Iowa Encyclopedia Call for Contributors
History, University of Northern Iowa (
Saturday, January 15, 2022
Review Begins: 
Sunday, January 16, 2022

Type: Call for Publications

Date: January 15, 2022

Location: Iowa, United States

Subject Fields: 

American History / Studies, Digital Humanities, History Education, Public History, Social Sciences

Call for Contributors – EncyclopedIA, the Online State Encyclopedia of Iowa

The Department of History at the University of Northern Iowa is actively seeking contributors for the launch of Iowa’s online state encyclopedia in 2022. This digital resource will explore the history of Iowa, using chronological, thematic, and geographic lenses while also thoughtfully considering the diversity of Iowans and embedding the voices, history, and perspectives of those who have been traditionally underrepresented. Submissions will be peer reviewed by the EncyclopedIA Editorial Board prior to acceptance and publication, and documentation of the peer-review process and digital publication will be provided to item writers to add to their professional portfolio. 

Audience and Purpose: EncyclopedIA entries will be written to be accessible to the general public as well as educators responsible for integrating Iowa history into their elementary and secondary school classrooms. The state encyclopedia is an outgrowth of Teaching Iowa History, an award-winning, NEH grant-funded project under the leadership of the Iowa Museum Association that supports K-12 educators teaching Iowa history using primary sources ( Topics for primary entries in EncyclopedIA will be drawn from the Iowa History Tagging Framework, supporting the K-12 Iowa Social Studies Standards in Iowa History.
Content and Entries: EncyclopedIA entries will vary in length and scope to explore different elements of the history of Iowa and its many communities and people.

  • A-level entries (approximately 3,000 words) cover Iowa History Eras, Themes, and Counties as referenced in the Iowa History Tagging Framework. These topics consider broad processes, developments, and subjects in state history as they have impacted Iowa and Iowans, some over hundreds of years. See Eras and Themes lists below.
  • B-level entries (1,000-1,200 words) cover topics that examine particular elements of A-level subjects in greater depth and detail. Topics under the Thematic column of the Iowa History Tagging Framework offer examples. For example, nested under the Agriculture theme, topics include Science and Technology of Ag and Farmers and Farm Life. See the list below for details.
  • C-level entries (300-700 words) focus on particular persons, places, things, structures, groups, or events that can be linked to broader topics in Iowa history. For example, if the A-level article is Agriculture and the B-level article is the Science of Ag, a supporting C-level article could be Norman Borlaug. 
  • D-level entries (200-500 words) offer descriptions of objects and artifacts in publicly accessible collections in Iowa.

Initial Call: While we welcome expressions of interest in any potential content area and type, in this first call, we are seeking expressions of interest in contributing A- and B-level entries to facilitate the launch of the project. The topics:

A-level (approx. 3,000 words): 19 items


First Iowans (10,000 BCE-1673)                    
Native Americans & Europeans (1674-1802)            
Territorial Iowa (1803-1846)          
Statehood and the Civil War Era (1847-1868)     
Statewide Settlement (1869-1896) 
Prosperity to the Depression (1897-1939) 
World War II to the Urban State (1940-1963)  
Expansion, Confrontation & the Farm Crisis (1964-1980)  
Iowa in a Global World (1991-present)           


Arts & Culture
Business & Industry
War & Conflict

B-level (1,000-1,200 words): 64 items

  • Science & Technology of Ag, Farmers/Farm Life, Ag Economics, Agricultural Products/Types, Early Agriculture (nested under “Agriculture” theme)
  • Civil Rights, Health & Wellness, Sports & Recreation, Religion, Visual Arts, Performing Arts, Literature, Destinations/Attractions, Cultural Events, Media/Communication (nested under “Arts & Culture” theme)
  • Early Business and Industry, Types of Business and Industry, Workers (nested under “Business & Industry” theme)
  • Towns, Cities, Rural Life, Suburbs (nested under “Communities” theme)
  • Before Formal Education System, One-room Schools, K-12 Education (Development of High Schools), Higher Education (nested under “Education” theme)
  • Early Wars, 1763-1848, Civil War, Spanish-American War, WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Gulf War, Gulf War II / War on Terror, The Military in Iowa (nested under “War & Conflict” theme)
  • Geology, Plants & Animals, Weather, Environments, Natural Disasters (nested under “Environment” theme)
  • Path to Statehood, Judicial System, Forms of Government, Lawmaking, Political System, Services (nested under “Government” theme)
  • Ancient Iowans, Native Americans, Immigrants, Settlers / Pioneers, Early Explorers, Disaster and Crisis, African American Experience, Women’s Experience, Aging Population, Communal Groups, Innovators (nested under “People” theme)
  • Early Transportation, Rail, Automobiles and Trucking, River, Air, Road Systems (nested under “Transportation” theme)

Contributor Proposals: We welcome expressions of interest in authoring entries on these topics that celebrate, explore, and recover/uncover the rich history of the state and its many different communities and peoples. In addition to established academics, we encourage proposals for contributions from those in early stages of their careers (including graduate students and postdocs) as well as from public history professionals and independent scholars. For additional information and to express interest in contributing content, please contact Dr. Jennifer McNabb, Head of the UNI Department of History, at   
If interested in contributing, please submit the following:

  • a current C.V.
  • a description of qualifications in Iowa history
  • proposed entries from the A- and/or B-level topics you would like to contribute. Special attention will be paid to proposals that indicate the intention of centering the diversity of Iowa history and its untold stories.

Contact Info: 

Jennifer McNabb, Ph.D., Professor and Head of Department of History, University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, IA 50613-0701

Contact Email:


Job, fellowship, and CFP listings are services that are offered by the American Studies Association to support its members in exploring professional opportunities in American studies. Any questions should be directed to the program, department, or center that has posted the opportunity.