Borderlands and Transnational History at the 2015 Western History Association Conference

Each year I like to make a list of the borderlands and transnational history panels at the Western History Association annual conference. This year we will be in Portland and with the conference theme of “Thresholds, Walls, and Bridges,” there are sure to be lots of good topics! As always, there are some very tough decisions to make with some painful double-booking. I swear, it seems to get worse every year – multiple must-see panels all booked at the same time. Perhaps this is a good sign. Either my interests are ever-broadening and everything looks amazing, or there is simply more and more great work being done. Its probably a bit of both.

Here’s the breakdown: I am listing entire panels, even if only 1 paper is relevant to borderlands or transnational history. Also, I am interpreting these concepts broadly, but not too broadly. Often, conference theme buzzwords tend to creep into panel and paper proposal titles in ways that don’t always fit.. If there are any I miss, feel free to comment below. See you there!

Originally posted at my blog,
Re-posted here for everyone’s benefit.


2:30pm – 4:00pm

Coalition for Western Women’s History

Roundtable: New Directions: Women,Gender, and the Making of Borders

  • Chair:
    • Adele Perry, University of Manitoba
  • Participants:
    • Krista Barclay, University of Manitoba
    • Carol Archer, University of Calgary
    • Carla Mendiola, Southern Methodist University
    • Yuridia Ramírez, Duke University
    • Katrina Jagodinsky, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

4:00pm – 5:30pm

Presidential Plenary Session: Transnational Wests

  • Chair:
    • Elizabeth Jameson, University of Calgary
  • Participants:
    • Sterling Evans, University of Oklahoma
    • Nicole M. Guidotti-Hernández, University of Texas at Austin
    • David G. Gutiérrez, University of California-San Diego
    • Adele Perry, University of Manitoba
    • Henry Yu, University of British Columbia


8:30AM – 10:00AM

Crossing Thresholds, Creating Identities: Women in the American West

  • Chair:
    • Flannery Burke, St. Louis University
  • Participants:
    • Sunu Kodumthara, Southwestern Oklahoma State University
    • -“Imagine the Wife of a Ditch-Digger”: Anti-Suffragists and Their Notion of the “Good” Woman
    • Emily Wardrop, University of Oklahoma -Rhetoric, Identity, and Authority in The Dakota War
    • Jennifer Thigpen, Washington State University-Made for “Nobler Things”: Missionary Wives’ Relationship to Domestic Work
    • Erika Perez, University of Arizona -Family History as Methodology for the Intercultural West: A Study of Three Cases in Nineteenth Century California
  • Comment:
    • Gayle Gullett, Arizona State University

Transnational Hawaiian Histories: Within and Beyond the Nineteenth-Century Islands

  • Chair & Comment:
    • Edward Melillo, Amherst College
  • Participants:
    • Gregory Rosenthal, State University of New York at Stony
    • Brook -Kaliponia: Nineteenth-Century Hawaiian Histories of California
    • Lissa Wadewitz, Linfield College -Enos v. Sowle (1860): Race, Sodomy, and Sovereignty in the Pacific World
    • Benjamin Madley, University of California, Los Angeles – Other Argonauts: Native Hawaiian Miners in the California Gold Rush

10:15AM – 11:45AM

Visual Culture and Ethnic Representation in the Borderlands

  • Chairs:
    • Sascha Scott, Syracuse University
    • Scott Manning Stevens, Syracuse University
  • Participants:
    • Scott Manning Stevens (Akwesasne Mohawk), Syracuse University -“Really Magnificent Reds”: Blackfeet Indians in American Visual Culture at the Closing of the Frontier
    • Patricia Marroquin Norby (Pure pecha/Nde), D’Arcy McNickle Center for American Indian and Indigenous Studies, The Newberry Library -Stealing Mountains: Blurring Boundaries
    • in O’Keeffe Country
    • Sascha Scott, Syracuse University -No Man’s Land: Rethinking Representations of Space in Modern Pueblo Paintings
    • Amy Lonetree (Ho-Chunk), University of California, Santa Cruz -Historical Pageants and Ho-Chunk Labor: Performing Indigeneity at the Stand Rock Indian Ceremonial and the Pipe Dyer Trading Post in the Mid-Twentieth Century

Indigenous Geographies and State Cartographies in the Nineteenth-Century North American Borderlands

  • Chair:
    • Elliott West, University of Arkansas
  • Participants:
    • Albert Lacson, Grinnell College -Legacy of 1812: Dakota Indians, Historical Memory, and the 49th Parallel as Protection during the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862
    • Kris Runberg Smith, Lindenwood University -“Almost Insuperable Difficulty”: British and American Northwest Boundary Surveys as Commercial Competition
    • James Tejani, California Polytechnic State University – Mapping the Pacific Axis: The Convergent Explorations of George Davidson, George Wheeler, and R. S. Williamson, 1868-
    • 70
    • Daniel Webb, University of Chicago -Scenes Set in the West: Artificial Landscapes, American Indian Portraiture, and the Production of the “Disappearing” Race
  • Comment:
    • Michel Hogue, Carleton University


8:30AM – 10:00AM

Bridging the Divide: Race, Violence, and Memory in the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands

  • Chair:
    • Brenden Rensink, Charles Redd Center for Western Studies, Brigham Young University
  • Participants:
    • Miguel A. Levario, Texas Tech University -Home Guard: State-Sponsored Vigilantism and Violence along the Texas- Mexico Borderlands
    • Morgan LaBin Veraluz, Tennessee State University -The Other Great River: the Rio Conchos as a Gateway of Indigenous Power during the Spanish Colonial Period
    • Cynthia Renteria, The University of Texas at El Paso –History and Culture on Stage: Viva El Paso and Historical Memory in the U.S. – Mexico Borderlands
    • Laura Hooton, University of California, Santa Barbara –Coopting the Border: The Dream of African American Integration via Baja California

Soldiers in the Borderlands: Biographies of Enlisted Men and Officers in the Nineteenth-Century Southwest

  • Chair:
    • Robert Wooster, Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi
  • Participants:
    • William S. Kiser, Arizona State University -Louis William Geck: A Dragoon and Nation Builder in Territorial New Mexico
    • Lance R. Blyth, U.S. Northern Command -Santiago Brito
    • Durwood Ball, University of New Mexico -The Big Bug of Albuquerque: Brevet Colonel Edwin V. Sumner in the Ninth Military Department, 1851-1853
  • Comment:
    • Janne Lahti, Finland Academy

10:15AM – 11:45AM

Chicano History and the Borderlands of Western History

  • Chair:
    • Mario T. García, University of California, Santa Barbara
  • Participants:
    • Oliver Rosales, Bakersfield College Delano Campus
    • Marc Rodríguez, Portland State University
    • Monica Perales, University of Houston
    • Ellen McCracken, University of California, Santa Barbara
    • Felipe Hinojosa, Texas A&M University
    • Celeste Menchaca, University of Southern California

Walls into Bridges: Imperial Visions and Colonial Realities in Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century Borderlands

  • Chair & Comment:
    • Omar Valerio-Jiménez, University of Iowa
  • Participants:
    • Paul Conrad, Colorado State University-Pueblo -Visions and Practices of Forced Removal on the Northern Frontier of New Spain in the 18th Century
    • Mark Allan Goldberg, University of Houston -Healthy Exchange and Cultural Seizure: Race, Medicine, and Expansion in the Nineteenth-Century Borderlands
    • Kendra Moore, Northern Arizona University -“In Arizona, Bandits Get Their Due, Be They Male or Female”: Pearl Hart, Punishment, and State Building in Territorial Arizona

Networks and Contested Spaces in the Nineteenth-Century American West

  • Chair:
    • Sarah Deutsch, Duke University
  • Participants:
    • Drew Christina Gonrowski, University of Hawaiʻi at Manoa – Diversifying the West: Hawaiian Spaces and Boundaries in the Gold Rush
    • Darren A. Raspa, University of New Mexico -Of Heroes and Hounds: the Immigrant Origins of Formal and Informal Policing in San Francisco, 1849-1856
    • Rio Hartwell, Arizona State University -Famine Frontier: Hunger in the Late Nineteenth-Century Rural West
    • Kendra K. DeHart, Texas Christian University -El Paso’s Chinese in the Era of Exclusion: Settlement and Resistance in a Border Community, 1881 to 1922

2:30PM – 4:00PM

Farmer Politics: Connecting the US-Canadian Great Plains

  • Chair & Comment:
    • Sterling Evans, University of Oklahoma
  • Participants:
    • Molly P. Rozum, University of South Dakota -From Reform to Depression on the Northern Grasslands: Case Studies in United States and Canadian Agricultural Policy
    • Michael J. Lansing, Augsburg College -The Nonpartisan League as a Transnational Movement
    • Jason McCollom, University of Arkansas -Hard Times, Agrarian Organization, and Politics: The Great Depression on the Transnational Plains

Workshop: Transpacific Histories: The “West” Beyond the Northwest Pacific Coast

Papers for this workshop will be available before the conference for people who would like to participate in the conversation. For a copy of the papers, contact Madeline Knickerbocker at

  • Moderators:
    • Andrea Geiger, Simon Fraser University
    • Madeline Knickerbocker, Simon Fraser University
  • Participants:
    • John Lutz and the Turning Space Inside Out Team, University of Victoria -Transpacific Racial Spaces and the Settler City
    • Andrea Geiger, Simon Fraser University -The West Beyond as a Far East: Haida Gwaii as a Transpacific Contact Zone, 1900-1940
    • Roneva Keel, University of Washington -Circuits of Empire: Filipino Workers and American Expansion in the Pacific, 1906-1946
    • Seema Sohi, University of Colorado-Boulder -The Transnational Dimensions of Indian Anticolonialism and State Antiradicalism in the U.S.-Canadian Borderlands and Across the Pacific
    • Madeline Knickerbocker, Simon Fraser University – Indigenous Eyes: Stó:lō Discourses of Transpacific Travel, 1988- 2002


8:30AM – 10:00AM

Crossing Gender and Musical Borders in the Interwar American West

  • Chair:
    • José Alamillo, California State University, Channel Islands
  • Participants:
    • Peter Gough, University of Nebraska at Kearney -“The Varied Carols I Hear”: The Music of the New Deal in the West
    • Tyina Steptoe, University of Arizona -Borderland Blues: Accordion Traditions and Musical Rebellion in Texas and Louisiana
    • Sonia Robles, Brenau University -The other “Border Blasters”: Transnational Radio Stations along the U.S.-Mexico Border, 1930-1945
    • Amy McKinney, Northwest College -“A Woman in a Man’s World”: Harriette Cushman and Extension Service Work, 1922-1955

Legal Borderlands and Western Legal History: A Roundtable

  • Chair:
    • Pablo Mitchell, Oberlin College
  • Participants:
    • Grace Peña Delgado, University of California, Santa Cruz
    • Kelly Lytle Hernández, University of California, Los Angeles
    • Robert Innes, University of Saskatchewan
    • Nayan Shah, University of Southern California

Alternative Paths and Acts of Disorder: Challenging National Borders in the Mid-Nineteenth Century

  • Chair & Comment:
    • Benjamin Heber Johnson, Loyola University Chicago
  • Participants:
    • Ryan Hall, University of Toronto -Blackfoot Crossings: Indigenous Borderland-Making on the Northwest Plains, 1830-1855
    • Michel Hogue, Carleton University -Blood and Boundaries: The Borderland Metis and the Politics of Belonging
    • Eric Schlereth, The University of Texas at Dallas -Insurgents’ Rights: Borderlands Rebellions and U.S. Citizenship in the 1830s
    • Karen Marrero, Wayne State University -Indigenous Spaces and Shadow Republics: Potawatomi, Patriots and the Early Nineteenth- Century Northern Border

10:15AM – 11:45AM

Legal Borderlands in Pacific Northwest Indigenous Histories

  • Chair:
    • Tsianina Lomawaima, Arizona State University
  • Participants:
    • Alexandra Harmon, University of Washington
    • Andrew Fisher, College of William and Mary
    • Josh Reid, University of Massachusetts, Boston
    • Katrina Jagodinsky, University of Nebraska Lincoln

2:30PM – 4:00PM

Within Borderlands and Beyond: Finance, Faith and Patriarchy in the United States and Mexico during the Nineteenth Century

  • Chair & Comment:
    • Tim Bowman, West Texas A&M University
  • Participants:
    • Jessica Kim, California State University, Northridge -“A Place of Great Importance”: American Expansionism, Mexican Investments, and Los Angeles, 1829-1885
    • Jennifer Seman, Southern Methodist University -Water, Faith and Curanderismo: What Don Pedrito Jaramillo’s Recetas Reveal about the Turn of the Twentieth Century South Texas Borderlands
    • Andrae Marak, Governors State University -Borders within Borderlands: ‘Don’ Pascual Encinas and the Comcáac

Laying Down the Law: New Legal Borderlands

  • Chair & Comment:
    • Andrés Reséndez, University of California, Davis
  • Participants:
    • Mary E. Mendoza, University of California, Davis -Bound by Fences: Women in the Bracero Era
    • Margo Tamez (Nde’), University of British Columbia, Okanagan -“[the] Women’s beautiful house of law”: Nde’ gową gozhoo gokal Isdzáné and the enduring Lipan Apache sensibility of inherent and underlying Indigenous law
    • Jeff Shepherd, University of Texas, El Paso -Bloodlines and Boundary Lines: Blackfoot Bands and Families along the U.S.- Canada Border, 1870-1915
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