9:30 AM - 11:00 AM (CDT) SESSIONS

Diverse Archives


Chair: Claytee White, University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Cassandra Flores-Montano, University of Southern California

Community, Identity, (Self)Representation: Brown BeretLeadership and the Making of the East Los Angeles Archive

J.Wendel Cox, Dartmouth College

Unexpected Archives: Indigenous Voice, Tribal Sovereignty, and Modern U.S. Congressional Manuscript Collections

Ximena López Carrillo, Stony Brook University

Mexican American Psychology: Transnational Exchange and Identity Formation in Zavala County, Texas

Eric Boutin-Bloomberg, University of Houston

Lord Selkirk and the Embrace of White North Americans: The Failure of a White Space in the Canadian-American Borderlands

Comment: Angel Diaz, Pennsylvania State University

Migrating Equality: Women’s Activism in a Mobile West


Chair: Lori Ann Lahlum, Minnesota State University, Mankato

Kelly Kirk, Black Hills State University

Migrant Suffragist: Ida Crouch-Hazlett's Mining Camp Campaigns

Kristin Mapel Bloomberg, Hamline University

Migrating Women’s Equality West: From Minnesota’s First University to Colorado’s Second Star on the Suffrage Flag

Tonia M. Compton, Missouri Valley College

From Suffrage to the Senate: Nebraska Women and the Migration to Political Activism in the 1920s

Rebekah Crowe, Wayland Baptist University

Every One a Migrant: Using Community Research to Trace Suffrage in the Texas Panhandle

Comment: Audience

New Mexico as a Meeting Ground of Cultures


Chair: Samuel Truett, University of New Mexico

James F. Brooks, University of Georgia

Ernesto Chávez, University of Texas at El Paso

Lisbeth M. Haas, University of California, Santa Cruz

Josie Lopez, Albuquerque Museum

Theodore S. Jojola, University of New Mexico

Pablo Mitchell, Oberlin College

Comment: Audience

Muralizing Western American History


Chair: Amy Scott, Autry Museum of the American West

Kendall Lovely (Navajo Nation), University of California, Santa Barbara

Classical Conquest: Confronting the Classical Legacy in Southwest Art and Public Displays

Douglas Sackman, University of Puget Sound

The Great Wall Demurral: How Ana Teresa Fernández’s Borrando La Frontera Confronts the Walls of History

Dylan J. McDonald, New Mexico State University

Problematic Public Art: Tom Lea’s Conquistadores and New Mexico History

Brooke Joelle Hadley (Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma), University of Oklahoma

The Hovey Murals at Dartmouth College: Historical Memory and Nostalgia

Comment: Taylor Spence, University of New Mexico

The Memory of Native Americans and Settler Violence in the American West


Chair: Michael Leroy Oberg, SUNY-Geneseo

Jennifer Andrella, Michigan State University

Press, Perception, and Memory of the Piegan Massacre, 1870

Marc James Carpenter, University of Oregon

Hidden in Plain Sight: Workaday Violence and Aspirations of Genocide in Northwest Pioneer Reminiscences

John R. Legg, George Mason University

Here Were Hung 38 Freedom Fighters: Counter Memories of the U.S.-Dakota War, 1912-1976

Comment: Boyd Cothran, York University

New Looks at Western Settlement: Lightning Round Presentations


Chair: Brian Q. Cannon, Brigham Young University

Evan Habkirk, University of Western Ontario

For the Good of the Mission: Missionaries and Indigenous Political Engagement

Matthew Joseph Hill, University of Oklahoma

“Half-Breeds,” Squatters, and the Government: The Spider Web of Settler Colonialism

J.T. Jamieson, University of California, Berkeley

First to the Emigrants: Organizing Migration in Antebellum America

Jonathan Robert Fairchild, National Park Service - Homestead National Monument of America

Planted in the Soil: The Homestead Act, Women Homesteaders, and the 19th Amendment

Micaela Tasha Cruce, University of Colorado Boulder

"Composite Character": Ethnicity, Race, and Community in the San Luis Valley's LDS Colonies, 1878-1900

Gabrielle Lyle, Texas A&M University

Are You Meshuga? Jews in the Borderlands? An Analysis of Jewish Migration to the Rio Grande Valley

Julianna Christine Loera Wiggins, University of Michigan

Settler Colonizers which Come in Peace: How the Hippies Transformed New Mexico's Landscape(s)

Comment: Audience

Mickey Mouse, Memory, and Mixed Races: Family Saga as Palimpsest of Western History


Chair: Melinda Marie Jetté, Franklin Pierce University

Darnella Davis (Muscogee Creek (enrolled)/Cherokee Freedman), National Coalition of Independent Scholars (NCIS)

A Mixed-Race Family’s Definitions, Documents, Denial, and Discovery: Reviving Stories and Redressing Erasure

Laura J. Arata, Oklahoma State University

Mickey Mouse Cowboys

Peter Boag, Washington State University-Vancouver

Tales Grandmother Spun: Settler-Colonialism and Domestic Violence as the Warp and Woof of a Westering Family’s (non)Memory

Comment: Audience

A Roundtable on Surviving with a History Degree outside of Academia

Sponsored by the WHA Graduate Student Caucus


Chair: Leah Cargin, University of Oklahoma

Darren A. Raspa, U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory

Jacobo D. Baca, University of New Mexico

B. Erin Cole, Minnesota Historical Society

Maggie Moss Jones, Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT)

Comment: Audience

Partnering with Buffalo Bill: Collaboration and Popular Memory


Chair: Douglas Seefeldt, Clemson University

Charles Bradshaw, Brigham Young University-Hawaii

“…the players’ hearts were in it”: Buffalo Bill and the Sentimental Wild West in Mark Twain’s “A Horse’s Tale”

Joe Dobrow, University of Colorado Boulder

Aesop’s Cables: How Major John M. Burke Partnered with the Press to Build the Mythology of Buffalo Bill

Jeremy M. Johnston, Buffalo Bill Center of the West

The Promoter and the Entrepreneur: George Beck and Buffalo Bill Establish a Community

Matthew Ross Kerns, Author

Buffalo Bill Was Not a Cowboy

Monica Rico, Lawrence University

The Afterlife of Annie Oakley

Allison Robbins, University of Central Missouri

Scoring Buffalo Bill’s Wild West

Louis Warren, University of California, Davis

Sixteen Years in Hell with Buffalo Bill: The Ordeal of Nate Salsbury and the Emergence of Modern Show Business

Alyce Webb, Northern Oklahoma College

Gordon Lillie, Buffalo Bill’s Bankroller

Comment: Frank Christianson, Brigham Young University

Sourcing the North American West for Analogs during the “Age of Empire”


Chair: James Oliver Gump, University of San Diego (emeritus)

Robert L. Nelson, University of Windsor

From the Great Plains to the Russian Steppe: Homesteading as Inspiration for the German East, 1886 to 1945

John L. Hennessey, Uppsala University

Replicating the American West in Northeast Asia: Trans-Imperial Links between the United States and Japanese Settler Colonialism in Hokkaido, 1868-1900

Jeannette Eileen Jones, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

How the Südwest Was Won: American Irrigation, “Native” Removal, and Colonial Economies in German Southwest Africa

Comment: Janne Lahti, University of Helsinki

Weathering the West: Exploring Climate, Weather, and Human Experience in Western History


Chair: Marsha Weisiger, University of Oregon

Kathryn B. Carpenter, Princeton University

“The United States Weather Bureau is requesting your cooperation”: Government and Citizen Weather Researchers in the Midwest

Lawrence Culver, Utah State University

Surveying Weather and the West: Climate and the Federal Surveys

Alyssa Kreikemeier, Boston University

Beneath Big Skies: Air in the Making of the Rocky Mountain West

Andrew Needham, New York University

From ‘Climate in Western History’ to ‘Western History in Climate’

Jesse Ritner, University of Texas at Austin

Making Snow: The Ski Industry's Solution to Drought in the Mountain West

Devin Short, University of Washington

Leaving the Realm of Little Science: Climate Change and Computer Modeling in the United States

Robert Suits, University of Chicago

Fuel, Work, and Capricious Climates, 1865-1945

Daniel Zizzamia, Ivan Doig Center for the Study of the Lands & Peoples of the North American West, Montana State University

Railroading the Subterranean Frontier and Revising the Western Climate

Comment: Audience

What Lies Ahead: Native Activism and the Ongoing Struggle Against Settler-Colonial Whitewashing


Chair: Michael Magliari, California State University, Chico

Laura Barraclough, Yale University

Mobilizing Indigenous History and Futurity on the Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail

Brianna Theobald, University of Rochester

Indigenizing the Battered Women’s Movement

Sarah Keyes, University of Nevada, Reno

The Fight for Repatriation of Native Remains and the Potential to Reshape Pioneer Memory

Comment: William Bauer (Round Valley Indian Tribes), University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Introduction to National Park Service Sponsored Research


Chair: Turkiya Lowe, National Park Service

Eleanor Mahoney, National Park Service

Angela Sirna, National Park Service

Sarah Payne, Colorado State University

David Louter, National Park Service

Indigenizing Classrooms: A Roundtable on Research and Practice

Sponsored by the WHA Committee on Teaching and Public Education


Chair: Sheila McManus, University of Lethbridge

Lindsay Stallones Marshall, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Dismantling False Frameworks in the Classroom

Megan Red Shirt-Shaw (Oglala Lakota), University of Minnesota

College Spaces as Occupied Land

Leola Tsinnajinnie Paquin (Diné), University of New Mexico

Indigenous Education, Decolonization, and Community-Centered Nation Building

Kelsey Dayle John (Navajo), University of Arizona

Practical Tools to Begin Decolonizing Classrooms

Issac Akande, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Acknowledging Agency when Teaching and Indigenizing Education

Comment: Audience

The Perils and Promise of the Second Book: An Editors’ Roundtable


Chair: Susan Ferber, Oxford University Press

Adina Popescu Berk, Yale University Press

Niels Hooper, University of California Press

Dawn Durante, University of Texas Press

Benjamin H. Johnson, Loyola University Chicago

Nación Genízara: Ethnogenesis, Place, and Identity in the Southwest Borderlands


Chair: Enrique R. Lamadrid, University of New Mexico

Susan Gandert, Educator

Trails of Blood, Love, and Tears: Rescuing My Captives

William S. Kiser, Texas A&M University-San Antonio

Genízaros and Cultural Systems of Slavery in the Hispanic Southwest

Virginia Sanchez, Independent Scholar

Survival of Captivity: Hybrid Identities, Gender, and Culture in Territorial Colorado

Comment: Moises R. Gonzales (Genízaro, nonenrolled member of a tribe), University of New Mexico

Meeting Anywhere but the Middle: Political Movements to Define Immigration Policy in the Late 20th-Century West


Chair: Adam Goodman, University of Illinois at Chicago

Eladio Benjamin Bobadilla, University of Kentucky

“A Change in Perspective”: Pete Wilson and the Modern Paradox of Immigration

Sarah Ross Coleman, Texas State University

From the Border to the Heartland: Local Immigration Enforcement and Immigrants’ Rights

Sergio M. González, Marquette University

“Encouraging parishes to break the law”: Sanctuary Movements, Progressive Prelates, and Conservative Backlashes in the Late 20th Century

Comment: Audience

Seeking Indigenous Nationalism: Is There Such a Thing?


Chair: Steven Sexton (Pawnee and Choctaw), University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Norman B. Potter, Memorial University of Newfoundland

The Indian Village and The Settler Imagination: First Nations Representations in the Calgary Stampede, 1912-1950

Steven Sabol, University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Protecting the Nation: Comparing Sámi and Nation American Socio-Political Nationalism, 1905-1925

Comment: Carol Lee Higham, University of North Carolina at Charlotte

11:30 AM - 1:00 PM (CDT) SESSIONS

New Examinations of the California Gold Rush


Chair: Susan Lee Johnson, University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Peter Hacunda, Providence College

Prospecting for Opportunity: Labor and Transnational as New England Joins the California Gold Rush

Andrew Shaler, California State University, San Bernardino

"No god more than gold": Yaqui Migrants in Gold Rush California, 1849-1857

Carrie Alexander, University of California, Davis

"Do Not Suffer Me to Murmur": Patience, Power, and Naming the California Gold Rush

Comment: Andrew Isenberg, University of Kansas

Joint Exploitation: The U.S., Mexico, and the Use of Migrant Labor on Both Sides of the Border

Sponsored by the Labor and Working-Class History Association


Chair: Geraldo Cadava, Northwestern University

Irvin Ibargüen, New York University

A Pool for the North: Northern Mexican Agriculture, “International’ Laborers,” and Economic Policy as Migratory Regulation, 1954-62

Alina Ramirez Méndez, University of Washington

“Merchants of Labor:” The End of the Bracero Program and the Start of Mexico’s Border Industrialization Program

Michael D. Aguirre, Harvard University

From the Border Industrialization Program to NAFTA: A Comparative Study of Neoliberalism and the Politics of Migration on the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands

Comment: Audience

Afro-Frontier & Borderlands:100 Years Later, Intersections at Blackdom, New Mexico


Chair: Alyssa Kreikemeier, Boston University

Timothy E. Nelson, Independent Historian

Blackdom, Barratry and Bawdy Houses in the Borderlands, 1900–1930

Austin J. Miller, Southern Methodist University

Blackdom: Interpreting the Hidden History of New Mexico’s Black Town

Janice Dunnahoo, Historical Society for Southeastern New Mexico

George Malone- First Black Attorney in New Mexico

Gregory Allen Waits, Waits Studio Works (WSW)

The Pursuit of Utopia Beyond the Color Line at Blackdom

Darold Cuba, Harvard University

Blackdom: From Freedom (Colony) to Sovereignty: How this Resistance Community Disrupted and Dismantled Colonizer Narratives, Spaces, and Intentions to Create the Original “Safe Space”

Comment: Herbert G. Ruffin II, Syracuse University

Roundtable Discussion on Disability and Equity within History Professions


Chair: Kurt Gutjahr: Center of the American West

Alida Boorn, Historian

The Complicated World of Disability History and How Historians Navigate it

Gracen M. Brilmyer, University of California, Los Angeles

“I feel like that history is disintegrating, that care is disintegrating”: Expanding archival accessibility through affect

Jay Price, Wichita State University

Accessibility in Museum Design

Frehiwot Wuhib, Wichita State University

Universal Design for Learning

Micaela Tasha Cruce, University of Colorado Boulder

Neurodiversity in the Academy

Ellie Kaplan, University of California Davis

Integrating Disability History and Scholars into Academia

Comment: Patricia N. Limerick, University of Colorado Boulder

Knowing the West's National Parks


Chair: Jackie Gonzales, Historical Research Associates, Inc.

Jerry Frank, University of Missouri

Rewriting Wrongs: Stories, Place, and Power in the American West

Jennifer Olson, Tacoma Community College, Pierce College

James Everett Stuart’s Paintings of Yellowstone National Park

Douglas W. Dodd, California State University, Bakersfield

“I Hope it isn’t Going to be this Hard Always”: The CCC Enrollee Experience in California’s National Parks

Thomas A. Patin, Northern Arizona University

How to Get Lost in a National Park

Comment: Eleanor Mahoney, National Park Service

Contesting Immigration Policy and Citizenship in California


Chair: David Torres-Rouff, University of California, Merced

Camille Suárez, Valparaiso University

Contesting California: Race, Law, and Resistance in California, 1850-1858

Tyler T. Hallatt, Florida Gulf Coast University

Redefining the Chinese Immigrant and Deconstructing the “Yellow Peril” of 1850-1860 in San Francisco

Matthew Scott Bernstein, Los Angeles City College

The Fix Is In - The Boss of San Francisco's Chinatown Played His Own Rules

Comment: Beth Lew-Williams, Princeton University

Presidential Panel: Stepping Beyond Steinbeck: Race, Ethnicity, Environment, and Labor in California Migrations


Chair: Lori Flores, Stony Brook University

James Swensen, Brigham Young University

Carol McKibben, Stanford University

Susan Shillinglaw, San Jose State University

Connie Chiang, Bowdoin College

Comment: Audience

Lessons from A Journey to Freedom: Richard Oakes, Alcatraz, and the Red Power Movement

Sponsored by the WHA Committee on Teaching and Public Education


Chair: Mark Johnson, University of Notre Dame

Michael Rhae Begay (Diné), Teacher

Middle School Lessons from A Journey to Freedom

Marilyn Rose Travis, Stanford University, East Palo Alto Academy

High School Lessons from A Journey to Freedom

John Henry Buzzard, University of Notre Dame

High School Lesson Plans from A Journey to Freedom

Comment: Alicia M. Dewey, Biola University 

Masculinity and Criminality in the West: Power, Gender, and the State


Chair: Carolina Monsiváis, South Texas College

Adrian De Leon, University of Southern California

Koboy-Koboy: The Emergence of a Frontier Grammar for Filipino Sexual Violence

Madison Heslop, University of Washington

An American Vagrant in Vancouver

Megan Stanton, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Unlawful Cohabiters: The Criminalization of Latter-day Saint Masculinity

Comment: Matthew Basso, University of Utah

Disease, Indigeneity, and Settler Colonialism


Chair: Brian Hosmer, Oklahoma State University

Keith Thor Carlson, University of the Fraser Valley

Smallpox and its Overlooked Consequences: The 1782 and 1854 Epidemics in the Salish World

John Lutz, University of Victoria

Smallpox, Bioterrorism and Colonialism in Northwest North America

Paul Hackett, University of Saskatchewan

Western Canadian Residential Schools as a Factor in the Transmission of Tuberculosis (TB) during the Early 20th Century

Comment: Sarah Nickel (Tk’emlupsemc), University of Alberta

Protest, Rebellion, and Memory in the Black West


Chair: Casey D. Nichols, Texas State University

Kimberly Thomas McNair, Stanford University

Myth, Memory, and Black Radicalism

V.N. Trinh, Yale University

Wit It: Reimagining the Rodney King Riots

Jeanelle K. Hope, Texas Christian University

"South Sac Iraq" Meets "Little Saigon": South Sacramento and the Radical Potential of Afro-Asian Solidarity in the Era of Black Lives Matter

Comment: Max Felker-Kantor, Ball State University

Concentration Camps, Natives, Nazis and Performance: Rethinking State Violence and Interethnic Relations in the West During World War II


Chair: Khalil Anthony Johnson, Wesleyan University

Kat Whiteley (Wiyot), University of Michigan

“Lost” Treaties, Native Nazis and the Political Battle over Stolen California Indian Lands, 1934-1945

Caitlin Keliiaa (Yerington Paiute and Washoe), University of California, Santa Cruz

Imprisoned on Native Land: Japanese Internment and Native Women’s Labor at Manzanar

William Gow, Stanford University

Playing the Japanese Enemy: The Politics of Chinese American Performance in Hollywood War Films

Megan Asaka, University of California, Riverside

Intertwined Histories of Displacement: A Native-Japanese Family during World War II

Comment: Audience

Chicanas’ Discourse, Dialogues, and Memories: Realizing the Chicana Historical Imaginary through Women’s Words


Chair: Antonia Castañeda, Independent Scholar

Yvette J. Saavedra, University of Oregon

Speaking for Themselves: Californianas’ Testimonios and Countering Women’s Discursive Erasure in 19th-Century Californio History

Erika Pérez, University of Arizona

Reputation, Race, and Class in Early California Legal History: How Chicanas’ Claims for Justice were Shaped by Respectability Politics

Annette M. Rodríguez, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Las Antígonas: Mexican and Mexican American Women’s Persistent Opposition to Lynching

Linda Heidenreich, Washington State University

The Virgin Would Not Eat Grapes: Faith, Activism, and the United Farm Worker’s Movement, 1965-1970

Comment: Gabriela F. Arredondo, University of California, Santa Cruz

California Indian Resistance to Colonialism

Sponsored by the Historical Society of Southern California


Chair: Natale Zappia, California State University, Northridge

Benjamin Madley, University of California, Los Angeles

The 1781 Colorado River Uprising: Rethinking Indigenous Resistance in Early North America

Edward Melillo, Amherst College

Rebellion on the Frontiers of Memory: Indigenous Peoples, Disease, and Environment in Mexican California

Yve Chavez (Tongva), University of California, Santa Cruz

Tongva Resistance to Colonial Erasure in Late 19th- and Early 20th-Century Los Angeles

Comment: Audience

Pushing the Boundaries of Indigenous Borderlands, Part I


Chair: Rani-Henrik Andersson, University of Helsinki

Janine Ledford (Makah), Makah Cultural and Research Center

Makah Borderlands and Traditional Territory and Resources in the Olympic National Park

Deana D. Dartt (Coastal Band Chumash), Live Oak Museum Consulting

Mapping the Camino Indigenous: Reclaiming the Road on Our Terms

Jennifer Denetdale (Diné), University of New Mexico

Reflections on the Death of Loreal by a Winslow Cop: Border Towns, Settler Colonialism, and History

Boyd Cothran, York University

Reclaiming the Klamath River: Indigenous Sovereignty, the Rights of Nature, and the Borderlands of Personhood in the Global American West

Comment: Audience

Something in the Water: Histories of Disturbance, Injustice, and Resilience


Chair: Megan A. Black, Dartmouth College

Sarah Alisabeth Fox, University of British Columbia

98108 as Meeting Ground: Historicizing Environmental Inequity and Resilience

Elizabeth Grennan Browning, Indiana University Bloomington

Riparian Privilege of Pollution: Coal Energy and Industrial Wastes Along Indiana’s Ohio River Basin

Traci Brynne Voyles, University of Oklahoma

Save the Salton Sea: A How-To Guide

Stephen Hausmann, University of St. Thomas, Minnesota

Rebuilding Rapid City: Urban Inequality and the Aftermath of the 1972 Rapid City Flood

Comment: BJ Cummings, University of Washington

Transpacific Entanglements of Love, Militarism, and Solidarity in the Post-World War II Era


Chair: Mark Padoongpatt, University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Stephanie Teodocio Fajardo, University of Michigan

Sacrificial Love: Filipina Military Brides after World War Two

Alfred Peredo Flores (Chamoru), Harvey Mudd College

Tiyan & the Making of Naval Air Station, Hagåtña

Michael Schulze-Oechtering, University of Washington

“If Two Are Dead, Many Will Take Their Place:” The Committee for Justice for Domingo and Viernes (CJDV) and Anti- Imperialist Solidarity during the Radical 1980s

Comment: Audience




What do we hope for our WHA going forward? What advice would we give our younger Western historian selves today? How can we grow together to sustain a more vibrant and enriched WHA?

In the early (pre-Covid-19) planning stages of the 2020 WHA Conference, the Program Committee and President laid the groundwork for a plenary session that celebrates the WHA’s 60th gathering. By looking to the past and future, we seek to capture the plurality of voices that comprise the organization and put multiple generations in conversation with each other.

The 2020 WHA Presidential Plenary is a compilation of video recordings that begins with voices from the organization’s past, current, and future Presidents as they remind us of the organization’s mission and how we engage to fulfill that mission. The video then highlights members and leaders who hold established careers as they reflect upon the WHA and the field of Western history. Finally, the video showcases our future, the next, fresh generation of Western historians who voice their projections of the organization and field as they grow into established scholars.

It has been 60 years since the Western History Association first met in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

The generation that birthed the organization is largely gone and successive new generations of Western historians have taken up the historical conversation, continuing to bring life and vitality to the WHA. As much as the region itself, the WHA is a meeting ground where new historical interpretations intersect with the ones that have comprised its canon, and where young voices engage with established professionals.

The halls of each WHA annual conference are filled with familiar faces. But every year, we welcome new faces.

The 60th WHA Conference is a moment to celebrate all the individuals who make dynamic and energetic contributions to the study of the west. There is no better moment to have this conversation than now, in the face of our 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.

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!

Western History Association

University of Kansas 

1445 Jayhawk Blvd.

3650 Wescoe Hall

Lawrence, KS 66045