Since 1919

The Prairie News

Since 1919

The Prairie News

Since 1919

The Prairie News

WT to Host International Society’s 2023 Conference on ‘Outsiders, Outlaws’


CANYON, Texas — An international scholarly society will host its 2023 conference at West Texas A&M University, offering the public several chances to learn along with attendees.

The 2023 Space Between Conference, themed “Outsiders, Outlaws and Outreach in the Space Between,” will be hosted on campus and at Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum from June 8 to 10.

The society was created in 1997 to enhance interdisciplinary study of the period between 1914 and 1945, between and including World War I and World War II.

“This period is the period that leads us to where we are today,” said Dr. Bonnie Roos, conference co-organizer and WT professor of English, research director for the Sybil B. Harrington College of Fine Arts and Humanities, and head of the Department English, Philosophy and Modern Languages. “The complexities and problems that arose then are the same questions we’re dealing with in our own day, like sexuality, race, gender, the rise of technology, the conflict between urban and rural spaces.”

Those issues—then and now—make Canyon a particularly well-qualified location to host the conference, said conference co-organizer Dr. Amy Von Lintel, professor of art history and director of gender studies.

“Some of the themes of this period played out so uniquely in this era,” Von Lintel said. “I’m excited to share this with the scholars who travel here for the conference. They’ll learn more about this area and teach us about their own regions.”

Scholars are expected to travel here from across the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia.

Conference-goers will present their research on a variety of topics during panel presentations each day. Topics will include myth and reality, women writers, modernism, the Black experience, war and peace, avant-garde art, music, labor relations, urban outreach, the media, aviation and more.

WT art students will be featured in an exhibition of readymade art, inspired by the groundbreaking work of French artist Marcel Duchamp. The show will be on view in the Dord Fitz Formal Art Gallery in Mary Moody Northen Hall on the WT campus during the conference.

WT’s Distinguished Lecture Series will cohost two public keynote addresses during the conference: “Did Modernism Reach Texas, 1914-1945?” by Dr. José E. Limón at 11 a.m. June 9, and “Designing Her Own Tradition: Placemaking in the Art and Career of Loïs Mailou Jones” by Dr. Rebecca VanDiver at 4:45 p.m. June 9.

Both free events will take place in the Sybil B. Harrington Fine Arts Complex Recital Hall on the WT campus in Canyon.

In addition to the keynotes, the public may attend several other events during the conference.

At 7 p.m. June 8, Dr. Dustin Tahmakhera of the University of Oklahoma will present “Now Starring Quanah Parker: Comanches Playing Comanches in Silent Films,” including a screening of film clips with a discussion in the Derrick Room at the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum.

Tahmakhera’s appearance is funded by WT’s Guest Artist Series.

Amarillo poet Seth Wieck will give a reading from his work “Ulysses Arrives in Amarillo” at 8:30 p.m. June 9 at Six Car Pub & Brewery, 625 S. Polk St. in Amarillo.

At 7 p.m. June 10, the conference will host a Roaring ’20s-themed reception and dance with live music in the Jack B. Kelley Legacy Hall.

A full schedule will be available at

The Space Between Society studies the literature and culture of the period between the First and Second World Wars. It provides an interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary forum for discussion and research of texts, authors and new approaches to traditionally canonical works. It also encourages fresh examinations of art, society and culture illuminating the interwar and wartime periods.

Being a learner-centered university and fostering an appreciation for the arts are key principles of the University’s long-range plan, WT 125: From the Panhandle to the World.

That plan is fueled by the historic, $125 million One West comprehensive fundraising campaign. To date, the campaign — which publicly launched in September 2021— has raised more than $125 million and will continue through 2025.

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