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CFP: The Making of the Trans-Appalachian West

Image by Valerius Tygart

Image by Valerius Tygart


Call For Papers

The Making of the Trans-Appalachian West: Society, Culture, and Peoples, 1754-1832

Edited by Darren R. Reid (Coventry University)


“More than an extension of the British colonial backcountry, the region between the Appalachian Mountains and the Mississippi River was defined, at least in part, by its isolation.  Divided from the east by its namesake mountain range, the Trans-Appalachian West developed its own distinct character as British North America transitioned from a contested colonial zone into a budding nation-state.  From drawn-out wars with various Indian groups to the contentious issue of access to the Mississippi River, the Trans-Appalachian West was a region which was shaped by a series of distinct regional experiences and events which helped to mould its inhabitants, the societies they built, and the cultures which defined them.  In the early years of the American Republic the division between east and west even seemed to predict a split in the United States and, indeed, something of a distinct western identity appeared throughout much of that period.  The typical cultural-fault line in early America tends to divide north from south but the division between east and west, though less severe, was nevertheless an important point of distinction and disunion.  By the third decade of the nineteenth century, however, the trans-Appalachian country had not only been integrated successfully into the larger nation-state but had become a central part of the national character, a change which was reflected in Andrew Jackson’s rise to the White House and the passing of the Indian Removal Act. The place of this western region in the broader history of North America is a subject which demands scholastic attention, discussion, and debate.  To that end, the editor of The Making of the Trans-Appalachian West: Society, Culture, and Peoples, 1754-1832 (McFarland) invites submissions for papers to be included in a volume which will explore the culture, peoples, and societies which developed in the area between the Appalachian Mountains and the Mississippi River.  By framing areas such as Kentucky, Tennessee, Ohio, western Pennsylvania, Illinois, Indiana, and West Virginia as a region which was defined as neither northern nor southern but western instead, this volume will endeavour to explore the distinct interactions between peoples, place, environment, and communities which helped to define this region.  A publisher has been found for this project and we would now like to invite scholars writing on any area of historic significance relevant to this project’s scope, including (but not limited to) the Seven Years War, Native American interactions with white settlers, slavery beyond the mountains, the development of the Northwest Territory, early French settlement in Illinois, the colonization of the area by Anglo-Americans, the Whiskey Rebellion, religion, gender politics, the Mississippi Conspiracy, the political contest between Henry Clay and Andrew Jackson, the Indian Removals, and the nature of the region’s western identity.”

Submissions are invited from scholars of all experience levels, including early career academics.  Submissions should include an abstract of the proposed paper (Approximately 500 words) in addition to a current CV by September 30th, 2014 with a view to submitting their completed articles by the end of the year.  Please email abstracts to the editor, Dr. Darren R. Reid (Coventry University) at  Comments and questions are, of course, also welcome.

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