The Kansas City Public Library and the History Department at the University of Missouri–Kansas City seek papers to be presented at a public conference in the spring of 2016. Participants are encouraged to pursue fresh research that addresses the broad themes of Kansas City’s history in an ongoing collaboration with the conference organizers and other participants. The conference will explore the rich history of Kansas City in the interwar period of 1918-1941, which has been characterized as an exciting period of growth, development, and cultural fluorescence — Kansas City’s “Golden Age”— even in the midst of rampant public corruption, economic depression, and strained relations among the races and sexes. Was this Kansas City’s “Golden Age?” An era that elevated, refined, or ruined Kansas City’s national profile? Was Kansas City in the ‘20s and ‘30s an embodiment of urban trends nationally? What distinguished Kansas City from other Midwestern or Western cities?
The papers sought are intended to be included in an edited volume published by a university press. To facilitate scholarly dialog, peer review, and public access, a workshop will precede the conference, and multimedia-rich essays derived from the papers might also be commissioned for a companion digital project that combines scholarship with an online repository of primary sources.
This multi-pronged approach is modeled after a successful group of companion projects about Bleeding Kansas and the Civil War along the Missouri- Kansas Border, which resulted in a workshop at the Hall Center for the Humanities at the University of Kansas; the highly-attended 2011 Border Wars Conference at the Library; the widely circulating volume, Bleeding Kansas, Bleeding Missouri: The Long Civil War on the Border; and the award-winning website, www.CivilWarOnTheWesternBorder.org.
Suggested themes and topics that may be addressed in the papers include, but are not limited to:
• Culture, high- and lowbrow (jazz, the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Thomas Hart Benton) • Urban/suburban development (J.C. Nichols, city planning, boulevard system, railroads, mass transit, the automobile, Strang Line interurban railroad) • Race and minority relations (great migration, immigration, segregation, Kansas City Call) • Politics (“Boss” Tom Pendergast, public corruption, reform politics, Harry S. Truman) • Organized crime (Prohibition) • Economic development (stockyards, flour milling, Great Depression, Board of Trade, Garment District) • Architecture and the built environment (Ten-Year Plan) • Sports and recreation (baseball, Negro Leagues, amusement parks) • Women’s organizations • Religious landscape (demographic changes, emergence of Holiness, Pentecostalism, Fundamentalism and other movements).
SUBMISSION DETAILS: • Deadline: October 17, 2014 • Format: A one-page abstract with working title; C.V. or resume • Contact / submission instructions: Please address proposals and inquiries to: Eli Paul Missouri Valley Special Collections Kansas City Public Library 14 W. 10th St. Kansas City, MO 64105 firstname.lastname@example.org
Missouri Valley Special Collections
Kansas City Public Library
14 W. 10th St.
Kansas City, MO 64105 Email: email@example.com
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