Saturday, October 13, 2007
The 47th Annual Conference of the Western History Association
I am recently back from the 47th Annual Conference of the Western History Association in Oklahoma City. I was on the panel "Shamans and Showmen: Decolonizing the Indians of Buffalo Bill and Edward Curtis." The panel was organized by Kevin Shupe, a dissertating grad students at George Mason University. Kevin presented a clever paper ”Selling Geronimo at the 1901 Pan-American Expositon.” Dee Garceau of Rhodes College presented "Edward Curtis Photographs, 1899-1910: Challenges of Museum Interpretation." My paper was ”Joseph’s Funeral: Edward Curtis versus the Indians of the Pacific Northwest.” Michael Holloman, the Director of the Center for Plateau Cultural Studies at the Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture, provided introductions and commentary. (I would simply link to the conference schedule but this year it is not online--tsk tsk.)
The panel was well-received and I thought hung together very well--though Dee and I, by presenting similarly-themed papers, rather stole the show from poor Kevin, the hard-working graduate student who pulled the whole thing together. Let that be an object lesson to you, Kevin.
I love the WHA and it was great to meet so many old friends, people whose work I admire, and bright young scholars doing exciting work. And I liked the new format of the meeting, with the awards at lunch and the evening banquet less stodgy. And above all it is good to see that the obnoxious Green River Knife tradition is gone forever. God that used to make me cringe!