CFP: 2018 Mid-America American Studies Association (MAASA) Conference (abstracts by Jan. 5)

Matthew Calihman's picture

Call for Papers



Migration/Politics/Sport in the Global Midwest


Mid-America American Studies Association (MAASA) Conference

Friday and Saturday, April 6-7, 2017

University of Iowa

Iowa City, Iowa


In February, 2016, white students at the mostly white Dallas Center-Grimes High School in Adel, Iowa taunted opponents from a neighboring high school with a significant Latinx enrollment with chants of “Trump!” and “USA!” In June, 2017, the family and friends of Srinivas Kuchibhotla, an immigrant from India, were honored before a Kansas City Royals baseball game. Kuchibhotla had been murdered a few months earlier by a gunman who had angrily yelled “Get out of my country!” before pulling the trigger.


These incidents illustrate the variety of ways that “movement” has shaped politics and everyday life in the global Midwest. People have come to and fled from the Midwest, driven by opportunism, violence, utopianism, and privation, changing demographics and political alignments in the process. The region has been an important center of political mobilizations, from the farmers’ alliances of the 1880s to the demonstrations surrounding the Democratic National Convention in Chicago in 1968 to the Black Lives Matter Freedom Ride to Ferguson, Missouri. Since the late 19th century, the celebration of physical movement through sport has been near the center of cultural life in Midwestern communities, often serving to shore up cultural and political identities, despite frequent claims that they transcend politics.


MAASA invites reflections on the various ways that movement has influenced the past, present, and future of the region and its people. Possible topics include:


  • The experience and politics of immigration and migration.
  • Midwestern sporting cultures.
  • Issues of disability and accessibility.
  • Social, cultural, and political mobilizations.
  • Critical, theoretical, and political legacies of 1968.
  • Athletes and social protest.


Adherence to the theme is not required, however, and submissions on all topics will be considered. Upload 250-word abstracts for individual papers or 500-word panel proposals (including paper titles and the name and affiliation of each presenter) at The deadline for submissions is January 5, 2018.