Call-for-Proposals: New Book on Midwestern Intellectual History

Jon Lauck Discussion


CALL FOR CHAPTER PROPOSALS: edited collection of essays on the intellectual history of the American Midwest.


Mapping Midwestern Minds: Essays on the Intellectual History of the Midwest


Deadline: July 1, 2017


This collection aims to capture the great energy surrounding the revival of two once-prominent fields of American history—Midwestern history and American intellectual history—and channel this energy into a deep consideration of Midwestern intellectual history. Chapters will, in various ways, yield a thorough examination of “Midwestern minds,” or examine the ways writers and intellectuals have thought about the Midwest as a region, been influenced by the region, or emerged from the region to influence national thought. Possible topics include:


  • The thought of particular Midwestern intellectuals, such as Frederick Jackson Turner, Constance Rourke, or Malcolm X


  • The significance of ideas or intellectual movements and projects, such as the development of the notion of the “common man,” the emergence of land grant colleges, agrarianism, the Midwestern Moment of literary regionalism, the Golden Age of Indiana Literature, the Chicago Renaissance, or the significance of the Great Migration


  • The intellectual history of particular places, such as Chicago, or the Ohio River Valley, the Driftless, the Upper Peninsula, or Ann Arbor and Columbus


  • The intellectual impact of the Midwest on non-Midwesterners, such as the scholars at the University of Chicago or the significance of the universities of Wisconsin and Michigan to the New Left


The editors will give particular emphasis to work that elaborates on Midwestern identity, the contours of Midwestern regionalism, the role of the Midwest in shaping an intellectual’s or an intellectual movement’s work, and the stories of intellectuals who emerged out of the Midwest.


To this end, we call for interested scholars to submit a 500-word abstract to Joe Hogan <> by July 1, 2017. Please include a brief bio and full CV that lists contact information, including an email address. Authors will be notified if they are successful by September 2017. Several of the authors will be asked to present their work at a special conference focused on Midwestern intellectual history in June 2018. We will expect final versions of chapters (5,000 words, including references) by March 1, 2019. The editors of the volume will be Jon K. Lauck, Paul Murphy, Andrew Seal, Joe Hogan, and Gleaves Whitney. The volume will be published by the oldest publisher of books about Midwestern history, the Wisconsin Historical Society Press.