The Center for Western Studies seeks chapter proposals for "In Search of the Interior Borderlands: Where Does the Midwest End and the Great Plains Begin?,” an edited collection focused on exploring the dividing line, or imagined dividing line, between two of the nation’s understudied regions: the American Midwest and the Great Plains.
This interior border has yet to become a significant point of discussion in the broader movement to analyze the borderlands of the United States and this volume is designed to advance the discussion in this direction. Proposals should explain the author’s general approach to the topic and include the sources to be consulted as well as the author’s curriculum vitae.
Topics to be explored include, but are by no means limited to, historical understandings of the Midwest/Great Plains dividing line; the geographical and topographical approaches to designating a dividing line; literary or other cultural understandings of a dividing line; analyses of the regionalist thought and practices which have contributed to belief in a dividing line; agricultural practices which help explain the dividing line; environmental factors such as rainfall, glaciation, river development, and grasses which help to delineate a dividing line; historic and more recent discussions of the taxonomy of American regions, especially the real and imagined boundaries between the Midwest, the Great Plains, and the West; the understandings of Native Americans, American settlers, immigrants, political leaders, environmentalists, geographers, political scientists, and others which help explain the dividing line.
A preliminary one-day symposium designed to promote discussion of these matters will be held at the Center for Western Studies at Augustana College on November 7, 2015. This symposium will be open to the public.
Chapter proposals will be due November 20, 2015. If a proposal is accepted, the author’s chapter will be due October 21, 2016. Final chapters should be approximately 5,000 words, including notes, and in Chicago style.
All proposals should be sent to Harry Thompson, Executive Director of the Center for Western Studies. The editor of the collection will be Jon K. Lauck, President of the Midwestern History Association. The edited collection will be published by the Center for Western Studies.
If you are interested in participating in the symposium, contact Office Coordinator Erin Castle at the Center for Western Studies, Augustana College, 2001 S Summit Ave, Sioux Falls, SD 57197 (605.274.4007) before September 1, 2015.