CFP: 2018 Mid-America American Studies Association Conference (abstracts by 1/5/18)

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Call for Papers


Migration/Politics/Sport in the Global Midwest

Mid-America American Studies Association (MAASA) Conference

Friday and Saturday, April 6-7, 2018

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,