Call for Proposals: Fifth Annual Midwestern History Conference 2019

 

CALL FOR PROPOSALS: FIFTH ANNUAL MIDWESTERN HISTORY CONFERENCE

May 30-31, 2019

Grand Rapids, Michigan

Proposal Submission Deadline: Friday, January 11, 2019 (non-negotiable)

 

The Midwestern History Association and the Hauenstein Center at Grand Valley State University invite proposals for papers to be delivered at the Fifth Annual Midwestern History Conference, to be held May 30-31, 2019 in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

This conference continues a discussion which has grown significantly over the last four years, at collaborative conferences designed to spark – and sustain – a revival of Midwestern studies in American historiography. Infused with the varieties of original research pursued by scholars from many different career paths and stages, this annual gathering strives to cultivate rigorous historical understanding of a complex, dynamic, changing, and often misunderstood region. Last year’s Midwestern History Conference attracted nearly 150 participants serving on more than more than forty panels. Keynote speakers at the Midwestern History Conference in previous years have included many distinguished scholars and writers, including a National Book Award Finalist, a winner of the Francis Parkman Prize, and a past president of the Labor and Working Class History Association.

We welcome papers relating to all aspects of the history of the American Midwest, in all its diversity. Individual proposals should be a maximum of 300 words. Panel and roundtable proposals are also welcome, and should be a maximum of 1,000 words. All proposals must be accompanied by short vitas of the participants. All proposals must also contain contact information for every presenter included in the proposal.

 Proposals should be sent to Scott St. Louis of Grand Valley State University’s Hauenstein Center at stlouis1@gvsu.edu.

 The Midwestern History Association, created in the fall of 2014, is dedicated to rebuilding the field of Midwestern history, which has suffered from decades of neglect and inattention. The MHA advocates for greater attention to Midwestern history among professional historians, seeks to rebuild the infrastructure necessary for the study of the American Midwest, promotes greater academic discourse relating to Midwestern history, and offers prizes to scholars who excel in the study of the Midwest.

To become a member of the Midwestern History Association, please contact MHA Secretary Megan Birk at megan.birk@utrgv.edu. Members are added to an email list that provides access to news about upcoming conferences, calls for papers, and other proposals related to Midwestern history.  Standard member dues are $40; the student rate is $20. The MHA also gladly accepts donations toward the cost of annual prizes and other expenses, as well. 

Inspired by Ralph Hauenstein’s life of leadership and service, and based at Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids, Michigan, the Hauenstein Center is dedicated to raising a community of ethical, effective leaders for the twenty-first century. Launched with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Center’s Common Ground Initiative engages leading scholars, writers, and public officials in conversations about the cultural, political, and intellectual challenges that Americans face.

As a proud partner of the Midwestern History Association, the Hauenstein Center is committed to supporting historical scholarship on the American Midwest. Bounded by the Great Plains and Great Lakes; known for agriculture and industry; for irenic countryside and great cities; labeled the Breadbasket, the Heartland, and the Rust Belt; the history of the Midwest – its peoples and places, cultures and conflicts, aspirations and afflictions – is the history of America’s most common ground.

Proposals are due no later than January 11, 2019.

 

 

 

 

Call for Chapter Proposals: “The Northern Midwest and the US-Canadian Borderlands: Essays on a Forgotten Region”

 

Call for Chapter Proposals:
The Northern Midwest and the US-Canadian Borderlands: Essays on a Forgotten Region”

 

Volume editors seek proposals for chapters to be included in an edited collection focused on exploring the northern reaches of the American Midwest and the borderlands, or imagined borderlands, along the line dividing the US and Canada. This interior zone of North America has yet to become a significant point of discussion in the growing movement to revive interest in Midwestern history and in the broader movement to analyze the borderlands of the United States. This volume is broadly designed to advance these discussions about this region by focusing on 1850-present time period.

Proposals should explain the author’s general approach to the topic and include the sources to be consulted as well as the author’s curriculum vitae. Topics to be explored include, but are by no means limited to, historical understandings of the essential dimensions of the northern Midwest; the basic industries of the region such as mining, forestry, shipping, and tourism; the Midwest/Canada dividing line and its consequences and meaning for residents of the region; the geographical and topographical approaches to designating this area as a distinct region; literary or other cultural understandings of the region, including important regional voices (such as Jim Harrison of the Upper Peninsula or Bob Dylan of the Iron Range); the politics of the region; music from the region (such as the work of Gordon Lightfoot or the ethnic blending that produced polka); analyses of the regionalist thought and practices which have contributed to a consciousness of this region; the religious history of the region; the role of ethnicity in the history of the region (the persistence of Finnish ethnicity, for one example); the languages spoken in the region; regional folklore; the vernacular architecture of the region (cottages, saunas, camps, hunting lodges, etc.); environmental factors such as rainfall, temperature, glaciation, river development, and the role of the Great Lakes which help to define this region; historic and more recent discussions of the taxonomy of American regions, especially the real and imagined sub-regions of the Midwest, and how the upper Midwest relates or compares to other regions (the line that separates the “traditional” Midwest of Iowa-ish corn farming from the northern, lake-oriented Midwest, for example); the economic integration (or lack thereof) of the region; the role of Native American history (the impact of treaties on statehood; the Dawes Act; sovereignty; hunting and fishing rights; gambling and casinos); the understandings of Native Americans, American settlers, immigrants, political leaders, environmentalists, geographers, political scientists, and others which help explain the region.

Chapter proposals will be due November 19, 2018If a proposal is accepted, the author’s chapter will be due December 1, 2019. Final chapters should be approximately 7,500 words, including notes, and in Chicago style. The editors of the collection will be Jon K. Lauck and Gleaves Whitney. All proposals should be sent to jlauck1941@hotmail.com