New Midwestern History Association Created
–Goal Is to Advance Study of Neglected Region–
Sioux Falls, SD -- At a recent convention of the Northern Great Plains History Conference, historians came together at a special meeting to create a new organization focused on advancing the study of the greatly neglected American Midwest. The Midwestern History Association was launched with the unique mission of giving the American Midwest a stronger voice in the American historical profession.
“The nation's most subtly fascinating, quietly diverse region now possesses a vigorous association to dissect the Midwest's penetrating two-century reach into the heart of American culture, politics, economy, and identity,” said Yale University historian Jon Butler, who grew up in a small town in Minnesota.
The Midwestern History Association chose Jon K. Lauck as its first president. Lauck, a native of South Dakota, is the author of a new book entitled The Lost Region: Toward a Revival of Midwestern History (University of Iowa Press). “It is a great honor to be chosen as President of this path-breaking new organization and it is wonderful that the Midwest is finally receiving a greater level of attention from historians,” Lauck said. “I think the MHA will be the inspiration for many future books, articles, conferences, and dissertations focusing on the Midwest.”
“The founding of the Midwestern History Association fulfills a long-time goal of scholars and students of the American Midwest and provides a place where the region's diverse and lively history can be recounted, debated and enjoyed,” commented Emporia State University historian Gregory L. Schneider, a native of Illinois. “Its formation signifies that, like historical associations of the South and and the West, place matters and it demonstrates how much the Midwest as a region has mattered in myriad ways to the formation of American identity, politics, and culture.”
The Midwestern History Association is an outgrowth of the Midwestern History Working Group, which was created at a meeting of historians in October 2013 in Hudson, Wisconsin and which led to a year-long discussion about the need for more scholarly focus on the Midwest. The Midwestern History Working Group, by unanimous vote, decided to transform itself into the Midwestern History Association.
The Midwestern History Association will support the newly-launched academic journal focused on the history of the Midwest entitledMiddle West Review, which is published by the University of Nebraska Press. “At long last, America’s Heartland has a regional history organization and a scholarly journal,” commented Indiana University historian James Madison, who grew up in Indiana. The potential to revitalize scholarship and connect historians of the Midwest to each other and to the general public is immensely exciting.”
The Midwestern History Association will also offer three annual prizes: the Jon Gjerde Prize for Best Book on Midwestern History; the Dorothy Schwieder Prize for Best Article on Midwestern History; and the Frederick Jackson Turner Lifetime Achievement Award.
The next formal meeting of the Midwestern History Association will take place in April as part of the Organization of American Historians’ annual conference in St. Louis.
For more information, contact Midwestern History Association President Jon K. Lauck: email@example.com
The founding board of directors of the Midwestern History Association is set forth below:
Midwestern History Association Board of Directors:
- Michael Allen, University of Washington-Tacoma
- Jon Butler, Yale University
- Andrew Cayton, Miami University
- Catherine Cocks, University of Iowa Press
- John Hudson, Northwestern University
- Zachary Michael Jack, North Central College
- Richard Jensen, Montana State University-Billings
- James Madison, Indiana University
- Melissa Marsh, Editorial Assistant, Center for Great Plains Studies
- Paula Nelson, University of Wisconsin-Platteville
- David Pichaske, Southwest Minnesota State University
- Pamela Riney-Kehrberg, Iowa State University
- James Seaton, Michigan State University
- Greg Schneider, Emporia State University
- Robert Wuthnow, Princeton University