Call for proposals for chapters for a new edited book about the formative era of Midwestern history entitled “The Making of the Midwest.” If the fin de siècle nineteenth century witnessed a Midwestern Moment of cultural, economic, and political prominence for the region, then the preceding century witnessed the steady maturation of a region and a slow process of identity formation. Any and all proposals which relate to this theme will be considered; potential topics could include (but are certainly not limited to) the emergence of the first voices from the region that would become the Midwest; the recognition of distinctions between the Midwest and other regions; the crucial role of the Civil War in cementing Midwestern identity; the emergence of Midwestern cultural institutions; the evolution of terms such as West, Middle West, Midwest, etc.
The temporal parameters of this project were determined by the adoption of the Northwest Ordinance in 1787, which first gave preliminary shape to the region that would become the American Midwest, and 1900, when the region’s identity had been formed to a significant extent and the Midwestern Moment had arrived. For more on the latter, potential authors are urged to examine The Midwestern Moment: The Forgotten World of Midwestern Regionalism, 1880-1940 (Hastings College Press, 2017).
The collection will be published by Hastings College Press as part of its Rediscovering the American Midwest series, edited by Jon K. Lauck and Tricia Oman. It will be entitled “The Making of the Midwest: Essays on the Formation of Midwestern Identity, 1787–1900” and edited by Jon K. Lauck. Proposals of 500 words or less and a vita are due by February 1, 2018 and should be sent to Jon Lauck (at jlauck1941 [at] hotmail [dot] com). If a proposal is accepted, an author will be required to provide a completed chapter by February 1, 2019.