Call-for-Proposals: New Book on Midwestern Liberalism

Jon Lauck's picture
Call for Papers
December 15, 2020
United States
Subject Fields: 
American History / Studies, Contemporary History, Political History / Studies



New Book on Midwestern Liberalism


Scholars, commentators, and political analysts are asked to submit proposals of 500 words or less outlining a proposed chapter for a volume on the history of Midwestern politics since 1945. In particular, the editors seek proposals outlining plans for a chapter about a particular aspect of Midwestern liberalism, the Democratic Party, or the activism of the Left in the Midwest. The resulting volume is designed to serve as a companion with the new volume The Conservative Heartland: A Political History of the Postwar American Midwest (University Press of Kansas, 2020).

In recent presidential races major Midwestern states such as Wisconsin, Iowa, Michigan, and Ohio have served as key swing states and the Midwest has emerged as perhaps the last competitive region for presidential campaigns. After analyzing various aspects of Midwestern conservatism in an earlier volume, the editors believe it is time for a deeper exploration of Left-liberalism in the Midwest. Topics for the volume could include, but are certainly not limited to, the following: the remnants of the New Deal order which persisted in the postwar era; the continued activism of the UAW and other prominent Midwestern unions; the growth of the Midwestern civil rights movements; the importance of the urban vote to the Midwestern Democratic Party; community organizing in Midwestern cities; the role of the Farmers Union, the National Farmers Organization, and other left-leaning agrarian organizations; the once-prominent role of the Catholic church in the Midwestern Democratic Party; the changing role of Protestant denominations in Midwestern politics; the impact of deindustrialization on the Midwestern left; cultural leftism; the politics of abortion; gay rights debates; the Midwest and the ERA; Midwestern radical leaders and radical movements; profiles of prominent Midwestern left-leaning politicians which reveal important components of Midwestern political culture (George McGovern, Paul Wellstone, Barack Obama, etc); the activities of the campus Left in the Midwest (Madison, Ann Arbor, Iowa City, etc); the Midwestern environmental movement and environmental battles; Native American activism; new immigrants from Asia, Latin America, and Africa and their impact on Left/liberal politics. Jon Lauck of the University of South Dakota and Catherine McNicol Stock of Connecticut College at will serve as volume editors. All proposals of roughly 500 words should be sent to Jon Lauck at and to Catherine McNicol Stock at by December 15, 2020 and include a vita pasted at the end of the proposal (please include the proposal and vita in one document). If a proposal is accepted, the final version of an author’s chapter will be due on January 1, 2022. The University Press of Kansas has expressed interest in the volume and while publication is expected, it is not guaranteed.