News and Events

California Historical Society Book Award
The California Historical Society (CHS) and Heyday have established the California Historical Society Book Award for a book-length manuscript that makes an important contribution to both scholarship and to the greater community by deepening public understanding of some aspect of California history. The prize carries a $5,000 advance and publication in both print and e-book formats by CHS/Heyday, with an awards ceremony, ample promotion, and an author tour throughout the state.

The purpose of the award is to recognize and promote an exciting new literary work in celebration of California’s heritage. The ideal manuscript will inform the minds and delight the imaginations of readers while generating a deeper understanding of California’s rich history. The work must adhere to high scholarly and literary standards and must be lively and engaging to general readers. In addition to conventional works of historical scholarship, other genres will be considered, such as biographies, collections of letters or essays, and creative nonfiction. Works of fiction will not be accepted.


•The topic should be broad enough to be of interest to readers throughout the state.
•Authors with manuscripts that will be completed within four months of the submission deadline are welcome to apply.
•Manuscripts, when finished, should be at least 40,000 words. While we are open to other possibilities, preference will be given to manuscripts of fewer than 75,000 words.

How to apply

Applications are due by May 1, 2016. Please send the following material to in a single PDF:

•A cover letter introducing yourself and your qualifications.
•A brief description of your project.
•An annotated table of contents.
•A statement as to the need or desirability of photographs, maps, or other graphics, with examples.
•If the manuscript is not yet completed, a statement that describes what has been done and a schedule for what still needs to be finished.
•A sample chapter (double-spaced, standard font and font size).

The jury will consist of a panel of noted historians, scholars, and publishing experts. Potential candidates may be contacted for additional information. The winner will be announced June 15, 2016. Publication will be approximately one year after a fully completed manuscript and all graphics are accepted. For more information, please visit: or

About the California Historical Society
The California Historical Society (CHS), founded in 1871, is a nonprofit organization with a mission to inspire and empower people to make California’s richly diverse past a meaningful part of their contemporary lives. We hold one of the top research collections on California history, which includes over 35,000 volumes of books and pamphlets, more than 4,000 manuscripts, and some 500,000 photographs documenting California’s social, cultural, economic, and political history and development, including some of the most cherished and valuable documents and images of California’s past.

About Heyday
Heyday is an independent, nonprofit publisher and unique cultural institution that promotes widespread awareness and celebration of California’s many cultures, landscapes, and boundary-breaking ideas. Through its well-crafted books, public events, and innovative outreach programs, Heyday is building a vibrant community of readers, writers, and thinkers.

Call for Papers Graduate Student Conference: Life & Law in Rural America: Cows, Cars, and Criminals
Life & Law in Rural America: Cows, Cars, and Criminals
Princeton University Program in American Studies
Graduate Student Conference
March 25-26, 2016

Rural America has become an increasingly productive space for critical inquiry and exploration for scholars in many disciplines. From school reform to policing, from healthcare to popular television shows, and everything in between, the rural United States is continually being explored from new vantage points. Current research suggests that rural communities share many of the same kinds of challenges in education, policing, poverty, and healthcare found in urban and suburban communities, disrupting long-standing assumptions about rural America. At the same time, academics and non-academics alike recognize that rural spaces and experiences are distinct.

This conference, sponsored by the Program in American Studies at Princeton University, will explore rural spaces, people, and the law throughout American history and the present. With this conference, we seek to bring together an interdisciplinary group of graduate student researchers and faculty respondents to ask interdisciplinary questions of the social, cultural, legal, religious, and intellectual experiences of rural life. What is “rural”, and how does law constitute a distinctly rural experience for those who live there? How do law, lived experience, and geography interact in distinct ways in rural places?

Alongside keynote speakers Angela Garcia and Lisa Pruitt, we expect participants may explore more specific questions such as, how has rural America changed over time and developed into what we know as rural today? How is policing understood socially by rural residents? What does employment mean when opportunities are dramatically limited because of geography? What is the place of religious commitment in the rural U.S.? In what ways are rural spaces “urban”? How is civic engagement—such as protests and boycotts—changed when anonymity is not possible?

We invite graduate students working in the fields of American Studies, Anthropology, History, Law, English, Political Science, Musicology, Geography, Sociology, Art History, and related fields to submit papers on topics including but not limited to law and:

Policing in rural communities
Economic opportunity
Religious commitment
Regional rural identity
Gender in rural spaces
Race in rural America—both within, and outside of, the South
Class and poverty in rural places
Local government law and rural politics
Federal policies impacting rural America
Farming and farm laborers
Hinterlands & Rural-Urban Relationships
Activism & Civic Engagement
Cultural stereotypes of rural America
Environmental studies
Rural research methods
Socio-legal studies

Please submit an abstract of no more than 400 words, a short biographical description, and your contact information by November 15, 2015. Proposals and questions should be sent to conference organizers Heath Pearson and Emily Prifogle at

Rural Diary Archive Website Launch and Transcribe-A-Thon
Rural Diary Archive
Website Launch and Transcribe-A-Thon
University of Guelph, Ontario

Thursday, September 24, 2015
McLaughlin Library, First Floor, Academic Town Square
2:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m.

The event will take place on the first floor of the University of Guelph’s McLaughlin Library in the Academic Town Square from 2:30 PM to 5:30 PM. There will be diaries on display and a draw for prizes! Bring your laptop and make your mark on history by helping to transcribe these digital diaries into searchable text. Come learn more about local rural history and the diarists who helped document it.

Please RSVP to or call 519-824-4120 x53888 by September 15th, 2015

Iowa State History Department Seeks Department Chair
Iowa State University’s Department of History invites applications and nominations for the position of Department Chair.

Iowa State University’s Department of History is a dynamic academic unit with a thriving 325-major undergraduate program with a growing global curriculum that emphasizes the U.S., Latin America, Europe, Middle & Near East, and Asia, a secondary education certification program, an M.A. degree in History, and a Ph.D. in Rural, Agricultural, Technological and Environmental History (RATE).

For more information on the available position, please visit

Call for Papers Special Issue on Agricultural and Rural History of New York
New York History will publish a special issue in 2016 devoted to the agricultural and rural history of the Empire State. Topics are unrestricted and include urban, gender, social, technological, scientific, and political histories, among others relating to agriculture and rural life. Doug Hurt will serve as the guest editor. Submit abstracts or manuscript proposals that do not exceed 500 words by October 16 to Invitations to submit full-length articles ranging from 5,000 to 7,500 words will be sent by December 4. Manuscripts will be due July 1, 2016.

Call for Proposals Conference on "U.S.-China Relations during the Twentieth Century"
The Joint Center for China Studies at Purdue University and Nanjing Agricultural University invites papers for a conference on "U.S.-China Relations during the Twentieth Century." The conference will be held at Purdue University from October 18-20, 2016. Papers dealing with all aspects of U.S.- China relations will be considered. The Center particularly welcomes sessions and papers on science, technology, women, politics, culture, agriculture, and rural life. Send session and paper proposals by December 1, 2016, to Doug Hurt, Head, Department of History, Purdue University, at

Call for Entries: SHFG Thomas Jefferson Prize
The Society for History in the Federal Government (SHFG) seeks entries for its 2016 Thomas Jefferson Prize for research tools published in 2014 or 2015. The prize recognizes the creator(s) of an outstanding research aid (e.g., inventory, index, finding aid, biographical directory, bibliography that facilitates the work of those researching the history of the federal government). It will be awarded at the SHFG annual meeting in Spring 2016. See for criteria, a list of past winners, and general requirements for all SHFG prizes.

A copy of each entry with a letter briefly stating its qualification and merits should be sent to each of the Jefferson Committee members by November 30, 2016:

1. Jennifer Ross-Nazzal, Ph.D., 2003 Seakale Lane, Houston, TX 77062
2. Alisa Whitley, 5212 Leeward Lane, Alexandria, VA 22315
3. Lincoln Bramwell, Ph.D., 1410 Woodman Ave., Silver Spring, MD 20902

The SHFG, founded in 1979, is a nonprofit professional organization that promotes the study and broad understanding of the history of the United States Government. It also serves as the voice of the Federal historical community.

Call for Chapter Proposals-"The Midwestern Moment: Essays in Early 20th c. Midwestern Regionalism"
Hastings College Press welcomes proposals for chapters for an edited volume focused on Midwestern regionalism during the first half of the twentieth century. The volume is tentatively entitled “The Midwestern Moment: Essays in Early-Twentieth Century Midwestern Regionalism.” Midwestern regionalism includes writers, artists, publishers, intellectuals, architects, journalists, filmmakers, magazines, journals, institutions, films, etc. Subjects may include but are not limited to

· Midwestern regionalism as a movement to highlight work that was produced in the Midwest and focused on the Midwest as a counter to the cultural dominance of the coasts, especially Boston and New York City
· Individuals or institutions that purposely sought to encourage or counter the theory that Midwestern intellectuals and writers “revolted” from their Midwestern villages
· Representations of the Midwest in popular culture or by non-Midwesterners
· Rejection or confirmation of the Midwest as the agricultural Heartland
· Controversies about the definition or geographical boundaries of the Midwest
· Midwestern ecologies

Proposals should be roughly 300 words, briefly explain the significance of the subject chosen and sources available, and be sent to Patricia Oman at The editor of the volume will be Jon K. Lauck. All proposals are due by August 1, 2015. If a proposal is accepted, the resulting chapter, not exceeding 6,000 words (including notes), shall be due June 1, 2016.

Call for Proposals Atlantic Environments in the American South
The History Department at Rice University invites proposals for a two-day symposium on the intersection of Atlantic History and Environmental History in the American South. Over the past couple decades Atlantic History and Environmental History have been two of the most dynamic fields in the discipline, yet the two rarely overlap. This conference, in short, explores why this intersection has deep untapped potential. By placing this intersection in the American South, we hope to engage a discourse in the flow of peoples, commodities, and ideas, along with their political, economic, social, and cultural implications in a region that has served as the setting for a number of rich Atlantic and Environmental studies. This conference will be primarily concerned with how people altered, interacted with, and thought about the terrestrial, maritime, and atmospheric environments of the South and the Atlantic and will look, for example, at how cotton, sugar, tobacco, rice, and a host of other commodities moved between the southern United States and the larger Atlantic world. By analyzing the environmental implications of these currents both into and out of this region, we hope to better understand how such flows were made possible by larger, Atlantic-wide networks.

We will convene on Friday, February 5, 2016 at Rice University in Houston, TX, with a keynote address from W. Jeffrey Bolster, Professor of History at the University of new Hampshire, and conclude on Saturday, February 6 with a keynote address from Paul Sutter, Associate Professor of History at the University of Colorado Boulder.

Proposals may consider the ways the environments of the American South and greater Atlantic interacted, and we hope to attract papers that look from the South outward and from the Atlantic inward. Possible topics include:
• Commodity flows
• Production/consumption networks
• Ideas of the environment
• Local/regional/national/international scales
• Nation building
• Migration
• Enslaved and free labor
• Cultural formation
• Imperial/inter-imperial relations
• Weather and climate

We invite proposals that investigate the myriad interactions and connections between the environments of the Atlantic and the South. But we self-consciously do not prescribe any set chronological boundaries. While many Atlantic studies are concerned with the development and deepening of transoceanic interactions from the 15th through the 19th centuries, many environmental and southern histories focus on the 19th and 20th centuries. Thus we invite proposals from these many periods and urge presenters to think deeply about these temporalities. Proposals should be no more than 300 words and include a CV. Additionally, papers presented will be considered for inclusion in an anthology to be published by a major university press.

Atlantic Environments and the American South will take place on the campus of Rice University and has been made possible thanks to the generosity of the Rice University Humanities Research Center, School of Humanities, and Department of History.

Proposals must be received by September 15, 2015 and should be sent via email to or mailed to
Atlantic Environments and the American South

℅ D. Andrew Johnson
Department of History – MS 42
Rice University
PO Box 1892
Houston TX 77251-1892

Limited support for participants’ travel and lodging may be available for presenters.

For more information, contact the conference conveners, Thomas Blake Earle ( and D. Andrew Johnson ( or go to

Call for Proposals: American Society for Environmental History 2016 Conference
The American Society for Environmental History (ASEH) is now accepting proposals for its annual meeting in Seattle, March 30-April 3, 2016. Deadline for proposal submissions is July 8, 2015. For more information, including the online submission form, see:

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) Seeks Faculty Professor in Agrarian History
SLU is Sweden’s leading university in research on biological natural resources, and offers a stimulating environment for research and education. For twenty years there has been a professorship in agrarian history at the university. The professorship is located at the Department of Urban and Rural Development in new and modern facilities. The Department of Urban and Rural Development is central to SLU’s efforts to develop social sciences and humanities in research and education at SLU.

Agrarian history is a historical discipline that covers the development from earliest times to the present. The subject deals with agricultural production, technological development, social and economic conditions, people in agrarian societies and their relation to nature, landscape and society at large. Emphasis is on research and education on northern European conditions, including Sweden, even though a wider international agrarian history also plays a role in the subject area.

For more information, go to

Call for Proposals for Chapters in South Dakota Book Series
Writers in the fields of history, political science, geography, and related fields are invited to submit chapter proposals for volume three of The Plains Political Tradition: Essays in South Dakota Political Culture series, published by the South Dakota Historical Society Press.

Proposals must provide a detailed description of what will comprise the chapter, including descriptions of the sources to be used, the topics to be explored, and the contributions the chapter will make to the understanding of South Dakota political culture.

The selected chapters must be formatted to the Chicago Manual of Style, thoroughly documented with end notes, contain original research, and be appealing to both popular and scholarly audiences. Graphs, tables, charts, and photographic suggestions are welcome as attachments to the essay. Chapters on political actors, parties, pressure groups, organizations, legislation, outcomes, events, campaigns, the media, political socialization, ideas, rhetoric, social-economic-cultural transitions, and other elements of politics that help explain South Dakota’s political culture are invited. Comparative studies which place South Dakota within the broader purview of other states, the region, or the nation will be especially welcome, as will synthetic studies that place the material in the broadest possible context of place and time. Special attention should be paid to how the subject being discussed reflects or contributes to a deeper understanding of the political culture of South Dakota. For additional direction, prospective authors are strongly encouraged to review the chapters in the previous two volumes of The Plains Political Tradition series, published in 2011 and 2014 by South Dakota Historical Society Press.

The editors for volume three will be Jon K. Lauck, John E. Miller, and Paula M. Nelson. Proposals for chapters are due on June 1, 2015, and they should be submitted by electronic mail to Paula Nelson at If a proposal is accepted, the final chapter will be due March 1, 2016. Final chapters should range from 6,000 to 8,000 words (not counting notes), be double-spaced, and be submitted as a word document in 12 pt Bookman Old Style font. Authors who are selected for inclusion in the new volume will be invited to participate in a book release conference to be held in March 2018 in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

Newspaper Icon Click here to view more AHS news.

Contact Us

The Society Office
James C. Giesen, Executive Secretary
Alan I Marcus, Treasurer
MSU History Department
PO Box H
Mississippi State, MS 39762

The Editorial Office
Claire Strom, Editor
Agricultural History
1000 Holt Avenue - 2762
Rollins College
Winter Park, FL 32789