The Benefits of Western History Association Membership

western history association membership

Membership in the Western History Association connects you to a professional network of scholars, teachers, students, independent researchers, publishers, archivists, museum professionals, collectors, and enthusiasts. Founded in 1961, WHA provides an environment in which members share scholarship that promotes public understanding of the North American West. WHA offers its members an annual conference that brings together a diverse group of academic and public historians, writers, and enthusiasts to discuss their research, ideas, and experiences in an engaging and inclusive atmosphere.

In addition, the organization publishes scholarly articles and monographs on all aspects of western history. It also produces the prestigious journal, The Western Historical Quarterly, which employs a rigorous peer review process to identify and improve original research in the field of western history. WHA also works to foster public education on the complexities of the West through active involvement with schools, libraries, museums, non profit organizations, and community groups.

WHA is committed to promoting diversity and equity in the historical profession. It condemns harassment, discrimination, and retaliation in any form, including sexual assault and violence. This is in keeping with the values of a democratic society and an academic community that values the work and contributions of all persons.

The primary governing body of the organization is the Council, which oversees the broad interests of the society and creates policies that promote a congenial home for all interested in western history. The Council is composed of the President, President-Elect, Executive Director, and seven regularly elected members.

Conferences offer a unique opportunity to join a community of scholars gathered to exchange ideas, learn about new developments in the field, and participate in conversations that will shape the future of western history. Conference attendees include K-12 teachers, college and university faculty, independent scholars, students, and a wide range of professionals. Attendees bring diverse perspectives to the study of the American West and share the results of their research with colleagues from across the country.

Conference participants present papers that explore the complexities of the American West through its peoples, cultures, landscapes, and events. Papers address topics ranging from the frontier experience to contemporary issues in western history. The conference also features panel discussions, workshops, and keynote presentations by renowned scholars.

A four-day event that takes place in the summer, the Roundup is held each year in a historically significant town or city. In addition to workshops, author, researcher, and collector presentations, the Roundup offers a wide variety of vendors selling rare out-of-print books, first editions, and Old West collectibles, as well as organized and guided field trips to local historic sites. The Roundup also features a gala awards banquet and is the site of the Phi Alpha Theta Book Award.

This prize, supported by the WHA and the Huntington Library in San Marino, California, covers substantial travel support to foster graduate student professional development and enhance citizenship within the organization. The prize is awarded to the best dissertation on the history of the North American West in its varied aspects and broadest sense, defended and filed during the preceding calendar year.

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