Since 1996 the Clements Center has organized a wide variety of annual symposia related to the Southwest and the borderlands. Each result in a book of essays published by an academic press intended for classroom use as well as for the general reader.
The lengthy process involved in the creation of these books is critical to their success. Every symposium begins with an important question posed by the organizers/editors in their call for papers. Selected participants prepare chapters related to this question and convene in the fall to discuss their first drafts and the volume in general. Some of these fall gatherings include a public presentation.
In the spring, scholars meet at SMU to analyze revised drafts and discuss how, in a book of essays, each chapter will engage the others. Participants give public presentations at the Clements Center's spring symposium and later finalize their essays. The end product is a cohesive collection with a scholarly introduction by the organizers/editors.