H-Midwest Roundtables are a regular feature on H-Midwest. Each Roundtable introduces a subject or question in the field and a selection of thoughtful responses solicited from experts in the field, H-Midwest's Board, and responses to general calls. Roundtables are syntheses of current thinking on a subject and introduce a few new ideas and serve as starting points for discussion. Subscribers are invited to join the roundtable by replying to any contribution. At the end of each set of contributions is an open forum for thoughts on the roundtable subject generally.
Hello and welcome to H-Midwest, H-Net's home for Midwestern Studies. H-Midwest spans all approaches to Midwestern Studies--sociology, literature, history, economics, cultural studies, law, arts--and questions in the broader field of regional studies as well. We will interrogate where, what, and who is "Midwestern," and why. Our aim is to explore the expanding contours of this growing field, and push them where needed. The H-Midwest Board creates features and resources for the field and welcomes your announcements, posts, queries, discussions, CFP's and all things Midwestern.
Take a look around. H-Midwest Roundtables, discussions, and announcements are below. The images of states above will take you to content relevent to each state. We also post CFP's in Midwestern Studies and reviews of books concerning the Midwest published by H-Net. H-Midwest's Book Review Editor is currently commissioning new reviews. If you have something to post and don't see a space for it, don't worry: if it's about the Midwest, we'll make a space for it.
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For Immediate Release
The Midwestern History Association is pleased to announce the winners of its 2017 prizes for new scholarship on the Midwest and lifetime achievement in the field. The awards, detailed below, were presented on June 7 at the society’s annual meeting, which was held at the Hauenstein Center at Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Dorothy Schwieder Prize for Best Article in Midwestern History:
The Spring 2017 issue of The Annals of Iowa is now available.
May is Minnesota Museums Month, and May 18 is International Museum Day. H-Midwest participates in this celebration of the preservation and presentation of the state's culture with the initiation of a new blog, Museums of Minnesota. Throughout the month, directors, curators, other staffers, and volunteers at museums and historical societies around the state will be posting about their work, artifacts in their collections, exhibits, and the rich resources they house.
Earlier today, H-Midwest Board member Jon Lauck appeared on "Central Standard" on KCUR in Kansas City to discuss the topic "What is the Midwest?" It was a fun and informative half hour on our favorite subject. A lot of interesting (and some surprising) definitions of Midwest came up, and quite a bit of sterotype bunking was heard.
The latest chapter in the saga of the Indiana State Archives is playing out in the halls of power in Indianapolis. How the story ends is not yet known.
Wilbur Zelinsky wrote about Oklahoma in his book Cultural Geography of the United States. He categorized the state as one of three US regions of “uncertain status or affiliation.” (The other two were Texas and peninsula Florida.)
Zelinsky more or less said Oklahoma was divided culturally and geographically east and west. The eastern half of Oklahoma bordering Arkansas used to grow cotton and was like the South, but the western half is more like the Great Plains.
Given Oklahoma's Native American history and energy industry, I always thought of the state in the larger context of the West. If anything, it does raise (or repeat) a larger question regarding the study of American regionalism: to what extent can regions be defined by state boundaries? It's certainly convenient but, as works like Fischer's Albion's Seed or Woodward's American Nations show, things are not always so clearly defined.
Good question! Speaking as an editor of H-Midwest, we came up with some early definitions for our purposes, and our Midwest did not include Oklahoma. But we also consider our definition not flexible but perhaps completely unnecessary.
Oklahoma is not included on the current States listed for the web page. Is Oklahoma considered South only ?
As a Minnesotan, I just had to share this book review from our friends at H-Skand. I've always enjoyed the strength of feeling aroused in Minnesotans by the Kensington Rune Stone and the story of Vikings settling in Minnesota. The feelings have always been strong, but divided: some still believe it, many do not, but both sides have always seemed surprisingly passionate. I remember meeting people who were taught about the Kensington Rune Stone in their history classes.
Here is a set of news stories and other web writing on the subject of Midwestern Literature. Some ask, “Is there a Midwestern Literature?” Others strongly say, “Yes!” What do you think? What characterizes Midwestern Literature?