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WHA 2020 Conference: Online Everywhere!

Mark your calendars for the 60th Annual WHA Conference, "Migrations, Meeting Grounds, and Memory" from October 12-17, 2020. Due to the health and safety concerns presented by the Covid-19 global pandemic, the WHA will not meet in its originally-planned location of Albuquerque, New Mexico. The organization shifted its conference to a completely online platform.

Learn more below and register for the 2020 conference today! Current members can register for free, but everyone must register for the conference here. All registrants will learn more about how to access the WHA online conference platform, provided by Pheedloop, in mid-September. Registrants will also receive shipped programs and tote bags! Click on the image to play President David Wrobel's "Welcome" message!

Bookmark this page to check for updates on details and begin following #WHA2020 for updates between now and the conference! 

2020 Program

We are pleased to announce that the 2020 WHA Conference Program, "Migrations, Meeting Grounds, and Memory" will arrive in the mail for current WHA members by Labor Day! View the 2020 program here and download a PDF of the 2020 program here

You can also view the conference errata here.

If you joined or renewed your membership after August 21 and you meet the pre-registration deadline, you will receive a printed program in the mail in early October. 

Do you have a special request for a printed program? Contact our staff today at

2020 President: David Wrobel

David Wrobel is a David L. Boren Professor (2016-) and Merrick Chair of Western American History (2011-) at the University of Oklahoma. He teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on the West, modern American thought and culture, the Progressive Era, the Great Depression and New Deal, John Steinbeck and the introductory U.S. History survey, 1865-Present. A dedicated promoter of partnerships with K-12 educators, he has participated in and directed numerous teacher institutes, workshops, and colloquia sponsored by the NEH, USDE, and other organizations. Prior to OU, David taught at UNLV (2000-2011), Widener University (1994-2000), Hartwick College (1992-1994), and The College of Wooster (1990-1992).

His books include America’s West: A History, 1890-1950 (Cambridge 2017); Global West, American Frontier: Travel, Empire and Exceptionalism from Manifest Destiny to the Great Depression (New Mexico 2013); Promised Lands: Promotion, Memory, and the Creation of the American West (Kansas, 2002); and The End of American Exceptionalism: Frontier Anxiety from the Old West to the New Deal (Kansas, 1993). He is currently working on a “John Steinbeck’s America: A Cultural History, 1930-1968.”

David serves as an Organization of American Historians Distinguished Lecturer (2008-), was Senior Research Fellow in Western American History at Yale University (2005-2006), and a Visiting Scholar at the Center of the American West, CU-Boulder (1999). He has served the WHA as a member of the Council, Nominations Committee, Program Committee, various prize and award committees, and as Chair of Local Arrangements. He is past president of the American Historical Association’s Pacific Coast Branch, and of Phi Alpha Theta, the National History Honor Society.

David holds master’s and doctoral degrees in American Intellectual History from The Ohio University and a BA in history/philosophy from the University of Kent, Canterbury, England. In June 2018 he was named Dean of the University of Oklahoma College of Arts and Sciences.

David writes: A Southwest Londoner by origin, and relative newcomer to the West, the region—from southern Nevada to central Oklahoma—has been my home for nearly two decades and the WHA has been my primary professional affiliation for a quarter century. My scholarship has focused on what the West means to its residents, to the nation, and to the world, but it is hard to express fully just how much the WHA has meant to me over the years. I am looking forward to this wonderful opportunity to serve, as President Elect and as President, the wonderfully diverse and vibrant constituencies that comprise our shared professional home and family. From K12, community college, small college, and university faculty, both tenure-track and contingent, to graduate and undergraduate students, independent scholars, librarians, archivists, public historians, western writers and artists, and “Westerners,” of all races and ethnicities, genders, and sexual orientations, these are the “fit rooms” of our “worthy house” and I’m honored to call it my home.

2020 Program Committee

2020 Program Committee

  • Leisl Carr-Childers, Colorado State University (Co-Chair)
  • Lori Flores, Stony Brook University (Co-Chair)
  • Amy Lonetree, University of California, Santa Cruz (Co-Chair)
  • Amy Haines, University of Colorado, Colorado Springs
  • Omar Valerio Jiménez, University of Texas, San Antonio
  • Jonathan Foster, Great Basin College
  • Sarah Sadlier, Harvard University
  • Jeffrey Shepherd, University of Texas, El Paso
  • Allyson Stevenson, University of Regina
  • Margaret Jacobs, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
  • Judy Tzu-Chun Wu, University of California, Irvine
  • John Findlay, University of Washington
  • Elise Boxer, University of South Dakota
  • Herbert Ruffin, Syracuse University
  • Casey D. Nichols, Texas State University
  • Taylor Spence, University of New Mexico
  • Janne Lahti, Free University Berlin

2020 Local Arrangements

2020 Local Arrangements Committee

  • Virginia Scharff, University of New Mexico (LAC Chair)
  • Brian Collier, University of Notre Dame
  • Candolin Cook, University of New Mexico
  • Maurice Crandall, Dartmouth College
  • Sonia Dickey, University of New Mexico Press
  • Holly Guise, University of New Mexico
  • Joseph Kunkel, Sustainable Native Communities Collaborative
  • Josie Lopez, Albuquerque Museum
  • Jennifer McPherson, Purdue University
  • Gabriel Meléndez, Center for Regional Studies, U. of New Mexico
  • Darren Raspa, U.S. Air Force
  • Sam Truett, UNM History Dept. and Center for the Southwest
  • Chris Wilson, School of Architecture and Planning, UNM

Western History Association

University of Kansas | History Department

1445 Jayhawk Blvd. | 3650 Wescoe Hall

Lawrence, KS 66045 | 785-864-0860 

The WHA is located in the Department of History at the University of Kansas. The WHA is grateful to KU's History Department and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences for their generous support!