Annual Conference

University Center

Morgan University Center

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CBBS Store
Conference Location
Call for Papaers Form
Instructions for Presenters
Format for Paper Submissions

Every fall the Center for Big Bend Studies hosts a two-day conference in the Morgan University Center on the campus of Sul Ross State University.

The conference brings together historians, archaeologists, folklorists and other researchers studying the past and present of the Big Bend region and northern Mexico.

Attending the Conference

Conference attendees are also invited to renew old acquaintances and meet new friends at the complimentary Friday night social, followed by our annual banquet.

Center for Big Bend Studies members will receive a registration form in the mail several weeks before the conference that offers a discount for CBBS members and a discounted price for early registration. Registration can also be completed online at the CBBS store beginning in October.

Non-members may also register after October 1, 2019 online at the CBBS store or by downloading the registration form or requesting one by calling (432) 837-8179, faxing (432) 837-8381, e-mailing

Submitting Papers and Instructions for Presenters

Presentations are allotted 30 minutes, and we recommend that the presentation itself last no more than 20 minutes, to leave time for questions. If you would like to present, please complete the Call for Papers form and send materials to the Center for Big Bend Studies. For detailed instructions for presenters, see the Instructions page.

Presentations should focus on prehistoric, historic and modern cultures of the Borderlands Region of the United States and Mexico, with emphasis on the area encompassed by the greater Big Bend region of Texas or adjacent areas of West Texas and northern Mexico. Please prepare a Powerpoint slideshow to accompany your talk.

All presenters are encouraged to write up their presentation as a formal paper after the conference and submit it for consideration in the next fall's Journal of Big Bend Studies. Selected papers will be edited and published. It is not required that journal papers be presented at the conference, but all conference presenters may then write a paper on their or another topic and submit it to the journal. All papers are required to follow a specific format which can be referenced here.

The dates for the 2018 Conference are November 9 and 10.

2018 Presenters

Manuel Mejía Armijo       A History of the Guitarilla
Troy Ainsworth       Architectural Modernity and the “Americanization” of El Paso in the 1880s
Felix D. Almaraz Jr.       The Texas Connection to the Legend of the Lady in Blue, 1685–1716
Melleta Bell, Lisa Zakharova, and April Aultman Becker       An Overview of the Archives of the Big Bend – Past, Present, Future
Erika Blecha       Current and Future Archaeological Investigations on the 02 Ranch
Roger Boren       The Archaeology of Acquisition: The 1920s Excavations at Bee Cave Rockshelter, Brewster County, Texas
Al Borrego       Casa Ronquillo, the Viceroy Palace
Jorge Carrera Robles       Opening of the Regional Museum of Ojinaga
Samuel Cason       Late Archaic Transitions in the Big Bend
William A. Cloud, Bill Millet, and José Aguilar Moreno       Background and Update on the CBBS-INAH Memorandum of Understanding
Marty Davis       Passing Through Indian Territory: Two Centuries of Indian Territory Maps, 1750–1950
Glen Sample Ely       (Banquet Speaker) Butterfield Overland Mail in the Big Bend
Charles Frederick       Assessing Albritton and Bryan’s Peripheral Localities: A Look at Recent Fieldwork
Tim Gibbs       Sipping from the Firehose: Developing a Programmatic Monitoring Plan for Big Bend Ranch State Park
Taylor Greer       Polished Pebbles and Cordage Variability in Spirit Eye Cave
Mark Howe       Explorations, History and Archeology along the Rio Grande
David W. Keller       The Massacre at Porvenir: What New Evidence Reveals and Historic Preservation Efforts at Big Bend National Park
Wayne Warren Kinney       Reevaluation of the Evidence of Prehistoric Use of Mushrooms in the Big Bend
Tai Kreidler       The Life and Times of Joe Don Looney
Miguel Angel Mazarambroz       Caminos Reales, Old King’s Highways from Spanish Times
José Aguilar Moreno       INAH-Coahuila’s Efforts along the Border: San Juan Bautista and Mission San Bernardo
Juan Morlock       Desperation Mesa: A Stone Enclosure and Structural Site on the Pinto Canyon Ranch
Emiliano Gallaga Murrieta       A Presidio in the Sand: The Presidio San Carlos Archaeological Project, Preliminary Results
Alberto Peña Rodriguez       The Casas Grandes Culture
Bryon Schroeder       Maize, Baskets, and Atlatls: The Radiocarbon Record from Spirit Eye Cave in West Texas
Ty Smith       Camp el Rio, Texas, 1875–1923
Richard Stark       Agave Bloom-stalk Ovens in the Southern Chihuahuan Desert
Leland Turner       The Livestock Lobby and its Battle for the Hepburn Act
Martha Vera       A Visit to Ágreda, Spain
Richard Walter       Not Just Another Fish Tale: Ichthyoarchaeology along the Rio Grande and the Río Conchos in the Big Bend and Northern Chihuahua
Bill Wright       The Whole Damn Cheese: Maggie Smith, Border Legend
Richard Wright       Utilities and Governance at Valentine in the 1970s
Lisa Zakharova       Mary Kilpatrick Howard: Merchant, Landowner, Teacher, and Administratrix
See Full Schedule Here            

Abstracts for the 2019 conference are due October 3.