October 17-20, 2018: San Antonio, Texas

2018 Conference President: Donald L. Fixico


Born and raised in Oklahoma, I am Shawnee, Sac and Fox, Mvskoke Creek and Seminole.  I started at Bacone Jr. College, then transferred to the University of Oklahoma, where I earned a BA, MA and a Ph.D. in History.  I am a first generation college graduate and the first high school graduate in my family.  Presently, I am a Distinguished Foundation Professor of History, Distinguished Scholar of Sustainability in the Wrigley School of Sustainability, and Affiliate Faculty in American Indian Studies at Arizona State University.  My Mvskoke grandmother disliked laziness and she instilled a hard work ethic in me.  A love for research and writing has led to faculty positions at four universities and visiting professorships at seven universities (including University of Nottingham in England and the Frei University in Berlin, Germany).  I learned a lot from postdoctoral fellowships at UCLA and The Newberry Library in Chicago.  Good fortune has allowed me to work with more than two dozen masters and doctoral students.  Over the years, I have worked on 20 historical documentaries, and I am the author and editor of fifteen books.  The most recent ones are Thats What They Used To Say”:  Reflections on American Indian Oral Traditions (2017), and an edited volume, Indian Treaties in the United States (2018).  In 2000, President Clinton appointed me to the Advisory Council for the National Endowment for the Humanities.  I have been a distinguished lecturer for the Organization of American Historians since 2002.  In 2010, I received a National Museum of the American Indian Award of Achievement in History and Education.  I have lectured throughout the U.S. and in Canada, China, Japan, Germany, England, Finland, Peru, Australia, New Zealand and The Netherlands.  When I changed from a chemical engineer major to history as an undergraduate, I wanted a better understanding of Indians, our histories and cultures.  I learned to build bridges of understanding and as one of the few Indian doctoral students in History during the late 1970s, I found the Western History Association welcoming and many western historians encouraged me.  Since then I have dedicated my career to advance the understanding of American Indians, all people of color, and the West that I am a part of.  The Western History Association is an organization where you can just be yourself.  The WHA is like a family to me and my best friends are western historians.

WHA 2018 Program Committee Co-Chairs

Kent Blansett, University of Nebraska at Omaha

Farina King, Northeastern State University

WHA 2018 Program Committee


 Erika M. Bsumek, University of Texas-Austin
 Quin'Nita Cobbins, University of Washington 
 B. Erin Cole, Minnesota Historical Society
 Sandra Enríquez, University of Missouri-Kansas City
 Jason Heppler, University of Nebraska at Omaha
 Robert (Bob) F. Jefferson, Jr., University of New Mexico
 Laura K. Muñoz, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi
 Keith Carlson, University of Saskatchewan 
 Joshua Reid, University of Washington
 Brent Rogers, Joseph Smith Papers
 Gregory E. Smoak, University of Utah
 Brianna Theobald, University of Rochester
 Lindsey Passenger Wieck, St. Mary's University-San Antonio

2018 Call for Papers:
Re-imagining Race and Ethnicity in the West 

From October 17-20, 2018 the Western History Association will meet in San Antonio, Texas and the theme is “Reimagining Race and Ethnicity in the West.” The program committee invites papers and presentations that explore the historical origins, legacy, and construction of race and ethnicity in the North American West. We especially welcome panels that address the complex intersections of race, gender, class, and ethnicity from a variety of perspectives. Fundamental to histories of race and ethnicity are issues of authority, and considering recent events, this warrants a very timely and meaningful conference theme. Histories of race and ethnicities remain vital to any understanding of Western history. Social, cultural, and political movements have often prompted social change, reform, and the expansion of democracy. San Antonio, a city once steeped in Davy Crockett’s revolutionary spirit, is complicated by a history in which Tejanos, Mexicans, and Americans sacrificed their lives for independence. Originally, the Payaya Nation referred to this place as Yanaguana, or “refreshing waters.” Later, Spanish settlers changed the Indigenous name to San Antonio, after patron Saint Anthony of Padua, a Saint devoted to the recovery of lost items. San Antonio’s rich history is central to the conference theme. Throughout the centuries, this region has witnessed a collision of empires, numerous wars, and systems of colonization—a place known for its tragedies, victories, and second chances. As our host site for the 2018 WHA conference, San Antonio represents a place of convergence where historians can recover the significance and stories of how race and ethnicity transformed the West.

In addition to traditional paper sessions, we welcome submissions that integrate creative formats and seek to expand conference participation through invitations to scholars, teachers, students, and the public. We request full session submissions, and will consider individual papers. All panel submissions must designate one person as their main contact. The program committee assumes that every presenter listed in a proposed session has consented to participate in the conference.

Local Arrangements Co-Chairs

Brian S Collier, University of Notre Dame


Billy Kiser, Texas A&M University-San Antonio


WHA 2018 Local Arrangements Committee

 Angelica Docog, Institute of Texan Cultures, University of Texas at San Antonio 
 Michael Duchemin, Briscoe Western Art Museum
 Francis Galan, Texas A&M University-San Antonio
 Gilberto Hinojosa, University of the Incarnate Word
 Todd Kerstetter, Texas Christian University
 Amy Porter, Texas A&M University-San Antonio
 Omar Valerio-Jimenez, University of Texas at San Antonio
 Teresa Van Hoy, St. Mary's University-San Antonio
 Edward Westermann, Texas A&M University-San Antonio
 Richard Bruce Winders, The Alamo

Institute of Texan Cultures Museum

Tour Guide: Angelica Docog

The Institute of Texan Cultures gives voice to the experiences of people from across the globe who call Texas home, providing insight into the past, present, and future.  The museum is a component of The University of Texas at San Antonio, and it plays a role in the university’s community engagement initiatives by developing quality, accessible resources for educators and lifelong learners on topics of cultural heritage. It strives to develop a rich and vibrant culture in the arts and humanities that will expand the community’s awareness and appreciation of Texas through an engaging series of exhibits and programs.  The museum has a formal affiliation agreement with the Smithsonian Institution and pursues a mandate as the state's center for multicultural education by investigating the ethnic and cultural history of Texas.  The Institute of Texan Cultures is located in downtown San Antonio on the UTSA HemisFair Campus, a short distance from the Alamo and the Riverwalk. The 182,000-square-foot complex features 65,000 square feet of exhibits and displays.  Participants will enjoy a short, guided walk (about one-half mile) through downtown San Antonio and HemisFair Park en route to the museum.

San Antonio Mission Trail

Tour Guide: Francis Galan

Beginning in the late 1600s, as French colonizers moved westward from Louisiana, Spain began to establish missions in the region that now comprises East and South Texas.  In 1718, along the San Antonio River, the Spanish built San Antonio de Valero and the presidio San Antonio de Béxar (the Alamo).  A year later, Fray Antonio Margil de Jesús established San José, and three more missions—Concepción, San Juan, and Espada—were subsequently built within a 15-mile stretch of the same river.  The missions experienced their most active period between the 1740s and 1780s, at which time Apache and Comanche hostilities put increasing pressure on the compounds and their sedentary Native populations.  By the early 1800s, residents of nearby San Antonio began dismantling the edifices and used the wood and stone to construct their own dwellings, but the parish churches remain in service to this day.


Pearl Brewery

Tour Guides: Amy Porter, Billy Kiser

The Pearl Brewing Company was established in 1881 on the banks of the San Antonio River.  It came under the leadership of Otto Koehler, president of the San Antonio Brewing Association, in 1902.  Koehler’s wife, Emma, succeeded him in that role following his death.  Pearl was among just five Texas breweries that survived Prohibition, doing so by bottling soft drinks, making ice, opening an auto shop, and running a dry cleaning operation on the premises.  In 1985, Pabst purchased the Pearl Brewery and by 2001 had transferred all production to Ft. Worth, where Pearl beer is now produced.  Since the brewery closed, the 22-acre complex has been repurposed into a multi-use urban complex that includes residences, restaurants, bars, shops, and a farmer’s market on weekends.  This professionally-guided brewery tour lasts about 1 ½ hours, and participants will have an equal amount of time afterwards to enjoy the many restaurants, bars, and shops at the Pearl District.


Fredericksburg, Texas

Tour Guide: Ed Westermann

The National Museum of the Pacific War, located in the historic town of Fredericksburg in the scenic Texas Hill Country, bills itself as “the only institution in the U.S dedicated exclusively to telling the story of the Pacific and Asiatic Theaters in World War II” and ranks among the nation’s premier military museums.  The site occupies a six-acre campus in downtown Fredericksburg and includes the Memorial Courtyard, Plaza of Presidents, and Japanese Garden of Peace.  The 33,000-square-foot George H.W. Bush Gallery, opened in 2009, features 40 media installations, 900 artifacts in 97 climate-controlled cases, 15 macro-artifacts (airplanes and tanks), and thousands of photographs, all accompanied by interpretive signage explaining the history of the war.  The museum is administered through a special partnership between the Admiral Nimitz Foundation and the Texas Historical Commission.  Participants can choose to tour the museum during the allotted time frame (see schedule below), or to explore this historic German town (founded in 1846) and its famous shopping district, art galleries, breweries, and wineries. 


"Mission to Market" Walking Tour

Tour Guides: Students of St. Mary's University - San Antonio and Teresa Van Hoy

The “Mission to Market” tour emphasizes sites related to the Tejano history of San Antonio and will cover the short distance from The Alamo to Market Square. The tour begins at The Alamo, where St. Mary’s University alumnus Meagan Lozano will offer a special tour with remarks.  En route we will explore the history of bloodshed and secrets at La Villita, La Catedral de San Fernando, and Military Plaza, where Tejano independence fighters were executed in 1813.  One of the martyrs’ descendants, Anthony Delgado, who is also the head of “Los Bejareños” will join us there.  We’ll then visit the Plaza del Zacate and the memorial honoring Emma Tenayuca, “La Pasionaria.”  Finally, at the Mercado, participants can buy pan dulce and Mexican candies at “Mi Tierra” and view murals featuring prominent Hispanics and an altar commemorating the music artist Selena.  The tour ends here so that WHA visitors can leisurely listen to mariachis or enjoy a drink and traditional Tex-Mex. The Mercado also offers shopping and a museum. As a special feature, participants will have access to a newly-designed virtual tour—accessible via smartphone app—designed by St. Mary’s University Public History students.


2018 Exhibitors

Adam Matthew Digital
Arizona Historical Society
Center for the Study of the American West
Online Journal of Rural Research and Policy
Clements Center for Southwest Studies
Coalition for Western Women's History
Montana Historical Society
Mormon History Association 
New Mexico Historical Review
North Dakota State University Press
Oxford University Press
St. Mary's University 
Texas A&M University Press
Texas Tech University Press
Trinity University Press
University of Arizona Press
University of California Press
University of Nebraska Press
University of Nevada Press
University of New Mexico Press
University of North Carolina Press
University of Oklahoma Press
University of Texas Press
University of Washington Press
University Press of Colorado
University Press of Kansas
Western History Association 
Western Writers of America
Westerners International
Witte Museum
Yale University Press



2018 Sponsors

The Alamo

Department of History, University of Alaska Fairbanks

Public History Program, Arizona State University

School of Historical, Philosophical, & Religious Studies, Arizona State University

Berkshire Conference of Women Historians

Better Way Foundation

Bexar County Historical Commission

Department of History, Boise State University

Charles Redd Center for Western Studies, Brigham Young University

Briscoe Western Art Museum

The Papers of William F. Cody, Buffalo Bill Center of the West

Public Lands History Center, Colorado State University

Center for the American West, University of Colorado Boulder

Public History Program, University of Colorado Denver

Huntington-USC Institute on California and the West

The Huntington Library

Knox Robinson Films

Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Resources – Western Region

Marriott Library

Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska

College of Arts and Sciences, University of Nebraska at Omaha

Department of History, University of Nebraska at Omaha

Dr. C.C. and Mable L. Criss Library, University of Nebraska at Omaha

University of Nebraska Press

Public History Program, University of Nevada at Las Vegas

Center for the Southwest, University of New Mexico

University of North Carolina Press

Public History Program, Oklahoma State University

Department of History, University of Oklahoma

Western History Collections, University of Oklahoma Libraries

Department of History, Penn State University

George and Ann Richards Civil War Era Center, Penn State University

Department of History, Southern Methodist University

William P. Clements Center for Southwest Studies, Southern Methodist University

St. Mary’s University Public History Program

Department of History, University of Texas at Austin

Institute for Texas Cultures, University of Texas at San Antonio

Arts & Humanities Department, Texas A&M University - San Antonio

AddRan College of Liberal Arts, Texas Christian University

Department of History, Texas Christian University

American West Center, University of Utah

American Heritage Center, University of Wyoming

Department of History, University of Wyoming

University of Wyoming Libraries

Beinecke Library, Yale University








Sponsors and Partners


The WHA is hosted on the campus of the University of Nebraska at Omaha and benefits from the generous support of the College of Arts and Sciences.


Western History Association | University of Nebraska at Omaha | Department of History | 6001 Dodge Street | Omaha, NE 68182 | 

| (402) 554-5999 | westernhistoryassociation@gmail.com


The Western History Association is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.