Skip to content
Secondary Content

State History Issues Call to Explore Utah’s Multicultural Roots

State History Issues Call to Explore Utah’s Multicultural Roots

Salt Lake City – The Utah Division of State History invites the public, scholars, students, and organizations to submit proposals for papers, sessions, panels, roundtables, or multi-media presentations exploring Utah’s multicultural past. The conference theme is “Deep Roots, Many Voices: Exploring Utah’s Multicultural Past.” Sessions for the 63rd annual Utah State History conference will be held on Friday, October 2, 2015.

“Utah’s history is enriched by the study of a host of peoples, experiences, and voices,” said Brad Westwood, Director of the Utah Division of State History. “The histories of ethnicity, gender, work, and family, from the perspective of ordinary people, do more than pepper diversity in Utah history: they fundamentally change and enhance our understanding of the state and its past.”

This year’s theme seeks to draw upon this complex and rich “new” Utah history, while also seeking to expand on it by telling new stories, making history available in new ways, and engaging partners to widen our public dialogue. “I encourage those who love and research Utah history to focus on this theme in 2015,” added Westwood.

Proposals should be submitted by March 1st, 2015. Each proposal must include:

  • Each paper proposal, whether individual or in a session, should include a one-paragraph abstract (250-word limit) detailing the presentation and its significance. Submissions for entire sessions or panels should include a brief abstract (250 words) that outlines the purpose of the session
  • Bio (100-word limit) and accompanying c.v. with address, phone number, and email for each participant
  • Audio-visual requirements
  • Your permission, if selected, for media interviews, session audio/visual recordings, and electronic sessions or podcasts during or in advance of the conference. The Division of State History will use these recording in its effort to meet its history-related mission.

For questions or to submit a proposal, contact either Dr. Holly George at 801-245-7257 or hollygeorge@utah.gov or Dr. Jedediah Rogers at 801-245-7209 orjedediahrogers@utah.gov.

“Utah’s multicultural history is one of empowerment, creativity, and survival, as well as conquest, dispossession, and prejudice. Unfortunately, this history is underrepresented, and the state’s diverse ethnic and cultural groups and communities too often dismissed, their histories underrepresented,” said Dr. Jedediah Rogers, a historian with State History. “Utah’s demographics belie the rather tired image of a homogeneous state and its people. Utah is—and always has been—an eclectic mix of peoples and communities. Some have emerged as political “hubs,” notably Hispanics, who in 2011 made up 13 percent of Utahns. In 2015 State History will highlight the “deep roots” and “many voices” of our multicultural history—and the rich understanding of our people and state that arise from it.”

We invite proposals that explore the role of immigrant, ethnic, and cultural groups in the formation of the state’s identity and social and political institutions.

The Utah Division of State History recently received $42,050 from the National Park Service to increase the awareness of Asian and Pacific Islander communities’ contributions to Utah’s history. The project will engage with the role of Chinese laborers on the railroads and the Pacific Islander settlement of Iosepa. It is anticipated that updates on this project will take place during the 2015 conference.

For general conference information, please contact Alycia Aldrich at 801-245-7226 or email aaldrich@utah.gov.

###