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Preliminary Program* Now Available!

*All persons attending, including program participants and SHA members who are presenting on the WHA program, are required to register for the WHA conference. SHA members who are also presenting on the SHA program will receive a registration discount.

The WHA is excited to announce that it received an unprecedented number of full conference sessions and individual abstracts for the 2024 Conference in Kansas City! 

  • News: the 2024 Conference will begin on WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 23 with afternoon sessions and end at 5:00 P.M. on SATURDAY, OCTOBER 26
  • The 2024 Program of Sessions is available through the link above. This preliminary program is unscheduled. The scheduled Program of Sessions will be available in mid-June.
  • Presenters: Download the WHA's Best Practices for Accessible Presentations created by the WHA Committee on Accessibility.


The WHA's final program will be available online in July and active members will receive their copy in the mail in August. Please bring this copy to the conference. If you are not a current member but join or register to attend the conference, you will receive your program copy onsite in Kansas City.

Please opt-out from receiving a printed program in the mail and pick yours up at the desk in Kansas City! 

Select that option in your "MyWHA" profile before July 22!



Genevieve Carpio, University of California, Los Angeles

Elizabeth Ellis, Princeton University

Ari Kelman, University of California, Davis

Amanda Cobb-Greetham, University of Oklahoma

Alejandra Dubcovsky, University of California, Riverside

Rudy Guevarra, Arizona State University

Maria Esther Hammack, The Ohio State University

Sonia Hernández, Texas A&M University

Adria L. Imada, University of California, Irvine

Mark Johnson, University of Notre Dame

Modupe Labode, National Museum of American History

Celeste Menchaca, University of Southern California

Brianna Tafolla Rivière, University of California, Davis

Camille Suarez, California State University, Los Angeles

Coll Thrush, University of British Columbia

Marques Vestal, University of California, Los Angeles


64th Annual Conference Call for Papers

October 23-26, 2024 (Wednesday-Saturday)*

The Sheraton Kansas City at Crown Center

Kansas City, Missouri

*The 2024 WHA Conference will be held concurrently with the Southern Historical Association Conference. 

Free Soil? Migration, Dispossession, and Rising Up on Contested Ground

The Western History Association was once an organization dominated by white male scholars who typically wrote triumphalist narratives. We are no longer that organization. We now produce pathbreaking scholarship by and about the members of the many communities previously excluded from traditional tales of expansion. This new work and the people writing it have transformed the WHA, the history of the U.S. West, and the profession more broadly. Our organization is now an institutional home for scholars who bring diverse viewpoints to their work, deepening our understanding of the past and enriching our experience of the present.

Meeting in Kansas City, Missouri, the WHA’s 2024 conference offers an opportunity to reconsider the history and historiography of the U.S. West as a long and unfinished story of diverse peoples and their freedom dreams. An Indigenous crossroads of Kaw, Osage, Kickapoo, Missouria, and Dakota homelands, the Kansas/Missouri borderlands have long been a nexus of migration and resurgence as well as of dispossession and rebellion.  Indeed, the 19th century battles over “free soil” here remind us that efforts to secure land and liberty for some have often meant removal, exclusion, and unfreedom for others.

The 2024 WHA Program welcomes panels and papers that consider the many migrations, dispossessions, and uprisings that have shaped the U.S. West. We expect and seek panels addressing the westward tide of expansion in the United States. We also anticipate panels about migrations, dispossessions, and insurgencies that occurred prior to U.S. expansion, elsewhere on the continent, and even around the world. Consider, for example, deep Indigenous histories (and futures) and the long Black freedom struggle as well as the more recent settlement of economic migrants, refugees, and transgender persons living in exile in the region, all of which have made the U.S. West a dynamic site of intersections and relations.  We also hope to consider the bordered but unbound histories of the environment.

Meeting alongside the Southern History Association’s annual conference, we especially encourage panels that address the confluence of migrations, dispossessions, and uprisings across the lands that are now the U.S. South and U.S. West. This conference is a prime opportunity to think across, between, and even beyond traditional conventions of the “West,” with attention to debates over the making and meaning of the U.S. West in both scholarly and popular domains.

Policy: Diversity of Program Participants Statement

1) The Program Committee will actively promote the full and equitable inclusion of racial and ethnic minorities, diverse Indigeneities, religious minorities, people with disabilities, women, LGBTQ+ people, and people with various ranks and career paths on the Annual Meeting program.

2) Although not all sessions can reflect the entire diversity of the profession, the Program Committee will encourage proposers of sessions to include diverse sets of participants, addressing gender diversity, racial and ethnic diversity, sexual diversity, religious diversity, disability-based diversity, and/or LGBTQ+ diversity.

3) The Program Committee will encourage session proposers to consider the benefits of including on their panels historians in various career paths and of various ranks (i.e., senior scholars, public historians, graduate students, independent historians, etc.) within their organizations/institutions.

2024 Program Committee Co-Chairs

Genevieve Carpio, University of California, Los Angeles (

Elizabeth Ellis, Princeton University (

Ari Kelman, University of California, Davis (

2024 WHA President

Kelly Lytle Hernández, University of California, Los Angeles

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!