Western History Association Conference Preview

The 55th annual conference of the Western History Association takes place this Wednesday through Saturday (October 21-24) in Portland, Oregon, and UW Press is looking forward to celebrating scholarship in the diverse history of North American Wests.

If you will be attending the conference, we hope you will join us for scheduled morning book signings at booth #32 with authors Jen Corrinne Brown (Thursday) and John R. Gram (Friday).

UW Press Director Nicole Mitchell, Senior Acquisitions Editor Ranjit Arab, and Assistant Editor Whitney Johnson will be representing the Press—be sure to stop by to say hello and to check out our latest Western history offerings, including titles in the Indigenous Confluences series.

Here is a sampling of new and recent titles we will be featuring at the conference as well as the book signing details.

Book Signing with Jen Corrinne Brown

Thursday, October 22 at 10 a.m., Booth #32

Trout Culture: How Fly Fishing Forever Changed the Rocky Mountain West
By Jen Corrinne Brown

Historian Jen Corrinne Brown demonstrates that the majestic trout streams often considered a timeless feature of the American West are in fact the product of countless human interventions adding up to a profound manipulation of the Rocky Mountain environment.

“[T]his is a well-researched, richly detailed history of trout and trout fishing in the Mountain West that, as the author promises, ‘overturns the biggest fish story ever told.'”—John Gierach, Wall Street Journal

Book Signing with John R. Gram

Friday, October 23 at 10 a.m., Booth #32

Education at the Edge of Empire: Negotiating Pueblo Identity in New Mexico’s Indian Boarding Schools
By John R. Gram
Foreword by Ted Jojola

Greatly expanding our understanding of the Indian boarding school experience, historian John R. Gram reveals how some Indian communities on the edge of the American frontier had a much different experience of federal boarding schools at the turn of the century.

Focusing on Pueblo Indians’ interactions with school officials at the Albuquerque and Santa Fe Indian Schools, Gram examines how Pueblo parents were able to exercise their agency, often mitigating the schools’ assimilation efforts and assuring the various pueblos’ cultural, social, and economic survival.

Education at the Edge of Empire is a groundbreaking examination that contributes to Native American, Western, and education histories, as well as to borderland and Southwest studies.

Alaska’s Skyboys: Cowboy Pilots and the Myth of the Last Frontier
By Katherine Johnson Ringsmuth

This fascinating account of the development of aviation in Alaska examines the daring missions of pilots who initially opened up the territory for military positioning and later for trade and tourism.

Through personal stories, industry publications, and news accounts, historian Katherine Johnson Ringsmuth uncovers the ways that Alaska’s aviation growth was downplayed in order to perpetuate the myth of the cowboy spirit while the industry catapulted Alaksa onto a modern, global stage.

Empire Maker: Aleksandr Baranov and Russian Colonial Expansion into Alaska and Northern California
By Kenneth N. Owens
With Alexander Yu. Petrov

Aleksandr Baranov receives long overdue attention in this first scholarly biography of Russian America’s virtual imperial viceroy. His eventful life included shipwrecks, battles with Native forces, clashes with rival traders and Russian Orthodox missionaries, and an enduring marriage to a Kodiak Alutiiq woman with whom he had two children.

In the process, the book reveals maritime Alaska and northern California during the Baranov era as fascinating cultural borderlands, where Russian, English, Spanish, and New England Yankee traders and indigenous peoples formed complex commercial, political, and domestic relationships that continue to influence these regions today.

The Tanoak Tree: An Environmental History of a Pacific Coast Hardwood
By Frederica Bowcutt
Foreword by Frank Kanawha Lake

Tanoak (Notholithocarpus densiflorus) is a resilient and common hardwood tree native to California and southwestern Oregon. People’s radically different perceptions of it have ranged from treasured food plant to cash crop to trash tree. Having studied the patterns of tanoak use and abuse for nearly twenty years, botanist Frederica Bowcutt uncovers a complex history of cultural, sociopolitical, and economic factors affecting the tree’s fate.

Still valued by indigenous communities for its nutritious acorn nut, the tree has also been a source of raw resources for a variety of industries since white settlement of western North America. This well-researched book will appeal to readers interested in how economics and ecology intersect in tangible ways and how the resulting impacts on the land in turn impact local communities.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s