The Mid-America Medieval Association, affectionately known as MAMA, was established in 1977 to enhance medieval studies in the Midwest region.
The organization was founded by University of Missouri-Kansas City Associate Professor of History Jim Falls and University of Kansas Professors of History Lynn Nelson and Richard “Skip” Kay.
Members of MAMA hail largely from Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Nebraska and Iowa. With Kansas City as the geographical center of the membership base, it has become the group’s nexus and the host city for the annual convention, held at UMKC every other year. In alternate years, the annual meetings take place at one of the universities in the MAMA region. The host institution will also provide the MAMA President for that year.
The annual conference, which now usually falls on the third Saturday in September, includes a plenary address by a nationally-known medievalist and a presentation of papers on any medieval topic. Of the 30+ papers typically presented, the Jim Falls Paper Prize is awarded to the best graduate student paper.
With an average attendance of 80-100 people, the conference includes papers from academics, presenting their latest research, and encourages M.A. and Ph.D. students to deliver their research as well.