WHA 2022 Election

Article VI of the WHA Constitution and Bylaws explains the function and process of the Nominating Committee for the organization's annual election. This year's Nominating Committee (Joshua Garrett-Davis, Rosina Lozano, Katrina Jagodinsky, Katrina Phillips, and Miroslava Chávez-García) arranged the slate and Council approved it. 

Electronic ballots will arrive via email from OpaVote on July 1, 2022. If you do not receive an email on July 1, or prefer a paper ballot, please contact the WHA office. This is a great time to make sure your membership is up to date or to join the WHA as a new member! Voting is open through September 30, 2022.

Your vote matters! Thanks for your interest in selecting the future leaders of the WHA! 


Kelly Lytle Hernández

University of California, Los Angeles

Kelly Lytle Hernández is a professor of History, African American Studies, and Urban Planning at UCLA where she holds The Thomas E. Lifka Endowed Chair in History and directs the Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies. One of the nation’s leading experts on race, immigration, and mass incarceration, she is the author of Migra! A History of the U.S. Border Patrol (University of California Press, 2010), City of Inmates: Conquest, Rebellion, and the Rise of Human Caging in Los Angeles (University of North Carolina Press, 2017), and the forthcoming book Bad Mexicans: Race, Empire, and Revolution in the Borderlands (Norton, 2022). She also leads Million Dollar Hoods, a big data research initiative documenting the fiscal and human cost of mass incarceration in Los Angeles. For her historical and contemporary work, Professor Lytle Hernández was named a 2019 MacArthur “Genius” Fellow. She is also an elected member of the Society of American Historians, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the Pulitzer Prize Board.

Council Positions A, B, C and Nominating Committee Positions A, B, C

On your ballot you will vote for one person to fill each position

Council Position A

Liza Black

Tamara Venit-Shelton

Liza Black

University of Indiana Bloomington

It would be an honor to serve the WHA. Since 2019, I have served on the Arrell Gibson Prize Committee. As a long-time member who regularly attends and promotes WHA conferences, I remain a steadfast advocate of the organization.

I examine the motivations of territory and the intersections of representation and violence. As a citizen of Cherokee Nation, I developed a lifelong interest in studying Native identity and struggle and detailing the history of Native people’s encounters with violence and exploitation. Recently, I was featured in Perspectives on History discussing the recent surge of Native-centered television representation in Rutherford Falls and Reservation Dogs. Her work has appeared in more than 20 academic and non-academic outlets. In 2019, I co-edited a special edition of the American Indian Culture and Research Journal with Nick Rosenthal on Native representations of history and culture.

My research -- and interest in reaching a public audience -- has helped my audiences understand how diverse events such as representation, labor, land dispossession, and gendered violence relate to the likelihood of danger and ongoing vanquishment of Native peoples. I employ the disciplines of history, Native American studies, film studies, and gender studies to creatively combine traditional archives, oral history, storytelling, and tribal histories.

I joined the IU Bloomington Departments of History & Native American and Indigenous Studies in 2019 where I will receive tenure in June 2022. I have received fellowships from UCLA, the Ford Foundation, and Cherokee Nation. My current project, How to Get Away with Murder, is a transnational history of missing and murdered Indigenous women. My first book, Picturing Indians: Native Americans in Film, 1941-1960, came out in 2020. Currently, I am a Visiting Scholar at UCLA’s American Indian Studies Center.

Tamara Venit-Shelton

Claremont McKenna College

A college seminar on the American West is where I discovered my love of history, and I am delighted to be a candidate for the WHA council. I am a Professor of History at Claremont McKenna College where I teach courses on the American West, race, ethnicity, and immigration, labor and capitalism, human health, and the environment. My first book, A Squatter’s Republic: Land and the Politics of Monopoly in California, 1850-1900, was published as part of the Western History Series, a joint-venture between the University of California Press and the Huntington Library. It concerned the politics of squatting in California and how claiming land took on new meanings in California’s Gilded Age. In my second book, I drifted away from the West to write a social history of Chinese medicine in the United States. Herbs and Roots: A History of Chinese Doctors in the American Medical Marketplace was published by Yale University Press and received the Phi Alpha Theta Best Subsequent Book Award in 2020. My writing also appears in text books, scholarly journals, blogs, and newspapers including the Washington Post, L.A. Times, and the Chronicle of Higher Education.

Teaching and researching western history have created opportunities for me to work with and learn from documentary and narrative filmmakers, high school history teachers, and other practitioners at historical societies, museums, and national and state parks in Oregon and California. More recently, I have been working with cartographers on America the Atlas, a Smithsonian project that tells the history of the United States through historical and bespoke maps.

I have been a WHA member since I was a graduate student and have always appreciated the inclusivity of its community and the high caliber of its scholarship. In past years I served on the WHA program board and the Martin Ridge Award Committee. If elected to the Council, I hope to continue the WHA’s tradition of outreach to students of history at all stages of education, and to that end, I would apply the experience I have working with the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship, a Ph.D. pipeline program for traditionally underrepresented students in the humanities. For me, the WHA has been a wonderful platform from which to launch a varied career, and I aim to make it the same for new generations of historians.

Council Position B

Michael Lansing

Erik Loomis

Michael Lansing

Augsburg University

It’s an honor to be nominated to represent the membership of the WHA on the Council.  I attended my first conference in Lincoln in 1996. The WHA has been my professional and scholarly home ever since.

I am a Professor of History at Augsburg University. My publications include Insurgent Democracy: The Nonpartisan League in North American Politics and articles in the Western Historical Quarterly, Environmental History, the Journal of Historical Geography, the Middle West Review, the Utah Historical Quarterly, and Minnesota History.  I have received fellowships from the Newberry Library (2011-2012), Science History Institute (2019), and Minnesota Historical Society (2017). I am working on two books. A Police State: Politics and Public Safety in Minneapolis, 1945-2020 explores the rise of and resistance to police power in that city. Enriched: Industrial Carbohydrates and the Rise of Nutrition Capitalism is a history of factory-processed grains and the propagation of a political economy that demarcates the way we understand, make, and eat food.

As a public historian, I co-founded the award-winning Historyapolis Project and co-created Purple Places: A Digital History Tour of Prince’s Minneapolis. In 2022, I co-founded the Overpoliced and Underprotected in MSP Project with historian Yohuru Williams at the University of St. Thomas.

My commitments to K-12 history education includes two years on the staff of the National History Day in Minnesota program (1999-2001) and a collaboration with K-5 educators in Minnesota’s largest school district to expand the use of inquiry-based approaches in social studies classrooms (2010-2013). I am also Augsburg’s social studies advisor for secondary education majors (2012-).

I currently serve the WHA as a member of the Autry Public History Committee and I have been a Local Arrangements Committee Co-Chair, a Program Committee member, a Trennert-Iverson Committee member, and a member of the WHQ Board of Editors. I am also a long-time member of the Coalition for Western Women’s History (CWWH), where I served on the Steering Committee, Branded Session Committee, and Irene Ledesma Prize Committee.

In all these spaces, I have benefitted from your ongoing work to transform the WHA. But there is still much to do. Now that we have welcomed colleagues with a wide range of identities and commitments, we must ensure that the WHA meets their needs even as we continue to address longstanding concerns. I also aspire to support the WHA staff, who have successfully guided us through an especially tumultuous time.

Erik Loomis

University of Rhode Island

I am greatly honored to be nominated for WHA Council. I am an environmental and labor historian of the American West. My book Empire of Timber: Labor Unions and the Pacific Northwest Forests is the first book to look at how workers used their unions and other worker organizations to press their own varying environmental agenda in a single industry over a century. I am also the author of A History of America in Ten Strikes and I have a book under contract with the University of Washington Press titled The Making of the Modern Pacific Northwest, 1960-2020.

I am also a long-time union activist and am on the front lines of defending academic freedom. I have published on these issues in The New York Times, Washington Post, The New Republic, The Nation, Dissent, Boston Review, and many other publications, as well as daily on my own website Lawyers, Guns, and Money.

I have served WHA in a number of capacities over the two decades since I attended my first WHA in Colorado Springs in 2002. Most notably, I was a Program Committee Co-Chair for the 2021 conference in Portland. In that trying year, I and my fellow co-chairs worked closely with WHA leadership and WHA Council in making the necessary adjustments for a conference that was partially in person and partially online and I am proud to say that we did the best we could given the circumstances of Covid-19.

I have several goals while on WHA Council. First, I would like to build upon the amazing work done by our colleagues in the last fifteen years to diversify the organization and make it such a welcoming home for Latinx and Native scholars by building stronger ties to ASALH and other Black history organizations. Second, I would work to build stronger ties to LAWCHA and other labor history organizations. In both cases, the potential of co-sponsored panels and the creation of stronger ties would strengthen all the relevant organizations. I would also encourage the WHA to stand strong on issues of free speech and academic freedom as our teaching and scholarship have come under attack from those who would prefer we not have discussions of race, gender, homophobia, and misogyny in this country.

Again, I thank my colleagues for considering my nomination to WHA Council.

Council Position C

Mark Johnson

Lori Lahlum

Mark Johnson

University of Notre Dame

I am honored to be considered for a position on the WHA Council. Since my first time attending the WHA in Denver 2012, I knew I had found an intellectually stimulating and welcoming home conference. At the time, I was a high school History teacher and I wondered how I would be received at an academically-oriented conference. The warmth, collegiality, and interest from WHA members signaled that this was an accepting place. I hope to continue this welcoming, supportive environment if selected for the Council position.

Currently, I train K-12 teachers through the University of Notre Dame’s Alliance for Catholic Education. I work to expand opportunities for teachers to experience the WHA and to become contributing members through lesson plan development, partnership with scholars of Western History, and creative collaborations to extend new scholarship into classrooms across the region. The initiatives of the Committee on Teaching and Public Education have increased the role of K-12 educators in our organization, a trend I am proud to have been part of implementing and hope to continue.

My scholarly focus is on the history of Chinese communities in the American West, specifically my home state of Montana. I have worked to increase representation of Asian and Asian American history at the WHA by organizing and participating in numerous panels on this theme. My recently published book The Middle Kingdom under the Big Sky: A History of the Chinese Experience in Montana (University of Nebraska Press) highlights the experiences of Chinese Montanans in their own words, possible through a transnational, intergenerational translation project that gives access to several large collections of documents translated into English for the first time. The book grew over years of presentations and feedback at WHA conferences and encouragement from scholars in the organization.

In giving back to the WHA, I have served on the Membership and Strategic Planning Committees, chaired the recently-created Disability Studies and Disabled Scholar Award, and have been a member of, co-chair, or chair of the Committee on Teaching and Public Education for the past decade.

If selected for the Council, I hope to continue partnerships with K-12 educators and public history institutions, to continue to diversify offerings at the annual conference, and to follow in the footsteps of the strong leadership that has made the WHA such a welcoming and intellectually stimulating academic home for us all.

Lori Lahlum

Minnesota State University, Mankato

I am professor of history and Distinguished Faculty Scholar at Minnesota State University, Mankato, where I teach courses on the North American West, Minnesota, and family history, in addition to the US survey. Prior to joining the MSU faculty in 2005, I taught at Valley City State University in North Dakota. My research focuses on women and gender in Norwegian America and the northern grasslands. I have co-edited two books—Equality at the Ballot Box: Votes for Women on the Northern Great Plains with Molly Rozum (2019) and Norwegian American Women: Migration, Communities, and Identities with Betty Bergland (2011)—as well as authored two book chapters, two journal articles, and a number of short pieces on woman suffrage, rural history, and Norwegian America for online, newspaper, and academic venues. I am (still!) revising a book manuscript tentatively titled “Norwegian Women, Landscape, and Agriculture on the Northern Prairies and Plains, 1850-1920” for Texas Tech University Press; I hope it will be submitted before we gather in San Antonio this fall.

The Western History Association has been my intellectual home since I joined as an MA student in 1990. Between 1993 and 2021, I attended all but four annual meetings. I have had the opportunity to serve on the Nominating Committee (2016-18; chair, 2017-18), the Sara Jackson Award Committee (2008-10; chair, 2009-10), the 2011 Program Committee, and the 2016 Local Arrangements Committee, in addition to co-chairing the 2015 Program Committee.  Additionally, I have been active in the Coalition for Western Women’s History, serving as a member of the Steering Committee, recorder, newsletter editor, member of the Ledesma Prize Committee, and member of the Wednesday Roundtable Committee. Renee Laegreid, Lynne Getz, and I created the Graduate Student Meal Fund on behalf of the CWWH for the WHA. This engagement has helped me understand the organization.

If elected to the Council, I will work to ensure that the WHA is a vital, inclusive, thriving organization that is a safe and welcoming place for all. I support the important work of CARES and CRAW, and I would like to explore additional ways to make the annual meeting more accessible to graduate students, K-12 educators, and contingent faculty. The WHA has been central in my professional life--mentoring, teaching inspiration, professional networks, and friendships—and I would be honored to give back to an organization that has given so much to me.

Nominating Committee Position A

Katherine Sarah Massoth

Rebecca Wingo

Katherine Sarah Massoth

University of New Mexico

I am honored to be nominated to serve on the WHA’s Nominating Committee. I began attending the WHA conference in graduate school. Slowly over the last decade, the WHA has become my academic home. I am an Assistant Professor of History at the University of New Mexico. I received my Ph.D. and M.A. in History from the University of Iowa.

My interdisciplinary and intersectional approach to research and teaching embraces several themes: gender roles, foodways, domesticity, cultural and ethnic identities, transborder networks, and gendered and raced social structures and legal systems. My work in the U.S. West focuses on rethinking the definition of the West in North American History and centers questions of race, gender, and ethnicity in the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands from the Spanish Colonial Era through the nineteenth century. I also incorporate digital humanities and oral history into my teaching and community engagement.

My book, Keeping House, will be published by UNC Press in Fall 2023. Keeping House analyzes the transition from Mexican control to U.S. control in Arizona and New Mexico by centering the home and women’s responses within the home to this larger political shift. My most recent publication is  “Engendering the Long Nineteenth Century and Mapping Gender on Arizona History” to be published in the fall 2020 Journal of Arizona History.

When I first joined the WHA, it took me awhile to find a community but over the years I have seen the WHA make great strides for more diversity and inclusion. I am currently serving positions on both the Coalition for Western Women’s History and the WHA’s Committee on Assault Response and Educational Strategies (CARES). If elected, I would focus my role on the Nominating Committee to furthering the WHA’s council and leaderships work in creating a more representative and inclusive WHA for scholars of diverse backgrounds, employment and communities. I would be honored to serve the WHA community.  

Rebecca Wingo

University of Cincinnati 

Howdy, as they say in the West. I am the goofball walking around the WHA in sequins. You’ve probably noticed. I am also the Director of Public History and an Assistant Professor of History at the University of Cincinnati. While I err on the side of silly, I am deadly serious about three things: trolling my mom on Twitter, cats, and making the WHA a place more representative of the true diversity of the American West.

I teach courses on public and digital history, Native American history, and community engagement for both graduate and undergraduate students. I co-authored Homesteading the Plains (2017) and co-edited (with fellow WHA-er Jason Heppler) an open access volume called Digital Community Engagement (2020). I am currently working on a book called Framed: Housing and Photography on the Crow Reservation that uses historic photographs to argue that the Office of Indian Affairs weaponized their housing policy in an attempt to restructure the relationships the Crows had to the house, to the land, and to each other. I currently serve as the Chair of the Digital Scholarship Committee and am a member of the CWWH’s Steering Committee.

My first WHA was ten years ago in Denver. I have watched with great admiration as our leadership has pushed the organization to be a better, more inclusive and welcoming version of itself. The work is not done, of course. We should always strive for greater gender and racial equity and to better amplify the needs of contingent faculty, graduate students, and digital and public historians. In service to the mission of the Nominating Committee, I look forward to helping identify the next generation of WHA leadership.

Nominating Committee Position B

Geraldo Cadava

Karl Jacoby

Geraldo Cadava

Northwestern University

Geraldo Cadava is the Wender-Lewis Teaching and Research Professor at Northwestern University, and Director of the Latina and Latino Studies Program. Cadava is the author of two books: Standing on Common Ground: The Making of a Sunbelt Borderland (Harvard, 2013), and The Hispanic Republican: The Shaping of an American Political Identity, from Nixon to Trump (Ecco, 2020). His areas of expertise are the American West, Latinas/os/xs in the United States, the U.S.-Mexico borderlands, and American politics. A longtime member of the Western History Association, Cadava has served on the Program Committee and, at present, the Caughey Western History Book Prize.

Karl Jacoby

Columbia University

I am honored to be considered for a position on the WHA’s Nominating Committee.  I have attended the WHA for far longer than any other academic conference, beginning with my first meeting when I was a graduate student in the 1990s. Over the years, I have followed with intense concern the organization’s ups and downs as it grappled with how to create a more inclusive and welcoming environment.  My paramount hope in joining the Nominating Committee is to build as much as I can upon these efforts and to help establish the WHA as a model academic organization, one that embraces a rich variety of scholars and scholarship interested in the North American past: those teaching K-12 and in community and tribal colleges; public historians; museum curators; archivists; librarians; editors; independent writers; peoples from a diverse array of genders, sexualities, nationalities, and ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds.

During my time at the WHA, I have served on a number of committees, including the Program Committee, the Robert Utley Book Prize, and the Disability Studies and Disabled Scholar Committee.   Presenting at the WHA has been foundational to my intellectual growth, which now extends over three books: Crimes Against Nature: Squatters, Poachers, Thieves, and the Hidden History of American Conservation (California 2001); Shadows at Dawn: A Borderlands Massacre and the Violence of History (Penguin 2008); and The Strange Career of William Ellis: The Texas Slave Who Became a Mexican Millionaire (Norton 2016).  I realize that I have been fortunate in the support that I’ve received from other scholars during my career, and I aspire as a potential member of the Nominating Committee to create this same sort of nurturing environment for the next generation of WHA members.

Nominating Committee Position C

Fawn-Amber Montoya

Maritza De La Trinidad

Fawn-Amber Montoya

James Madison University

I am delighted to be a candidate for the WHA Nominating Committee. I have been involved with the organization for over a decade. I have maintained a voice following the organization’s mission and value in fostering diversity and inclusion through my membership. As a nominating committee member, I would focus my work on expanding and reinforcing the WHA’s connections with organizations that support the work of Western Historians. By highlighting organizations that provide valuable support to WHA membership through archives access, exhibit spaces for student work, or grant proposals, the WHA will continue to be an organization that understands the importance of place-based learning and respect for the historical record.

Currently, I am the Associate Dean of Diversity, Inclusion, and External Engagement in the Honors College and Professor of History at James Madison University. I am also an affiliate faculty member in Latin American, Latinx, and Caribbean Studies.

My publications focus on collaboration with other scholars and community members either through edited collections or co-authorship. My first edited collection Making an American Workforce took an interdisciplinary approach to address the Colorado Fuel and Iron Company’s policies and their effects on the company's workforce. My second book Practicing Oral History to Connect University to Community, co-authored with an archivist, focused on collaborations and relationships between university archives, students, and community members in the collection of oral histories.  My most recent work Communities of Ludlow, co-edited with an archaeologist, highlights descendant stories and oral histories of community organizers and encourages scholars to allow their experiences to become part of the historical record.  

My interest in joining the Nominating Committee derives from wanting to continue to support and advocate for Western Historians in different fields. I have consulted on several exhibits with History Colorado through my public-facing work, including Borderlands, El Movimiento in Colorado and Pueblo, and The Children of Ludlow. I enjoyed this work because it allowed me to connect my research and teaching to museum work and my home community's histories. In addition, it also helps me apply interdisciplinary methods in my teaching and research. Finally, I value creating relationships with museums, historic preservation organizations, and academic colleagues outside of the historical discipline.   

As a Nominating Committee Member, I will, without a doubt, contribute to the current organizational community and further help recruit and sustain more members who also value the mission and goals of the Western History Association.

Maritza De La Trinidad

University of Texas Rio Grande Valley

My name is Maritza De La Trinidad, and I am an Associate Professor of Mexican American Studies at The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley where I teach undergraduate and graduate courses in Mexican American history, including Mexican American education, Mexican American civil rights, the Chicano Movement, and the U.S.-Mexico region. I also serve as the undergraduate coordinator and adviser for Mexican American Studies majors.

My research focuses on the history of Mexican American education in Tucson, specifically educational policies, practices, and programs that shaped the education of Mexican origin students throughout the twentieth century and the activism Mexican Americans engaged in to challenge those policies and promote meaningful reform. My publications focus on Mexican American educational and civil rights activism in Arizona, the bilingual education movement in Tucson, integrating Mexican American Studies in K-12 and higher education at HSIs. My current research focuses on how and why Mexican American teachers, parents, especially mothers, students, community leaders, and civil rights activists in Tucson participated in and organized grassroots campaigns between 1950 and 2000 to challenge educational inequalities and promote educational reform at the local, state, and national levels. It provides an in-depth analysis of a 1974 desegregation case and post desegregation activism that led to fundamental change in Tucson public schools and a historical backdrop for current debates surrounding Mexican American Studies and culturally relevant education in Arizona. From 2018 to 2021, I was the Project Director of an American History and Civics Education grant funded by the U.S. Department of Education to implement Historias Americanas: Engaging History and Citizenship in the Rio Grande Valley, a professional development program for K-12 teachers. This program provided workshops for social studies teachers on the history, culture, and geography of the Rio Grande Valley from a Mexican American perspective for integration in their social studies and history curriculum.

As a native Tucsonense, I grew up in the Arizona-Sonora borderlands and have lived in three major twin cities along the U.S.-Mexico border. I have been a member of the WHA since 2004 and have presented at conferences in Arizona, New Mexico, California, and Texas. I also served on the Coalition for Western Women’s History Steering Committee from 2015-2017 and currently serve on the local committee for the 2022 WHA conference in San Antonio and graduate student awards committee. The WHA has been one of the most supportive organizations I have been a member of that has fostered my intellectual and professional growth, expanded my network of fellow historians, and contributed to all aspects of my academic career. Being invited to run for an elected position is truly an honor. It would be an even greater honor to serve on the WHA Nominating Committee. Serving as an elected representative would allow me to serve my fellow members, graduate students, and the larger WHA community on a broader scale. It would also validate my commitment to the organization and help it grow.

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!

Western History Association

University of Kansas | History Department

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Lawrence, KS 66045 | 785-864-0860