The “Let’s Talk About It” series will discuss Empire of the Summer Moon: Quanah Parker and the Rise and Fall of the Comanches, the Most Powerful Indian Tribe in American History.
It will be at 7 p.m. Tuesday in Room 151 of Walker Center for Arts and Sciences.
The book by S. C. Gwynne will continue the series’ “War, Not War, and Peace” theme.
Russ Tallchief, director of student engagement, inclusion and multicultural programs, is the presenting scholar for the discussion. The book tells the story of Quanah Parker, a Comanche Tribe war leader, and his leadership during Native American resistance to white settlement.
“We will certainly need to discuss the historical context for the story to establish what was happening in the United States during this era in the mid-19th century and why,” Tallchief said. “The Comanches, without question, played a critical role in the Indian resistance against the Spanish pressing North from Mexico and western expansion from the East by immigrants migrating to the U.S., particularly from Europe.”
Tallchief will give a 30-45 minute presentation on the book. There will be a small discussion for students and faculty afterward.
Tallchief said the first part will be about the context for the war. The second part will be on Cynthia Ann-Parker, a Caucasian woman who was kidnapped by the Comanches but went on to join the tribe and become the mother of Quanah Park.
“Quanah Parker, therefore, was mixed-blood,” Tallchief said. “But that didn’t stand in the way of him becoming one of the greatest Comanche chiefs of all time.”
Tallchief said he hopes people will gain respect for Parker and for the Comanche’s perspective on the wars.
“I hope that readers will respect the personal history of Quanah Parker, his family and his deep commitment to preserving his family and the Comanche way of life,” Tallchief said. “I also hope that readers respect the Comanche’s perspective about why these wars raged for so long.”
Some students have expressed interest in reading the book.
“I think reading these kinds of books is important,” said Carlos Sanchez, English junior. “We need to discuss these things because they are rarely discussed.”
The next “Let’s Talk About It” presentation will be about Maus by Art Spiegelman on Feb. 20.