Monday, January 30, 2012

CFP: Montana Historical Society 2012 Conference

This just in:

"Opportunity for All? Homesteading Next Year Country

2012 marks the 150th anniversary of America’s first Homestead Act. Born of the same political discord that led to the Civil War and signed into law by President Abraham Lincoln during the early years of that conflict, the act provided for the transfer of 160 acres of public land to each homesteader upon payment of a nominal filing fee and five years of “proving up.” The original proponents of the Homestead Act envisioned the settlement of the West by individual farmers with an almost utopian fervor, and today, our cultural mythology most often portrays homesteading as a symbol of the most American of ideals.

Homesteaders at Cabin Creek. July 13th, 1913
Credit: Montana Historical Society Research Center Photograph Archives 
The conference will be held in Helena at the Best Western Premier Helena Great Northern Hotel, September 20-22, 2012. The deadline for submission is February 1, 2012. Session proposals relating to any aspect of homesteading are encouraged (see page 2 for information on how to submit a proposal). Possible topics include:

  • The impact of the Homestead Act on Montana’s first peoples
  • The impact of homesteaders on the environment
  • The impact of the environment on homesteaders
  • Daily life on a homestead
  • The material culture of the homestead era
  • Homesteading as it relates to women’s history
  • Homesteading as it relates to ethnic and minority history
  • The role of archaeology in telling the homestead story
  • The effect of homesteading on Montana politics
  • The impact of homesteading on rural settlement and community development
  • Homesteading and family folklore
  • The role of railroads in homesteading and land development
  • And more!

If you are working on any aspect of homesteading, this looks like a fascinating conference.

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