CFP: Sixty Years of Boom and Bust

Call for papers

Sixty Years of Boom and Bust: The Williston Report, 1958–2018

Edited by Kyle Conway (University of Ottawa)

In 1958, the University of North Dakota Press published a book about the oil boom in the Williston Basin. The Williston Report: The Impact of Oil on the Williston Area of North Dakota described the physical changes the region had undergone, as well as the political, economic, and social impacts of the boom that began in 1951.

Of course, that boom was only the first the region would undergo, the most recent taking place in 2008–2014. Sixty Years of Boom and Bust will examine the themes addressed in The Williston Report, but from the vantage point of the present. It will include two parts: first, a reprint of the 1958 report (which has entered the public domain) and second, chapters that provide points of comparison by asking either the same questions as the original or, where debates have moved on, questions that have become relevant since then. After a round of peer-review, Sixty Years of Boom and Bust will be published by the Digital Press at the University of North Dakota in 2018, complementing other books in the Digital Press’s catalog.

The editor invites proposals for chapters that address themes such as:

Physical attributes and population

  • How has the landscape of western North Dakota changed (e.g., as traffic has increased and towns have grown)?
  • How have population patterns changed with the influx of new residents?
  • What patterns have characterized the types of employment available to workers in western North Dakota?

Political impact

  • How did the state legislature approach the question of oil and taxes during the most recent boom?
  • How did state agencies approach the administration of the boom?
  • What political questions (e.g., related to pipelines) arose in the most recent boom but not in the past?

Economic impact of oil development

  • What was the nature of the finance-scape in the most recent boom? In other words, who was spending money, and where were they from?
  • What effect did the boom have on secondary and tertiary sectors in western North Dakota?
  • What impact did the boom have on state revenues?

Social impact of oil development

  • How have the oil boom and bust affected housing stock and housing prices? What has become of the man camps?
  • How have the boom and bust affected access to health care and social services?
  • How have the social dynamics of the boom and bust affected the way long-time residents and newcomers perceive each other interact?

The timeline for publication is as follows:

Initial versions due: March 2018
Peer review done: May 2018
Final versions due: June 2018
Production: Summer 2018
Publication: Sept. 2018

The editor requests that interested authors contact him (kconwa2 at uottawa dot ca) with a short description of the chapter they are proposing. The chapters themselves should be about 5000 words and follow the Chicago 16th edition author-date in-text citation style.