09/13/2017 @ 12:00 pm
295 1500 E, Salt Lake City, UT 84112
Richard White (Professor of American History, Stanford University) is a historian of the United States specializing in the American West, the history of capitalism, environmental history, history and memory, and Native American history. His work has occasionally spilled over into Mexico, Canada, France, Australia and Ireland. He is a MacArthur Fellow and a recipient of the Mellon Distinguished Professor Award. His work has won numerous academic prizes, and he has twice been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.
The modern American West began as a technological project, and it has become an analog for modern transformative technologies. The boosters of Silicon Valley, proponents of high speed rail, and others reach for analogies to the West. Such parallels are more revealing than those making them intend. Then and now Americans have deployed new technologies to enhance the existing order rather than alter it. These efforts usually miscarry not because the technologies fail but because the institutions that produce them, rather than the tools they deploy, form the real center for change.