58th Annual Western History Association Conference

Re-imagining Race and Ethnicity in the West 

From October1 7-20, 2018 the Western History Association will meet in San Antonio, Texas and the theme is “Reimagining Race and Ethnicity in the West.” The program committee invites papers and presentations that explore the historical origins, legacy, and construction of race and ethnicity in the North American West. We especially welcome panels that address the complex intersections of race, gender, class, and ethnicity from a variety of perspectives. Fundamental to histories of race and ethnicity are issues of authority, and considering recent events, this warrants a very timely and meaningful conference theme. Histories of race and ethnicities remain vital to any understanding of Western history. Social, cultural, and political movements have often prompted social change, reform, and the expansion of democracy. San Antonio, a city once steeped in Davy Crockett’s revolutionary spirit, is complicated by a history in which Tejanos, Mexicans, and Americans sacrificed their lives for independence. Originally, the Payaya Nation referred to this place as Yanaguana, or “refreshing waters.” Later, Spanish settlers changed the Indigenous name to San Antonio, after patron Saint Anthony of Padua, a Saint devoted to the recovery of lost items. San Antonio’s rich history is central to the conference theme. Throughout the centuries, this region has witnessed a collision of empires, numerous wars, and systems of colonization—a place known for its tragedies, victories, and second chances. As our host site for the 2018 WHA conference, San Antonio represents a place of convergence where historians can recover the significance and stories of how race and ethnicity transformed the West.

In addition to traditional paper sessions, we welcome submissions that integrate creative formats and seek to expand conference participation through invitations to scholars, teachers, students, and the public. We request full session submissions, and will consider individual papers. All panel submissions must designate one person as their main contact. The program committee assumes that every presenter listed in a proposed session has consented to participate in the conference.