Mark your calendars for the 60th Annual WHA Conference, October 14-17, 2020, in Albuquerque, New Mexico at the Hyatt Regency and Albuquerque Convention Center. Bookmark this page to check for updates on details and begin following #WHA2020 for updates between now and the conference!
David Wrobel is a David L. Boren Professor (2016-) and Merrick Chair of Western American History (2011-) at the University of Oklahoma. He teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on the West, modern American thought and culture, the Progressive Era, the Great Depression and New Deal, John Steinbeck and the introductory U.S. History survey, 1865-Present. A dedicated promoter of partnerships with K-12 educators, he has participated in and directed numerous teacher institutes, workshops, and colloquia sponsored by the NEH, USDE, and other organizations. Prior to OU, David taught at UNLV (2000-2011), Widener University (1994-2000), Hartwick College (1992-1994), and The College of Wooster (1990-1992).
His books include America’s West: A History, 1890-1950 (Cambridge 2017); Global West, American Frontier: Travel, Empire and Exceptionalism from Manifest Destiny to the Great Depression (New Mexico 2013); Promised Lands: Promotion, Memory, and the Creation of the American West (Kansas, 2002); and The End of American Exceptionalism: Frontier Anxiety from the Old West to the New Deal (Kansas, 1993). He is currently working on a “John Steinbeck’s America: A Cultural History, 1930-1968.”
David serves as an Organization of American Historians Distinguished Lecturer (2008-), was Senior Research Fellow in Western American History at Yale University (2005-2006), and a Visiting Scholar at the Center of the American West, CU-Boulder (1999). He has served the WHA as a member of the Council, Nominations Committee, Program Committee, various prize and award committees, and as Chair of Local Arrangements. He is past president of the American Historical Association’s Pacific Coast Branch, and of Phi Alpha Theta, the National History Honor Society.
David holds master’s and doctoral degrees in American Intellectual History from The Ohio University and a BA in history/philosophy from the University of Kent, Canterbury, England. In June 2018 he was named Dean of the University of Oklahoma College of Arts and Sciences.
David writes: A Southwest Londoner by origin, and relative newcomer to the West, the region—from southern Nevada to central Oklahoma—has been my home for nearly two decades and the WHA has been my primary professional affiliation for a quarter century. My scholarship has focused on what the West means to its residents, to the nation, and to the world, but it is hard to express fully just how much the WHA has meant to me over the years. I am looking forward to this wonderful opportunity to serve, as President Elect and as President, the wonderfully diverse and vibrant constituencies that comprise our shared professional home and family. From K12, community college, small college, and university faculty, both tenure-track and contingent, to graduate and undergraduate students, independent scholars, librarians, archivists, public historians, western writers and artists, and “Westerners,” of all races and ethnicities, genders, and sexual orientations, these are the “fit rooms” of our “worthy house” and I’m honored to call it my home.
2020 CFP: Migrations, Meeting Grounds, and Memory
60th Annual WHA Conference
October 14-17, 2020, #WHA2020
Hyatt Regency Albuquerque and Albuquerque Convention Center
Session and Paper Deadline: December 5, 2019
We’re living once more in a moment where our collective knowledge and understanding of the migratory streams and movements that have built the ecologically diverse, Indigenous, multi-racial, and multi-cultural West that we care for are being questioned and even rejected outright.
Our understanding of the West as a set of meeting grounds where diverse peoples have come together and interacted in myriad ways, from the most positive and productive to the most violent and destructive, has to be conveyed beyond the confines of the academy to the larger public.
We are the responsible mediators and moderators of a set of connected regional histories curated through books, archives, and artifacts, but also through memories (from recorded oral histories to storytelling traditions) and are currently misremembered in the cause of cultural division.
The WHA will gather in Albuquerque for its 60th Annual Conference and we encourage scholars and teachers of the North American West in all fields—history, American Studies, Ethnic Studies, Native American, Chicana/o, Asian, and African American Studies, literature, film, music, art and art history—members and non-members, tenure stream, renewable, and contingent faculty and professionals at all colleges, universities, and K-12 schools, independent scholars, graduate students, public practitioners in museums, art galleries, historic sites, government agencies, and others who care about the West to join us. We have a collective responsibility as conveyors and guardians of the West’s diverse cultural heritage to convey the full richness of the region’s histories of migrations, meeting grounds, and memories to a larger national and global public.
To that end, we invite submissions on all topics relating to migrations, both human and non-human, into and out of the West throughout human history, from individual and family stories, to the voluntary migrations of religious and other cultural groups, the involuntary migrations of Native peoples, the displacement and accompanying refugee migrations resulting from wars in Mexico, Central and South America, and Asia, migratory labor streams, both officially sanctioned and sin papeles, and changing immigration law and enforcement policies, as well as the migrations of animal and plant species.
We seek sessions on all cultural interactions in the region in all periods—from war, conquest, massacre, enslavement, confinement, mass incarceration, and elimination to resistance, cultural unions and exchanges, self-determination, and survivance. We welcome investigations at every historical scale, from the local to the global, from micro-histories to trans-national movements and world systems that impact the western region, as well as interactions with its lands and landscapes. We encourage proposals that connect to broader public conversations on contested memory of western events, through the written record, literary accounts, artistic renderings, museum exhibits, historic sites and reenactments, monuments, memorials, and markers.
We encourage workshops, for example, on teaching, digital humanities, public history, oral history, art and museum representation, and dissertation chapter workshops, along with readings centered seminars, and other innovative and non-traditional formats are welcome. Paper sessions (with two, three, or four papers) are also encouraged, along with roundtable formats, lightening rounds, poster sessions, film screenings, and performances. We strongly encourage full session submissions, although we will consider single papers.
To submit a full session or individual paper, follow the directions and guide for electronic submissions listed below. The deadline is December 5, 2019. If you have questions please contact the 2020 Program Co-Chairs: Leisl Carr-Childers (Colorado State University), Lori Flores (Stony Brook University), and Amy Lonetree (University of California, Santa Barbara).
Diversity of Session Participants:
In 2018 the WHA Council adopted the following policy to ensure the WHA conference programs reflect the diverse representation of the association and field: 1) The Program Committee will actively promote the full and equitable inclusion of racial and ethnic minorities, religious minorities, people with disabilities, women, and LGBTQ people on the Annual Meeting program. 2) Although not all sessions can reflect the entire diversity of the profession, the Program Committee will encourage proposers of 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. 3) The Program Committee will encourage session proposers to consider the benefits of including on their panels historians in various career paths and of various ranks (i.e., senior scholars, public historians, graduate students, independent historians, etc.) within their organizations/institutions.
The WHA's 2020 online abstract platform (“OAP," powered by All Academic) opens October 25, 2019. Read the 2020 Call for Papers for the conference theme and other policies that guide the WHA Program Committee. Please note that submitting an abstract for the 2020 WHA Conference verifies each presenter’s commitment to attend and register for the conference should their presentation be selected for the program. All submissions are due December 5, 2019.
All panel participants and individuals must create a profile on the All Academic site before they can submit a panel proposal or individual proposal on the OAP. Begin the process on All Academic here on October 25!
Profiles include names, affiliations, positions, emails, addresses, etc., and verifying a commitment to attend and register for the conference if selected for the program. You will be asked to create a username and password and will need to confirm your email address before the profile is fully-processed.
Do not create a duplicate profile. If you participated in the 2019 conference you do not need to create another profile. However, please update your profile with information for the newly-created fields for the 2020 conference. Please DO NOT create or update profiles for any individual but yourself.
Only after everyone in the panel completes Step 1 will the panel organizer(s) be able to proceed to Step 2.
After everyone completes or updates their profiles as outlined above in Step 1, you can proceed to submitting your proposal. Full panel submissions are encouraged, and your group may designate one person to submit the panel. The Program Committee will also consider individual papers, but if you want to try and connect with other scholars before the CFP deadline, please check out this 2020 Google Doc spreadsheet created by Kate Carpenter (Ph.D. Student at Princeton--follow @katebcarp).
After logging into the WHA’s online abstract platform (OAP), click “Submit or Edit a Proposal,” then “Submit a New Proposal.”
Follow the directions and work through the process carefully. For a list of Program Committee policies and questions, the Frequently Asked Questions below will guide you through the process.
Travel scholarship and prizes for students and public historians are awarded annually by the WHA. Please visit the WHA awards for more information.
2020 Program Committee Co-Chairs:
2020 Local Arrangements Committee
Frequently Asked Questions
Please review the following to assist you while you prepare to submit your proposal for the 2020 WHA Conference in Albuquerque. Visit the 2020 online abstract platform (All Academic) to create a profile and begin submitting your work.
Step 1: Make sure all panel participants create/update their profiles on the WHA’s online abstract platform. Designate ONE person to enter all the information (titles, abstracts) for the participants.
Step 2: Click “Submit or Edit a Proposal,” then “Submit a New Proposal.” Select “Roundtable,” “Session,” or “Workshop” (see Question 5 below for differences).
Step 3: Enter full Roundtable/Session/Workshop details: Title, Abstract (one paragraph), Select Keywords of Topics/Themes, Enter AV or Special Requests, Indicate if you are submitting a Sponsored Session, and include a brief description of “Session Representation.” For a full list of these specifics, click here.
Step 4: Add Participants: Click “Add Paper” to enter the presentation titles and abstracts for each participant, and on the next page search for the author’s last name to add them as a Presenter to your Roundtable/Sessions/Workshop.
Step 5: After all participants are added, enter/add the name of your Chair and enter/add the name of your Commentator. All full panel submissions *must* include one Chair and one Commentator, and the Program Committee prefers these roles are not filled by the same individual.
Step 6: On the final page look over your information and click “Accept and Continue” to submit your abstract.
Step 1: Make sure you create/update your profile on the WHA’s online abstract platform.
Step 2: Click “Submit or Edit a Proposal,” then “Submit a New Proposal”
Step 3: Enter your: Paper Title, Paper Abstract (250 words), Select Keywords of Paper Topic, Enter AV or Special Requests, and Suggest names of Chairs and Commentators.
Step 4: You will be asked to add an “author” for the paper. At the bottom of this page, enter your last name and click “search.” Find your name in the list and click “Add Presenter.”
Step 5: On the final page look over your information and click “Accept and Continue” to submit your abstract.
Yes! This system allows you to save pages and come back to your account to update or make changes. Click "Submit" to enter and save your work in the system. You can go back at any time prior to the CFP deadline to edit your session, add participants, and revise your abstract. You will be unable to edit your submission after the CFP deadline.
“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 15-18 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.”
The Program Committee prefers full panel proposals (sessions, roundtables, or workshops), but will also accept individual papers. If you want to try and connect with other scholars before the CFP deadline, please check out this 2020 Google Doc spreadsheet created by Kate Carpenter (Ph.D. Student at Princeton--follow @katebcarp).
In order to maximize program participation, the Program Committee prefers that the Chair and the Commentator roles are not shared by the same individual. Full panel proposals *must* include a Chair and a Commentator; Individual paper proposals must include suggestions for people to fill these roles should their proposal be accepted and combined into a full panel. Please note: Do not, under any circumstances, add people to your session in these roles unless they have confirmed their involvement in your full panel proposal (see Q10 below).
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.).
Full panel abstracts for the group session/roundtable/workshop are one paragraph/250 words; individual abstracts for the group session/roundtable/workshop are one paragraph/150 words; individual paper abstracts are 250 words.
You will receive an automatic message sent to the email address you entered in the system which verifies that your proposal was officially submitted.
No. The Program Committee assumes that all participants have verbally agreed to their commitment on proposals that are submitted. Proposals submitted without someone’s consent will be automatically eliminated.
No! Proposals that are emailed or mailed will not be considered for the program. If you can handle registering for a conference or writing a conference presentation, the online abstract platform should be a process you can achieve.
The WHA will provide projectors with an HDMI connection, screens, and podiums (combined estimated price of $1700 per session, per day). If you need any of the following (speakers for film sessions), you are required to list it in your panel proposal in the “AV Request” field. All WHA participants need to provide their own laptops and specialty adapters if they are needed during their session. It is not guaranteed that WHA Staff or AV Technicians will have the correct adapters.
Additional AV requests (special connectors, speakers, laser pointers, etc.) made after May 1, 2020 or onsite at the conference will be the *financial responsibility of the presenter*. (The WHA will order the requested equipment and send an invoice to the presenter; if a request is made onsite the presenter will need to pay before usage takes place). Wi-Fi connections will not be available.
Except in special circumstances, including the participation of incarcerated individuals or people who developed a serious medical condition, the WHA will not provide sessions with Skype/Zoom as an option for participating in panels. If someone’s session has been accepted and they attempt to Skype/Zoom into their session—and they do not meet the above requirements—their name will be added to the program errata as a dropped participant.
In this section, the organizer/submitter should answer the following question in regard to the representation of session participants: Is there anything about the makeup of the panel participants (backgrounds, positions, occupations, disciplines, institutions/organizations, and other factors of diversity) that the Program Committee should be aware of? Read the WHA Statement on Diversity here. Please do not leave this section blank or put "no" or "NA" in it.
Yes, it is WHA policy that all conference program participants register for the conference.
While we hope you consider joining the WHA to benefit from annual membership, no, membership is not required to participate in the conference.
If you have questions about specific content or sessions you are organizing, and you seek the feedback of the Program Committee, email the 2020 Program Committee Co-Chairs. If you have questions or need assistance with the online abstract platform, please contact the WHA Office: firstname.lastname@example.org