2022 Winner of an NEH Grant!

In January 2022, it was announced that CSAW was awarded a grant from the National Endowment of the Humanities (NEH) to continue work on the Forgotten Frontera project. 

With this new grant, CSAW will be able to expand Forgotten Frontera from a "community conversation" to a university-wide, humanities-based Mexican American studies initiative. This will enabled CSAW and WT to make Mexican American Studies more relevant to students, as well as revitalize humanities education by increasing HSI-oriented course offerings. 

In addition to continuing to host visiting scholars relevent to Mexican American Studies, WT will offer a variety of courses spread over the course of the grant to enhance the education of our student body. CSAW will also aid in collecting oral histories to memorialize Latinx histories on the Southern Plains.

Oral History Resources

Best practices for conducting an oral history

Oral history consent form

Forgotten Frontera Goals

The “Forgotten Frontera” project, overseen by CSAW at West Texas A&M University, aims to recognize and document the history of Mexican American and Tejano history in the Southern Great Plains region, where these people made a significant contribution not adequately recognized in the region’s written histories.

The Center for the Study of the American West (CSAW) at West Texas A&M University (WTAMU) has as its mission “to promote the study of the American West both as a region culturally unique and as a product of broad historical forces”; CSAW furthermore has as its vision statement, “to become a center dedicated to cultivating a critical sense of region and place in a globalized era.” Exemplifying the values of both statements, CSAW’s NEH-funded project “Forgotten Frontera: The Mexican American Southern Plains” has among its goals the recovery and dissemination of an endangered cultural heritage and the strengthening of WTAMU as a Hispanic-Serving Institution.

Forgotten Frontera is a long-term project. With funding from NEH, the next three years will make Forgotten Frontera a permanent aspect of institutional practices by grafting its expertise onto WTAMU events and activities in scholarly, curricular, museum collection, and community practices. Propelled by NEH Funding, CSAW’s fundraising initiatives will proceed in raising endowments to fund Forgotten Frontera events and research activities for the future. CSAW, WTAMU, and the PPHM will continue to build upon relationships formed in the community.

At WTAMU, Mexican American studies will promote humanities and Spanish programs. Currently, the Spanish program has 8 majors and 20 minors. We believe that Forgotten Frontera will assist with Spanish program growth, projecting at least 16 majors and 45 minors in Spanish and/or Mexican American/Latina/o/x studies over three years. Furthermore, the impact of Forgotten Frontera events and student research engagement will bring more students in other fields to humanities courses and to awareness of humanities’ relevance for our community. For example, students adding Spanish minors to their majors in business are more likely to understand the importance of history to the community they wish to serve as entrepreneurs.