Call For Papers – A Confluence of Cultures: US-Native American Relations in the 19th Century



The Department of History and Geography at Lindenwood University, St. Charles, Missouri, will host a conference on October 10, 2015, to help commemorate the 200th anniversary of treaties signed at Portage des Sioux in 1815. The conference, held in conjunction with other events being organized by the Portage 200 Committee, solicits papers from scholars and writers nationally. Some papers may be published in the Fall/Winter 2015 of The Confluence, Lindenwood’s award-winning regional studies journal.

The treaties signed at Portage des Sioux ended the War of 1812 between the United States and eleven western tribes allied with Great Britain. Missouri territorial governor William Clark was the chief emissary for the United States government as the treaties were signed between July and September 1815. The terms of the treaties established American dominion over the western tribes and opened the door for American expansion into Native American lands in the West—first in places like present-day Iowa, Minnesota, and the Dakotas, but later across the continent. The treaties exacerbated U.S. relations with the Sauk Indians, leading to Black Hawk’s War, and were an early turning point in U.S.-Native American relations that ultimately led to inter-cultural violence throughout much of the 19th century.

The department solicits papers from faculty, students, and independent scholars in a variety of academic disciplines, including history, public history, anthropology, archaeology, art history, and Native American studies. Proposals may focus on the Portage des Sioux treaties or on the much broader theme of U.S.-Native American relations throughout the 19th century. The program committee will accept proposals for individual papers, paired papers, and complete sessions.

The conference’s keynote speaker will be Professor Stephen Aron, chair of the History Department at UCLA and author ofAmerican Confluence: The Missouri Frontier from Borderland to Border State (2006).

Those interested in presenting their work at this conference should submit a title and an abstract (300-500 words) as a pdf file by March 15, 2015, to

Dr. Steven P. Gietschier,

Speakers should plan on twenty minutes for each presentation. We are also looking for individuals to serve as chairs for each session and as commentators on the papers.

Local arrangements to follow.