CFP’s: 2014 Western History Conference in Newport Beach

Listed below is the CFP’s for the 2014 Western History Conference in Newport Beach, California. Next year’s theme is The West and the World, and proposals drawing on comparative borderlands and comparative indigenous scholarship are especially encouraged. In addition to the formal call, Dr. Jeffery Shepherd is organizing graduate student panels on topics such as settler colonialism / native peoples,  gender / sexuality,  borderlands,  Chicano movement, and public health/medicalization. Interested graduate students should contact Dr. Shepherd directly at with a brief description of their work. The deadline is rapidly approaching, so papers and panel submissions should be made within the next few weeks.

2014 Call For Papers

54th Annual Conference of the Western History Association
15–18 October 2014, Newport Beach, California

The 2014 Program Committee invites proposals that consider the relationship between the West and the world. What forces have connected the North American West with other peoples? Consider, for example, the international links forged by catastrophic events: the fur and hide trade of the 18th and 19th centuries; the mining extravaganzas ranging from the California gold rush to the Klondike; the detonation of atomic, then hydrogen bombs; the end of the Cold War, which allowed indigenous Alaskans and Siberians to reestablish contact; the tsunami of 2011; and the climate change now known as global warming. All of these events have reinforced ties between peoples of the West and their counterparts around the globe.

The Program Committee also invites proposals drawing on vibrant comparative indigenous and borderlands scholarship that explores similarities and differences between the North American West and similar regions (other “Wests”) across the planet. As we gather in Newport Beach, California, on the eastern shore of the Pacific Rim, we are reminded that the West isn’t always geographically west, yet we also find ourselves asking, “What makes it a particular place? What sets it apart as a unique region?”
Perhaps the answer to those questions lies in how the world’s peoples have perceived the West. Have the once romanticized impressions spun by Alfred Jacob Miller and, decades later, members of the Taos Society of Artists been overtaken by 21st-century features such as Starbucks, the City of Las Vegas, and Alaska’s Sarah Palin? In the early years of the second millennium, visitors to the West from Japan, China, and Europe might offer intriguing contemporary responses to resolve that conundrum. Have the earlier perceptions of the North American West changed or do they continue to prevail among outsiders who are intrigued by this unique region of the earth? We look forward to hearing proposals that respond to some of these puzzles regarding the West and the world.

The Program Committee strongly encourages full panel submissions and will consider single papers only when they can reasonably be matched with other panels or papers. When submitting an entire session or panel, include a brief abstract (250 words) that outlines the purpose of the session. Your designated contact person should submit the proposal. Each paper proposal, whether individual or part of a session, should include a one-paragraph abstract and a one-page c.v., with address, phone, and e-mail for each participant. Indicate equipment needs, if any. The committee assumes that all listed individuals have agreed to participate. Electronic submissions are required and should be sent, with supporting materials, as a single document (PDF) to THE SUBMISSION DEADLINE IS 1 SEPTEMBER 2013.

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