The 2006 Program Committee is pleased to invite program proposals on the theme of “Making Common Ground.”
The Committee intends this theme to encompass publishers, amateurs and buffs, scholars, teachers (K-post-graduate), performers, musicians, writers, artists, filmmakers, and others interested in the history of the West. We intend, as well, to welcome the variety of forms of presentation that shed light on and enliven our knowledge of the West. Finally, we propose this theme to encourage all participants to look beyond our particular specialties to imagine, study, and know the West in its variety and richness.
The Committee encourages formats that offer new ways of exploring the history of the West. As always, formal sessions involving the presentation of prepared papers will be welcome. In addition, we also invite – and will give special place to – the adventurers among you who are willing to try something new: seminars, working sessions, writing groups, material culture analyses, film clips, recordings, clothing, music. Instead of a session of reading papers about several historical figures, one might, for example, propose a working session on biographies at which publishers, published and in-process biographers could talk about the questions, issues, approaches to writing biography. We might also, for example, arrange sessions conducted by specialists in a field for others who want to get caught up on the major themes and developments in that field. We hope, too, that you have wider imaginations than our examples suggest.
We’re encouraging, as well, sessions that include a mix of people of a variety of backgrounds and interests, and will explore themes and issues that bridge our subject matter as well. Rather than a session devoted entirely to women, for example, a session that centers on the Pacific Northwest and includes specialist on women, business, northern borderlands, and the environment. We would like Western historians to work to make this conference a "gateway" to new approaches that seek common ground in a variety of fields.
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