Not “flyover country”: Why the Midwest matters

Share Article

Hauenstein Center at Grand Valley State University to host largest ever conference on Midwest culture, art, history

“I am proud of the fact that Grand Valley State University is hosting the largest conference on the Midwest ever held," said Gleaves Whitney, director of the Hauenstein Center for Presidential Studies at GVSU.

For Immediate Release

Referencing the Midwest in popular culture often conjures images of cornfields, small towns, and generally a large swath of the country that’s not as important to the national identity as the East or West coasts, or the American South.

That perception of the Midwest has resulted in a dearth of understanding and research about the Midwest and its culture, including the history of its people and places, literature, music and art, along with the complexity and richness of its landscapes and geography. The neglect of the Midwest is not limited to the popular imagination. Historians and critics of art and literature tend not to seriously focus on the Midwest in academic work, and the region seems blasé compared to the cultured, driven Northeast; the genteel, historical South; or the hip, innovative West Coast.

The Hauenstein Center for Presidential Studies at Grand Valley State University will host a two-day conference that will explore the rich, varied history and culture of the region through keynote addresses and panel discussions on the history, literature and art of the Midwest, along with Midwestern political leadership, statesmanship, and the growing field of Midwestern studies.

Presenters will include national reporters from the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Chicago Tribune, along with historians, literary critics, geographers and more — more than three dozen in all. The summit will serve as a starting point for a conversation on the Midwest that engages scholarly and popular imagination about the life and culture of one of America’s important, vibrant regions.

“Finding the Lost Region: A Conference on Rediscovering the Midwest, America’s Most Common Ground”
April 30: 8 a.m.-9 p.m.
May 1: 8:30 a.m.-5:45 p.m.
For a complete schedule and to RSVP for one or both days, visit http://gvsu.edu/s/Sp
GVSU DeVos Center, Pew Grand Rapids Campus
401 W. Fulton St. Grand Rapids

“I am proud of the fact that Grand Valley State University is hosting the largest conference on the Midwest ever held,” said Gleaves Whitney, director of the Hauenstein Center for Presidential Studies at GVSU. “No one has ever brought in more scholars and journalists to explore this burgeoning field dedicated to the heartland. It is exciting to rediscover the heartland’s role in shaping American history and culture.”

This conference is co-sponsored by the Earhart Foundation, the Kate and Richard Wolters Foundation and the Russell Kirk Center for Cultural Renewal.

For more information, visit HauensteinCenter.org

Contact: Nate Hoekstra, University Communications, Grand Valley State University, hoekstna(at)gvsu(dot)edu, (616) 331-8138

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Nate Hoekstra
Visit website