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Dennis P. Reinhartz

Fellow of the Society for the History of Discoveries
2011



Dennis taught history at both the secondary school and college level before joining the history department at The University of Texas at Arlington in 1973. He spent thirty-five years at UTA before he retired, progressing through the ranks of assistant, associate, full professor, and now professor emeritus. One of the most popular teachers at UTA, Dennis attracted students to his classes, where he challenged them to open their minds to new ideas, think critically, and learn to express themselves orally and in writing. He supervised numerous theses and dissertations and was one of the most sought-after faculty members for M.A. capstone exams.

It was at UTA that Dennis developed his interest in discoveries and explorations as well as cartographic history. His interest developed as a result of the gifts of Jenkins and Virginia Garrett (both Fellows of the Society for the History of Discoveries) to UTA’s Special Collections as well as encouragement from friends and scholars R. V. Parry, David B. Quinn, William McNeill, David Woodward, Brian Harley, and Helen Wallis to mention a few. 

Dennis joined SHD in 1980 at the urging of Woodward and Robert S. Martin, and attended his first meeting in Madison, Wisconsin. From this first introduction to SHD he was hooked. He has served SHD in various leadership capacities, first as a Council member in the 1980s and later as Vice President/President-elect, chairing the programs in Vancouver, Washington, in 1991, and Miami, Florida, 1992. He was President in 1993-1995, when the Society met at Mackinac Island, Michigan, and Arlington, Texas. This past year in Santa Fe he led the optional tour for SHD members and helped chair local arrangements. He has made numerous presentations at SHD annual meetings and has published numerous book reviews and articles in Terrae Incognitae.

His contributions to SHD are only a small part of what he has accomplished. He has served as president of many organizations, both professional and a vocational, such as the Texas Map Society, Friends of the University of Texas at Arlington Library, Arid Lands Studies Association, Western Social Science Association, Rocky Mountain Association for Slavic Studies, and the Southwestern Association for Slavic Studies. He has also been a consultant for the United States Holocaust Museum, Department of Justice, National Geographic, American Way magazine, and for several court cases involving cartographic issues. He has been a strong and effective advocate for creating ways to educate the general public about the importance of history and maps. Toward this end he has curated exhibitions, spoken to countless community groups, and trained K-12 teachers on how to interpret and use maps.      

Dennis is perhaps best known for his work on Herman Moll, culminating in the monograph The Cartographer and the Literati: Herman Moll and His Intellectual Circle, and his work on Spanish entradas and mapping of the American Southwest. In the latter category, he has edited and contributed chapters to numerous books, including Mapping of Empire: Soldier-Engineers on the Southwest Frontier, The Mapping of the Entradas into the Greater Southwest, and The Mapping of the American Southwest. With his wife Judy, he co-authored Geography Across the School Curriculum, an important book on how to integrate geography and maps in the classroom. His most recent book will be published later this year, Map Art. Moreover, he has published more than one hundred articles in scholarly journals, encyclopedia, and proceedings and more than one hundred fifty book reviews.

For his scholarly contributions to the historiography of explorations, discoveries, and cartographic history; for his active leadership of and involvement in SHD; for his outstanding record as an inspiring teacher, mentor, and role model for undergraduate and graduate students at the University of Texas at Arlington, we honor Dennis Reinhartz and name him a Fellow of the Society for the History of Discoveries.

Fifty-second Annual Meeting of the Society for the History of Discoveries
Portland, Maine
September 23, 2011

Prepared by Gerald D. Saxon
(Photo by University of Texas at Arlington)