Western History Association 2018 Conference Preview

The 58th Annual WHA Conference will be held in San Antonio, Texas this week and over a hundred new books will be showcased! Below is a preview of some of the books that will be on display.

Phoebe Apperson Hearst by Alexandra M. Nickliss offers the first biography of one of the Gilded Age’s most prominent and powerful women. A financial manager, businesswoman, and reformer, Phoebe Apperson Hearst was one of the wealthiest and most influential women of the era and a philanthropist, almost without rival, in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Downwind by Sarah Alisabeth Fox is an unflinching tale of the atomic West that reveals the intentional disregard for the inhabitants and the environment in nuclear testing by the federal government and in uranium extraction by mining corporations during and after the Cold War.

In All My Relatives, David C. Posthumus offers the first revisionist history of the Lakotas’ religion and culture in a generation. It demonstrates how a new animist framework can connect and articulate otherwise disparate and obscure elements of Lakota ethnography.

Though Kansas City’s music, culture, and stars are well covered, Queering Kansas City Jazz, by Amber R. Clifford-Napoleone, supplements the grand narrative of jazz history by including queer identities in the city’s history while framing the jazz-scene experience in terms of identity and space. Cabarets, gender impressionism clubs, and sites of sex tourism in Kansas City served as world-making spaces for those whose performance of identity transgressed hegemonic notions of gender, sexuality, race, and class.

The Pacific Coast League (PCL), a Minor League with its own social customs, practices, and racial history, and the only legitimate sports league on the West Coast, became one of the first leagues in any sport to completely desegregate all its teams. Although far from a model of racial equality, the Pacific Coast states created a racial reality that was more diverse and adaptable than in other parts of the country. The Integration of the Pacific Coast League describes the evolution of the PCL beginning with the league’s differing treatment of African Americans and other nonwhite players.

Standing Up to Colonial Power focuses on the lives, activism, and intellectual contributions of Henry Cloud (1884–1950), a Ho-Chunk, and Elizabeth Bender Cloud (1887–1965), an Ojibwe, both of whom grew up amid settler colonialism that attempted to break their connection to Native land, treaty rights, and tribal identities.

 

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