzmann, three children: William N. Goetzmann, professor of finance at Yale School of Management, Anne Goetzmann Kelley, co-executive director and founder of the Austin School of Film and Stephen R. Goetzmann, an attorney in Dallas and five grandchildren, Brooks Kelley Jr., of Austin, Texas, Zoe Goetzmann of New Haven, and Griffin Goetzmann, Sophie Goetzmann and Wells Goetzmann of Dallas. A memorial mass will be held Sunday September 12, 2010 at 2:00 p.m. at the St. Austin's Catholic Church, 2026 Guadalupe Street Austin, TX 78705.


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Published in Austin American-Statesman on Sept. 8, 2010