News and Events

Old and New Worlds: the Global Challenges of Rural History International Conference
Call for Papers
Lisbon, January 27-30, 2016
Deadline for submissions of proposals: April 15, 2016

In the course of recent years, Rural History (broadly defined) has begun to move away from both its predominantly national or local focus and its interpretation bias towards Europe and the Western world. This is a very healthy shift, which we mean to uphold by choosing the relations between old and new worlds as the core subject for this Conference.

Such relations between civilisations and cultures across the globe have had multiple effects over the last 500 years on agriculture, property, natural resources and rural societies. They brought about the circulation of people, plants, animals and diseases; transfers of techniques, knowledge, institutions and juridical norms; changes in diet habits, land uses and landscapes; extensive appropriation and expropriation of landholding, land use and property rights; and changes in produce and factor markets (land, capital, labour) at a global scale.

The growing keenness to research these global dynamics also drives some of the major theoretical, methodological and historiographical challenges now facing rural history. On the one hand, because such studies call for a wider dialogue among historians of several continents. On the other, because it tends to widen rural history from a specific disciplinary area into a broad research field, on which converge the interests of several other disciplines: from environmental to cultural history, from social to legal history, from economic history to the history of science, among others.

The concern to open up and globalise research in rural history, in both the historical and the historiographical senses, draws the guideline for this international conference, which simultaneously harbours the VI Encontro Rural RePort and the XV Congreso de Historia Agraria de la SEHA, to be held in Lisbon, Portugal, hosted by ISCTE- University Institute of Lisbon, on the 27-30 January, 2016.

The conference is open to scholars of all nationalities, in all disciplinary areas and dealing with all historical periods. There will be three working languages: English, Portuguese and Spanish.

Agricultural History Seeks an Editor
Call for Proposals, Editor, Agricultural History

The Agricultural History Society, the second oldest professional historical association in the United States, invites bids to host and edit the society’s journal, Agricultural History. Currently in its eighty-ninth year, the journal publishes cutting-edge research in the history of agriculture, including scholarship about rural life, policy, gender, the environment, race, technology, food, labor, and animals.

The editor is responsible for actively soliciting manuscripts, working with authors, presses and typesetters, handling copyright matters, and dealing with the digital presentation and distribution of the journal. She or he also works closely with the executive offices of the society and therefore must be an active member of AHS. The editor will begin his or her term before December 31, 2016.

Strong institutional support is a must. The selected host institution will benefit from its association with Agricultural History in a range of ways. Whether for a small undergraduate college or a large research university, hosting the journal will mean exposure to scholars in a range of fields across the globe. The journal is read by tens of thousands of scholars on five continents. Agricultural History is published in print and electronic forms, and is available to virtually every connected library in the world. In addition, hosting the journal offers remarkable opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students, including hands-on work with authors, institutions, and manuscripts, as well as academic and professional training.

Guidelines for bidding for Agricultural History:

1. The editor is of extraordinary importance for the future of Agricultural History. The bid should include a full profile of the proposed editor, including scholarly, academic, and editorial experience. Please include any experience supervising a staff, working with an executive board, marketing, and representing a journal or other institution. In addition to demonstrating this experience, please discuss all teaching responsibilities, committee assignments, and general workload. In addition, the proposal should include an editorial philosophy and vision, including a statement on how the journal might be changed and improved.

2. The proposal should include a detailed description of the host institution’s support for the journal, including office space, staff, and graduate and/or undergraduate student assistance. Please include a budget with salaries, in-kind support, and other items that demonstrate the institution’s commitment to Agricultural History.

Proposals will be reviewed by the Editorial Office Search Committee, comprised of:
James Giesen, Mississippi State University, Chair
Randal Hall, Rice University
Sarah T. Phillips, Boston University
Melissa Walker, Converse College

The Executive Committee of the AHS will select the new editor. Questions should be directed to James Giesen at

Proposals are due via email to James Giesen before October 1, 2015.

Call for Proposals: "Educating a Working Society" Book Chapters

We are approaching the centennial of the Smith-Hughes Act of 1917. Through the ways in which it defined and financed vocational education, the Smith-Hughes Act shaped profoundly the realm of secondary schooling in the twentieth-century United States. In key respects, it continues to shape how youth experience secondary schooling, and how we think about and operationalize “vocational education” – its purposes, forms, and intersections with other dimensions of schooling, education, and life.

Are you interested in researching, presenting, and publishing new work related to vocationalism in education? Do you have graduate-level students who might be? Jared Stallones, the book series editor for the Organization of Educational Historians, and I would like to use the Smith-Hughes Act as the organizing theme for an edited volume, to be published in 2017. Tentative title: Educating a Working Society: Vocationalism, the Smith-Hughes Act, and Modern America.

For this book, because we want to encourage fresh thinking, Jared and I are adopting a big-tent view of “vocational education” (generally, work-related, and encompassing schooling and non-school sites/experiences of learning). We have refrained from defining specific topics. As people propose and suggest different areas of interest, we will re-shape the book’s contours.

At the moment, we have identified several categories that we think could be fertile ground for inquiry. We are open to other possibilities.

1. Vocationalism in Education in the Nineteenth Century

2. Vocationalism in Education at the turn of the Twentieth Century

3. The Smith-Hughes Act of 1917 (origins, legislative history, provisions, implementation)

4. The Smith-Hughes Model and Federal and State Government Relations in Education

5. The Intersections of Work, Education, and Gender

6. The Intersections of Work, Education, Race, and Ethnicity

7. Changing Economic Conditions and Philosophies: Implications for Vocational Education

8. The American High School: Missions and Crises of Identity

9. Vocationalism in Education in the Twenty-first Century

10. American Vocationalism in a Global Context

At the upcoming OEH conferences (2015, 2016, 2017), we would like to have pre-arranged sessions (panel or roundtable) related to this topic. Note: for those people who teach graduate-level seminars, this could be a good theme for reading and inquiry.

If you know someone who might be interested in this project, pass along the word. If you are interested, please let us know. Send specific questions and comments to me via email

[ ]. After we make email contact, I will gladly talk to you on the telephone, too.

Dr. Glenn P. Lauzon

Indiana University Northwest

Past-President, Organization of Educational Historians

The Midwest: America’s Most Common Ground, April 30-May 1
Grand Valley State University
The Hauenstein Center

What can the culture and history of the Midwest tell us about the development of democracy, the expansion of industry, and the flourishing of pluralism in America?
In comparison to such regions as the South, the far West, and New England, the Midwest and its culture—the history of its peoples and places; its literature, music, and art; the complexity and richness of its landscapes—has sadly been neglected. And this neglect is both scholarly and popular: historians as well as literary and art critics tend not to examine the Midwest seriously in their academic work, while the myth of the Midwest has not, in the popular imagination, ascended to the level of the proud, literary South; the cultured, democratic Northeast; or the hip, innovative West Coast.
Nevertheless, the Midwest has a history and culture well worth exploring, analyzing, and bragging about. The purpose of our conference, titled “The Midwest: America’s Most Common Ground,” is to excite interest in the Midwest as a region with its own rich, nuanced, and varied history and culture. Our conference will feature keynote addresses and panel discussions on the history, literature, and art of the Midwest, Midwestern leadership and statesmanship, and the budding field of Midwestern Studies. We are inviting numerous scholars—historians, literary critics, geographers—to present on their work on Midwestern life and culture. With this summit we hope to start a conversation on the Midwest that engages the scholarly and popular imagination; most importantly, we hope to start a conversation that lasts.

Claire Strom to Step Down as Editor of Agricultural History
Dr. Claire Strom, editor of Agricultural History, announced today that she will be ending her term as editor in December 2016. Strom has served as editor of the journal since 2003. Agricultural History is published by the Agricultural History Society, which is the second-oldest professional historical organization in the United States. The journal has begun its eighty-ninth year of publication.

Agricultural History Society President Sally McMurry reflected on Strom’s tenure leading the journal. “Claire has provided exceptional leadership as journal editor, making sure that it has continued to be the journal of record in the fields of agricultural and rural history, but also expanding its reach to feature important work in related fields such as environmental, food, and animal history.” Under Strom’s editorship, the journal has also become both more selective and more international, in terms of both its authors and subjects. McMurry noted that Strom “has also instituted innovative and well received features such as a series on primary source materials for agricultural historians, and an embrace of the changing technological realities of the publishing world.”

Strom, who will have overseen the journal for more than thirteen years when she steps down, is a nationally known historian of American agriculture. Her first book, Profiting from the Plains: The Great Northern Railway and Corporate Development of the American West, was published in 2003. In 2009, the University of Georgia Press published Making Catfish Bait Out of Government Boys: The Fight Against Cattle Ticks and the Transformation of the Yeoman South as part of its Environmental History and the American South Series. Strom succeeded R. Douglas Hurt as Agricultural History’s editor in 2003. She is currently the Rapetti-Trunzo Chair of History and Director of General Education at Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida.

The Agricultural History Society will announce a Call for Proposals for a new editor in the coming days.

Call for Proposals: Register of the Kentucky Historical Society Special Issue: “Agriculture and Rural Life in Kentucky”
Guest Editors:
Sara Egge (Centre College)
David Hamilton (University of Kentucky)

The Register of the Kentucky Historical Society invites manuscript proposals for a special issue on the history of Kentucky agriculture and rural life, which will be published in 2018. Kentucky was, and is, a state with deep connections to agriculture and rural life. Agricultural and rural history is a vibrant and compelling field, and the editors welcome scholarship on such diverse topics as slavery, family and kinship, politics and public policy, gender, technology, religion, and race, as they pertain to agriculture or rural life. Authors may submit work on any time period, region of the state, or topic as it relates to agriculture and rural life in Kentucky.

Possible topics can include but are not limited to:
Food and culture
Horses and livestock
Soil conservation
Tobacco, hemp, and cotton
Yeoman farmers
Native American land use
Slavery and plantation agriculture
New Deal agricultural programs
Agribusiness and cooperative marketing
Farm credit
Hunting, fishing, and land use
Gender and rural life
Religion and rural life
Coal mining and rural life
Post–New Deal federal farm policies
Farm organizations
Agricultural extension in Kentucky

The Register of the Kentucky Historical Society is a peer-reviewed, quarterly journal that publishes scholarly articles examining the history of Kentucky and its people. It is published in both print form and electronically on Project MUSE and JSTOR.

Anyone interested in participating in this project should submit an abstract of no more than six hundred words by October 1, 2015.
Electronic submissions are preferred.

Authors should submit proposals to:
David Turpie, Ph.D.
Editor, Register of the Kentucky Historical Society
100 West Broadway
Frankfort, KY 40601-1931
502-564-1792, ext. 4435

CFP: Workshop for the History of Environment, Agriculture, Technology, and Science 2015
The Department of History at the University of Colorado will host the Workshop for the History of Environment, Agriculture, Technology, and Science (WHEATS) October 2-4, 2015. Now in its eleventh year, WHEATS brings together graduate students studying the history of the environment, agriculture, science, or technology. WHEATS is open to submissions from any discipline with interests in these fields. Papers — generally 25-30 pages — are circulated in advance to all participants, and at the workshop papers receive feedback from participants and senior scholars through a roundtable discussion. This format is well suited for works in progress. The workshop will have a session on publishing as well as opportunities to meet and engage with members of the environmental history community in Colorado. Confirmed faculty participants currently include University of Colorado faculty members Thomas Andrews, Elizabeth Fenn, Paul Sutter, and Phoebe Young; Lisa Brady of Boise State University, the Editor-in-Chief of the journal Environmental History; and keynote speaker Mark Fiege of Colorado State University. Food and housing (two nights) will be provided for the duration of the conference, and graduate students will receive a travel grant of up to $300 to help cover their travel to Boulder.

Potential participants should submit a one-page abstract (up to 250 words) and a brief curriculum vitae by April 1, 2015. Applicants will be notified about whether they have been accepted by May 1st, and the complete papers from accepted applicants will be due for precirculation on August 15. Submit abstracts and CVs through our website (

CFP: The University of Georgia Graduate Student Conference Global Capitalism and the Global South
May 14-16, 2015
Zell B. Miller Learning Center - University of Georgia (Athens, GA)

The study of capitalism has seen a resurgence in academia. New ways of looking at old questions have challenged the established narratives between capital and social relationships. The University of Georgia Graduate Student Conference on Global Capitalism and the Global South will enable junior scholars to explore capitalism as a category of historical analysis.

The Global Capitalism Initiative and the UGA History Department invite graduate students to submit papers that engage with capitalism in its many forms. We especially encourage submissions that pertain to the global South, explore how capitalism has shifted with the growth of the world economy or connect capitalism to any historiographic or geopolitical subfield.

Some suggested themes include:

Business & Finance
Environment & Agriculture
Gender & Sexuality
Intellectual History
Digital History
Slavery & Race
Labor & Labor Relations
Political Economy
Global & Regional Trade
The Capitalist State

This conference will provide breakfast and lunch for each day, hotel accommodations for up to six out-of-state students, and airport transportation. Our keynote speaker will be Dr. Woody Holton, the McCausland Professor of History at the University of South Carolina.

Graduate students at any phase in their academic careers are welcome to apply. To complete a paper proposal, please email a 250-word abstract and current C.V. to the conference committee at

The deadline for submission is February 23, 2015.

CFP: 9th Annual Southern History of Science and Technology (SoHoST) Meeting
April 10-11th, 2015
Virginia Commonwealth University
Richmond, VA

This year’s ‘Southern HoST’ conference for the history of science and technology will be co-sponsored by STS@VCU and held on Friday and Saturday April 10-11th, 2015, at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA.

Southern HoST aims to showcase outstanding scholarship and cultivate community for the growing number of history of science and technology scholars and institutional programs throughout the American South. This regional meeting provides a welcoming environment for graduate student presentations as well as a collegial venue for more established academics to try out new material.

Faculty and graduate students are invited to submit paper, session, and/or roundtable proposals. Graduate students whose papers are accepted for presentation and who promptly confirm participation can receive two nights of free lodging (in the home of a VCU faculty member, VCU graduate student, or in on-campus dormitory-style housing arranged by the STS@VCU Program). For faculty participants, lodging in either local B&Bs or hotels -- at reduced university rates -- will be available. More detailed information for the conference will be posted soon at:

The 2014 meeting included papers on topics ranging from agriculture to aerospace technology, health policy to computer gaming, and spanned the 17th through 20th centuries. As always, we are especially interested in developing professional (roundtable) discussions devoted to the challenges and opportunities of teaching and doing the history of science and technology in southern contexts.

Please submit a 150-250 word paper proposal, or a 250-350 word session/roundtable proposal, and brief biographical sketch via email to John Powers at Virginia Commonwealth University ( by February 16th 2015. Program co-chairs are Dr. Powers, Dr. Karen Rader (VCU), and Ms. Mary Richie McGuire (STS Program, Virginia Tech); program decisions will be made and emailed to participants by February 20th, 2015.

Call for Papers: Middle West Review
A Special Issue on the Farm Crisis
The Middle West Review invites submissions for a special issue on the farm crisis. During the 1980s, an economic crisis displaced thousands of farm families and affected the broader social, political, economic, and cultural foundations of the Midwest. Now, thirty years later, this special issue strives to capture that broader picture and initiate new dialogues on the legacy of those difficult years.

Guest editors Jenny Barker-Devine, associate professor of history at Illinois College, and David Vail, assistant professor and public services archivist at Kansas State University, welcome essays that explore the effects of the Farm Crisis on individuals, farms, and communities, as well as analyses of activism, policy, and politics. Because we still have much to learn about the Farm Crisis, the editors also welcome articles that review specific archival collections, oral history collections, and other materials that will assist researchers interested in locating more information on this period. Essays should be firmly rooted within a framework of Midwestern regional identity. Authors might consider questions such as: How did the farm crisis unfold? Who did it affect and how? Did individual resistance and the activist response result in meaningful change? In what ways did it shape the Midwest of today? What kinds of assumptions about regional identity motored media and policy responses to the crisis? Thirty years later, what long-term political, economic, and social consequences? What can the legacy of activist groups, or more specifically, the Farm Aid benefit teach us about philanthropy, region, and historical memory?

Essays should run between 5,000 to 10,000 words and articulate a central thesis about the study of the Midwest. These works should build upon original research or new interpretations of existing sources and advance a unique argument that complicates the existing body of knowledge pertaining to the American Midwest.

The Middle West Review also welcomes photo essays that incorporate original photographs of or about the Midwest. Contributors should include a description of each photograph and a brief written explanation (100 to 200 words) of their significance as a body of work.

All contributions will undergo a process of peer review spearheaded by the Middle West Review editorial board. Your submission will either be accepted for publication outright, returned with a request to “revise and resubmit,” or rejected outright. All submissions will benefit from the comments and revisions of the Middle West Review editorial board and its editorial reviewers.

The Middle West Review is a biannual, interdisciplinary, scholarly journal about the American Midwest. The inaugural issue was published in September 2014 by the University of Nebraska Press. It aims to explore the significance of midwestern identity, geography, society, culture, and politics. We urge scholars and non-scholars alike to probe these and other questions in thoughtful submissions to the Middle West Review. A peer reviewed journal, the Middle West Review seeks to reach a popular audience while also remaining on the cutting edge of scholarly inquiry. To these ends, the Middle West Review encourages submissions of all varieties, especially those that push the boundaries of interdisciplinarity and interactivity. For more information, please visit:

Contributors should submit their work to: no later than April 1, 2015. Any questions may be directed to guest editors Jenny Barker-Devine ( and David Vail (

DEADLINE EXTENDED: Southern Forum on Agricultural, Rural, and Environmental History 2015
The Southern Forum on Agricultural, Rural, and Environmental History (SFARE) is coming home. Mississippi State University will host the forum’s eighth annual meeting in Starkville, Mississippi, on April 10-11, 2015. Sponsored by the Mississippi State Department of History in collaboration with Center for the History of the Agriculture, Science, and Environment of the South (CHASES), SFARE provides a collegial setting for both students and established scholars to present new research in the fields of agricultural, rural, and environmental history. In keeping with SFARE’s tradition of fostering a welcoming and constructive atmosphere, participants should plan to attend all panels (there are no concurrent sessions) in order to provide quality feedback for each presenter.

The SFARE program committee is proud to announce that Mark Stoll will deliver this year’s keynote address. Dr. Stoll is an associate professor at Texas Tech, where he serves as the director of the environmental studies program. His second book, Inherit the Holy Mountain: Religion and the Rise of American Environmentalism will be published by Oxford University Press in May. You can learn more about Dr. Stoll at

Papers, sessions, and roundtable proposals on all geographic locations and time periods are welcome. Please submit a 100-word paper abstract or a 250-word panel abstract, along with a one-page CV to Jason Hauser ( by February 15, 2015.

Employment Opportunity: Director & Professor of Women’s & Gender Studies Program, Iowa State University
The Women’s and Gender Studies Program at Iowa State University invites applications for a Full Professor and Program Director. The research emphasis of applicants should be appropriate for a tenure home appointment in one of the academic departments in the college such as Biology, Economics, English, History, Political Science, Philosophy and Religious Studies, Psychology, Sociology, or Mass Communication.

You can learn more about the ISU Women’s and Gender Studies program here: Find out more about Ames and Iowa State at

Qualifications: Ph.D. and a substantial record of publication that meets university standards for appointment at the rank of Full Professor; supervisory experience; a range of teaching experience in related course work.
Proposed start date: August 16, 2015.
Salary: Commensurate with qualifications
Deadline: Applications will be accepted only by electronic submission and will continue until the position is filled. Application review will begin January 16, 2015. Please direct questions to the search committee chair, Dr. Anastasia Prokos ( You may also contact Dr. Gloria Jones-Johnson ( or Dr. Amy Slagell with questions about the position.

Iowa State University is an equal opportunity employer committed to excellence through diversity and strongly encourages applications from all qualified applicants, including women and minorities. ISU is responsive to the needs of dual career couples, is dedicated to work-life balance through an array of family-friendly policies, and is the recipient of an NSF ADVANCE Award for gender equity.

View complete details and application instructions at (Posting number 400097).

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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
Claire Strom, Editor
Agricultural History
1000 Holt Avenue - 2762
Rollins College
Winter Park, FL 32789