MAASA encourages the development and sharing of scholarship by sponsoring a biennial Spring meeting. The MAASA meeting offers academicians—from graduate students to emeriti, and from independent scholars to affiliated professionals—an opportunity to exchange ideas and perspectives in a convivial atmosphere.

Call for Papers

Migration/Politics/Sport in the Global Midwest

Mid-America American Studies Association (MAASA) Conference
Friday and Saturday, April 6-7, 2018
University of Iowa
Iowa City, Iowa

In February, 2016, white students at the mostly white Dallas Center-Grimes High School in Adel, Iowa taunted opponents from a neighboring high school with a significant Latinx enrollment with chants of “Trump!” and “USA!” In June, 2017, the family and friends of Srinivas Kuchibhotla, an immigrant from India, were honored before a Kansas City Royals baseball game. Kuchibhotla had been murdered a few months earlier by a gunman who had angrily yelled “Get out of my country!” before pulling the trigger.

These incidents illustrate the variety of ways that “movement” has shaped politics and everyday life in the global Midwest. People have come to and fled from the Midwest, driven by opportunism, violence, utopianism, and privation, changing demographics and political alignments in the process. The region has been an important center of political mobilizations, from the farmers’ alliances of the 1880s to the demonstrations surrounding the Democratic National Convention in Chicago in 1968 to the Black Lives Matter Freedom Ride to Ferguson, Missouri. Since the late 19th century, the celebration of physical movement through sport has been near the center of cultural life in Midwestern communities, often serving to shore up cultural and political identities, despite frequent claims that they transcend politics.

MAASA invites reflections on the various ways that movement has influenced the past, present, and future of the region and its people. Possible topics include:

  • The experience and politics of immigration and migration.
  • Midwestern sporting cultures.
  • Issues of disability and accessibility.
  • Social, cultural, and political mobilizations.
  • Critical, theoretical, and political legacies of 1968.
  • Athletes and social protest.


The deadline for submissions has now passed. Thank you!