Skip to Content

Dr. Leland Turner

(940) 397 4899
Associate Professor
O'Donohoe Hall
Institution Degree Graduation Date
Texas Tech University Ph.D. History 2008
Texas Tech University M.A. History 2004
University of Tulsa B.A. Communication 1999
Employer Position Start Date End Date
Midwestern State University Associate Professor of History 08/01/2016
Midwestern State University Assistant Professor of History 08/01/2012 08/01/2016
Southwestern Oklahoma State University Assistant Professor of History and Geography 01/01/2010 07/01/2012
Texas Tech University Visiting Assistant Professor of History 08/01/2008 12/01/2009
University of Queensland (Australia) Fulbright Scholar 12/01/2007 07/01/2008
Australian National University Fulbright Scholar 07/01/2007 12/01/2007
Angelo State University Visiting Instructor of History 08/01/2006 05/01/2007


Article: "Grassland Beef Factories: Economic Expectations and Landscape Transformation in Queensland and Texas, 1870-1920," Panhandle-Plains Historical Review 86 (2015): 7-28.

Article: "Frontier Cattle Economies and Environment in the Queensland Outback and West Texas," West Texas Historical Review 990 (2014): 113-128.

Book Chapter: “The West Texas Plains,” in West Texas: A History of the Giant Side of the State, Paul Carlson and Bruce Glasrud eds., (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2014): 44-58.

Article: “A New Business Plan for the Matador:  Murdo Mackenzie, Modern Management, and the Operational Transformation of the Matador Land and Cattle Company, 1891-1897,” Panhandle-Plains Historical Review 79 (2006-2007): 3-20.

Article: “Grassland Frontiers:  Pastoral Settlement in the Semi Arid Lands of the Australian Outback and American Southwest,” Forum of the Association of Arid Lands Studies 21 (2005): 50-56.

Article:  “The Livestock Lobby:  Murdo Mackenzie, Railroad Reform, Cattlemen’s Associations, and Progressive Legislation,” Panhandle-Plains Historical Review 77 (2004): 14-34.

Article: “A Most Influential Cattleman:  Murdo Mackenzie and the Business of Ranching,” West Texas Historical Review 80 (2004): 18-32.

“Notes and Documents - Captain Nicholas M. Nolan Report, August 4, 1877,” West Texas Historical Review 79 (2003): 179-82.

Book Reviews

Gwynne, S. C.  Empire of the Summer Moon: Quanah Parker and the Rise and Fall of the Comanches, the Most Powerful Indian Tribe in American History.  Scribner, 2010, Panhandle-Plains Historical Review 83 (2011): 57-58.

Johnson, David.  John Ringo, King of the Cowboys:  His Life and Times from the Hoo Doo War to Tombstone. UNT Press, 2008 (submitted, East Texas Historical Review)

Scholarly Presentations


NATIONAL & INTERNATIONAL                                                                                                                         

Agricultural History Society, "The Texas Nexus: Global Migration and the Diffusion of Tropical Cattle Breeds," St. Petersburg, FL, May 23-26, 2018

Australia New Zealand Studies Assn. of North America, "King Ranch Cattle in the Land Down Under: Environment, Identity, and Economy in the Australian Grasslands," Australian Embassy, Washington, DC, February 22-24, 2017

International Country Music Conference, "Ballads in the Bush: Australian Country Music - an Indigenous Innovation," Belmont College, Nashville, TN May 26-28, 2016.

Australia New Zealand Studies Association of North America, "Country Music Cultures: an American Genre in the Australian Bush," Rollins College, Winter Park, FL, Feb. 4-6, 2016.

World History Association, “An Incongruent Arrangement on the Mato Grasso: Murdo Mackenzie, a Brazilian Cattle Empire, and the Ambitions of Percival Farquhar,”  Savannah, GA, June 30 – July 2, 2015

Australia New Zealand Studies Association of North America,"Texceptionalism and the Big Difference: Bigness and Cultural Mythology in Queensland and Texas,” Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX, January 30-31, 2015

Agricultural History Society, "Cattle Cultures of the Bloody Bend: Contraband and violence in the Trans-Pecos Ranchlands," Provo, Utah, June 19-22, 2014.

Agricultural History Society, “Ranchers, Rustlers, and Revolutionaries: Trans-Pecos Texas, Beef Commissary to the Villista Insurgency,” Banff, Alberta, Canada, June 13, 2013.

Agricultural History Society, “Earth, Wind, and Water:  Natural Energy and the Transformation of the Southern Plains Agricultural Economy,” Manhattan, KS,      June 9, 2012

PCA/ACA Southwest/Texas Joint Conference, “Ballads in the Bush:  the Unique History of Australian Country Music,” San Antonio, TX, April 23, 2011

Australian Country Music Foundation, Invited Speaker, “Australian Roots, American Boots:   American Country Music and the Evolution of a Unique Australian Genre,” Tamworth, New South Wales, Australia, August 5, 2010

Agricultural History Society, “Outback Beef Factories:  Australian Cattle Producers and Late Nineteenth Century British Markets,” Rollins College, Winter Park, FL, June 11, 2010                   

Organization of American Historians, “’Cowboy Up’ Down Under:  Representations of American Wild West Imagery in Australian Popular Entertainment,” Washington, DC, April 9, 2010

American Historical Association, Poster Session, “’Cowboy Up’ Down Under:  Representations of American Wild West Mythology in Australian Popular Entertainment” New York City, NY, January 6-9, 2009

American Studies Association, “The Bushman and the Cowboy:  Australian and American Frontier Mythology, Transnational Popular Culture, and National Identity,” Albuquerque, NM, October 16, 2008

Agricultural History Society, “Taurindicus tex in the Land Down Under:  Texas Cattle Breeds, Environmental Challenges, and Identity Constructs in the Australian Outback,” University of Nevada – Reno, Reno, NV, June 19, 2008

Australian Historical Association, “Cattle Culture Frontiers of the Outback and Southwest:  19th Century Pastoral Economies, Environment, and Enduring Myth,” Australian National University, Canberra, ACT, Australia, July 4, 2006

Agricultural History Society, “Grassland Frontiers of the American Southwest and Australian Outback:  A Comparative Study of Cattle Economies, Environment, and Enduring Myth,” Iowa State University, Ames, IA, June 23, 2006

Australia New Zealand Studies Assn. of North America, “Arid Frontiers:  Pastoral Settlement in the Outback and Southwest,” Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, April 29, 2005


Central Texas Historical Association, "Coastal Cattle: the Brahman Breed and Ranchers in Late 19th Century Texas, Round Rock, TX, April 26-28, 2018

West Texas Historical Association, "The Politicization of the Texas Cattle Raisers Association, San Angelo, TX, April 12-14, 2018

East Texas Historical Association, "Taurindicus tex: Tropical Cattle in the Coastal TExas Ranchalands, Galveston, TX, October 12-14, 2017

Center for Big Bend Studies, "Cattle: Currrency of the Villa Revolution," Alpine, TX, November 11-13, 2016

Women Ranchers in Texas Symposium, "Lizzie Crosson: Big Bend Land and Cattle Magnate," Midwestern State University, Wichita Falls, Texas, June 3, 2016.

Texas State Historical Association,“The King Ranch, International,” Corpus Christi, TX, March 4-6, 2015

South Texas Historical Association,“The King Ranch Down Under:  South Texas Cattle in the Australian Grasslands,” Kingsville, TX, March 21, 2015

Center for Big Bend Studies, “Turmoil in the Trans-Pecos: Cattle Rustling, Banditry, and Retaliation in the Big Bend Borderlands,” 21st Annual Conference, Alpine, TX, November 14-15, 2014

West Texas Historical Association, "Icons of Innovation: The Country Music Stylings of Bob Wills, Texan, and Slim Dusty, Australian," Odessa, Texas, April 4 2014.

Center for Big Bend Studies, "Rangers, Rustlers, and Ranchers: Cattle Theft, Retaliation, and Community Relations in the Trans-Pecos Borderlands," Alpine, Texas, November 9, 2013.

East Texas Historical Association, "The King Ranch, Australia," Nacogdoches, Texas, September 27, 2013.

Texas State Historical Association, “Big Country:  Bigness and the Roots of Exceptionalism in Queensland, Australia, and Texas,” Fort Worth, TX, March 1, 2013

American Studies Association of Texas, “Ballads in the Bush:  American Influence & the Unique Roots of Australian Country Music,” Wichita Falls, TX, November 16, 2012

Center for Big Bend Studies Annual Conference, “Ranchers, Rustlers, and Revolutionaries:  The Illicit and Legitimate Border Cattle Trade during the Pancho Villa Insurgency,” Alpine, TX, November 10, 2012

Oklahoma Historical Society, “People of the Wind:  Wind Energy and the Transformation of the Southern Plains Agricultural Economy,” Enid, OK, April 27, 2011

West Texas Historical Association, “Country Roots:  Roy Orbison, the Wink Westerners, and his Career as a Country and Western Artist,” Lubbock, TX, April 1, 2011

Center for Big Bend Studies Annual Conference, “Rooted in Country:  The Music Career and Global Influence of Wink’s Own – Roy Orbison,” Alpine, TX, Nov 12, 2010

West Texas Historical Association, “People of the Wind:  the Transformative Affect of Wind Energy Technology on the Southern Plains,“ Fort Worth, TX, February 5, 2010                        

The Center for Big Bend Studies, “From Cattle to Cotton and Beyond:  Hydraulic Technology and the Retransformation of the Southern Plains Agricultural Economy,” Alpine, TX, November 7, 2009

East Texas Historical Association, Panelist, “The Future of West Texas History,” Nacogdoches, TX, September 25, 2009

Texas State Historical Association, “Outback and Out West: Pastoral Settlers and Cattle Frontiers of West Texas and Outback Queensland,” San Antonio, TX, March 9, 2007                               

East Texas Historical Association (WTHA Session), “Frontier Legacies of the Outback and Texas West,” Nacogdoches, TX, September 22, 2006

Southwestern Social Sciences Association (PAT Session), “The Mesta Model:  Hispanic Pastoral Traditions and Early Southwestern Live Stock Associations” San Antonio, TX, April 15, 2006

The Center for Big Bend Studies Annual Conference, “The Live Stock Lobby:  Murdo Mackenzie, Cattlemen’s Associations, and Legislative Reform,” Alpine, TX, November 11, 2005

 West Texas Historical Association, “Theodore Roosevelt and Murdo Mackenzie:  Progressive Leaders on the Cattle Frontier” Alpine, TX, April 1, 2005

Western Social Sciences Association (Assn. for Arid Lands Studies), “Enduring Aridity:  A Comparative Study of Pastoral Frontiers a World Apart” Albuquerque, NM, April 14, 2005

Texas State Historical Association, “Murdo Mackenzie:  Scottish Ranch Manager in the American West, 1885-1939” Austin, TX, March 6, 2004


Session Chair, West Texas Historical Association, Wichita Falls, TX, April 6, 2013.

“Legal Questions and the Conflict of Two Worlds in Texas,” Phi Alpha Theta – Tau Gamma Chapter Sponsored Session

“Promoting Texas through Agriculture, Journalism, and Boosterism”

Session Chair and Commenter, Phi Alpha Theta Northeast Texas Regional Conference, Midwestern State University, Wichita Falls, TX, April 20, 2013

      “The Emergence of Modern Texas, “Cow Country:  Method, Myth, and Experiment," “Environmental Policies”

Session Chair, West Texas Historical Association, “Texas Songbird, Honking Tenor Sax, and Geronimo’s Cadillac,” Alpine, TX, March 30, 2012

Discussant and Interviewee, BookGrowl, Al Harris Library Interview Program and Podcast, Host, Frederic Murray, October 2011, Book:  Sleuthing the Alamo:  Davy Crockett’s Last Stand and Other Mysteries of the Texas Revolution, by James Crisp

Invited Speaker, Biology Seminar Series, SWOSU, “Science and the Saddle:  Scientific Investigations and the Transformation of the Queensland, Australia Beef Cattle Economy,” Weatherford, OK, September 7, 2011,

Speaker, Dept of Social Sciences Honor’s Banquet, SWOSU, “Rooted in Country:  Roy Orbison, His Early Career, and the Wink Westerners,” Weatherford, OK, April 13, 2011.

Session Chair, Organization of American Historians, “Transnational Connections:  The United States, Australia, and the 1960s,” Houston, TX, March 19, 2011,

Convener, West Texas Historical Association, “The Future of West Texas History,” Discussion Panel, Lubbock, TX, April 3, 2009

Presenter, Cultural History Project Seminar Series, “’Cowboy Up’ Down Under:  Representations of American Wild West Imagery in Australian Popular Entertainment,” School of English, Media Studies and Art History, The University of Queensland, May 22, 2008

Presenter, History Program Seminar Series, “Outback by Southwest:  Beef Cattle Agriculture in Queensland and Texas,” School of History, Philosophy, Religion, and the Classics, the University of Queensland, April 17, 2008

Invited Participant, The Graduate Research Workshop 2008, Breaking the Research Barrier:  Comparative, Transnational, and Qualitative Methods, The National Europe Centre, Australian National University, April 4, 2008

Presenter, Cowboys & Gladiators:  A Mythology in History and Literature Symposium, “Hollywood’s Cowboy’s:  Wild West Mythology in Australian Cinema and Popular Culture,” Fenner Hall, Australian National University, October 28, 2007

Session Chair, West Texas Historical Association, “Movers and Shakers in West Texas History” Lubbock, TX, March 30, 2006



Research in Progress



Monograph: â€œOutback by Southwest: King Ranch Cattle in the Australian Grasslands” University of Oklahoma Press (under consideration)

Monograph: â€œâ€™I Never Wore a Gun,’ Murdo Mackenzie: Boardroom Cowboy, Progressive Rancher, and International Businessman” (in progress for Texas A&M Press, Heritage of Ranching Series)

Anthology: "Turmoil in the Trans-Pecos: Violence and Retaliation in the Big Bend Ranchlands," in Conflict on the Border: Mexico's Revolution of 1910 and the Big Bend Country, John Eusebio Klingemann, Troy Ainsworth, and Leland Turner, eds., Forthcoming (Fall 2016) the Center for Big Bend Studies.

Anthology: The Ranch in the History of Texas, Leland Turner and Cecelia Gutierrez Venable eds. Turner, Leland, "Lizzie Crosson: Big Bend Land and Cattle Magnate" (in progress)

Article: "Boom, Bonanza, and Bust: Texas Fever and Drought in the Cattle Producing Regions of Queensland and Texas," (in progress)

Article: â€œThe Santa Gertrudis Down Under: How King Ranch Cattle Revolutionized the Australian Beef Cattle Economy,” Southwestern Historical Quarterly (in peer review process)


Awards and Scholarships


2019: EURECA research Award (Nathan Endo)

2016: Piper Professor Award Nominee, Prothro-Yeager College of Humanities and Social Sciences

2016: Internal Faculty Research Grant, Lizzie Crosson Project, MSU

2015: EURECA research award (Kristen Johnson)

2015: Internal Faculty Research Grant, Murdo Mackenzie Project, MSU

2014: William Curry Holden Research Grant, West Texas Historical Association

2014: Internal Faculty Research Grant, “Turmoil in the Trans-Pecos,” MSU

2014: EURECA research award (Christopher Freeman and John Hensley)

2007-2008: Fulbright Postgraduate Fellowship, Australian-American Fulbright Commission

2009: William Curry Holden Research Grant, West Texas Historical Association

2009: Alternate, Excellence in West Texas History Fellowship, ASU West Texas Collection

2007: Helen DeVitt Jones Graduate Scholarship, Texas Tech University

2006: Summer Dissertation Research Award, the Graduate School, Texas Tech University

2006: Dissertation Research Grant, Department of History, Texas Tech University

2006: Earnest Wallace Graduate Research Grant, West Texas Historical Association

2004: Chair’s Award, Graduate Student Leadership, Dept. of History, Texas Tech University

2004: S. S. McKay Memorial Scholarship, Department of History, Texas Tech University

2004: Thesis Research Grant, Department of History, Texas Tech University

2003: David & Winifred Vigness Scholarship, Department of History, Texas Tech University 

2003: Phi Alpha Theta History Honor Society