Uni­ver­si­ty of Wyoming Pro­fes­sor killed in head on Col­li­sion

Sept. 7, 2010 — Adri­an Ban­t­jes, an asso­ciate pro­fes­sor in the Uni­ver­si­ty of Wyoming Depart­ment of His­to­ry, was killed in a head-on auto­mo­bile crash at approx­i­mate­ly 8:15 p.m. Fri­day about 11 miles south of Sarato­ga on Wyoming High­way 130.

The trag­ic death of Pro­fes­sor Ban­t­jes is a tremen­dous loss for the Uni­ver­si­ty of Wyoming. He was an excel­lent schol­ar and a val­ued mem­ber of the fac­ul­ty who was well-liked by stu­dents and col­leagues alike,” UW Pres­i­dent Tom Buchanan says. “He will be missed by all who knew him. Our thoughts and prayers are with his fam­i­ly at this dif­fi­cult time.”

Ban­t­jes’ wife, Mary Hen­ning, and daugh­ter Aida, 8, were injured in the crash and both were hos­pi­tal­ized. Hen­ning remained in the hos­pi­tal as of Tues­day morn­ing. Aida has been released from the hos­pi­tal.

Shown here is Ban­t­jes 1998 Nis­san Pathfind­er after his head-on col­li­sion with Ella Young, 82. (Cour­tesy Wyoming High­way Patrol)

Ban­t­jes, 50, joined the UW fac­ul­ty in 1991. He received B.A. (1980) and M.A. (1983) degrees from Ryk­suni­ver­siteit Lei­den, The Nether­lands, and a Ph.D. (1991) from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Texas, Austin.

His research and teach­ing focused on mod­ern Latin Amer­i­can his­to­ry with an empha­sis on the polit­i­cal, social, cul­tur­al, and reli­gious his­to­ry of 20th cen­tu­ry Mex­i­co. His doc­tor­al research focused on the Mex­i­can Rev­o­lu­tion (1910−40) and result­ed in a book, “As If Jesus Walked on Earth: Car­denis­mo, Sono­ra, and the Mex­i­can Rev­o­lu­tion,” which won the Michael C. Mey­er Prize in 1997. Since then, he pub­lished a series of essays on cul­tur­al rev­o­lu­tion in Mex­i­co with a focus on the rela­tion­ship between state for­ma­tion and pop­u­lar reli­gios­i­ty.

Ban­t­jes, who was respect­ed for his exper­tise in Latin-Amer­i­can his­to­ry, taught mod­ern and colo­nial Latin Amer­i­can and Mex­i­can his­to­ry, an intro­duc­tion to Latin Amer­i­can stud­ies, and spe­cial­ized sem­i­nars on top­ics such as Latin Amer­i­can rev­o­lu­tions, pop­u­lar reli­gions and indige­nous cul­tures. He also taught inter­dis­ci­pli­nary cours­es in inter­na­tion­al stud­ies, reli­gious stud­ies, Amer­i­can Indi­an stud­ies, Chi­cano stud­ies and Amer­i­can stud­ies.

As an aca­d­e­m­ic hob­by, he was inter­est­ed in the cul­tur­al his­to­ry of fly-fish­ing. Ban­t­jes taught what may well be the first course on the his­to­ry of fly-fish­ing ever offered at a U.S. uni­ver­si­ty, and pub­lished essays on the his­to­ry of the sport in the Rocky Moun­tains.

2 comments on “Uni­ver­si­ty of Wyoming Pro­fes­sor killed in head on Col­li­sion
  1. Hi,
    I am a friend of the Late Ella Young, why is there not a sin­gle men­tion of her.She also had fam­i­ly mem­bers and she will also be missed.
    How about thoughts and prayers for her fam­i­ly dur­ing this dif­fi­cult time. In 82 years she has con­tributed more to the com­mu­ni­ty than you will ever know.
    Seems like a “huge” over­sight on your part.

    • I apol­o­gize for the lack of infor­ma­tion about her. The sto­ry is a press release from the uni­ver­si­ty. If you would be will­ing to con­tact me I would like to include more infor­ma­tion about her.

      Jere­my (at) laramiefreep­ress (dot) com

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