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2020: Albuquerque

Migrations, Meeting Grounds, and Memory

60th Annual WHA Conference

October 14-17, 2020, #WHA2020

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. ( 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.


Policy on Conference Participants:

It is WHA Policy that all conference participants (chairs, presenters, workshop leaders, plenary speakers, and commentators) must register for the annual conference.


In 2018 the WHA Council created an additional policy on conferene participation and registration. Beginning in 2019, conference participants who do not register for the conference, or who fair to show up to the conference without alerting the WHA office, will be included on a report that is forwarded to the next three WHA Program Committee Chairs (2020, 2021, 2022). The policy was created to address participant cancellation and encourage indivuals to follow-through with professional commitments. 


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