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The Western History Association is seeking qualified students to serve as members of the Graduate Conference Staff (aka "Grad Staff") for its 63rd Annual Conference in Los Angeles, California! 

The Graduate Conference Staff is a group of motivated and hard working graduate students who are energized by the study of the North American West and hope to benefit from extra involvement in the WHA's premier annual event. Working in this capacity at our conference also looks great on a resume or CV.

WHA Grad Staffers earn a lot of benefits, including complimentary registration, meal and event tickets, and more! The conference will take place in Los Angeles October 25th-28th. While there is flexibility with a graduate staff member's schedule, some Grad Staffers will be needed October 24.

4 hours = Free Registration

6 hours = Free Registration and Grad Student Reception

8 hours = Free Registration, Grad Student Reception, Opening Reception

10 hours = Free Registration, Graduate Student Reception, Opening Reception, 1 meal

12 hours = Free Registration, Graduate Student Reception, Opening Reception, 3 meals

20 hours = Free Registration, Graduate Student Reception, Opening Reception, 5 meals, Awards Banquet, Shared Hotel Room

35 hours = Free Registration, Graduate Student Reception, Opening Reception, 5 meals, Awards Banquet, Shared Hotel Room, 1 year student membership. 

Deadline for applications is August 15, 2023.

Please reach out to if you have questions.


Students are an essential part of the Western History Association. The association makes a point to value the input of students and the WHA conference has always been known as a "friendly" and inclusive venue to present your research. Senior scholars and professionals in the western history field make efforts to connect with students through panels, mentoring, and receptions, and these networks encourage graduate students to make the WHA their "home" as a professional organization. 

The WHA hosts a number of events and workshops designed specifically for graduate students, and graduate students are more than welcome to submit their work for presentations or awards.

Check back soon for highlights of graduate student-related events during this year's 2023 WHA Conference, and follow us on social media! #WHA2023 


Workshop Application Guide:

Graduate students wishing to apply for the workshop should prepare the following in a single pdf document. Please title your file "LAST NAME--2023 Grad Student Workshop." Submit the final, compiled pdf document through this form (below). 

1. Cover Sheet: Your full name, institutional affiliation, contact information (email and surface mail address).

2. Description of stage you, as a student, has reached in your program

3. Enumerate your research experiences to date.

4. Provide an overview of your dissertation. (The overview should summarize the topic, including chronological and geographic parameters, collections of original sources already consulted, and all research institutions that you, as the student, has visited or will visit while pursuing the dissertation.)

Applications for the workshop are due Friday, September 23, 2023. Send all questions about the application or workshop to Peter J. Blodgett at

Workshop Details

Today’s graduate students in western history confront an increasing array of unyielding obstacles in launching their careers. Each year, they must scramble to keep up with the accelerating pace of changes in everything from the descriptive tools created by libraries and archives to the proliferation of digital resources generated by cultural institutions. Moreover, given the shrinking pool of dollars for projects in the humanities, graduate students face a steadily more ferocious competition for fellowships, research awards and grants in general.  Believing as we do that the graduate student community represents an essential dimension of western history’s future, we have developed the following workshop in collaboration with the WHA as a means of helping to meet what we see as particularly crucial needs for the next generation of scholars.

Workshop Schedule
This workshop will run from 1:30 PM until 4:00 PM on Thursday, October 26 and will consist of two sessions, preceded by a fifteen-minute introduction and incorporating one 15-minute break. The sessions will address the following topics:

  • Introduction:  overview of workshop goals (15 minutes).
  • Session #1:  Fellowships, research awards and grant seeking in general (30 minutes).
  • 15-minute break
  • Session #2:  Plotting out the research project:  individual/small-group conversations about the dissertations being pursued by the workshop attendees (90 minutes).

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!