Brian Hosmer, PhD

Brian Hosmer, PhD
H.G. Barnard Associate Professor of Western American History
College of Arts & Sciences
918-631-3843 Chapman Hall Room 218


PhD – University of Texas-Austin MA – University of Texas-Austin BA – University of Vermont


I’ve held the H.G. Barnard Chair in Western American History since 2009, following academic positions at the University of Delaware, University of Wyoming, and the University of Illinois at Chicago. While in Chicago, I also directed the Newberry Library’s D’Arcy McNickle Center for Native American and Indigenous Studies (formally McNickle Center for American Indian History), a preeminent Native American Studies research center, for a half-dozen years.

At TU I teach a variety of classes covering Indigenous peoples of North America, the North American West, Environmental history, and the History of Oklahoma. Most years, “Indians in American History” and “Images of the West” are my “bread and butter” classes, attracting students pursuing a variety of majors. I offer seminars on Representations by/about Indigenous People, American Indian Ethnohistory (basically a methods class), and other topics touching upon the west. My Oklahoma History class exposes students to public history through guest speakers and field trips to Tulsa institutions and sites.

I mostly research and write topics I find interesting, though most of my publications pivot around intersections between economic change and Indigenous nationhood in the 20th century. My books (solely authored or edited) include: American Indians and the Marketplace, Native Pathways, Tribal Worlds, Native Americans and the Legacy of Harry S. Truman, and Indians of Illinois, a book I’m just completing. Most recently I’ve published on topics like reservation newsletters published during the 1930s, “Community-Engaged Scholarship” in Indian country, and a study of Miami Nationhood based on papers held in the Gilcrease Museum archives (which received an award from the Oklahoma Historical Society). My next project will be a history of travel and American identity, tentatively entitled A Trip to the States: An American Story.

Beyond teaching and research, I’m active in public programming (a legacy of my Newberry experience). I organized the inaugural Woody Guthrie Symposium and Benefit Concert in 2012, and have hosted speakers as diverse as Paul Tapsell (Maori), Anne Hyde, LaDonna Harris (Comanche), and organized symposia for, or in partnership with, the Woody Guthrie Center, John Hope Franklin Center for Reconciliation, Helmerich Center for American Research, and the American Society for Ethnohistory.

My spouse is a public school teacher (history too!) and our daughter is set to graduate from TU with a degree in Art History, with minors in Photography, Sociology, and Museum Studies. I have two dogs, and devote much energy to home repair and remodeling.

Research Interests

American Indian ethnohistory, focusing on economic change and cultural identity, wage labor and tribal nationhood.

Teaching Interests

American History
The North American West
Environmental History
Representations of the West and/or Indians
American Indian History


Journal Articles

Book Chapters


Journal Article Reviews

Book Reviews


Courses Taught

  • Medieval Culture Or Self-Fashioning in The Renaissance
  • Independent Study
  • Indians in American History
  • Images of the American West
  • American Indian Ethno-History
  • American Indian Ethnohistory

Professional Affiliations

  • Midwestern History Society
  • Organization of American Historians
  • American Historical Association
  • Texas State Historical Association
  • American Society for Ethnohistory
  • Western History Association
  • Oklahoma Historical Society

Awards & Honors

  • Alaska History Award
  • Colonial Dames of America, Graduate Student Award
  • Fulbright Senior Specialist
  • Susan Horton Cone Distinguished Lectureship
  • UIC Institute for the Humanities, Faculty Fellow
  • Muriel B. Wright Award
  • Thomas H. Buckley Teaching Award