Kansas City's Golden Age? The Interwar Period, 1918-1941

Country: USA

City: St. Louis, Missouri

Abstr. due: 17.10.2014

Dates: 17.10.14 — 16.10.14

Area Of Sciences: History and archeology;

Organizing comittee e-mail: elipaul@kclibrary.org

Organizers: Kansas City Public Library


The Kansas City Public Library and the History
Department at the University of Missouri–Kansas City
seek papers to be presented at a public conference
in the spring of 2016. Participants are encouraged to
pursue fresh research that addresses the broad themes
of Kansas City’s history in an ongoing collaboration
with the conference organizers and other participants.
The conference will explore the rich history of Kansas
City in the interwar period of 1918-1941, which has
been characterized as an exciting period of growth,
development, and cultural fluorescence — Kansas City’s
“Golden Age”— even in the midst of rampant public
corruption, economic depression, and strained relations
among the races and sexes. Was this Kansas City’s
“Golden Age?” An era that elevated, refined, or ruined
Kansas City’s national profile? Was Kansas City in the
‘20s and ‘30s an embodiment of urban trends nationally?
What distinguished Kansas City from other Midwestern
or Western cities?

The papers sought are intended to be included in an
edited volume published by a university press. To
facilitate scholarly dialog, peer review, and public
access, a workshop will precede the conference, and
multimedia-rich essays derived from the papers might
also be commissioned for a companion digital project
that combines scholarship with an online repository of
primary sources.

This multi-pronged approach is modeled after a
successful group of companion projects about
Bleeding Kansas and the Civil War along the Missouri-
Kansas Border, which resulted in a workshop at the Hall
Center for the Humanities at the University of Kansas;
the highly-attended 2011 Border Wars Conference
at the Library; the widely circulating volume,
Bleeding Kansas, Bleeding Missouri: The Long Civil
War on the Border; and the award-winning website,

Suggested themes and topics that may be addressed
in the papers include, but are not limited to:

• Culture, high- and lowbrow (jazz, the Nelson-Atkins
Museum of Art, Thomas Hart Benton)
• Urban/suburban development (J.C. Nichols, city
planning, boulevard system, railroads, mass transit,
the automobile, Strang Line interurban railroad)
• Race and minority relations (great migration,
immigration, segregation, Kansas City Call)
• Politics (“Boss” Tom Pendergast, public corruption,
reform politics, Harry S. Truman)
• Organized crime (Prohibition)
• Economic development (stockyards, flour milling,
Great Depression, Board of Trade, Garment District)
• Architecture and the built environment
(Ten-Year Plan)
• Sports and recreation (baseball, Negro Leagues,
amusement parks)
• Women’s organizations
• Religious landscape (demographic changes,
emergence of Holiness, Pentecostalism,
Fundamentalism and other movements).

Conference Web-Site: http://www.kclibrary.org/press-release/call-papers-kansas-citys-golden-age-interwar-period-1918-1941