News and Events

Call For Papers: Artifacts in Agraria Symposium
Artifacts in Agraria Symposium, University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada, 17-18 October 2015

A pottery jug, rag rug, handmade nightdress, coal-oil lamp, plow, buggy, barn…. Some experiences of the agrarian past have escaped being put into language but survive long after the period under study as artifacts.

We invite proposals that begin with a material artifact of everyday life, either made or used, and explore it as a valid historical source that gathers meaning when understood in the context of surviving written records, family history, fashion trends and international commerce. How is the artifact conceived and used by particular groups? How does it connect aesthetic and cultural beliefs, symbolize self-identity, affirm values, tell stories, purvey heritage and have meaning ascribed to it through display? We encourage papers that provide a better understanding of rural life in and beyond Canada, and that explore new methods or ways of viewing and contextualizing artifacts. Though organized by historians, we welcome ethnologists, archaeologists, art historians, cultural geographers, museum professionals and connoisseurs.

Please submit a 400 word proposal and 1 page CV to C. Wilson,

For more information visit:

Deadline for proposals is January 26, 2015.

Western Historical Quarterly Milner/ Butler Fellowship
Clyde A. Milner II and Anne M. Butler Editorial Fellowship
Graduate Student Fellowships at the Western Historical Quarterly

For 2015-2016, a total stipend of $14,000, tuition awards, health insurance, and summer research funds will be awarded.

The Editorial Fellow must enroll in USU's master's program in history. Duties at the Western Historical Quarterly (WHQ) include 20 hours a week, beginning in August, helping to select, prepare, and copyedit manuscripts. The fellowship may be retained for a second year (2016-17) depending upon satisfactory progress toward the master's degree and acceptable completion of editorial assignments. During the summer of 2016, the editorial fellow will work 20 hours a week at the WHQ, with time off for research.

Applicants should send a letter of interest and a writing sample directly to the editor of the WHQ. The full graduate school application, including three letters of recommendation to the USU School of Graduate Studies, will suffice to complete the needed materials. All documents should be postmarked no later than 1 February 2015. Applicants will be notified by early March.

NOTE: The Clyde A. Milner II /Anne M. Butler Fellowship joins the Charles S. Peterson, S. George Ellsworth, and Robert M. Utley Editorial Fellowship awarded in rotating years by the WHQ.

Funding for WHQ fellowships is provided by: Western Historical Quarterly, USU Department of History, S. George Ellsworth Fellowship Fund, Clyde A. Milner II / Anne M. Butler Fellowship Fund, Charles S. and Elizabeth H. Peterson Graduate Fund, Robert M. Utley Fellowship Fund.

Please address correspondence to:

Dr. David Rich Lewis, Editor

Western Historical Quarterly

Western Historical Quarterly

0740 Old Main Hill

Utah State University

Logan, UT 84322-0740


Email: or

Phone: 435-797-1301

For more information see:

Western Historical Quarterly:

USU History Department:

USU School of Graduate Studies:

CFP: Transatlantic Agricultural Improvement, 1600-1900
Grassroots Modernities: Nature, Agriculture and Improvement in the Atlantic World

Yale University, June 9-10, 2015
Organized by Ariel Ron and Emily Pawley

Paper proposals due January 7, 2015

The Yale Center for Representative Institutions welcomes conference paper proposals on any aspect of transatlantic agricultural improvement from roughly the seventeenth through the nineteenth centuries. We encourage the submission of new work in progress as well as reflections on the state of the field. See the description below for more details. Confirmed participants include Joyce Chaplin, James C. Scott, Richard Drayton, Courtney Fullilove, Fredrik A. Jonsson, S. Max Edelson, Anya Zilberstein, and Christopher Clark.

Papers will be presented at a one-day conference in New Haven. YCRI will support travel expenses as well as paying a small honorarium.

Send proposals to Ariel Ron (

After years of relative neglect, agricultural history is suddenly producing a flood of exciting work. Impetus comes, on the one hand, from the seemingly novel, hot-button politics of food and environment. On the other hand, the return of an old subject—financial crisis—is directing that impetus toward political economy. The new work thus links science, commerce, and nature in ways that reveal a surprisingly modern “agrarian” world where defining economic and political change proceeded literally at the grassroots.

Some of the most stimulating work is emerging around the history of “improvement.” From the seventeenth to the nineteenth centuries, improvement signified something like what we might today call “development” or “innovation.” It functioned as an organizing concept for a new set of global institutions—botanical gardens, experimental farms, agricultural societies and publications, correspondence networks—that worked to transform the moral and material conditions of humanity’s most basic relationships to nature. These institutions shaped imperial and national destinies in ways both highly consequential and intriguingly odd.

Several subdisciplines and national historiographical traditions have independently contributed to the growing literature on agricultural improvement. In particular, the emphatically linked improving institutions of the British Empire and the United States have generated separate lines of inquiry. The conference aims to bring these perspectives together in fruitful conversation.

Open Position: Iowa State University, Chair and Professor
Iowa State University's Department of History invites applications and nominations for the position of Department Chair. The successful candidate will be an active scholar and exemplary teacher whose background merits appointment as a Full Professor. He or she will provide vision and demonstrated leadership to the department’s tenured and tenure-track faculty, Lecturers, and Graduate Teaching Assistants. Iowa State University's Department of History is a dynamic academic unit with a thriving 325-major undergraduate program and graduate programs including a secondary education certification program, an M.A. degree in History, and a Ph.D. in Rural, Agricultural, Technological and Environmental History (RATE). For more information, please visit Iowa State University has a strong commitment to family leave and partner accommodations.

Required Qualifications: Ph.D. or equivalent degree in History; internationally-recognized scholarly record; demonstrated commitment to and record of excellence in teaching; scholarly activity and professional service to support a tenured appointment as a full professor; demonstrated administrative ability and experience.
Preferred Qualifications: Evidence of a balanced perspective on research and teaching, as well as the vision and ability to lead a faculty with a diverse range of interests; demonstrated experience in attracting external funding; budget and personnel management experience; demonstrated commitment to diversity.
Iowa State University is an equal opportunity employer committed to excellence through diversity and strongly encourages applications from all qualified applicants, including women, underrepresented minorities, and veterans. ISU is responsive to the needs of dual career couples, is dedicated to work-life balance through an array of policies, and is an NSF ADVANCE institution. To apply for this position, please visit and click on "Apply for this Vacancy.”

AHS Call for Award Nominations
The Agricultural History Society seeks nominations for its publication awards through December 31, 2014. To nominate a book, article, or dissertation with a 2014 publication date, please follow the directions below. If you have a question, please email executive secretary Jim Giesen (

Theodore Saloutos Memorial Award for the best book on agricultural history, broadly defined, with a 2014 copyright date. To nominate a book, please send four copies to the Society office (address below) with a brief letter of nomination. (You may email the nomination letter to Jim Giesen.)

Henry A. Wallace Award for the best book on any aspect (broadly interpreted) of agricultural history outside the United States, with a 2014 copyright date. To nominate a book, please send four copies to the Society office (address below) with a letter of nomination. (You may email the nomination letter to Jim Giesen.)

Wayne D. Rasmussen Award for the best 2014 article on agricultural history (broadly defined) not published in Agricultural History. To nominate an article, please e-mail a .pdf copy to Jim Giesen with a letter of nomination. If you must send a hard copy, please send one to Jim Giesen at the Society office (address below).

Gilbert C. Fite Dissertation Award for the best dissertation on agricultural history defended in 2014. To nominate a dissertation, please e-mail a .pdf copy to Jim Giesen with a letter of nomination. If you must send a hard copy, please send four copies to Jim Giesen at the Society office (address below).

Everett E. Edwards Award for the best article submitted to Agricultural History by a graduate student during 2014. All articles submitted to the journal by graduate students are considered by the committee. All nominations must be received in the Society office by December 31, 2014.

Send electronic nominations to:

Send books to:

James C. Giesen

History Department

PO Box H / Allen 214

Mississippi State, MS 39762

Cornell University College of Human Ecology History of Home Economics Fellowship
The College of Human Ecology at Cornell University is accepting applications for the 2015 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:

History of food, nutrition, housing, the family, child development, clothing and textiles, and history of women in higher education among other key topics in American social history.

The deadline for receipt of all application materials is March 3, 2015. For additional information, see:
Please circulate this announcement to interested individuals.

CFP: Southern Rural Sociological Association 46th Annual Meeting
125th Anniversary of the Second Morrill Act: 1890 – 2015 “Southern Rural Sociology: A Catalyst for 1890 Partnerships to Address an Underserved South”
The 46th Annual Meeting of the Southern Rural Sociological
Association (SRSA) will be held concurrently with the Southern Association of Agricultural Scientists (SAAS)
January 31 – February 3, 2015 in Atlanta, Georgia

Rural sociologists, sociologists, practitioners, agricultural and
resource economists, rural and regional development specialists,
extension specialists, natural resource and environmental specialists, anthropologists, agricultural historians and other professionals whose research has implications for rural life and rural communities are invited to participate. There is a special 125th anniversary call for presentations that address various partnerships with the 1890 Institutions including 1862s, CBOs, USDA and other organizations. Focus can include policy, research and outreach activities and their impact on Southern agriculture and rural communities. Paper, poster, and panel submissions are welcome.

For further details and updates on invited workshops and plenary sessions, please check the SRSA website:

Persons wishing to participate in the 2015 meeting are invited to submit (via email) an abstract of 150 words to the Program Chair
by Friday, October 31, 2014.

For more information, please contact:
Douglas Clayton Smith
Department of Sociology
Western Kentucky University
1906 College Heights Blvd. #11057
Bowling Green, KY 42101-1057
Ph: (270) 745-3750
Fax: (270) 745-6493

2015 Agricultural History Society CFP Deadline Extension
The 2015 AHS Call for Papers deadline has been extended until October 22! Organized around the theme of animals in rural, agricultural, and environmental history, the 2015 meeting of the AHS will be held in Lexington, Kentucky, the Horse Capital of the World. The CFP can be found here:

Please direct any questions to Mark Hersey at

Graduate Workshop on Animals in the Study of History
The Agricultural History Society invites applications for a one-day graduate student workshop to be held Wednesday, June 3, 2015 in Lexington, KY showcasing innovative research on animals in the study of history. The workshop will run immediately in advance of the AHS Annual Meeting (June 3 – 6, 2015) also in Lexington, the Horse Capitol of the World. Graduate students with projects involving animals from any periods and geographic regions are eligible, and graduate students working in history or affiliated disciplines with substantial historical components are welcomed. Papers examining or intersecting with methodological, theoretical, and historiographical questions prompted by the interdisciplinary “animal turn” in the humanities are especially encouraged to apply.

All accepted papers will be pre-circulated, assigned a respondent from among a group of senior scholars, and given in-depth, individual, and constructive feedback. Participants appearing on the conference program of the AHS Annual Meeting will also be eligible for a stipend to help defer the cost of travel and accommodations. A panel of senior scholars will also award a $500 prize to the workshop’s outstanding paper.

To apply, please submit a 200-word abstract and a 1-page CV to by October 22, 2014. Questions may be directed to the same email address.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to apply concurrently to the AHS Annual Meeting program to ensure access to the stipend. Information about the Annual Meeting and the Agricultural History Society can be found at

A Century Beyond the Campus: Past, Present, and Future of Extension at West Virginia University
A Research Symposium to Mark the 100th Anniversary of the Smith-Lever Act
September 24 – 25, 2014
Waterfront Place Hotel
Morgantown, WV

A century ago, the Smith-Lever Act of 1914 established the United States Cooperative Extension System, a partnership of the Department of Agriculture, land-grant colleges, and state and local governments. This historic legislation provided federal support to land-grant colleges in “cooperation with the Department of Agriculture … in order to aid in diffusing among the people of the United States useful and practical information . . .” The Smith-Lever Act was the culmination of years of fledgling outreach efforts by land-grant colleges to extend the educational, social, and economic benefits of higher education beyond the campus to serve the people. County extension agents and land-grant extension faculty delivered scientific knowledge and new technology, promoted local education, health and wellness programs, provided life-long learning, engaged in community development, and reoriented land-grant colleges as a public good.

This centennial symposium provides an opportunity for scholars to consider the legacy, present condition, and future directions of cooperative extension, as well as the engagement mission of public higher education.

The event kicks off September 24th with an afternoon poster session, evening welcome reception, and the 2014 C. Peter Magrath Lecture, featuring West Virginia University's former president C. Peter Magrath, president Emeritus David C. Hardesty, Jr., and current president E. Gordon Gee sharing their unique perspectives on the Cooperative Extension Service and its role in fulfilling the land-grant mission.

The celebration continues all day Thursday with sessions from scholars across the country presenting research and discussing the the importance of the Smith-Lever Act to higher education and the future impact of the Cooperative Extension Service. The keynote address will be given by Rachel Tompkins, senior fellow at the Rural Schools and Community Trust and former vice provost for extension and public service at West Virginia University.

For the schedule of events, see:

Questions may be directed to the Office of University Events at or 304-293-7132.

Jefferson Prize for Documentary Histories
The Society for History in the Federal Government (SHFG) seeks entries for its 2015 Thomas Jefferson Prize for documentary histories published in 2013 or 2014. The prize recognizes the editor(s) of a single volume or one or more volumes in a project that contributes significantly to the understanding of the history of the federal government. It will be awarded at the SHFG annual meeting in Spring 2015. See for a list of past winners and general requirements for all SHFG prizes.

In addition to the general requirements, entries for the 2015 Jefferson Prize will be judged on the editorial methodology employed, including accuracy of transcription, relevance and usefulness of annotation, selection and arrangement of documents, and indexing. Electronic documentary editions will also be evaluated for solid technological capabilities and performance, high quality of design, and innovative strategies or techniques.

A copy of each entry with a letter briefly stating its qualifications and merits should be sent to each of the Jefferson Committee members by November 30, 2014:
Richa Wilson, US Forest Service Intermountain Region, 324 25th Street, Ogden, UT 84401

Jennifer Ross-Nazzal, Ph.D., 2003 Seakale Lane, Houston, TX 77062

Alisa Whitley, United States Marine Corps Archives, 2040 Broadway Street, Quantico, VA 22134

The SHFG, founded in 1979, is a nonprofit professional organization that promotes the study and broad understanding of the history of the United States Government. It also serves as the voice of the Federal historical community. The Thomas Jefferson Prize commemorates the third president of the United States and the author of the Declaration of Independence. Jefferson was a firm believer in the study of history and the preservation of historical records.

"Agriculture Collections: A New Dynamic" 17th International AIMA Congress of Agricultural Museums
The 17th International Association Internationale des Musées d’Agriculture Congress of Agricultural Museums
November 5-7, 2014
The Museum of Civilizations of Europe and the Mediterranean
Marseille, France

At a time when few museum renovations are allowing space for agriculture in the broad sense, the 2014 AIMA congress proposes to address the questions of relevance, representativeness and the role of museum agricultural collections. Most ethnology museums have collections pertaining to agriculture and animal husbandry. With the exception of museums dedicated to these themes, these collections are given little if any space in general museums.

Attitudes about agriculture collections are different from continent to continent and from one culture to another, due to the varying importance of agriculture in relation to other human
activities. The approaches to agricultural heritage are immensely varied and it is these common points or, on the contrary, the divergences that the CIMA XVII wishes to highlight, those interested in museum, wherever they are in the world.

For more information and registration for "Agriculture Collections: A New Dynamic," the 17th International Association Internationale des Musées d’Agriculture Congress of Agricultural Museums, see their website:

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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