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DALLAS (SMU) — The fall 2012 Godbey Lecture Series begins Sept. 24 with a slate of thought-provoking lunchtime discussions on everything from Texas and western history to the presidential election, and from children’s and adults’ health issues to the Mayan apocalypse.

Presented by SMU’s Dedman College of Humanities & Sciences, each Godbey Lecture Series event will take place at Maggiano’s Restaurant at NorthPark Center for $45 per lecture for GLS members, $65 for non-members; complete season packages cost $135 for GLS members, $195 for non-members. For more details, visit or call 214-768-2532.

Sept. 24, Oct. 1, Oct. 8: Clements Center for Southwest Studies (Series I)

11 a.m. lecture, noon lunch

Sep. 24: A Mixture of So Many Bloods: A Family Saga of the American West

Andrew Graybill, executive director of the Clements Center for Southwest Studies, will discuss his nearly completed book about a Montana family of mixed Native American-white ancestry and the changing notions of racial identity in the West between 1850-1950.

Oct. 1: A Dallas Palimpsest: Layers of St. Louis at Commerce and Akard

Paula Lupkin, assistant professor of art history at the University of North Texas, explains the relationship between Dallas and St. Louis in the late 19th and early 20th centuries by discussing the architecture at the intersection of Commerce and Akard streets.

Oct. 8: Migration, Culture and the Color Line in Jim Crow Houston

Tyina Steptoe, assistant professor of American ethnic studies at the University of Washington, examines the multiple influences that converged in Houston after World War I to influence culture and racial discourse in the then-Jim Crow city.

Oct.15, Oct. 29, Nov. 12: 2012 Presidential Election (Series II)

5:30 p.m. wine reception, 6 p.m. lecture

Oct. 15: Election 2012 – A Preview

Dedman College professors Cal Jillson, Dennis Simon and Matthew Wilson will survey the political landscape in Texas and the U.S. to predict the trends, issues and voter groups that will be critical in determining outcomes of various races.

Oct. 29: It’s Always ‘The Economy, Stupid’: The Economy & Election Outcomes

Nathan Balke, economics professor at Dedman College, examines electoral voting trends influenced by a fluctuating economy and other factors.

Nov. 12: Election 2012 – An Analysis

Professors Jillson, Simon and Wilson will look back on the election's outcome to assess key turning points in the presidential and congressional campaigns and analyze what the voting results will mean for the future.

Oct, 17, Oct. 31, Nov. 7: Health and Society (Series III)

11 a.m. lecture, noon lunch

Oct. 17: Up From The Darkness: Helping Children in Violent Families

Renee McDonald, professor of psychology at Dedman College, explores current scientific knowledge about how exposure to family violence affects children’s mental health and social development.

Oct. 31: ‘Functional Age’ and Wellness

Peter Gifford, chair of the Applied Physiology and Wellness department in the Simmons School of Education and Human Development, will discuss "functional age," or the biological changes that occur as we age, how it differs from chronological age and why it's important.

Nov. 7: Is Your Diagnosis Chronic or Acute?

Carolyn Smith-Morris, medical anthropologist and director of undergraduate studies at Dedman College, discusses how people adjust their expectations based on the epidemiology of their generation, their class, their nation and available biotechnologies.

Nov. 5: The Mayan Apocalypse (Series IV)

11 a.m. lecture, noon lunch

Feeling Fine as the World Ends: Maya 2012 Predictions Decoded

The ancient Maya of Mesoamerica calculated Dec. 21, 2012, to be the last day of one of their calendar systems. Brigitte Kovacevich, an archaeologist within Dedman College's anthropology department, will enlighten the audience about the Maya, what their texts actually say and what the date means for the future.

(Information courtesy of Denise Gee, a public information officer for Southern Methodist University.)