WHA 2020 Conference: Albuquerque

Mark your calendars for the 60th Annual WHA Conference, which is scheduled for October 14-17, 2020, in Albuquerque, New Mexico at the Hyatt Regency and Albuquerque Convention Center. Bookmark this page to check for updates on conference details! Read the 2020 Call for Papers below and learn more about presenting your work in Albuquerque!

2020 President: David Wrobel

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

2020 Call for Papers: “Migrations, Meeting Grounds, and Memory”

60th Annual WHA Conference

October 14-17, 2020

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, please visit the WHA 2020 Conference website and follow the directions and guide for electronic submissions. (www.westernhistory.org/2020). 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.


Submit A Session for 2020!

The paper and panel submission process will open on September 1, 2019. All submissions are due December 5, 2019. 

Please check this page for updates on the session submission process. In the meantime, you should create a profile on the WHA online submission platform, which is required before submitting your work. Please do so through the All Academic website.

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:

Leisl Carr-Childers
Colorado State University


Lori Flores
Stony Brook University


Amy Lonetree
University of California, Santa Cruz


2020 Program Committee

Leisl Carr Childers, Colorado State University (Co-Chair)

Lori Flores, Stony Brook University (Co-Chair)

Amy Lonetree, University of California, Santa Cruz (Co-Chair)

Amy Haines, University of Colorado, Colorado Springs

Jane Hong Lee, Occidental College

Omar Valerio Jiménez, University of Texas, San Antonio

Jonathan Foster, Great Basin College

Sarah Sadlier, Harvard University

Jeffrey Shepherd, University of Texas, El Paso

Allyson Stevenson, University of Regina

Margaret Jacobs, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Judy Tzu-Chun Wu, University of California, Irvine

John Findlay, University of Washington

Elise Boxer, University of South Dakota

Herbert Ruffin, Syracuse University
Casey D. Nichols, California State University, East Bay

2020 Local Arrangements Committee

We are pleased to announce that Virginia Scharff is the 2020 Local Arrangements Committee Chair! We will post more soon on the committee members, tours, and 2020 events.



The WHA is hosted on the campus of the University of Nebraska at Omaha and benefits from the generous support of the College of Arts and Sciences.


Western History Association | University of Nebraska at Omaha | Department of History | 6001 Dodge Street | Omaha, NE 68182 | 

| (402) 554-5999 | westernhistoryassociation@gmail.com


The Western History Association is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.