In both popular and scholarly consciousness, the life and times of William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody have come to represent a key phase of the American past. From his early life through his various professional phases including the decades of the Wild West tours, the Buffalo Bill phenomenon reflects fundamental currents in American culture during the period from 1850 to 1920. Buffalo Bill’s narrative focuses scholarship on the American West on the relationship between material history and its popular mythologies. The 2017 centenary of William F. Cody’s death provides the occasion for scholars, both established and new, to reexamine his legacy and consider new directions in scholarship. Topics might consider his life and enterprises in the context of American Western Studies, including his place in the regional history of settlement, in the popularization of frontier nationalism in America and abroad, and in the development of Western historiography.
Symposium papers will be considered for inclusion in a volume of essays to be published by University of Oklahoma Press.
The Buffalo Bill Centennial Symposium will be held August 2-5, 2017 at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West in Cody, Wyoming. This space will be updated with speakers and other schedule details. For more information, please email Jeremy Johnston