MARK YOUR CALENDARS!
Mark your calendars for the 62nd Annual WHA Conference, which is scheduled for October 12-15, 2022, in San Antonio, Texas, at the Hyatt Regency. Bookmark this page to check for updates on conference details!
Scroll down to learn more about the WHA 2022 President Susan Lee Johnson and to review conference highlights!
2022 PRESIDENT: SUSAN LEE JOHNSON
Susan Lee Johnson holds the inaugural Harry Reid Endowed Chair for the History of the Intermountain West at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Johnson has taught North American western history, gender history, and the history of sexuality to undergraduate and graduate students at four state universities, centering questions of race, ethnicity, and indigeneity in the context of changing economies and polities. In addition to history, Johnson has studied, taught, and worked in scholarly publishing, serving on the staff of Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society and teaching a colloquium that produced a volume of ARCHIVE: An Undergraduate Journal of History. Johnson’s scholarship has focused on relations of power in the West as a place of lived experience and as an imagined space, exploring these themes in Roaring Camp: The Social World of the California Gold Rush (Norton 2000), which won the Bancroft Prize in American History and Diplomacy and the W. Turrentine Jackson Prize; Writing Kit Carson: Fallen Heroes in a Changing West (North Carolina 2020); and a new book project, “The Trail the Slaves Made,” a place-based history of how the Santa Fe Trail connected slaveries and emancipations in nineteenth-century North America.
Johnson has enjoyed residential fellowships at the Newberry Library, the Clements Center for Southwest Studies at Southern Methodist University, and the Huntington Library, and is a Distinguished Lecturer for the Organization of American Historians. Johnson first attended a WHA meeting in 1979, and has served the WHA as a member of the Council, as a Local Arrangements Committee Co-Chair, and as member of a Program Committee, the Martin Ridge Huntington Library Fellowship Committee, and the Caughey Book Prize Committee. In 2019, Johnson co-organized the first LGBTQ history tour at a WHA meeting. Johnson is a founding member of the Coalition for Western Women’s History, having attended the first conferences in 1983-84, and is a founding coordinator of CWWH’s QuIT Organizing Committee, which is dedicated to making two-spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and intersex people and pasts a visible and vital force in our field.
Johnson was born and raised in Madison, Wisconsin, and first crossed the line of semiaridity at fifteen, heading west to Montana. Since then, Johnson has lived in Arizona, California, Colorado, and Nevada, and spends summers in New Mexico. Johnson holds a BA from Carthage College, an MA from Arizona State University, and a PhD from Yale University, and has taught at the University of Michigan, the University of Colorado Boulder, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Johnson writes, “There could be no greater honor than to have been selected as President-Elect of the organization that is my most cherished intellectual home. The WHA has changed a great deal since I drove from Tempe to attend my first meeting in San Diego in 1979, and I am eager to carry on the work that women, scholars of color, first-generation college graduates, labor union supporters, LGBTQ rebels, and fellow travelers in the WHA have initiated.”
Be sure to add these major conference events to your itinerary in San Antonio!
Queer Western History in the Age of Pandemic and Protest
Thursday, October 13, 5:15 P.M. – 6:45 P.M.
Location: Rio Grande Ballroom (Ballroom Level)
Sponsored by the Department of History and College of Liberal Arts at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Chair: Regina Kunzel, Yale University
Francisco J. Galarte, University of New Mexico
Adria L. Imada, University of California, Irvine
Andrew Jolivétte (Opelousa/Ishak Nation), University of California, San Diego
Nayan Shah, University of Southern California
Tyina Steptoe, University of Arizona
Timothy Stewart-Winter, Rutgers University-Newark
We Didn’t Mean to Die Here: Gender-Based Violence in the Midwest, the West, and the Borderlands
Thursday, October 13, 8:15 A.M. – 9:45 A.M.
Location: Rio Grande East (Ballroom Level)
Sponsored by the WHA Committee on Assault Response and Educational Strategies (WHA-CARES)
Chair: Erika Pérez, University of Arizona
Liza Black (Cherokee Nation), University of California, Los Angeles
Alicia Gaspar de Alba, University of California, Los Angeles
Jeanelle K. Hope, Texas Christian University
Monica Muñoz Martinez, University of Texas at Austin
Terrion Williamson, University of Illinois Chicago
Judy Tzu-Chun Wu, University of California, Irvine
Picketing the Frontier: How Hotel and Casino Workers Won the Longest Strike in Western History
Friday, October 14, 10:15 A.M. – 11:45 A.M.
Location: Chula Vista (Lobby Level)
This session is supported by a gift from the Harry Reid Endowed Chair for the History of the Intermountain West, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Chair: Elizabeth Jameson, University of Calgary
Maribel Estrada Calderón, Rancho High School, Las Vegas
Lori Flores, Stony Brook University
Geoconda Argüello-Kline, Culinary Workers Union Local 226
Mary Burns, Culinary Workers Union Local 226
Gloria Hernández, Culinary Workers Union Local 226
Presidential State-of-the-Field Roundtable: Captivity, Slavery, and Their Afterlives: Scholars and Communities Confront the Intertwined Histories of Kinship and Coerced Labor
Saturday, October 15, 8:15 A.M. – 9:45 A.M.
Location: Rio Grande West (Ballroom Level)
Chair: Stacey Smith, Oregon State University
Neil Dodge (Navajo Nation), University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Estevan Rael-Gálvez, Public Humanities Scholar, Creative Strategies 360°, Santa Fe, NM
Andrés Reséndez, University of California, Davis
Alaina E. Roberts (Chickasaw, Choctaw), University of Pittsburgh
Christina Snyder, Pennsylvania State University
2022 WHA PRESIDENTIAL LUNCH AND ADDRESS
Friday, October 14, 12:00 P.M. – 2:00 P.M.
Location: Rio Grande Ballroom (Ballroom Level)
“The Many Faces of Josefa Jaramillo: (Mis)Identifications and Historical Longing in the Colonial Present”
Susan Lee Johnson, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
2022 STATEMENT ON SAN ANTONIO CONFERENCE SITE
STATEMENT ON HOLDING 2022 WHA ANNUAL CONFERENCE IN SAN ANTONIO
In the wake of the passage of Texas Senate Bill 8—the most restrictive abortion ban imposed since the U.S. Supreme Court established the right to abortion in 1973—two Western History Association members asked the WHA to relocate our 2022 annual conference from San Antonio outside of Texas. One also mentioned voter suppression as an additional reason why the WHA shouldn’t meet in Texas. We assume this refers to Texas Senate Bill 1, which imposes new restrictions on how and when voters cast ballots, targeting in particular past initiatives to foster voter participation in Harris County, home to Houston, the most diverse city in the U.S.
The WHA Executive Committee as well as the leadership team for the 2022 WHA annual conference have considered these requests. We are grateful to anyone who urges the WHA to maintain the highest ideals and practices of equity, inclusion, and diversity. We share deep concern about Senate Bill 8, Senate Bill 1, and other legislation that restricts the rights and threatens the well-being of women, people of color, immigrants, working people, and LGBTQ people in Texas. We are especially concerned with legislative attempts designed to restrict the teaching of race and history in public schools. But we do not think that moving the 2022 conference outside of Texas will promote the interests of those who remain most vulnerable to the sexist, racist, anti-immigrant, anti-worker, homophobic, and transphobic impulses that inform such measures. San Antonio is a majority minority city. Almost two-thirds of its residents identify as Latinx, and there are sizable African American, Asian American, Indigenous, and mixed-race populations there as well. Women, people of color, and LGBTQ people own small businesses near the conference site, and many more work in the corporate hotel and restaurant industry that flourishes in the Riverwalk area. We hope that the presence of up to a thousand conference-goers will bring some benefit to these communities, and, as we suggest below, we're actively seeking ways to engage with them in order to learn how we can best support their efforts to shape their own lives and the world around them. The 2022 Local Arrangements Committee is planning tours that highlight the histories of communities of color in San Antonio, and those tours will feature women and people of color as leaders and participants. The 2022 Program Committee is just beginning its work (the call for papers deadline is Dec. 5, 2021), but they’re exploring public forums that will highlight the history of struggles for reproductive and voting rights in Texas and the West and that will address attempts to restrict teaching about race and inequality in U.S. history. And the two committees are committed to working in concert, first, to identify local businesses, restaurants, galleries, and grassroots organizations that support the interests of vulnerable populations in San Antonio, and then, once identified, to support them in material ways.
The WHA Executive Committee and the leadership team for the 2022 conference are also concerned for the long-term health of the WHA. The WHA contracts with hotels as conference venues several years in advance, long before we can know what issues will arise in a state or city that will concern our members. These are binding contracts. We use the conference organizing service INMEX (Informed Meetings Exchange), which ensures that we’re doing business with socially responsible hotels. The WHA has a policy of meeting in union hotels, considering exceptions only every seven years (the exception gives us the option of meeting occasionally in union-unfriendly places where many of our members nonetheless live and work). The Hyatt Regency Riverwalk in San Antonio is a union hotel whose workers are represented by UNITE HERE. If the WHA cancels its contract with the hotel, our organization will incur a penalty of $299,000. That money will stay in corporate Texas, continuing to enrich the state, even as local businesses and organizations will be deprived of revenue from conference-goers, low-wage workers will lose hours and tips, and San Antonio will not feel the presence of a progressive organization whose members not only study the history but also overwhelmingly support the interests of women, people of color, immigrants, working people, and LGBTQ people. Meanwhile, the WHA will have to contract on short notice with another hotel in another city, further depleting finite resources. The cost of doing so is too high and the benefits too uncertain. For all of these reasons, the WHA Executive Committee and the leadership team for the 2022 WHA conference, with the backing of the WHA Council, unanimously support keeping that meeting in San Antonio and honoring our contract with the Hyatt Regency Riverwalk and its union workers.
WHA Executive Committee
María E. Montoya, President (2021)
Susan Lee Johnson, President-Elect (2022)
Elaine Marie Nelson, Executive Director
WHA 2022 Leadership Team
Susan Lee Johnson, President-Elect (2022)
Julian Lim, Program Committee Co-Chair
Tyina Steptoe, Program Committee Co-Chair
William Kiser, Local Arrangements Committee Co-Chair
Omar Valerio-Jiménez, Local Arrangements Committee Co-Chair
Lindsey Passenger Wieck, Local Arrangements Committee Co-Chair
B. Erin Cole
Philip J. Deloria
Anne M. Hyde
Susan Lee Johnson
María E. Montoya
Elaine Marie Nelson
Martha A. Sandweiss
Rachel St. John