RWSA Triennial Conference - Surviving and Thriving: Gender, Justice, Power, and Place Making

RHN 40/2018 | Event

Organiser: Rural Women’s Studies Association, Chairs: Cherisse Jones-Branch and Debra A. Reid

16-19 May 2018, Ohio University, Athens, Ohio, USA

Rural Women’s Studies Association 13th Triennial Conference
Surviving and Thriving:
Gender, Justice, Power, and Place Making


Wednesday, 16 May 2018

2:00 to 6:30 pm - Optional Tour of Rural Communities (Haydenville, New Straitsville and Shawnee)

6:00 pm - Dinner

7:30 pm - Welcome reception

Thursday, 17 May 2018

8:00 to 8:15 am - Welcome

8:15 to 9:45 am - CONCURRENT SESSIONS I

I-1 Black Feminism in the Rural South

A Forgotten Black Nation: Gender and Place Making in the Rural American South, 1945-1960
Beatrice J. Adams, Rutgers University

Writing in Black and White: The Box Project, Rural Black Women and New Narratives of the Black  Freedom Struggle in Mississippi, 1962 – 1968
Pamela Walker, Rutgers University

Black Power in Nacogdoches, Texas: The Activism of Helena Abdullah (formerly known as Helena Patton)
Jasmin C. Howard, Michigan State University

Dark Daughters of the South: The Proper Care and Feeding of Warrior Women
Carmen Lanos Williams, Arkansas State University

Chair: Valerie Grim, Indiana University

I-2 “New Woman”: Rural Women, Work and Culture beyond the Farm

“Dear People”: The Letters and Poetry of Harriette Cushman--The U.S. Extension Service’s First Poultry Specialist
Amy L. McKinney, Northwest College

Rural Spectacle in Three Comedies, 1890-1920 (Sis Hopkins, Old Homestead, & Blue Jeans)
Natasha Lueras, Indiana University-Bloomington

Progressive-Era Attempts to bring the “New Woman” Back to Rural Communities in New England: The Woman's National Farm and Garden Association
Anne L. Moore, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Refugee from the Plantation South: Marie Wilson’s Flight from Privilege to Notoriety
Jeannie Whayne, University of Arkansas

Chair: Mary A. Larson, Edmon Low Library, Oklahoma State University

I-3 Rural Women and Rural Wealth

Rural Women: Tools in Agricultural Production but Servants in Profit Sharing
Rufus A. Oluwafemi, University of Abuja, Nigeria
Mariam El-Yakub, Oxfam, Bauchi, Nigeria

Discussion of Rural Wealth Creation: Concepts, Strategies, and Measures (USDA Economic Research Report 131, released March 2012), available at: Attendees will discuss report contents, the ways that gender affects the report's conclusions, and the role of rural women in rural wealth generation.
Facilitator: Debra A. Reid, The Henry Ford

9:45 to 10:15 am - Break with snacks

10:15 to 11:45 am - CONCURRENT SESSIONS II

II-1 Farm Women and Crisis, 1970s and 1980s

An Eye View of the Furrow during the Farm Crisis
Debra A. Reid, The Henry Ford 

Resourceful Nation Builders: Women, Co-operative Farming and Development Projects in Socialist Villages in 1970s Lindi, Tanzania
Husseina Dinani, University of Toronto-Scarborough

Farm Women in Crisis Times: Rethinking Women’s Roles in the Iowa of the 1980s
Pam Riney-Kehrberg, Iowa State University and President, Midwestern History Association

Chair: Steven Reschly, Truman State University

II-2 Split Visions: Readings by Three West Virginia Women Writers

A Native West Virginian, Life-Long Resident, and Fiction Writer
Natalie Sypolt, Pierpont Community & Technical College

A Ballet-Dancer, Non-Fiction Writer and North Dakota Transplant to West Virginia
Renée Nicholson, Programs for Multi- and Interdisciplinary Studies at West Virginia University

A Poet, Translator, Lyricist, and Photographer
Randi Ward, award-winning translator and founder of the Parkersburg Poetry Series

Facilitator: Tracey Hanshew, Washington State University—Tri-Cities

II-3 Geo-Spatial Analysis and Women Farmers

Geographic Analysis of Women Farm Operators in the United States
Elisabeth Garner, Pennsylvania State University

Topsy, Polly, & the Tin Lizzie, 1880-1930: Women on the Move & Claiming Space in the County
Pamela J. Snow Sweetser, University of Maine-Orono and educator, historian, fiber craftswoman, and wool grower

Spatio-Temporal Analysis in Seaweed Gathering and Marketing in Selected Coastal Areas in Ilocos Norte, Philippines
Susan G. Aquino with Zenaida M. Agngarayngay, Mariano Marcos State University, City of Batac, Ilocos Norte, Philippines

Chair: Rebecca Montgomery, Texas State University

Noon to 1:00 pm - Lunch

1:00 to 2:30 pm - Plenary Roundtable

Grandmothers and Granddaughters of the RWSA: What Generation Gap?

Margaret Weber, Iowa State University
Kathryn Engle, University of Kentucky
Emily Prifogle, Princeton University
Sara Egge, Centre College

Facilitator, Jenny Barker-Devine, Illinois College

1:00 pm - Silent auction begins


III-1 Rural Women as Others “Saw” Them

“Go to the Lands of Darkness”: The Migration of Single Women on the Illinois Frontier, 1820-1850
Jenny Barker-Devine, Illinois College

Searching for Bell: Finding A Woman in a Man’s Diary
Daniel Samson, Brock University, St Catharines, Ontario

Chair: Catharine Wilson, University of Guelph, Ontario

III-2 “Born in the [Rural] USA”: Starting the Conversation about Rural Health

Discussion of evidence documenting reproductive experiences, i.e., Women’s Reproductive History Alliance (,
co-directed by Jennifer Hill, Montana State University.

Discussion of two news reports on maternal health care in rural America. See Dana Fine Maron, "Maternal Health Care is Disappearing in Rural America," Scientific American (15 February 2017) and Jilian Mincer, "More Hospital Closings in Rural America add Risk for Pregnant Women," Reuters (18 July 2017).

Audience Discussion—Facilitator: Debra A. Reid, The Henry Ford

III-3 Rural Action, Inc.

Local Non-Profit Organization Dedicated to Revitalizing Appalachian Ohio
Susi Acord, Andrea Reany, Katelyn Eilbeck, and Tom Redfern, Rural Action

3:45 to 8:30 pm - The Ridges

The Ridges” refers to the entirety of the Victorian mental health complex that is now part of the Ohio University campus. Two museums are located in buildings originally constructed by the Athens Asylum for the Insane: The Kennedy Museum of Art and The Dairy Barn. RWSA participants will visit both.

5:45 to 8:30 pm - Dinner and Evening Program

Friday, 18 May 2018

8:30 to 10:00 am - CONCURRENT SESSIONS IV

IV-1 Rural Women’s Activism through Oppression

Rural Women’s Activism: The Powerful Impact of the Resolutions and Campaigns of the National Federation of Women’s Institutes of England, Wales, and the Islands
Margaret Thomas-Evans, Indiana University East

Farm Institutes and Rural Women: The Case of Rural New York State, 1900-1940s
Mary Ellen Zuckerman, State University of New York- Brockport

Reformers in the Backwater: The Housekeepers Club of Coconut Grove, 1891-1957
Maureen S. Thompson, Florida International University

Strengthening the Status of Farm Women in Farming in India: The Changing Role of Institutions
Chandan Kumar Panda and Siya Ram Singh, Bihar Agricultural University, Sabour, Bhagalpur, India

Chair: Cherisse R. Jones-Branch, Arkansas State University

IV-2 Panel Discussion: Researching Rural Women--Sources, Libraries, Scholarship, and Material Culture

Tips and Tricks to Finding Records in Archives and Special Collections
Anne L. Moore, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Identifying a 3-D Object in a 2-D Source
Debra A. Reid, The Henry Ford

Using Library Finding Aids (library catalogs, databases, citation analysis, and text mining) to Find Primary and Secondary Sources Related to Rural Women
Sara Morris, University of Kansas

Audience Discussion—Facilitator: Sara Morris, University of Kansas

IV-3 Rural Femininity on Display

Ontario Dairy Princesses and the Cultural Identity of Women in Dairy Farming in the Postwar Period
Jodey Nurse-Gupta, University of Waterloo; University of Guelph

“Country Girls Are Whisky in a Teacup”: Crafting Rural Femininities and Building Online Community in the Contemporary U.S. Fashion Marketplace
Holly M. Kent, University of Illinois-Springfield

Stomp, Stomp! Shake, Shake!: Cheerleaders, Dancers, Steppers and Majorettes -- Black Girls, Movement and Embodiments of Femininity
Dani Williams-Jones, University of California, Los Angeles

Conservative Commemoration and Progressive Protest in the Culture Wars (1975-1995)
Cynthia Culver Prescott, University of North Dakota

Chair: Catharine Wilson, University of Guelph, Ontario

10:00 to 10:30 am – Break: Snacks in LLC atrium


V-1 Rural Feminism

Plotting Resistance: Rural Suffrage, the Petition and Empire in Manitoba
Roland Sawatzky, Curator of History, The Manitoba Museum, Winnipeg

Negotiating Political Difference and Feminism in Rural North Dakota
Ashlee Moser, Brandeis University

The Rural Roots of Feminism in Higher Education
Kelly C. Sartorius, University of Kansas, Lawrence

Heritage Feminism: Exploring New Approaches to Heritage Studies in Nigeria
Elochukwu Nwankwo, University of Nigeria, Nsukka

Chair: Amy L. McKinney, Northwest College

V-2 Women Procuring Food and Preparing Food in Rural America

Killing in the Name: Family, Food, and Power in the American Midwest
Sara Egge, Centre College, Danville, Kentucky

“Woman’s Province”: Maine Women Creating Identity in the Kitchen
Rachel Snell, University of Maine-Orono,

Women, Energy and Environment: The Case of Rural Canada, 1880-1950
Ruth Sandwell, University of Toronto

Chair: Jodey Nurse-Gupta, University of Waterloo; University of Guelph, Ontario

V-3 Women and Rural Business Strategies

Impact of Safety Net Program on Women Headed Household: Climate Change Adaptation vs Poverty Reduction Strategies in Northern Ethiopia
Abadi Teklehaimanot, Mekelle University, Mekelle, Ethiopia

The Consequences of the History of Gender Inequity for Rural Family Business Succession Planning
Diane McKenzie, University of Lethbridge, Alberta

Impact of Microcredit on Tunisian Women Empowerment: Evidence in Priority Regions
Lamia Mokaddem, University of Tunis El Manar

in absentia - Henda Kharoub, University of Tunis El Manar

Chair: Margaret Thomas-Evans, Indiana University East

Noon to 1:00 - Lunch

1:00 to 2:00 pm - Plenary
Chief Glenna Wallace, Eastern Shawnee Nation

2:15 to 3:45 pm – CONCURRENT SESSIONS VI

VI-1 Rural Women and Organizational Activism within and beyond Borders

Presenting Production and Performing Plenty: Auxiliary Advocacy as a Gendered Performance Discourse after World War II
Rebecca Shimoni Stoil, Johns Hopkins University

Gendering the Global Political Order: American Farm Women and Transnational Rural Women’s Organizations, 1939-1960
Nancy Berlage, Texas State University, San Marcos

Feminist Popular Education for Social Change in Kenya: Preserving Indigenous Knowledge Systems
Catherine Cutcher, Ohio University

Multi-Dimensional Stakeholders’ Partnership: The Gender Transformative (GTM) Model in SDG Implementation
Olubunmi Ashimolowo, Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Nigeria, and Gender Development Initiative

Chair: Cherisse R. Jones-Branch, Arkansas State University

VI-2 Road Trips, Religion, and Rituals: Gendered Practices and Performances of Pentecostals, Amish, and Agribusiness

Road Trips and Religion: Gender and Ritual in Pentecostal Camp Meetings, 1940-1960
Linda Ambrose, Laurentian University

Preparing the Celebrations and Ceremonies: Amish Women’s Religious and Family Rituals in the 1930s
Katherine Jellison, Ohio University

All Cooped Up: Gender and Agribusiness in Postwar America
Margaret Weber, Iowa State University

Chair: Beth E. Graybill, Millersville University

VI-3 “Sowing the Seeds of Love”: Promoting Transgender Inclusivity and Visibility in Policies and Training Programs in the Heartland

An LGBTQ archive at the Civil Rights Heritage Center in South Bend, Indiana: A TREES, Inc. Resource
Jamie Wagman, Saint Mary’s College, South Bend, Indiana

TREES, Inc.: Transgender Education for Small Town and Rural America
Meghan Buell, Founder of TREES (Transgender Resource, Education and Enrichment Services)

Developing an Educational Presentation for TREES about Violence Prevention and Support Services
Jordan Lolmaugh, St. Mary's College

Reviewing and Revising USDA Employment Policies and Procedures to Ensure Inclusivity and Provide Best Practices for TREES, Inc., Training of Federal and State Agricultural Employees
Alex Shambery, St. Mary's College

Chair: Mary A. Larson, Edmon Low Library, Oklahoma State University

3:45 to 4:15 pm - Break with snacks


VII-1 Stories

Looking Forward, Looking Back: Evolving Personal Views of the Dust Bowl
Mary A. Larson, Edmon Low Library, Oklahoma State University

Does Oral History Affect the Life Satisfaction of Older African American Women?
Patricia A. Wilkerson, Arkansas State University

Ten Ladies of the Deep South: Stories of Triumph by the Community of African American Women of Sheeplo, Mississippi
Joseph Cates, Sullivan Museum & History Center, Norwich University

Old Indigent Women in Contemporary Nigerian Mythic Consciousness: Nollywood’s Witchery and Implications for Rural Women
Stephen Temitope David, Stellenbosch University, South Africa

Victim Blaming: Deconstructing Rape Culture in Rural Communities of Southwest Nigeria
Phebean A. Adekunle, Oregon State University

Chair: Tracey Hanshew, Washington State University—TriCities

VII-2 Panel Discussion: Culture, Indigenous Women and Indigenous Development in South African Communities

Nokwanda Yoliswa Nzuza, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa

Adetola Elizabeth Oyewo, Brainstorm Travel Consult, PTY, Durban, and University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa

Gbadebo Gbemisola, Independent Researcher and Brainstorm Travel Consult, PTY, Durban, South Africa

Chair and Facilitator: Samuel Uwem Umoh, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa

VII-3 Panel Discussion: Appalachian Feminisms & Rurality--Place, Place Making, and Praxis

Sally Maggard, West Virginia University

Tammy Clemons, University of Kentucky

Zada Komara, University of Kentucky

Jordan Laney, Virginia Tech

Convener: Kathryn Engle, University of Kentucky

6:00 pm - Dinner

7:30 pm - Women’s History Walking Tour, Ohio University campus

Saturday, 19 May 2018

7:30 to 8:30 am - Breakfast & RWSA Business Meeting

8:45 to 10:15 am - Athens Farmers Market


VIII-1 Women, Land, and the State: Perspectives from Scandinavian History

Inheriting Daughters, Undivided Farms, and Common Fields in Upper Dalarna, Sweden, 1730–1930
Grey Osterud, Independent Historian, USA

Harvest Failure, Farm Indebtedness and Foreclosure, Gendered and Generational Dissent, and Emigration from Torstuna, Sweden, to Bishops Hill, Illinois, in the Mid-Nineteenth Century
Iréne A. Flygare, Stiftelsen Upplandsmuseet, Uppsala, Sweden
Marja Erikson, Uppsala University, Sweden

Women’s Homesteading and Land Purchase on Indian Reservations on the Northern Great Plains, 1887-1934
Karen V. Hansen and Samantha Leonard, Brandeis University

Agrarian Women and the Construction of the Two-Breadwinner Welfare State in Interwar Sweden
Lena Sommestad, Governor, Province of Halland, Sweden

Chair: Debra A. Reid, The Henry Ford

VIII-2 Rural Women and Their Work

Yoruba Heritage, Identity and Emblem in the Adire (indigo-dyed) Textile Industry in Nigeria: Case of Women Entrepreneurs in Kemta Market, Abeokuta
Adetola Elizabeth Oyewo, Brainstorm Travel Consult, PTY, Durban, and University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa
Gbadebo Gbemisola, Independent Researcher and Brainstorm Travel Consult, PTY, Durban, South Africa

Indigenous Communities, Livelihood and Annang Women of Nigeria: Livelihood based in the Raffia Hookeri and Oil Palm (Elaeis guineensis)
Samuel Uwem Umoh and Nokwanda Yoliswa Nzuza University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa

Questioning the Gendered Nature of Women's Work:  A study of North Eastern Region of India
Bornali Borah, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India

Chair: Margaret Thomas-Evans, Indiana University East

VIII-3 Roundtable: Creating Dawn Jewell, Appalachian Woman and Narrator of Trampoline

Chair & Facilitator: Rachel Terman, Ohio University

Noon to 1:00 – Lunch

1:00 to 2:00 pm - Plenary

Nikki Taylor, Driven toward Madness (Ohio University Press, 2016)

Introduction by Terri L. Snyder, California State University - Fullerton

2:00 pm -  Silent auction ends

2:15 to 3:45 pm – CONCURRENT SESSIONS IX

IX-1 Discussion Forum: Sharing Strategies for Creative Approaches to Community Development & Place Making

Barbara Bradbury, Hurricane Run Farm, a host WWOOF farm (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms) in southern Ohio; Shawnee State University

Katherine Borland, Center for Folklore Studies, The Ohio State University

Coordinator and Facilitator: Cassie Patterson, Center for Folklore Studies and the Folkore Archives, The Ohio State University

IX-2 Rural Women and Their Places

Race, Place, and the Biographical Turn: Priscilla Baltimore and Brooklyn, Illinois
Sharon E. Wood, University of Nebraska at Omaha

USCT Women and Community in the Post-Civil War Era
Kelly Jones, Austin Peay State University

“Until the Lord Come Get Me, It Burn Down, or the Next Storm Blow it Away": Principles of Place Preservation in Deep East Texas' African American Vernacular Landscapes
Andrea Roberts, Texas A &M University

Women at the Center and on the Edges of Ontario’s Reciprocal Work Bees, 1860-1920
Catharine Wilson, University of Guelph

Chair, Terri L. Snyder, California State University - Fullerton

IX-3 Panel Discussion: Rethinking and Remaking Place as Resistance

Angie Carter, Michigan Technological University

Rebecca Lampman, Rural activist who writes regularly for farm publications about her commitment to the caring practice of agriculture

Betty Wells, Iowa State University

Chair: Jenny Barker-Devine, Illinois College

3:45 to 4:15 pm - Break with snacks

4:15 to 5:45 pm - CONCURRENT SESSION X

X-1 Rural Women Educators

Anna M. P. Strong: A Rural Arkansas Educational Activist, 1884-1966
Cherisse R. Jones-Branch, Arkansas State University

The Wyoming Years of Schoolmarm, Superintendent, and Homesteader Edith K.O. Clark
Ginny Kilander, University of Wyoming

Margery Burns is Tilting at Windmills: Rural Schools in a Modern America
Emily Prifogle, Princeton University

Chair: Amy L. McKinney, Northwest College

X-2 Rural Health Care

“Everything that Could be Done for Negroes Was Done”: Juliette Derricotte, Nina Johnson, and the Violence of Jim Crow Medicine
Yulonda Eadie Sano, Alcorn State University

"If you go to her home you know where she is coming from": An Oral History of the Rural Birth Control Movement in Maine, 1967 to 1983
Mazie Hough, University of Maine-Orono

Exploring Hispanic Health Paradox among Women in Texas Colonias
Sheren G. Sanders, Alcorn State University

Chair and Facilitator: Joan Jensen, New Mexico State University

X-3 Roundtable Discussion: Organizing Rural Women in Today’s Political Climate

Rural Women and Politicized Social Movements
Jamie Campbell, Tulane University

Comparison of Historic Activism and Current Rural Women’s Political Motivation, Issues, Tactics, Challenges, Accomplishments, and Failures
Carol S. Palmer, Canby, Oregon

Mobilizing Democrats in Missouri and Texas: The challenges of Liberal Organizing in Rural, Conservative America
Elyssa B. Ford, Northwest Missouri State University, Maryville; and Kelly McMichael, American Public University

Chair and Facilitator: Elyssa B. Ford, Northwest Missouri State University

6:00 pm - Dinner

8:00 pm - Evening Program: Women of Appalachia Spoken Word and Music Artists

Sunday, 20 May 2018

10:00 am to 2:00 pm - Tour of Wayne National Forest and Zaleski State Forest

The full program and information about registration and accommodation can be found at the RWSA website.

See also