The American Elsewhere Final Draft Submitted, December 14, 2016
I submitted to my editor at the University Press of Kansas the "final" draft of my manuscript, The American Elsewhere: Adventure and Manliness in the Age of Expansion. The revisions took a lot more work than I had anticipated, but I think the changes work well. Now, the manuscript goes to copy editing and to the production team at UPK. Hopefully, we will be able to release the book in the fall of 2017.
Western History Association Meeting, St. Paul, MN, October 20-23, 2016
I enjoyed the opportunity to attend the Western History Association meeting in St. Paul, MN. I listened to several informative sessions, met my book editor for the first time, reconnected with old friends, and made a few new ones. I admit that I spent more than a few hours in my room—great view of the Mississippi waterfront—working on the book manuscript. I did manage to skip out and catch a movie at the classic 1939 Highland Theater.
"Unquestionable Geographies" Article Accepted, June 15, 2016
The Pacific Historical Review has agreed to publish my article, "Unquestionable Geographies: The Empirical and the Romantic in U.S. Expansionist Cartography, 1810-1848." The PHR is the perfect venue for this project which in many ways started back in the late 1990s. Since I was a child, maps have fascinated me, and I was fortunate to obtain my bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Texas at Arlington, where I had access to the Virginia Garrett Cartographic Library, one of the premier map collections in the United States. I owe a debt to my gurus in map history, Richard Francaviglia, Gerald Saxon, and Katherine "Kit" Goodwin as well as thanks to Sam Haynes and Ben Huseman who invited me to return to UTA and present on this subject in October 2014. The PHR has not scheduled a publication date, but hopefully the article will appear sometime late next year. For an abstract of the article, see under the Projects tab.
The University Press of Kansas to Publish The American Elsewhere, June 15, 2016
I am excited that the University Press of Kansas has agreed to publish my book, The American Elsewhere: Adventure and Manliness in the Age of Expansion. They have scheduled its release for Fall 2017. I am particularly pleased because UP Kansas is an established leader in producing books on the cultural history of the American West. The Contested Plains (1998) by Elliott West, has significantly influenced my career and remains one of my all-time favorites. The catalog for UP Kansas also boasts such eclectic titles as Carl Abbott's Frontiers Past and Future (2006), John Hausdoerffer's Catlin's Lament (2009), Michael Johnson's Hunger for the Wild (2007), and others. It will be a privilege to have my work counted among them. I will spend the next few months on final revisions of the manuscript which I hope to turn in before the end of the year. For more information, look under the Projects tab.
Ecogothic Article Submitted, May 18, 2016
I have submitted my article "'Give me my skin': William J. Snelling's 'A Night in the Woods' (1836) and the Gothic Accusation against Buffalo Extinction." Hopefully a positive response and revisions pending. For more on the article, look under the Projects tab.
Returned from the Redd Center, May 9, 2016
I have returned from a productive three months as Visiting Scholar at the Charles Redd Center for Western Studies. Thanks to Brian Cannon, Brenden Rensink, and Amy Carlin for making my time there enjoyable and rewarding. I managed to research, write, and revise, an article; revise and re-submit another; and filled my laptop full of research notes for my next book project. I attended several informative lectures and enjoyed a number conversations with scholars from BYU and other institutions. I am back in the land of refineries and humidity for another round of revisions on my book manuscript, The American Elsewhere, and preparing for summer classes.
Panel Discussion, Branding the American West Symposium, March 5, 2016
I participated in a panel discussion with my fellow contributors to and editors of Branding the American West (2016). On March 4 and 5, 2016, the BYU Museum of Art hosted a conference that brought together scholars of art, literature, history, material culture, and others. The museum posted a series of videos from select presentations on their website (BYU Museum of Art), including our panel discussion.
The East Texas Historical Association, Spring Meeting, February 18-20, 2016
The East Texas Historical Association met in Beaumont, Texas, for their Spring 2016 conference. I served as program committee chair, and I am pleased with the range and quality of presentations. I enjoyed presiding over the session “Drawing Lines and Regulating Social Space in Texas” that included the interesting work of Jennifer Cain, Chris Pirnie, and Sarah Wright. For the banquet speech, my friend and mentor Sam Haynes gave us a preview of his research, "Myth, Memory, and Monument: The San Jacinto Battlefield." Thanks to everyone who participated and helped put the program together.
"Maps of Manifest Destiny" Article Revised and Resubmitted, February 11, 2016
After receiving mixed readers' reports on my article about the cartographic expressions of U.S. expansionism, the journal editor has invited me to revise and resubmit. Done. Now I wait for another round of review. For more on the article, look under the Projects tab.
Arrived in Provo during a Winter Storm, February 1, 2016
This is what our drive to Provo looked like while it was still fun--Interstate 15 in the area of Fillmore, UT. We would later get stuck behind two pile ups for about three hours, but got into Provo safe and sound. I will start my residency as Visiting Scholar at the Charles Redd Center for Western Studies soon.