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For UPDATES to the 2021 WHA Conference due to the nationwide rise in Covid-19 cases, please navigate to the UPDATES site:


You can now upload proof of your vaccination status here!


Mark your calendars for the 61st Annual WHA Conference, which is scheduled for October 27-30, 2021, in Portland, Oregon at the Hilton Portland. Bookmark this page to check for updates on conference details!

To see Dr. Maria E. Montoya accept her role as the 2021 WHA President, click on the video link above! Congratulations Dr. Montoya. We wish we could have honored you in person at the 2020 conference originally scheduled in Albuquerque. 

This year, the WHA will be hosting a completely online, pre-conference event! Stay tuned--more details about the WHA 2021 Pre-Con are coming soon!








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2021 President: Maria E. Montoya

Maria E. Montoya is the Dean of Arts and Sciences at NYU Shanghai and an Associate Professor of History at NYU New York. She teaches History of the American West, the U.S. History survey, Labor History in the United States, and the History of Water. Maria was born in Albuquerque, NM and grew up in Arvada, CO, a suburb of Denver. She earned her BA, MA and PhD degrees at Yale University, and in between spent a couple of years at the University of New Mexico working on a master’s degree. Prior to teaching at NYU, Maria taught for twelve years at the University of Michigan, where she was the Director of the Latina/o Studies Program, and at the University of Colorado.

She has authored articles on the History of the American West, Environmental, Labor and Latina/o history and of the book, Translating Property: The Maxwell Land Grant and the Conflict over Land in the American West, 1840-1900.  She is the lead author on the U.S. History textbook, Global Americans: A Social and Global History of the United States (Cengage, 2018). She is finishing up a manuscript, Rockefeller and Roache: Progressives Managing Workers, 1900-1940, which focuses on John D. Rockefeller and Josephine Roche, and their roles in defining the spheres of work and home life during the early twentieth century. She is also working on two other manuscripts: A Chicana in China, which is a memoir inspired by an earlier work of Rudolfo Anaya, and a book project about the scarcity of water in the American Southwest, and the Rio Grande in particular. She is currently the PI for Zaanheh: A Natural History of Shanghai, an interdisciplinary team based research project at NYU Shanghai, which works in collaboration with Eric Sanderson’s Mannahatta Project.

Maria attended her first WHA meeting in 1988 in Wichita, KS and has rarely missed a meeting since then. She serves on the Board of Trustees for the John and Laree Caughey Foundation. Her service to the WHA includes: Chair of the Membership Committee, the Board of Editors of the Western Historical Quarterly, the Steering Committee for the Coalition of Western Women’s History (CWWH), Chair of the first Jensen Miller Prize, member of the Hal Rothman Prize, and the WHA Council.  She was also one of the founding members of the Committee on Race in the American West (CRAW). Maria writes: “From the first moment I stepped into Howard Lamar’s class as an undergraduate and found out that I could spend my time learning about the place I came from, I was hooked on the History of the American West. Since then, my intellectual journey and my relationship with this organization has led me on a most rewarding career of writing, teaching, and speaking about the place I call home, the American West. This organization has fostered a deep relationship with scholars and life-long friends who share the same passion. I am deeply honored to be chosen as the President-elect of the WHA and I look forward to serving the organization with pride, dedication, and passion for an organization that has been my intellectual home for decades.”

Western History Association

University of Kansas | History Department

1445 Jayhawk Blvd. | 3650 Wescoe Hall

Lawrence, KS 66045 | 785-864-0860 

The WHA is located in the Department of History at the University of Kansas. The WHA is grateful to KU's History Department and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences for their generous support!