Battleground Midwest: Mid-America American Studies Association 2016 Conference, Call for Papers and Sessions

Jennifer Hamer Announcement
Kansas, United States
Subject Fields
American History / Studies, Urban History / Studies, Political History / Studies, Religious Studies and Theology, Women's & Gender History / Studies
Call for Papers and Sessions

Battleground Midwest

Defining Who and What Matters in the U.S. and Beyond

Mid-America American Studies Association 2016 Conference

Friday, Saturday, March 4-5, 2016
University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS

The major issues of the 21st century are being fought in the backyards of the Midwest, the geographical U.S. center.  Since the last gathering of the Mid-America American Studies Association, this region has drawn international attention and mass organization around Ferguson, Missouri, police brutality, and varied forms of structured violence; unequal taxation and declining school districts; a rise in poverty among the urban, suburban, and rural populations; union busting and ruthless assaults on public education; immigration and human trafficking; religious freedom, academic intellectual censorship; women’s and LGBTQ rights and protections; and growing hunger and deprivation that do not discriminate between Native American, African American, Latina/o, and white children. 

The Midwest has become the political battleground for policies, rhetoric, and practices that are shifting definitions of who and what matters in the U.S. and beyond: who eats, who starves; who learns, who fails; what flourishes, what is abandoned. These are not just regional phenomena.  There are indicators of where, as a society, we are headed. These trends indicate the direction of our humanity. 

Students, as well as new and established scholars, have a responsibility to explore and understand the conditions of the region, its parts, and its people.  We have the responsibility to articulate how this U.S. geographical center interacts and connects with people, places, and circumstances within the U.S. and beyond and across borders. We share the responsibility to act, to aggressively and openly define who and what matters.  We must choose to engage as scholars, collectively and in our respective communities.  Together, as part of this regional association, we can rotate policies, shift rhetoric, and curb practices that hinder humanity in the Midwest and, without intervention, will further diminish it everywhere.

MAASA welcomes papers, proposed panels, roundtables, poster sessions, and other session formats from students, faculty, and activists.  Adherence to the 2016 theme is encouraged but not required.  All paper and session topics will be considered.

Please send queries and submit 1-2 page paper abstracts and proposed panel, roundtable, poster and other sessions by November 1, 2015
Using our Online Submission Form
 (visit to access the form).

Only electronic submissions will be considered, accepted document types are PDF or Microsoft Word documents.

Contact Information

Jennifer Hamer, Professor and Chair, Department of American Studies, University of Kansas

Contact Email