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Call for Papers: Symposium on the History of Midwest Science and Technology
Call for Papers - Symposium on the History of Midwest Science and Technology
March 29-31, 2019, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa
Deadline: November 15, 2018

Iowa State University’s Department of History and Consortium for the History of Technology and Science invite proposals for a March 29-31, 2019 symposium on the History of Midwest Science and Technology. We define both “science” and “technology” broadly, to encompass topics including design, innovation, construction, the environment, agriculture, and more.

This meeting builds on the recent surge of interest in the Midwest’s social, economic, cultural, and intellectual history. The symposium will connect the history of science and technology to this wider Midwest history, while bringing Midwestern history into conversations about American science and technology often dominated by coastal case-studies.

Organizers welcome paper proposals that engage with one, or more, of the directions below or related themes:
• Historical case-studies of specific Midwest-centered science programs or discoveries;
• Historical case-studies of specific Midwest-centered technological developments, inventions, innovations, engineering programs, or technical issues;
• The history of Midwest science and technology linked to art, architecture, design, and construction history;
• The history of Midwest science and technology linked to environmental and agricultural history;
• The history of Midwest science and technology linked to business and labor history;
• The history of Midwest science and technology linked to urban and rural history;
• The history of Midwest science and technology linked to women’s/gender history, ethnic, and minority history;
• The history of Midwest science and technology linked to geography and sociology.

Participants will be asked to pre-circulate their papers before the symposium to facilitate discussion. Graduate students are welcome to apply. Some funding is available to paper presenters to help offset the costs of lodging and travel to the symposium, which will be held at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa. Organizers aim to follow the symposium by pursuing opportunities for publishing the polished research papers as an edited volume, in academic journals, or other avenues for dissemination.

To propose a contribution, please send an abstract (no longer than 400 words) and a CV to Amy Bix at by the deadline of November 15, 2018. Applicants can expect to hear back from the conference committee by December 1, 2018. Participants will need to prepare papers for pre-circulation by March 1, 2019. If you have any questions, please email Amy Bix at

Cornell University College of Human Ecology History of Home Economics Fellowship
The College of Human Ecology at Cornell University is accepting applications for the 2019 Dean's Fellowship in the History of Home Economics.

We invite faculty members, research scholars, and advanced graduate students (must be eligible to work in the United States) with demonstrated background and experience in historical studies to apply for this post-graduate opportunity. The fellowship recipient will receive an award of $6,500 for a summer or sabbatical residency of approximately six weeks to use the unique resources available from the College and the Cornell University Library system in pursuit of scholarly research in the history of Home Economics and its impact on American society.

At the conclusion of the residency the fellowship recipient will provide a final report to the dean, including a bibliography of research pursued, and preservation recommendations for pertinent library and archival holdings. In addition, the recipient will be invited to give a public presentation on their research at a later date. Research projects should be intended for publication.

Relevant historical subject areas may include, but are not limited to: the role of women in the family and society, the history of women in higher education, the history of food, nutrition, housing, consumer economics, the family, child development, design, clothing and textiles among other key topics in American social history. We welcome applications in which the historical subject area may inform the investigation of contemporary societal issues.

The deadline for receipt of all application materials is Friday, March 1, 2019. For additional information, see:

Land, Race, and Identity: Arkansas Historical CFP
Land, Race, and Identity
The Arkansas Historical Association (AHA) invites presentation proposals for its seventy-eighth annual conference, to be held in Stuttgart, April 11-13, 2019. Founded in the late nineteenth century by German immigrants, Stuttgart has a rich history as one of Arkansas’s most important agricultural centers, known especially for its rice production and waterfowl habitat. The 2019 conference will mark several major anniversaries, including the bicentennial of the formation of Arkansas Territory and the centennial of the Elaine Race Massacre. We seek presentations on a broad array of topics from all time periods that illuminate how the land—and ideas about it—have intersected with various identities, including race, to help shape the history of Arkansas. Presentations will be limited to twenty minutes. The use of audio-visual elements is encouraged.

Please send proposals of approximately 200 words to:

Blake Perkins, program chair
56 McClellan Dr. #3691
Walnut Ridge, AR 72476
870-759-4145 office
870-844-0299 cell

Proposals should be submitted by October 20, 2018, and include a mailing address, phone number, and email address. Proposals may be submitted by email. Please contact the program chair with any questions.

Ag History Needs Your Help
The Agricultural History Society seeks three members to work as part of an ad hoc committee to design a membership survey, analyze results, and recommend actions in response to findings. The work will occur during Fall 2018 with findings tabulated during January 2019. Interested? Please contact Debra A. Reid at

Doug Helms (1945-2018)
John Douglas Helms, PhD, expert on the history of United States agriculture and resource conservation, died on September 5, 2018. After earning a Doctorate in American history from Florida State University in 1977, he became the Historian of the Natural Resources Conservation Service (then called the Soil Conservation Service), part of the Department of Agriculture. His work for the government built upon his dissertation, which examined efforts to eradicate the boll weevil in the South. More than an historian of government policy, he wrote about how the personalities of scientists or bureaucrats shaped their missions—whether to help poor farmers in the South or to protect the environment. He introduced readers to the leaders in environmental protection: Hugh Hammond Bennett and Walter Lowdermilk. Like Helms, both came from North Carolina. Bennett led federal efforts to help farmers fight soil erosion; Lowdermilk inspired conservation efforts by writing about the plight of farmers around the world. Helms tacked a wide variety of other topics, including how women and African-Americans struggled to obtain services from the federal government.

Helms served as AHS president in 1999-2000 and was named Fellow of the Agricultural History in 2010.

Call for Papers: Vernacular Architecture Forum 2019 Annual Meeting
Call For Papers

Vernacular Architecture Forum 2019 Annual Meeting

Landscapes of Succession, May 29 to June 1, 2019 in Philadelphia, PA.


The Vernacular Architecture Forum ( invites paper proposals for its 38th Annual Conference, Landscapes of Succession, May 29 to June 1, 2019 in Philadelphia, PA. Papers may address vernacular and everyday buildings, sites, or cultural landscapes worldwide. Submissions on all relevant topics are welcome but we encourage papers focusing on different layers of settlement and use over time, exploring agriculture, maritime activities, industrialization, urbanization, suburbanization, as well as themes such ethnic identity, religious expression, and the creation of vacation and recreation landscapes.

Additionally, the VAF is launching a multi-year program of inquiry into the distinctiveness of the VAF and the vernacular architecture movement. To this end, we encourage papers that consider this field over time. How does the wide range of VAF projects (tours, guidebooks, book and article awards, field schools, annual conference papers, publications, etc.) demonstrate how our questions, concerns, and methods have changed and evolved? Where do we see evidence of that history in our current work, and what might our future look like? Proposals might focus on a particular building type (i.e. houses, barns), a research strategy (fieldwork), political or theoretical convictions (Gender, Marxism, the Everyday, etc.), or particular approaches to presenting our work and engaging colleagues and the public.

Students and young professionals may apply for the Pamela H. Simpson Presenter’s Fellowships offering support of up to $500 to presenting papers at VAF’s annual conference.


Papers should be analytical rather than descriptive, and no more than twenty minutes in length. Proposals for complete sessions, roundtable discussions or other innovative means that facilitate scholarly discourse are especially encouraged. At least one session will be devoted to Field Notes – shorter papers (five to eight minutes in length) that introduce new techniques, innovations, and discoveries in documenting vernacular buildings and landscapes. Proposals should clearly state the argument of the paper and explain the methodology and content in fewer than 400 words. Make sure to indicate if it is a regular paper proposal or a shorter fieldwork proposal or intended for the VAF distinctiveness session. Please include the paper title, author’s name, email address, a one-page c.v. You may include up to two images with your submission. Note that presenters must deliver their papers in person and be VAF members at the time of the conference. Speakers who do not register for the conference by March 4, 2019, will be withdrawn. Please do not submit an abstract if you are not committed to attending the papers session on Saturday, June 1, 2019.


The abstracts and c.v. should be emailed as a PDF attachment to the VAF Papers Committee Chair, Melissa McLoud For general information about the Philadelphia conference, please visit the conference website at or contact Michelle Weaver Jones, VAF Conference Planner,

All abstracts received will be acknowledged.


VAF’s Pamela H. Simpson Presenter’s Fellowships offer a limited amount of financial assistance to students and young professionals presenting papers at VAF’s annual conference. Awards are intended to offset travel and registration costs for students, and to attract developing scholars to the organization. Any person presenting a paper who is currently enrolled in a degree-granting program, or who has received a degree within one year of the annual conference is eligible to apply. Awards cannot exceed $500. Previous awardees are ineligible, even if their status has changed. Recipients are expected to participate fully in the conference, including tours and workshops.

To apply, submit with your abstract a one-page attachment with "Simpson Presenter’s Fellowship" at the top and the following information: 1) name, 2) institution or former institution, 3) degree program, 4) date of degree (received or anticipated), 5) mailing address, 6) permanent email address, 7) telephone number, and 8) paper title.

AHS Seeks New Executive Secretary and Treasurer
Agricultural History Society
Request for Proposals

Position: Executive Secretary
Position: Treasurer
May 25, 2018

The Agricultural History Society (AHS) invites applications for Executive Secretary and Treasurer, with a start date of June 1, 2019. Since 1919, the AHS has served as the leading scholarly organization in the world dedicated to the study of rural life and agriculture, with our journal Agricultural History serving the scholarly community since 1927. AHS members research and teach the history of agriculture and rural life from multiple perspectives across time periods and geography.

In June 2019, the AHS will conclude a successful ten-year residency at Mississippi State University, led by Executive Secretary James C. Giesen and Treasurer Alan I Marcus. AHS members and officers now look forward to welcoming new leadership. Proposals need not reflect the pattern of two officers at the same institution and may combine the two roles. Professors Giesen and Marcus will provide counsel during the transition.

The principal duties of the Executive Secretary include:
• Manage membership, including maintenance of member information and recruitment of new members.
• Work with the journal editor and its vendors, including our printer, warehouse, and online distributors.
• Regularly report to executive committee.
• Execute the annual conference, including site selection, contracting with hotels and other vendors, and working with local arrangements to put on the meeting.
• Conduct the annual elections for leadership positions.
• Respond to queries and conduct correspondence on behalf of the organization.

The principal duties of the Treasurer include:
• Manage AHS financial assets in consultation with the executive board.
• File tax returns for the organization
• Report the financial affairs of the AHS to the executive board and membership on a periodic basis.
• Liaise with the Executive Secretary and Editor of Agricultural History regarding membership, conferences, and the journal.

The successful proposal will include the following:
• Clear vision for building on past success.
• Plan for support from host institution (i.e., course releases, overhead, student assistants).
• Expected level of support from AHS.
• Plan for covering the two positions (i.e., two individuals at one institution; two individuals at different institutions, or one individual for both roles). The society is open to many configurations for these positions.

Special Information:
• Applicants are welcome to propose any number of configurations to fill the positions of Executive Secretary and Treasurer.
• Proposals must present a plan for maintaining AHS funds as U.S. dollars.

Inquiries about these positions should be addressed to AHS President Joe Anderson or the current executive secretary, James C. Giesen.

Joe Anderson:
James C. Giesen:

All proposals should be emailed to Jenny Barker-Devine at:

Due Date: November 1, 2018

Richard Lowitt (1922-2018)
The Agricultural History Society is sad to report of the death of Richard Lowitt at the age of 96 in Concord, Massachusetts. Dr. Lowitt was elected a member of the executive committee from 1973-76 and served as president from 1991-92. The journal will publish a recognition of his life and service in the fall issue. His obituary may be found here.

Request for Paper for EURHO 2019
The nutrition transition and beyond:
dietary change in the world since 1945


Informal call for papers for a session proposal
Rural History 2019 (Paris, 10-13 September 2019,

We would like to propose a session on dietary change since 1945 for the upcoming Rural History 2019 conference. As a preparation, we are happy to issue now this informal call for papers.

We would like to shape the session around three topics:

(1) Major trends in food consumption in the world since 1945. All across the world, diets have been changing rapidly and profoundly in the period from 1945 to the present. In the global North, the postwar decades witnessed the rise of the “Western diet” rich in processed foodstuffs (meat, vegetable oils, sugar etc.) and the culmination of the “classical” period of the nutrition transition, while the last few decades have featured a turn towards differentiated products and qualitative substitutions (“food from nowhere” – “food from somewhere”). In the global South, some traits of a nutrition transition can be detected, but such transition seems to be unfolding in ways that do not necessarily mimic those of the global North at an earlier stage. One major area of interest for us is the measurement, description and identification of these major trends.

(2) Causes of diet change. Changes in food consumption seem to be partly related to economic factors, such as the evolution of consumer income and food prices. These in turn connect the analysis of diet change to broader issues of economic growth, inequality and food chain dynamics. Yet, few would dispute that these economic variables exert their impact within specific political, social and cultural contexts (patriotic campaigns, social movements, religious norms, etc.), the study of which is essential to our understanding of the causes of diet change. We particularly welcome analyses of the causes of diet change that aim at capturing this interplay of economic, political, social and cultural elements.

(3) Consequences of diet change. The most immediate impact of diet change has to do with consumer health. There is now widespread concern about the negative consequences of excessive, unhealthy food consumption styles in the global North, as well as an increasing awareness of the role of food security in human development in the global South. Yet, there are other, indirect consequences of diet change, such as those that impact on the environment or on social cohesion. Diet change since 1945 has probably contributed to intensifying the food system’s impact on the environment, but there are also signs of increasing consumer interest in organic, seasonal and regional foods. In the long run, the nutrition transition probably contributes to the making of a middle-class, mass consumer society, but the more recent turn towards differentiated foods and qualitative substitutions may well have started a new cycle of class-based differentiation.

We welcome paper proposals on these three areas, broadly defined. Interdisciplinary, cross-country analyses will be very well received, but we are also interested in papers that provide in-depth accounts of particular products and countries. Papers that are explicitly framed within theoretical perspectives from the social sciences are encouraged, but other papers will be considered as well.
If you want to join us for this session, please send us a title and a short abstract of about 200 words to our email addresses: and
The deadline for this is September 28. Please realize that, in case that our session proposal is accepted, preference will be given to those of you who join us at this early stage.

Shane Hamilton pens WaPo Op-Ed on Food and the Cold War
Read the full article here.

Former AHS President Jellison Quoted in Washington Post
Professor Katherine Jellison appeared in the Washington Post this week to weigh on an a most non-agricultural topic.

Webinar: Growing Things: Case Studies in Interpreting Agriculture
Farm to fork – Community Supported Agriculture – Locally sourced foods. Any AASLH member can find ways to connect their institution to these hot topics. Presenters in this webinar share their successes in linking site-specific and culturally distinct stories to the big topic of agriculture. They show that place matters, that nature and the environment provide a foundation to interpret farming, and that institutions from historic houses and historical societies to metro parks (rural, urban, and suburban) have the resources to engage their audiences in “agriculture.” Each attendee will have access to the same questions that presenters addressed as they prepared for the webinar. Webinar attendees can use these questions to launch their own agriculture interpretation.


Date: January 30, 2018

Time: 3:00 – 4:30 pm EASTERN (Remember to calculate for your time zone!)

Cost: $40 AASLH members/$65 nonmembers

Closed captioning available upon advanced notice. Please contact for more information.

Webinar Outcomes:

Be introduced to strategies that can help make history museums and historic sites into a “go-to” source to learn more about hot topics related to agriculture and farming.
Learn about examples of interpreting agriculture that work.
Receive a framework of questions which they can use to launch their own place-based and mission-driven agriculture interpretation.
Begin to explore humanities-based strategies to convey a multi-disciplinary topic (agriculture and farming).
Better ensure that gender, race, ethnicity, power and authority remain central to all projects, and that rural-urban dichotomies and farming in the city and the country receive attention.

Who Should Attend:

This webinar is suitable for all staff and volunteers in institutions with interest in interpreting agriculture.

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Contact Us

The Society Office
James C. Giesen, Executive Secretary
Alan I Marcus, Treasurer
MSU History Department
PO Box H
Mississippi State, MS 39762

The Editorial Office
Albert Way, Editor
Kennesaw State University
Dept. of History and Philosophy
402 Bartow Ave
Kennesaw, Georgia 30144