Monday, May 22, 2017

CFP: The Bisbee Deportation Centennial

[We are moving up this call for papers, as the deadline of June 15 is approaching.  Also note the new announcement of the keynoter, my Georgetown colleague Katherine Benton-Cohen.]

Conference to Mark Centennial of Bisbee Deportation

Historians, legal scholars, and independent scholars are being invited to submit proposals for papers examining the circumstances of the Bisbee Deportation, an infamous chapter in Arizona history. Selected papers will be presented this fall during a conference at the James E. Rogers School of Law at the University of Arizona in Tucson. Keynote Speaker for this conference will be esteemed Georgetown University History Professor Katherine Benton-Cohen. Benton-Cohen is a Distinguished Lecturer for the Organization of American Historians and is the author of Borderline Americans: Racial Division and Labor War in the Arizona Borderlands (Harvard University Press, 2009), and of a forthcoming book on the largest study of immigrants in American history, the Dillingham Commission of 1907 to 1911.

This year marks the centennial of the Bisbee Deportation, which occurred on July 12, 1917. The incident involved the forcible removal of more than 1,000 Arizona mine workers. Rounded up by a citizens' posse, the miners were marched to waiting railroad cattle cars and transported to the New Mexico desert, where they were left stranded.  The deportation was unsanctioned by any court order or warrant and all civil and criminal efforts to hold those responsible failed.

Lodged at the intersection of local, national, and international history, the Bisbee Deportation reflected the political dividing lines of Arizona's 1916 elections and engaged Arizona elites, including the state governor and the CEO of the largest mining company in North America.  At the national and international levels, the event exemplified the contentious relationship between industry and labor, particularly the militant International [sic] Workers of the World (IWW), during the early twentieth century; underscored concerns regarding border security, which led to the posting of US Army troops along the US-Mexico border to deter the raids of the Mexican revolutionary Francisco "Pancho" Villa; and spoke to the nation's wartime concerns regarding the Zimmerman Telegram and Germany's influence in Mexico, and the extraction of natural resources from the borderlands during World War I

Historians, legal scholars and others are invited to submit proposals for papers addressing the events surrounding the deportation, with a view toward presentations at the Conference and possible inclusion in Western Legal History, a publication of the NJCHS.  We welcome proposals regarding the Bisbee Deportation itself, the broader economic, social, and political forces that informed the removal campaign, and the consequences of the deportation for borderlands history, labor relations, immigration law and policy, or international history.  We also welcome papers on the topics of deportation and labor relations in the borderlands and American West in the early twentieth century.

Date & Location of Conference: Saturday, October 21, 2017 at the University of Arizona, James E. Rogers College of Law, Tucson, Arizona

Sponsors: The Ninth Judicial Circuit Historical Society (NJCHS); The University of Arizona's College of Law and its Department of History

Submission Details: Written proposals, in Word or PDF format and not to exceed 500 words in length, should be submitted preferably by June 15, 2017, for priority consideration, and should be addressed to: Robyn Lipsky, NJCHS Executive Director at:
Notification: Authors of accepted proposals will be notified before July 12, 2017, and invited to attend and participate in Conference discussion panels. Papers should be completed by October 14, 2017, for distribution to other panelists.