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
https://www.maasa.net/conference/submit/. The deadline for submissions is January 5,