Middle West Review: An Interdisciplinary Journal about the American Midwest

Middle West Review: An Interdisciplinary Journal about the American Midwest

Edited by Jon K. Lauck
Christopher R. Laingen and Jennifer Stinson, Associate Editors 

ISSN 2372-5664

eISSN 2372-5672


The Middle West Review is an interdisciplinary, peer-reviewed journal focused on studying the American Midwest, a “lost region” which has received far less scholarly attention than other American regions. Middle West Review is the only scholarly print publication dedicated exclusively to the study of the Midwest as a region. It provides a forum for scholars and non-scholars alike to explore the meaning of Midwestern identity, history, geography, society, culture, and politics. Overall, the mission of the Middle West Review is to join with like-minded associations, historical societies, writers, and scholars to help revitalize the study of the American Midwest. The inaugural issue of the journal was published in the fall of 2014 and since 2019 Middle West Review has made the University of South Dakota its home. 

Visit the journal's editorial website.

Table Of Contents

Volume 9, Number 2, Spring 2023

The Shredding of Midwestern Newspapers
Jon K. Lauck    

Symposium on Midwestern Women’s History
Katherine Jellison         

Sustenance, Social Bonds, and Politics: A Food History of the South Dakota Suffrage Movement
Liz Almlie        

“The Light of Science and Religion”: Women’s Education, the Language of Conquest, and Emerging Midwestern Identities on the Illinois Frontier, 1830–1850
Jenny Barker-Devine    

“For Women Only!”: A Radical Message of the Black Middle Class in Kansas City
Elyssa Ford      

Monuments to Midwestern Pioneer Mothers and Native Women
Cynthia C. Prescott       

Female Hucksters and Produce Markets in the Great Lakes Region, 1830s-1890s
Debra A. Reid  

Symposium on Halvorson and Reno’s Imagining the Heartland
Inventing a Heartland
Eric Arnesen    

Agrarian Mythologies
Debra Bricker Balken   

Whose Midwest?
Paul Finkelman 

What to the “Other” is the Midwest?
Ashley Howard 

No, the Heartland isn’t a Race, and the Social Sciences are a Mess
Robert Leonard 

Does “White” Equal “White Supremacy”?
Marcia Noe      

Wrong Ideas About Wrong Ideas
David Pichaske 

Recognizing the Authentic, Documented Middle West
Christopher Reed          

Imagining Supremacy
Wilfred Reilley 

Settler Colonialism and Imagining the Nation’s Center as its Right
David Roediger 

Whitewashing the Heartland
Michael Steiner 

Symposium on the History Jobs Crisis
U.S. History as Part of a Core Curriculum
Megan Birk      

Surveying the Ongoing History Crisis: Quantitative and Qualitative Evidence from Across the Midwest
Kevin Mason   

Reframing History: A Response
Andrew Offenburger     

Book Reviews
Jenny Tone-Pah-Hote, Crafting an Indigenous Nation: Kiowa Expressive Culture in the Progressive Era
Benjamin R. Kracht      

Kristin L. Hoganson, The Heartland: An American History
Michelle Martindale     

Elizabeth Sutton, Angel De Cora, Karen Thronson, and the Art of Place: How Two Midwestern Women Used Art to Negotiate Migration and Dispossession
Emily C. Burns 

Michael E. Brooks and Bob Fitrakis, A History of Hate in Ohio: Then and Now
Britt Halvorson 

Simon M. Evans, A Geography of the Hutterites in North America
Devin C. Manzullo-Thomas      

Benjamin Moore, The Names of John Gergen: Immigrant Identities in Early Twentieth-Century St. Louis
Andrew Klumpp           

Jason Stacy, Spoon River America: Edgar Lee Masters and the Myth of the American Small Town
Gregory Brown 

Katherine Wiltenburg Todrys, Black Snake: Standing Rock, the Dakota Access Pipeline, and Environmental Justice
Claire Patton    

Neil D. Hamilton, The Land Remains: A Midwestern Perspective On Our Past and Future
Jim Feldman    

Book Review Essays
They Have All Gone Away: Farms, Families, and Change
Paula Nelson    

Ruin, Revival, and Something in Between: Memoirs of the Rust Belt
John Kropf       

Media Review
Revisiting a Debut at a Career’s End: Lakeboat (David Mamet, 1970; dir. Joe Mantegna)
Matthew Sorrento         

I’m Your Boy: Dan Fogelberg and Peoria, Illinois
Ray E. Boomhower      

An Interview with David R. Roediger
Jon K. Lauck    

Submissions & Book Reviews

Statement of Publishing Ethics

The Middle West Review accepts submissions on a rolling basis. We encourage readers to contribute original content that deepens the public’s understanding of the American Midwest in an accessible and thoughtful manner. Some examples of submission types include:

Articles should run between 8,000-10,000 words and articulate a central thesis about the study of the Midwest. These works should build upon original research or new interpretations of existing sources. Book review essays should run roughly 2,000-2,500 words and discuss multiple books. Non-fiction essays should run roughly 3,000 words. See prior issues of Middle West Review for examples.  

All contributions will undergo a process of peer review spearheaded by the Middle West Review editors and executive board.

Submissions will either be accepted for publication outright, returned with a request to “revise and resubmit,” or rejected outright. All submissions will benefit from the comments and revisions of the Middle West Review editors and its editorial reviewers.

Stylistic Guidelines
Authors should consult the Chicago Manual of Style as they prepare to submit their manuscripts to Middle West Review. Works should use endnotes in accordance with that manual’s specifications. Please Times New Roman 12-point font. All written submissions should be double-spaced and have one-inch margins on all sides. Manuscripts should be clear, concise, and devoid of jargon. Refrain from using the first person or passive voice. Successful submissions will marshal a strong argument buttressed by adequate evidence, thoughtful analysis, and lucid prose. Furthermore, in keeping with the journal’s mission, manuscripts should use the Midwest as a category of analysis and seek to explain why their project matters for the study of this region.

Please feel free to submit your materials at any time to MWR@USD.edu. You can also send any questions about submissions and other matters to that address.

Statement of Principles
Middle West Review embraces the principles of open inquiry, free speech, intellectual diversity, and robust debate and discussion and believes they are crucial to the proper functioning of scholarly journals, higher education, and a society where unfettered expression and deliberation are prized ideals. Middle West Review adheres to the longstanding tenet of academic freedom which promotes an open marketplace of ideas among its editors, contributors, and readers. It strives to create a forum that reflects high standards of scholarship and places a premium on facts, logic, and evidence, as well as respecting all viewpoints embracing such standards and that are grounded in the process of critical thinking that has traditionally characterized scholarly endeavors. Middle West Review also welcomes intelligent and well-reasoned creative non-fiction and cultural criticism more generally. Toward these ends, Middle West Review specifically endorses the University of Chicago’s Report of the Committee on Freedom of Expression (2015). More broadly, Middle West Review recognizes the importance of creating and sustaining academic and literary outlets in the nation’s far-flung and diverse regions and embraces the goals of regionalists who have sought to resist the dominant centers of cultural production in the nation and to create more platforms in order to foster a diversity of thought and creative enterprises.

Editorial Board


Jon K. Lauck, University of South Dakota

Associate Editors

Jennifer Stinson, Saginaw Valley State University 
Christopher R. Laingen, Eastern Illinois University

Assistant Associate Editor

Hannah Redder, New York University
David Grabitske, South Dakota State Historical Society 

Executive Editors

Richard J. Jensen, Montana State University–Billings

Paula Nelson, University of Wisconsin at Platteville

Gregory L. Schneider, Emporia State University

Graduate Student Assistant
Donald Keifert, University of South Dakota

Editorial Board

William Barillas, University of Wisconsin–La Crosse
Megan Birk, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
James F. Brooks, University of California–Santa Barbara
Jason Duncan, Aquinas College
Paul Finkelman, Gratz College
Patrick Garry, University of South Dakota
David F. Good, University of Minnesota–Twin Cities
Jeffrey Helgeson, Texas State University
R. Douglas Hurt, Purdue University
Suzzanne Kelley, North Dakota State University Press
Bill Peterson, State Historical Society of North Dakota
Sara A. Kosiba, Kent State University
Gregory S. Rose, The Ohio State University at Marion
Matthew Sanderson, Kansas State University
Andrew Seal, University of New Hampshire

Jeff Wells, Dickinson State University 

Book Review Editor

Jonathan Kasparek, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Media Review Editor

Adam Ochonicky, University of Wisconsin–Oshkosh


Middle West Review has released the results for their survey made in conjunction with Emerson College Polling. Read more here.

Middle West Review seeks applications for the position of Associate Editor. Duties include managing submissions and the peer review process and proofreading. A knowledge of the workings of Dropbox is important. Letters of interest setting forth experience and qualifications and a CV should be sent to Dr. Paula Nelson (nelsonp1951@yahoo.com) by October 10, 2023.  
Middle West Review seeks proposals for a special issue on “The German Midwest.” No other American region saw a greater level of German immigration than the American Midwest. This migration led to a variety of unique ethnic organizations, voting patterns, and cultural mores. Send one-page proposals for a 5,000 word article about some dimension of the German Midwest and a CV to mwr@usd.edu by February 15, 2024.  
Middle West Review seeks proposals for a special issue on “Regional Geography(ies) of the Midwest.” Send one-page proposals for 4,000-word article focused on the concept of “regions” as it relates to Midwestern geography, boundaries, or borderlands and a CV to mwr@usd.edu by October 20, 2023.

Sponsoring Society

Middle West Review is affiliated with the Midwestern History Association. You may join the MHA here. Discounted subscriptions to Middle West Review are available as part of a membership bundle.

To learn more about the MHA, visit their website.


Reading List: Migration

This list of peer-reviewed materials features articles on many topics spanning Globalization, Genocide, Religion, Diaspora Communities, and other aspects on the topic of Migration.

Reading List: Willa Cather

This list of peer-reviewed articles & reviews centers on the work of acclaimed author (and UNL alum) Willa Cather. Known for her novels on the pioneer experience, her works are reexamined here through the lens of modern-day academics.

Reading List: Social Media

As online communities continue to widen their reach, so too does our list of peer-reviewed articles on various subjects including Journalism, Communal Narrative, Activism, Marketing, and Image Rehabilitation.

Reading List: Sports-Related Controversies, Social Issues, and Scandals

This sprawling list includes peer-reviewed articles on subjects as diverse as the fields of play they revolve around, including Violence in Sports, Gambling & Game Fixing, Drugs & Banned Substances, Mascots & Offensive Imagery, and other controversies.

Reading List: Women's Political Action in the U.S.

Resources for use in discussions of women's political activities in the U.S., both contemporary and historical.

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