Centennial Symposium


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. The Buffalo Bill Centennial Symposium was held August 2-4, 2017 at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West in Cody, Wyoming. For more information, please email Jeremy Johnston, The Hal and Naoma Tate Endowed Chair; Curator of Western History, and Ernest J. Goppert Curator of the Buffalo Bill Museum; and Managing Editor of The Papers of William F. Cody.

Buffalo Bill Centennial Symposium Program

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

9:00 AM Welcome and Overview — Jeremy Johnston

9:10-10:40 AM Session 1: Interpreting Buffalo Bill
Jeremy Johnston, Chair

10:40-11:00 AM Break

11:00 AM-12:30 PM Session 2: Becoming Buffalo Bill
Paul Hutton, Chair

12:30-2:00 PM Session 3: Luncheon Keynote

2:30-4:00 PM Session 4: Childhood, Girlhood and Performing Identity
Laura Arata, Chair

4:00-4:30 PM: Break

4:30-6:00 PM Session 5: Roundtable Discussion: The Legacy of Buffalo Bill at the Center of the West
Jeremy Johnston, moderator

6:00-7:30 PM Reception

7:30 PM Dinner on your own


Thursday, August 3, 2017

9:00-9:10 AM Welcome — Jeremy M. Johnston

9:10-10:30 AM Session 6: Promoting and Consuming the Wild West
Christine Bold, Chair

10:30-11:00 AM Break

11:00 AM-12:30 PM Session 7: Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Abroad
Bob Rydell, Chair

12:30-2:00 PM Session 8: Luncheon Keynote

2:30 PM-4:00 PM Session 9: The Wild West and European Nationalism
Frank Christianson, Chair

4:00-4:30 PM: Break

4:30-6:00 PM Session 10: Roundtable Discussion: New Approaches to Cody Studies
Michelle Delaney, Moderator

6:30 PM Session 11: Dinner Keynote


Friday, August 4, 2017

9:00-9:10 Welcome — Bruce Eldredge, Director and CEO of Buffalo Bill Center of the West

9:10-10:30 AM Session 12: Buffalo Bill’s Wild West in Public Memory
Douglas Seefeldt, Chair

10:30-11:00 AM Break

11:00 AM-12:30 PM Session 13: The Wild West in the European Visual Imagination
Peter Hassrick, Chair

12:30-2:00 PM Session 14: Luncheon Keynote

2:30-4:00 PM Session 15: Multicultural Legacies of the Wild West
Patty Limerick, Chair

4:00-4:30 PM Break

4:30-6:00 PM Session 16: Roundtable Discussion: Buffalo Bill’s America and the Future of Cody Studies
Frank Christianson, moderator; Louis Warren, comment

6:30 PM Session 17: Dinner Keynote