Patricia Nelson Limerick

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Patricia Nelson Limerick
Born (1951-05-17) May 17, 1951 (age 64)
Banning, California
Nationality United States
Occupation Historian
Known for Historic studies of the American West

Patricia Nelson Limerick (born May 17, 1951) is an American historian, considered to be one of the leading historians of the American West.[1][2] She was born and raised in Banning, California.


Limerick received a B.A. in American Studies in 1972 from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and a Ph.D. in American Studies in 1980 from Yale University. She worked at Harvard University as an assistant professor from 1980 to 1984. Previously she taught at Yale as a graduate teaching assistant, where she helped teach the highly regarded 'daily themes' class. Since then Limerick has been at the University of Colorado at Boulder, where she is professor of history and chair of the Board of the Center of the American West.

Limerick is the current president of the Organization of American Historians (2014)[3] and is a former president of the American Studies Association (1996–1997) and the Western History Association (2000). She is known for her 1987 book The Legacy of Conquest, which is part of a body of historical writing sometimes known as the New Western History. In 1995, she was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship.[4]

Her essay on the Modoc War, titled "Haunted America" appears in the collection Ways of Reading, a textbook widely used by undergraduate English students. She also co-edited a collection of essays, titled Trails: Toward a New Western History] which relate to her 1989 "Trails Through Time" exhibit.



  • — (1985). Desert passages : encounters with the American deserts. Albuquerque, NM: University of New Mexico Press. ISBN 978-0826307941. 
  • — (1987). The legacy of conquest : the unbroken past of the American West. New York: W.W. Norton & Co. ISBN 978-0393023909. 
  • —; Milner II, Clyde A.; Rankin, Charles E., eds. (1991). Trails : toward a new western history. Lawrence, Kansas: University Press of Kansas. ISBN 0700605010. 
  • — (2000). Something in the soil : legacies and reckonings in the New West. New York: W.W. Norton & Co. ISBN 978-0393037883. 
  • —; Hanson, Jason L. (2012). A ditch in time : the city, the west, and water. Golden, Colo.: Fulcrum Pub. ISBN 978-1-55591-366-3. 


  • Monthly column for the Denver Post (current)[5]

Awards and honors[edit]

  • Alumni Achievement Award, University of California, Santa Cruz, 1990[6]
  • State Humanist of the Year, Colorado Endowment for the Humanities, 1992[6]
  • Official Fool of the University of Colorado, from 1987 to 2008[6]
  • MacArthur Fellow, 1995–2000[2][6]
  • Hazel Barnes Prize, University of Colorado’s highest award for teaching and research, 2001[2]


  1. ^ The Legacy of Conquest: The Unbroken Past of the American West, Patricia Nelson Limerick, W. W. Norton & Company, 1987, ISBN 0-393-30497-3
  2. ^ a b c "Patty Limerick". Center of the American West. University of Colorado at Boulder. Retrieved 19 November 2014. 
  3. ^ "About the OAH, 2014–2015 OAH Executive Board". Organization of American Historians. Organization of American Historians. Retrieved 20 November 2014. 
  4. ^ The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. "MacArthur Fellows July 1995". Retrieved 2007-06-02. 
  5. ^ Limerick, Patty. "Patty Limerick opinion column". Denver Post. Denver Post. Retrieved 20 November 2014. 
  6. ^ a b c d "Faculty Short Biographies, Patricia Limerick". Department of History, University of Colorado, Boulder. University of Colorado, Boulder. Retrieved 19 November 2014. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Lauck, Jon K., “How South Dakota Sparked the New Western History Wars: A Commentary on Patricia Nelson Limerick,” South Dakota History 41 (Fall 2011), 353–81.

External links[edit]