I am privileged to chair this WHA 2020 roundtable session that brings a diverse panel of nine scholars together to examine the nature of the collaborations (both literal and conceptual) that the likes of fellow performers Annie Oakley, Texas Jack Omohundro, and Bill Sweeney; business partners George Beck and Pawnee Bill; and myth-makers Mark Twain, Nate Salsbury, and Major. John M. Burke forged with William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody. Individually and collectively, the panelists will seek to understand what these collaborators meant to each other and what may have been distinctive about the means, purpose, and outcomes of their work together. This session is informed by the scholarly editing work appearing in The William F. Cody Archive, housed at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West, and The Papers of William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody series published in collaboration with the University of Nebraska Press where many of the panelists have or will serve as volume editors. Collectively, the panelists will address how these various collaborations expand or complicate our understanding of the ways the frontier West was reimagined for a global audience.
I am looking forward to co-chairing, with Rebecca Wingo, this important session highlighting the variety of Public History professions in an exciting format at the 2020 Western History Association’s 2020 conference (#WHA2020).
Within the academy, there is still a divide between professional academics and academics in other professions. This panel seeks to demystify any misperceptions about what public historians in a variety of fields actually do for a living — in a gameshow format! Think of “What’s My Line” or similar biographical gameshows of yesteryear where, in this case, the audience comes to appreciate the nuances of the work historians do in the public sphere. Included on the panel are the following presenters:
- Nicolai Kryloff, Historical Research Associates, Inc.
- Justin Henderson, Regional Heritage Partnerships Program Manager, NPS
- Jeff Pappas, New Mexico State Historic Preservation Officer
- Roberto Martinez, State Historian of New Mexico
- Tara Travis, Museum Curator, Mesa Verde National Park and Yucca House National Monument
- Zebulon Miracle, Curator of Curiosity– Gateway Canyons Resort
- Jeremy Johnston, Historian, Buffalo Bill Center of the West