Studies in Midwestern History

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After conferring with colleagues, I created the Mid-America Conference on History (MACH) in 1977. At the time I was an associate professor of history at Southwest Missouri State University in Springfield, Missouri. The MACH sought to mirror other regional ventures such as the Northern Great Plains History Conference, which was established in 1966. The motivation was similar for I had also experienced the high costs of attending national meetings of the Organization of American Historians or the American Historical Association held in cities such as New York, Philadelphia, or Washington, D.C. More importantly, the opportunity to present at national meetings proved difficult for junior faculty, especially from less prominent institutions. My vision was to create a smaller version of the Southern Historical Association (SHA) conference that drew primarily from middle America and that shared the same professional standards and intimate environment of the SHA.

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