Shawnee Trail Conference

In the early nineteenth century, the Shawnee Trail conveyed cattle from Texas pasture-lands to Missouri railheads and thence the nation. Now in its fifth year, the Shawnee Trail Regional Conference likewise forges lines of connection, bringing scholars from around the Midwest and beyond together to discuss their work on American politics and constitutionalism with colleagues in a convivial setting. The conference utilizes a roundtable format, with presenters circulating papers in advance of the meeting, and takes place annually, rotating between Columbia, MO, and other locations.

The 2019 Shawnee Trail Conference will be held March 7-8 in Columbia, with a graduate workshop taking place on the 7th and panels on the 8th. In addition, a pair of book symposia will be held on the 7th, for Boston University Professor of Law and Paul M. Siskind Research Scholar Linda C. McClain’s The Rhetoric of Bigotry: Controversies over Marriage and Civil Rights (under contract with Oxford University Press) and Boston University Honorable Paul J. Liacos Professor of Law James E. Fleming’s Constructing Basic Liberties: A Defense of Substantive Due Process (under contract with University of Chicago Press). Cornell University Professor of Law Josh Chafetz will also give a keynote for the conference.

We are currently accepting paper proposals for the 2019 conference and welcome submissions on all aspects of American politics and constitutionalism, broadly defined to encompass the work of faculty and graduate students across multiple university disciplines. Submission instructions and additional details about the conference can be accessed using the link below.

The deadline to submit a proposal is December 15, 2018. All proposals and general queries should be sent to Dr. Connor Ewing, Assistant Professor of Political Science and Associate of Trinity College, University of Toronto, at, using “Shawnee V” in the subject line. Questions specifically about the March 7 graduate workshop should be directed to Baylor University Associate Professor of Political Science and Shawnee Trail co-convener Curt Nichols, at

A full list of panels and papers from the 2018 Shawnee Trail Conference can be found here, in the Institute’s Spring 2018 newsletter.

Full Schedule

  • 2019 Shawnee Trail Conference: Call-for-Submissions (12/15 Deadline)

    A yearly gathering of scholars of American politics and constitutionalism, broadly defined to encompass the … Continued

  • Book Symposia with BU Law Prof.’s Jim Fleming & Linda McClain

    As part of programming for the 2019 Shawnee Trail Regional Conference on American Politics & … Continued