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Kelly Lytle Hernández is a professor of History, African American Studies, and Urban Planning at UCLA where she holds The Thomas E. Lifka Endowed Chair in History and directs the Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies. One of the nation’s leading experts on race, immigration, and mass incarceration, she is the author of Migra! A History of the U.S. Border Patrol (University of California Press, 2010), City of Inmates: Conquest, Rebellion, and the Rise of Human Caging in Los Angeles  (University of North Carolina Press, 2017), and the forthcoming book Bad Mexicans: Race, Empire, and Revolution in the Borderlands (Norton, 2022). She also leads Million Dollar Hoods, a big data research initiative documenting the fiscal and human cost of mass incarceration in Los Angeles. For her historical and contemporary work, Professor Lytle Hernández was named a 2019 MacArthur “Genius” Fellow. She is also an elected member of the Society of American Historians, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the Pulitzer Prize Board.


The Western History Association and Southern Historical Association are pleased to announce that in 2024 the two organizations will host their conferences concurrently in Kansas City, Missouri at The Westin and Sheraton Kansas City at Crown Center. 

The WHA and SHA worked diligently on their efforts to hold overlapping events for two of the largest historical organizations focused on regional history in North America. "It has been a decades-long dream to bring together our two great organizations," notes Catherine Clinton, past president of the SHA, "and nothing could be more rewarding to me than to look forward to the SHA and the WHA meeting in 2024 in Kansas City—my home townmeeting in the same town during the same weekend for the first time. We can all look forward to seeing old friends, making new ones and finding ways to enrich and expand our thriving historical communities.” 

Clinton approached Stephen Aron, past president of the WHA, in 2016 with this ambitious idea and the two joined forces with their respective governing boards and executive offices to make the plan a reality. The conferences will share exhibit space and potentially a plenary, as well as provide members of both associations a chance to meet, mingle, and discuss important scholarship that emerges in western and southern history. "These meetings will give us a great opportunity to explore the directions and connections that link these histories and regions to one another," says Aron. "And what better place than Kansas City, on the borders and at the intersection of West and South, for us to break not bread but some of the finest barbeque together."

Keep your eye out for more announcements, each association's Call for Papers, and local arrangements details for the 2024 SHA and WHA conferences, and plan to join us in Kansas City from October 23-27! 


Dr. Stephen Berry, SHA Secretary-Treasurer

Dr. Elaine Nelson, WHA Executive Director



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!