Rural Women's Studies Association

Rural Women's Studies Association News of interest to members of the Rural Women's Studies Association (RWSA).

Today is National Rural Health Day. Check out the virtual events going on throughout the day and into the weekend: https...
National Rural Health Day | National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health

Today is National Rural Health Day. Check out the virtual events going on throughout the day and into the weekend:

National Rural Health Day Rural communities are wonderful places to live and work, which is why approximately 57 million people – one in five Americans – call them home. These rural communities also have unique healthcare needs. National Rural Health Day is an opportunity to celebrate the “Pow...

Are you working on an LGBTQ+ topic related to the West (a broader North American West is okay if your topic is Canadian!...
Western History Association - 2021 Portland

Are you working on an LGBTQ+ topic related to the West (a broader North American West is okay if your topic is Canadian!) and would you be interested in presenting at the 2021 Western History Association? Did you submit a paper or panel to the RWSA within this broader field? If so, the QuIT Caucus (of the Coalition for Western Women’s History), which is made up of LGBTQ+ identified scholars and scholars of LGBTQ+ history, would love to work with you and help you apply for the WHA (submission deadline Dec. 15). Contact Dr. Elyssa Ford ([email protected]) with any questions.

For more on the CWWH groups like QuIT:

For more on the WHA 2021 conference:

please visit this page to read and follow all the details and instructions for using the WHA's online abstract submission platform.

National Votes for Women Trail Marker Dedication

National Votes for Women Trail marker dedication in Grand Forks, North Dakota, USA, featuring historian Kristin Mapel Bloomberg speaking on rural suffragist and physician Cora Smith Eaton.

This is "National Votes for Women Trail Marker Dedication" by University of North Dakota on Vimeo, the home for high quality videos and the people who…

Check out RWSA member Elyssa Ford's new book!

Check out RWSA member Elyssa Ford's new book!

The University Press of Kansas has been a proud supporter of WHA for over 30 years. We congratulate all of our presenting authors at this year’s conference and invite you to stop by our virtual booth. Click here to see our latest Western history books:

"The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted life for millions of people across the United States. Yet, there is a lack of ra...
Home - Rural West Covid Project

"The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted life for millions of people across the United States. Yet, there is a lack of rapid and reliable information about the scope of its impact and potential solutions in underserved areas such as the rural U.S. West. Current information relies on national surveys or focuses on urban regions with greater institutional resources, rather than tailored specifically to the unique needs of rural communities.

With this survey we aim to close that gap and inform public policy across various levels of government to meet the needs of rural communities struggling with the social and economic impacts of the pandemic."

The Rural West Covid Project is a study of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the rural American West.

Via Olubunmi Ashimolowo:

Via Olubunmi Ashimolowo:


Job Announcement - Executive Director for the Women, Food and Agriculture Network

The Women, Food and Agriculture Network seeks its next Executive Director who will continue the organization’s growth, who is passionate about the intersections of sustainable agriculture, feminism, and justice, and who has experience in community organizing, fundraising, staff management, and nonprofit administration. The ideal candidate will embody the values of WFAN, and be willing to call upon their networks in this time of growth and transition for the organization.

About WFAN

The Women, Food and Agriculture Network (WFAN) is a nationwide network of women and other people working in sustainable agriculture, working toward a vision of a vibrant, community-centered food and agricultural system in which women and non-binary people are strong leaders. WFAN’s mission is to engage women in building an ecological and just food and agricultural system through individual and community power. We conduct our work based on our values and our priorities can be found in our strategic plan.

Our current programs are Harvesting Our Potential; Plate to Politics; Women Caring for the Land; Women, Land and Legacy; and Growing Community Resilience. We also hold an annual conference every fall, and work to increase the presence of women in food and agriculture in the media. Our staff of four and other contractors work remotely from many locations.

Role of Executive Director

The new Executive Director for WFAN will lead WFAN into the next stage of our growth, including exploring how to strengthen our support for racial equity, food justice, food sovereignty, and solidarity with communities and organizations in this space.

The Executive Director will lead WFAN in our work of change-making in food and agriculture. This leadership will include increasing our impact through strengthening our member network and maintaining the important efforts of our current programming.

The Executive Director will handle essential management efforts. These include managing staff and conducting hiring and oversight; leading fundraising efforts of grant writing and donor development; overseeing organizational administration including database management and employee benefits; and working closely with the Board.

Preferred Qualifications


Strong experience working in sustainable agriculture and food systems.

Commitment to anti-racist, pro-rural and gender inclusive work. Demonstrate strong class consciousness. Ability to compassionately and effectively navigate difficult conversations on these topics.

Strong ability to communicate the mission, vision, and values of WFAN to a variety of audiences. Strong ability to articulate the ways in which WFAN’s work builds towards its goals.

Experience with grassroots advocacy, grassroots membership building, and/or grassroots organizing.

Excited about building and strengthening coalition and community partnerships in line with WFAN’s current and evolving program areas.

Proven leadership in a community-led strategic planning process. Familiar with process design and comfortable designing for multi-stakeholder input alongside staff and board members.


Proven track record in writing and receiving grants from government sources and foundations.

Proven track record in raising money from major donors and grassroots member-supporters.

Ability to develop and maintain relationships with funders.

Staff Management

Experience with and commitment to learning and practicing the skills required for staff to excel in their positions, with emphasis on compassion, clear communication and delegation as well as staff happiness and retention.

Comfort in working and managing staff and board relationships virtually.


Commitment to maintaining strong relationships with the Board and coalition partners.

Ability to maintain dual focus on WFAN’s big picture work and the day-to-day detail required to run the organization.

Charismatic and comfortable with public speaking.

Experience with membership communications, preferably experience with membership database management. WFAN currently uses Powerbase.

Able to manage the financial complexity of an organization receiving funding from members and individual donors, as well as Federal, multiple State entities and private foundations.

Familiar with funds based accounting and managing restricted and unrestricted funds.

Prefer familiarity with Quickbooks.

Location and Travel

A candidate located in the Midwest, where WFAN has strong roots, is not required, and remote applicants are encouraged to apply. Work from home is preferred, or office space in Story City, Iowa will be provided. Current WFAN staff work from home in IA, IL, CO and CA. Board Members are located in CA, CO, MO, IA, MI, OH, MN, ME, Washington D.C. and abroad.

This position will require regular national travel (as possible over the next year due to the evolving impacts of the coronavirus, and in compliance with best practices and up to date information from the CDC and state guidelines).

Compensation and benefits

This is a full-time, salaried position, with benefits and requirements as set out in the WFAN Employee Handbook. Salary range will begin at $65,000, negotiable depending upon geographic location and commensurate with experience. Annual salary increases are subject to merit and cost of living increases dependent upon evaluations and future fundraising. Benefits include a flexible schedule, a great team, engaged Board and active membership, and a Health Reimbursement Account and an IRA matching program. The Board and Interim ED are currently working to secure a full health insurance option for all staff, to begin by 2021.

Application process

Please send: a resume or CV with two references, a one-page writing sample and a cover letter to [email protected] by October 26, 2020. Please submit materials as one document, preferably a PDF.

For questions, please contact [email protected]. Thank you for your interest!

WFAN’s Gender Inclusivity Statement

Recognizing that building an ecological and just food system requires leadership and representation from diverse communities, WFAN aspires to create an environment that welcomes women and gender non-conforming people who are passionate about creating a better food system. WFAN is committed to using gender-inclusive and non-sexist language that affirms and respects how people describe, express, and experience their gender. As an organization whose work is rooted in dismantling patriarchal structures that exclude women in the food system, we deeply understand the importance of spaces that are inclusive to the experiences of individuals whose identities may not fit the gender binary, and/or who many not identify with the sex they were assigned at birth. Identities including trans, intersex, and genderqueer reflect personal descriptions, expressions, and experiences. We encourage network members to share their pronouns and names, and these gender identities and expressions will be honored by WFAN staff and in our network spaces.

WFAN is an equal opportunity employer. Women, people of color, and those directly impacted by the issues that WFAN is working to address are strongly encouraged to apply.

Last minute brainstorm: Anyone interested in contributing to an RWSA conference session focused on the impact of the pan...
2021 RWSA Conference Goes Virtual

Last minute brainstorm: Anyone interested in contributing to an RWSA conference session focused on the impact of the pandemic on women's work? If so, please comment below, or email: cynthia (dot) culver (at) gmail (dot) com by 9/28.

And remember to submit your session or individual paper proposals by Wednesday, September 30!

The 2021 RWSA Triennial Conference is going virtual. We are excited to host a virtual conference that allows for a more diverse range of participants.

Deadline for submitting proposals to the 2021 RWSA *virtual* conference is Wednesday, September 30.RWSA Triennial Confer...
Rural Women's Studies Association | Ohio University

Deadline for submitting proposals to the 2021 RWSA *virtual* conference is Wednesday, September 30.
RWSA Triennial Conference May 11-15, 2021

A Virtual Conference

Hosted by the University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada

“Kitchen Table Talk to Global Forum”

Due to the circumstances resulting from COVID-19, the 2021 RWSA Triennial Conference is going virtual. Although we regret that we cannot meet in person as originally planned, we are excited about the opportunity to host a virtual conference that allows for a more diverse range of panel presentations and participants. Any paper and panel submissions that have already been made will still be considered, however, we have extended the deadline to allow for additional submissions to be made until September 30, 2020.

The theme “Kitchen Table Talk to Global Forum” emphasizes how conversations, relationships, and food shape rural communities. This theme allows for the consideration of the ways that gendered, sexual, ethnic, and racial identities affect personal power, class consciousness, individual choice, and community development. These subjects lend themselves to the exploration of rural activism, social justice, innovation, politics, business development, cultural expression, self-governance, and collective experiences — both historical and contemporary — in local, regional, national, and global settings.

RWSA is an international association founded in 1997 to promote and advance farm and rural women’s/gender studies in a historical perspective by encouraging research, promoting scholarship, and establishing and maintaining links with organizations that share these goals. RWSA welcomes public historians and archivists, graduate students, and representatives of rural organizations and communities as conference participants and members, in addition to academic scholars from diverse fields, including sociology, anthropology, literature and languages, Indigenous Studies, and history.

Presentations take many forms at this virtual RWSA conference. Possibilities include workshops, panel sessions, virtual tours, interactive sessions, roundtable discussions, poster presentations, open-mic discussions, performances, readings, and audiovisual presentations. As much as possible, presentations and conference activities will take place in a synchronous environment. Virtual tours, posters, or other forms of presentations may be pre-recorded with the consent of the program committee.

The RWSA encourages inter-, trans- or multi-disciplinary approaches that connect rural women’s/gender history and present-day concerns. The RWSA seeks to integrate creative work with the conference theme, and we encourage artists working in visual, film, performative, and literary genres to submit their ideas to make the conference most dynamic.

The theme: “Kitchen Table Talk to Global Forum” encourages exploration of several sub-themes:

Women and mental health
Women and food justice
Indigenous rural women
Women and food tourism
Women and technological and biological innovation (media, healthcare, equipment)
What’s on the table (food production, preparation, rituals, hospitality, etiquette, and display)
Women's Table talk (issues concerning family, community, politics, legislation, and markets)

The University of Guelph is known as Canada's Food University and has gained international recognition for its impact on agricultural sciences and rural life.

Please submit the following information by 30 September 2020.
Title of paper/panel/poster/workshop/performance (working title is acceptable).
200-word description/abstract of paper, panel, poster, workshop, performance, etc.
Brief vita/bio of presenter or panel participants and complete contact information for all.

Please indicate if your panel or workshop proposal does not fit in a typical session time of 1.5 hours. We will contact you if your proposal has been accepted.

Submissions should be sent electronically (as a single Word document or combined PDF) to: [email protected]

Program Committee Co-chairs: Katherine Jellison, Ohio University, and Jenny Barker-Devine, Illinois College

Program Committee Members: Margaret Thomas-Evans, Jodey Nurse-Gupta, Tracey Hanshew, Amy McKinney, Cathy Wilson.

For additional information on the RWSA, please go to the organization website (

Founded in 1998 as an outgrowth of the Sixth Conference on Rural and Farm Women in Historical Perspective, the Rural Women's Studies Association is an international association for the advancement and promotion of farm and rural women's gender studies in historical perspective. The Association aims....
MinneCulture In-Depth - A Brief History of Women in Bars: A Minnesota Story in Three Rounds

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Athens, OH


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I would like to put together a session for RWSA 2021 that focuses on how the current pandemic is affecting women. I'm envisioning lots of space for audience participation, but would like to include a few panelists giving brief remarks to get the conversation started. If you would like to join me on such a panel, please email me at cynthia (dot) culver (at) gmail (dot) com no later than Monday, September 28.
Due to the changes and delays in academic schedules this semester, the Coordinating Council for Women in History has extended their award deadline from May 15 to June 15, 2020. There are 6 awards, ranging from $500 for the best article to several for $1,000 (best book, grad student dissertation awards, etc.), and even one for $20,000. If you have grad students looking for support, students or colleagues who've published an article, or mentors you would like to recognize, please let them know about these opportunities. And please share! Promo: the CCWH is a GREAT organization to get involved in as well :)
Musical Tribute-Jeannette Rankin: The first woman elected to Congress!
Call for submissions for the spring RWSA newsletter. Please send submissions to Margaret Thomas Evans - email on RWSA website. They are due May 1st.
I write to encourage scholars of rural women's experiences to consider presenting at the Social Science History Association meetings I am one of the Rural network representatives, PM me if you want more information.
I am seeking co-panelists for an Ag History conference session on monuments and commemoration in urban and rural settings. The Agricultural History Society conference to be held in Washington, D.C. on June 6-8, 2019. Deadline for submitting proposals is September 28, 2018. The conference theme is "Power in Agricultural History." Given the recent public attention to Confederate statues and the power of memorials on the Mall in Washington, D.C., this strikes me as a particularly way to explore urban/rural power dynamics. My presentation would draw on my new book on pioneer monuments in the American West. I would love to feature comparative perspectives on Confederate memory and memory in other regions. Interested? Please contact me at .
I'm looking for a panelist (or two) for a session on rural poverty at Ag History, 2019. No chronology or geographic limits - if you're working on something and want to participate please send me an email or message. [email protected]
Thanks for the successful conference you organised. It was enjoyable and academically very profitable, a perfect mix of topics, reaserch and people.. A great Thank to Katherine Jellison, for her avaibility and her warm and cordial welcome. , bravo!” See you in other conferences Lamia Mokaddem