2016 Guy Caldwell Western Heritage Lecture Brings History to HSU

Dr. Jason Mellard addressed Texas music and its place in history


Friday evening faculty, staff, students and the community gathered in the Johnson Building Multipurpose Room for the eleventh Guy Caldwell Western Heritage Lecture.

Dr. Jason Mellard was this year’s guest speaker and his presentation topic was “Western Swing and Global Pop: Texas Music and the Lone Star Sense of Place.”

He spoke of how music has played a special role for Texans throughout history.

“When we project ourselves as westerners, there’s always this kind of strange push and pull between the myth and reality, between that image and that substance. I want to find something that truly does represent Texas,” said Mellard. “This is a way of hearing music as history. It feels like the land and echoes that land.”

The presentation covered the history of country music, blues, jazz, and western swing and explored whether the genres represent the true west Texas culture.

“The appeal to me as a professor of history is that Dr. Mellard's work reflects the human experience,” said Dr. Tiffany Fink, who organized the event. “Regardless of a student's major or career goal, we meet important needs for students when we expose them to the intricacies of the human experience, helping them develop greater appreciation for diverse cultures as well as deeper appreciation of their own.  

She said Dr. Mellard's expertise adds to the discussion while at the same time being an interesting topic for the audience.

The Guy Caldwell Western Heritage Lecture series started in 2006. The Guy Caldwell Endowment funds the lecture series in order to the honor and preserve the legacy left by Guy Caldwell. The lecture series acts as a way to recognize and honor western legacies and culture.

“The Guy Caldwell lectures bring a unique aspect to the HSU community,” Patrick Stone, senior marketing major from Euless, Texas, said. “Every year there is an interesting lecture that could show students that there is more to this small university than you think.”


  • A Princeton Review Best Western College
  • Council for Christian Colleges & Universities  
  • Center for Student Opportunity: Promoting a College-Bound Culture
  • US News Best Colleges
  • Military Friendly
  • college_of_christian_distinction_badge20172018
  • College Choice Best Christian Colleges and University
  • University and College Accountability Network