Call for Papers and Sessions

Mid-America American Studies Association
2016 Conference

Battleground Midwest:
Defining Who and What Matters in the U.S. and Beyond

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

Now Online:
Conference Registration & Additional information 

The American Studies Association of Graduate Students (ASAGS)

Off Campus Meet-up

Friday, March 5th

(After the reception)

8:30 p.m. Henry’s,
in downtown Lawrence (Upstairs, 21+ to enter, no cover)
View Event Flyer (PDF)

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.


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


Upcoming Lectures
View: Event flyer (JPG)

Book Festival 2016
Civil Rights Movement? Think again

Saturday, April 9, 9 a.m.

Astronomy Room (CLA)


Featuring: Felipe Hinojosa, Ruben Flores, & Debbie Harwell

Upcoming Events

MEXtasy Events

Thursday, April 28th
Pop-up Exhibition:  11AM - 3PM, Sabatini Multicultural Resource Center
Lunch and Learn 12:00-1:15PM

Exhibition curator William Anthony Nericcio

More info

  • CLAS names 1st associate dean for diversity, equity and inclusion (KU News link)
  • Area Studies and the Problems of Global Histories (Guest Post, external link)
  • Congratulations to Centennial Clogston, recipient of the Harmon Award in American Studies.
  • Caleb Moreno
    Lazaro and Imani Wadud were selected to participate in the highly competitive University of North Carolina and Duke University 2016 Summer Institute titled, “Towards a Non-Eurocentric Academia: Border Thinking and Decoloniality from Asia to Africa and from Europe to the Americas” from which articles produced by participants will be part of an edited book published by Duke University Press.
  • Ben Schmack
    Won the Katzman-Yetman Prize for best Graduate Student Paper, Mid America American Studies Association 2016
  • William Adams
    Awarded a Summer fellowship for 2016 from Black Metropolis Research Consortium. The award is to support research activities with primary sources materials available at Black Metropolis Research Consortium members institutions.
  • 'White guilt' video kerfuffle: Should schools teach structural racism?
  • Rachel Schwaller PhD candidate passed her Oral Comps with honors on February 8th
  • News story: "For Black Lives Matter, MLK's Kind of Activism Isn't the Only Way" published in the Christian Science Monitor, which features our own Randal Jelks among the scholars interviewed. Our congratulations and thanks go to Professor Jelks for critically weighing in on the national discussion about Martin Luther King, Jr.'s legacies.
  • Steve Marston, PhD candidate published an article in the Fall 2015 issue of Kansas History. “Spectacles of Speed: Masculinity, Modernity and Auto Racing in Kansas, 1909-1918” More info »
  • Rebecca Barrett-Fox has a forthcoming book (University of Kansas Press June 2016), More info »
  • Monique Laney wins prestigious book award, More info »
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Conference Registration Information
Event flyer (PDF)

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
March 4-5, 2016

More information »