Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Conference Announcement: American West Center at Fifty

Via the excellent Greg Smoak, this call for papers for a special conference: The American West Center at Fifty. Don't be misled by the title, the conference is about the entire history of the American West, not specifically about the University of Utah’s American West Center. I appreciate the emphasis on public engagement. The conference is Sept. 19-21 and deadline for proposals has been extended to April 15. Here are the details:

The American West Center at Fifty 



A Symposium on Public Engagement in the Humanities and Social Sciences
University of Utah Salt Lake City, Utah September 19-21, 2014

Western Lands, Western Voices, a three-day interdisciplinary symposium exploring the past, present, and future of public engagement in the Humanities and Social Sciences will be held in Salt Lake City, September 19-21, 2014. The symposium marks the fiftieth anniversary of the University of Utah’s American West Center, the oldest regional studies center of its kind in the West. Our goal is to bring together college/university and community based practitioners for a lively discussion of the place and power of publicly engaged/applied scholarship in the American West.

Participation: We seek submissions from college and university based scholars, community based organizations and institutions, state and local historical and cultural entities, and indigenous Nations. The symposium will engage diverse fields including history, anthropology, political science, ethnic studies, literature, cultural studies, and the arts. We strongly encourage participants and projects that span disciplinary divides. Submissions from graduate students, early career scholars, and community based scholars are particularly encouraged, as are those that address innovative ways of reaching public audiences. 

Topics: We are seeking proposals for panels, sessions, and individual presentation that illustrate the power and potential of publicly engaged scholarship. Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Indigenous Sovereignty
  • Cultural Preservation and Indigenous Peoples
  • Oral History Methods and Applications
  • Community Based History Projects
  • Environmental Policy and Politics
  • Public Lands Management and History
  • Literary and Artistic Representations of the American West 

Session Formats: We are seeking submissions for sessions and presentations in a range of formats. Traditional research presentations are welcome, but we encourage collaborative formats such as roundtables and the NCPH’s “working group” format. Working Groups connect individuals working on similar projects or problems through the discussion of pre-circulated scholarship.

For complete panel or session proposals a designated contact person should submit a single PDF document that includes a one-page (approx. 250 word) abstract describing the general purpose of the session as well as one-paragraph presentation abstracts and one-page CV’s for each of the session participants. Contact information (address, phone number, and email) for all participants must be provided.

Individual presentation proposals should include a one-page abstract as well as a one-page CV with complete contact information (address, phone number, and email) . We will do our best to match individual submissions to create viable sessions.

Working Group Submissions should be made by individuals planning to serve as facilitators for the group. They should include a one-page abstract describing the central issue that the group will address and a one-page CV with complete contact information (address, phone number, and email). If the proposed topic is selected we will assist the facilitator in recruiting appropriate working group members.

All submissions should be sent in PDF format to by April 15, 2014. Please contact the American West Center at (801) 581-7611 if you have any questions.

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