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Call-for-Proposals: New Book on Midwestern Politics(2017-07-15)

Scholars, commentators, and political analysts are asked to submit proposals of 500 words or less outlining a proposed chapter for a volume on the history of Midwestern politics since 1945. Given the recent election outcome, in which major Midwestern states such as Wisconsin, Iowa, Michigan, and Ohio switched their support from previous election cycles, the editors believe this is an important moment for a deeper exploration of the dynamics of Midwestern politics and the political culture of the region. The editors also believe this is the key moment to bring together two emerging and critical trends in American historiography, namely the burgeoning of scholarly work on the growth of political conservatism in the United States in the late 20th century and the recent upsurge of interest in the history of the Midwest. Topics for the volume could include, but are certainly not limited to, the following: cross-regional dynamics such as the farm economy, industrial labor organization and strife, key political sub-regions (such as Dutch Michigan, Western Iowa, Appalachian Ohio, the Driftless, the Upper Peninsula, Little Egypt, Appalachian Ohio, the Iron Range, the Cutover of Wisconsin, etc), various Cold War dynamics, the politics of deindustrialization, the tendency or failure of once strongly-Republican Midwestern states to “re-align” or become Democratic in the decades after the New Deal, the decline of major urban centers such as Detroit, urban versus out-state conflicts (Chicago, Detroit, and Minneapolis, for examples, versus the more rural parts of Illinois, Michigan, and Minnesota), varying and evolving forms of conservative or economic populism, the relationship between the industrial economy and the farm economy, the working class culture of cities such as Youngstown, the history of the Midwest as a political swing region, the presence and political impact of African-Americans in Midwestern states, the impact of conservative activism in Midwestern states, profiles of prominent Midwestern politicians which reveal important components of Midwestern political culture, the political culture of the Midwest as expressed in literature, music, etc, the rise of the Christian right, the activities of the Left in the Midwest (Madison, Ann Arbor, etc), white flight from urban areas and the subsequent impact on regional politics, immigration from Asia, Latin America, and Africa and its impact on politics, the evolution of religion/decline of mainline churches/rise of more conservative churches, changing forms of media and the lessening of rural isolation, the impacts of wars such as Korea, Vietnam, and Iraq/Afghanistan on politics, responses in the Midwest to social changes of the 1960s/70s, the impact of Reaganism in the Midwest, various aspects of the culture wars in the Midwest, the influence of the military or military spending on local and state politics, etc. Jon Lauck of the University of South Dakota and Catherine McNicol Stock of Connecticut College at will serve as volume editors. All proposals should be sent to Jon Lauck at and to Catherine McNicol Stock at by September 1, 2017 and include a vita pasted at the end of the proposal (please include the proposal and vita in one document). If a proposal is accepted, the final version of an author’s chapter will be due on August 1, 2018. The University Press of Kansas has expressed preliminary interest in the volume. Publication is expected, but not guaranteed, during the summer of election year 2020.

September 1, 2017

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