"What happens in the West doesn't stay in the West"

59th Annual WHA Conference

October 16-19, 2019 - Westgate Las Vegas

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59th Annual WHA Conference

The 59th annual WHA Conference will be October 16-19, 2019, at the Westgate in Las Vegas, Nevada. We hope to see you there! 

2019 President: Martha A. Sandweiss

Martha A. (Marni) Sandweiss is Professor of History at Princeton University, with particular interests in the history of the American West, visual culture, and public history. She received her Ph.D. in History from Yale University and began her career as a photography curator at the Amon Carter Museum in Ft. Worth, TX. She later taught American Studies and History at Amherst College for twenty years before joining the Princeton faculty in 2009.

Sandweiss is the author or editor of numerous books on American history and photography. Her publications include Passing Strange: A Gilded Age Tale of Love and Deception across the Color Line (2009), a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize in History and the National Book Critics Circle Award in Biography, and Print the Legend: Photography and the American West (2002), winner of the Organization of American Historians’ Ray Allen Billington Award for the best book in American frontier history and the William P. Clements Award. Her other works include: Laura Gilpin: An Enduring Grace (1986), winner of the George Wittenborn Award for outstanding art book; the edited volume Photography in Nineteenth-Century America (1991), The Oxford History of the American West (1994; co-edited with Clyde A. Milner II and Carol A. O’Connor), winner of the Western Heritage Award and the Caughey Western History Association prize for the outstanding book in western history; and Eyewitness to History: Prints and Daguerreotypes of the Mexican War, 1846-1848 (1989; co-authored with Rick Stewart and Ben W. Huseman).

Sandweiss is the founder and director of The Princeton & Slavery Project (www.slavery.princeton.edu), a major public history project investigating Princeton University’s historical involvement with the institution of slavery. She teaches courses on the history of the American West, public history and narrative writing. The recipient of grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Council of Learned Societies, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Huntington Library and the Bogliasco Foundation, she consults widely on matters related to the use of visual images for museum exhibitions and historical research.

2019 Program Committee

WHA 2019 Program Committee Co-Chairs

Joshua Reid, University of Washington

Rachel St. John, University of California, Davis

WHA 2019 Program Committee Members

Juliana Barr, Duke University
Geraldo L. Cadava, Northwestern University
Josh Garrett-Davis, Autry Museum of the American West
Tiffany Jasmin González, Texas A&M University
Trinidad O. Gonzalez, South Texas College
Maria John, University of Massachusetts Boston
Khalil Anthony Johnson, Jr., Wesleyan University
Jacob Lee, Penn State University
Patty Limerick, Center of the American West, University of Colorado Boulder
Malinda Maynor Lowery, University of North Carolina
John Lutz, University of Victoria, British Columbia
Christian McMillen, University of Virginia
Rebecca Scofield, University of Idaho
Tyina Steptoe, University of Arizona 
Tamara Venit-Shelton, Claremont McKenna College

2019 Local Arrangements Committee

WHA 2019 Local Arrangements Committee Co-Chairs

William Bauer, University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Michael Green, University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Susan Johnson, University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Andy Kirk, University of Nevada, Las Vegas

WHA 2019 Local Arrangements Committee Members

DeAnna Beachley, History and Women's Studies, College of Southern Nevada
Richard Bryan, former Senator of the United States and chairman, Preserve Nevada
Maria Raquel Casas, Department of History, UNLV
Shae Cox, Department of History, UNLV, and Deputy Director, Preserve Nevada
Su Kim Chung, Special Collections, UNLV
Kendra Gage, Interdisciplinary Studies, UNLV 
Michael Hall, National Atomic Testing Museum

Pete La Chapelle, History, Nevada State College
Mark Padoongpatt, Interdisciplinary Studies, UNLV
Harry Reid, former Senator of the United States and Distinguished Fellow, UNLV William S. Boyd School of Law
Geoff Schumacher, The Mob Museum
Robert Stoldal, Chair, Nevada State Board of Museums and History 
Claytee White, Oral History Research Center, UNLV


2019: Call for Papers

"What happens in the West doesn't stay in the West"

59th Annual WHA Conference

October 16-19, 2019, Westgate Las Vegas

Call for Papers

Deadline: December 5, 2018

What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas… or so boosters tell us in their efforts to draw the nation and the world to the North America West. For its 2019 meeting, the Western History Association explores a more accurate twist on this slogan, seeking to highlight the connections between western history and the histories and historiographies of other parts of the nation, continent, and world. We welcome paper and panel proposals from western historians who are interested in making connections between the West and other places, exploring how regional histories can inform larger historical narratives. We also welcome submissions from scholars who may not think of themselves as western historians but who wish to explore how their work -- on migration, expansion, capitalism, climate change, Pacific Worlds, or any number of other topics -- might inform and shape western history. We likewise seek submissions from historians in all fields who have been influenced by the scholarship of western historians working with Indigenous peoples or in fields such as borderlands, the environment, or race and ethnicity. Finally, we encourage submissions that explore the cultural history of the American West and query the very idea of regional culture – and regional history -- in a global age. In addition to traditional paper sessions, we welcome submissions that integrate creative formats and seek to expand conference participation by including public historians, writers, teachers, students, and the public.

The 2019 Program Committee, Co-Chaired by Rachel St. John (University of California, Davis) and Josh Reid (University of Washington), requests full session submissions, but will consider individual papers. 

Our new partnership with All Academic, Inc., will provide us with online submission software which will be available through the WHA website. The paper and panel submission process will open on October 1, 2018. All submissions are due December 5, 2018.

Please prepare the following for your submissions: 1) Full Session/Workshop Title; 2) Full Session Workshop Abstract (250 words); 3) Audio Visual Requests (see specifics above under Q12); 4) Names of Chair and Commentator; 5) Individual Presentation Titles; 6) Individual Presentation Abstracts (150 words or one paragraph)

Travel scholarship and prizes for students and public historians are awarded annually by the WHA. Please visit the WHA awards pages for more information.

Diversity of Session Participants:

The Program Committee will actively promote the full and equitable inclusion of racial and ethnic minorities, religious minorities, people with disabilities, women, LGBTQ people, and people with various ranks and career paths on this conference program. The Program Committee will encourage sessions to include diverse sets of participants, addressing gender diversity, racial and ethnic diversity, sexual diversity, religious diversity, disability-based diversity, and/or LGBTQ diversity.

Policy on Conference Participation

It is WHA policy that all conference participants (chairs, presenters, workshop leaders, plenary speakers, and commentators) must register for the annual conference. 

In 2018 the WHA Council created an additional policy on conference participation and registration. Beginning in 2019, conference participants who do not register for the conference, or who fail to show up to the conference without alerting the WHA office, will be included on a report that is forwarded to the next three WHA Program Committee Chairs (2020, 2021, 2022). The policy was created to address participant cancellation and encourage individuals to follow-through with professional commitments. 

2019: Abstract Submission

The WHA's new online abstract submission platform (created by All Academic) is now open! Read the 2019 Call for Papers for the conference theme and specifics. 

Before submitting a panel abstract or paper, all panel participants and individuals must create a profile on the All Academic site. Full panel submissions are encouraged, and your group may designate one person to submit panel. However, each individual must first create their own profile. This will include name, affiliation, email, address, etc. You will also need to create a username and password, and confirm your email address before your profile is fully-processed by All Academic. 

After each individual completes this task, submit your full panel abstract or your individual paper using the link below. Follow the directions and work through the process carefully. For a list of Frequently Asked Questions, please consult the section below. These include the specifics of what you will need to submit your panel/individual abstracts.

Click here to create an All Academic profile and submit your abstracts for the 2019 conference!

Proposal Submission FAQs

Please review the following to help with questions you might have in preparing to submit your proposal for the 2019 WHA Conference in Las Vegas.

Q1: What information do I need to have prepared in order to submit a full session, workshop, or roundtable?

A: First, each individual who wishes to be considered for the 2019 WHA Conference program needs to create an account on the online submission WHA platform. The account set-up requires name, affiliation, address, a username/password, and other details. It is easiest if all panel participants complete this first.

A: Second, for full panel submissions (sessions, roundtables, workshops), designate one “point” person to enter the information for the group and for each individual. This requires the following:

            1. Full Session/Workshop Title

            2. Full Session Workshop Abstract (250 words)

            3. Audio Visual Requests (see specifics below under Q12)

            4. Names of Chair and Commentator

            5. Individual Presentation Titles

            6. Individual Presentation Abstracts (150 words or one paragraph)

Q2: Can I begin working on my proposal, save it, and return to the site later to edit it before submitting the final version?

A: Yes! This system allows you to save pages and come back to your account to update or make changes. Your work is not fully complete until you click the final “Submit” button after all the information has been entered.

Q3: What’s the difference between roundtables, workshops, and sessions? How do I know what kind of panel I should submit?

A: “Roundtables” have a format that is centered on a central topic or theme and often includes several participants. For an example, see “State of the Field: Environmental History in the American West” on page 25 of the 2018 WHA Conference program.

 “Workshops” are focused on methods, training, or practicum and usually involves audience participation. For an example see “Race and Ethnicity in Public History: A Workshop on Community Collaboration, Engagement, and Partnerships” on page 39 of the 2018 WHA Conference program.

“Sessions” are a standard presentation-style panel that include 3-4 participants delivering 15-20 minute presentations. For an example see “Outside the Lines: Latinx Sporting Lives” on page 33 of the 2018 WHA Conference program. If you wish to submit a panel that does not fit into a “Roundtable” or “Workshop” category, submit it as a “Session.”

Q4: Do I need to submit a full panel proposal (participants, chair, commentator) or can I submit an individual paper for the conference program?

A: The Program Committee prefers full panel proposals (sessions, roundtables, or workshops), but will also accept individual papers.

Q5: What information do I need to submit an individual paper?

A: First, each individual who wishes to be considered for the 2019 WHA Conference program needs to create an account on the online submission WHA platform. The account set-up requires name, affiliation, address, a username/password, and other details. It is easiest if all panel participants complete this first.

A: Second, for individual paper proposals, please be prepared to submit the following.

            1. Individual Paper Title

            2. Individual Paper Abstract (250 words)

Q6: Can the Chair and Commentator be the same individual?

A: Yes, but also consider having two different people serve in these roles.

Q7: Can I be on more than one panel on the 2019 Conference Program?

A: Except in special circumstances, no single person should participate in more than two conference sessions, and these would need to be in two different roles (i.e., commentator, presenter, roundtable participant, chair, etc.).

Q8: What are the lengths and specifics of abstracts for full panel proposals and for individual paper proposals?

A: Full panel abstracts for the group session/roundtable/workshop are 250 words. Individual abstracts for the group session/roundtable/workshop are 150 words or one paragraph.

A: Individual paper abstracts are 250 words.

Q9: How do I know if my proposal was submitted correctly?

A: You should receive an automatic message sent to the email address you entered in the system which verifies that your proposal was officially submitted.

Q10: Can I add names of session participants without confirming their involvement?

A: No. The Program Committee assumes that all participants have agreed to their commitment on proposals that are submitted.

Q11: Can I just email my proposal?

A: No. Proposals that are emailed or mailed will not be considered for the program.

Q12: What kinds of AV equipment does the WHA provide?

A: If you need any of the following (special connectors, speakers for film sessions, microphones, Internet for streaming), you are required to list it in your panel proposal in the “AV Request” field. All WHA participants need to provide their own laptops if they are needed during their session. The WHA will automatically provide projectors and screens.

Q13: If my proposal accepted, am I required to register for the conference in 2019?

A: Yes, it is WHA policy that all conference program participants register for the conference.

Q14: Do I need to be a member of the WHA to submit a proposal or present at a conference?

A:While we hope you consider joining the WHA to benefit from annual membership, no, membership is not required.

Q15: Who should I contact with my questions?

A: If you have questions about specific content or sessions you are organizing, and you seek the feedback of the Program Committee, email the 2019 Program Committee Co-Chairs.

A: If you have questions or need assistance with the submission system, please contact the WHA Office at westernhistoryassociation@gmail.com

Sponsors and Partners

The WHA is hosted on the campus of the University of Nebraska at Omaha and benefits from the generous support of the College of Arts and Sciences.

Western History Association | University of Nebraska at Omaha | Department of History | 6001 Dodge Street | Omaha, NE 68182 | 

| (402) 554-5999 | westernhistoryassociation@gmail.com

The Western History Association is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.