News and Events

CFP Extension: Agricultural History Society 2016 Annual Meeting
The Agricultural History Society has extended the deadline for paper and panel submissions for the 2016 annual meeting at City College of New York and Briarcliff Manor. The extended deadline is December 4, 2015. For more information, see

Call for Proposals: Under Western Skies 2016
Under Western Skies 2016

Water: Events, Trends, Analysis

September 27-30, 2016
Mount Royal University
Calgary, Alberta, CANADA

Under Western Skies (UWS) is a biennial, interdisciplinary conference series on the environment. The fourth conference organizers invite prospective researchers, authors, artists, and presenters to consider submitting proposals for oral and poster presentations as well as workshops and panels.

The conference theme, Water: Events, Trends, Analysis, will be threaded through four inter- and transdisciplinary conference tracks:

(1) Policy, programs, planning, and management: trends and emerging topics in this track include history of water, integrated water management, business risk, stakeholder engagement, governance, jurisdictions and law, instruments and tools, science and technology, informing decision makers, innovative interventions and practices, monitoring and assessment, education, urban planning and design, and lessons learned.

(2) Safety, reliability, and sustainability: trends and emerging topics in this track include human rights to water, borders and transnational issues, resilience and adaptation to climate change, catastrophes and disasters, alpine and glacial change, tensions in sustainability, invasive species, conservation, and human health and wellbeing impacts.

(3) Environmental Humanities Issues and Interfaces: trends and emerging topics in this track include water representations in law and public policy; in history and environmental
history; in world religions, global literature, film, and drama; in the cultures of science; and in collaborative projects involving the sciences and humanities.

(4) Agricultural and Industrial Use: trends and emerging topics in this track include water commodification, rural and Indigenous communities, water technologies and treatment, impact of scale, transportation, oil and gas development, mining, fisheries and oceans, and hydropower.

Under Western Skies 2016 is pleased to confirm the following participants:

Bruno Latour
Gaia Global Circus (Chloé Latour, Frédérique Aït-Touati, Olivier Vallet & Company)
Niigaanwewidam James Sinclair

The UWS Committee look forward to receiving contributions from all environmental fields of inquiry and endeavor, including but not limited to the humanities, natural and social sciences, public policy, business, and law. Non-academic proposals are also welcome.

Please submit your panel or individual proposal at, by January 31st, 2016.

The UWS conference series is the 2015 recipient of the Environmental Community Organizer (ECO) Award conferred by the Environmental Studies Association of Canada (ESAC) (

Cornell University College of Human Ecology History of Home Economics Fellowship
The College of Human Ecology at Cornell University is accepting applications for the 2016 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, consumer economics, the family, child development, design, 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 4, 2016. For additional information, see: Please circulate this announcement to interested individuals.

Call for Chapters: Midwest/Great Plains Borderlands Book
The Center for Western Studies seeks chapter proposals for "In Search of the Interior Borderlands: Where Does the Midwest End and the Great Plains Begin?,” an edited collection focused on exploring the dividing line, or imagined dividing line, between two of the nation’s understudied regions: the American Midwest and the Great Plains. This interior border has yet to become a significant point of discussion in the broader movement to analyze the borderlands of the United States and this volume is designed to advance the discussion in this direction. Proposals should explain the author’s general approach to the topic and include the sources to be consulted as well as the author’s curriculum vitae. Topics to be explored include, but are by no means limited to, historical understandings of the Midwest/Great Plains dividing line; the geographical and topographical approaches to designating a dividing line; literary or other cultural understandings of a dividing line; analyses of the regionalist thought and practices which have contributed to belief in a dividing line; agricultural practices which help explain the dividing line; environmental factors such as rainfall, glaciation, river development, and grasses which help to delineate a dividing line; historic and more recent discussions of the taxonomy of American regions, especially the real and imagined boundaries between the Midwest, the Great Plains, and the West; the understandings of Native Americans, American settlers, immigrants, political leaders, environmentalists, geographers, political scientists, and others which help explain the dividing line.

Chapter proposals will be due November 20, 2015. If a proposal is accepted, the author’s chapter will be due October 21, 2016. Final chapters should be approximately 5,000 words, including notes, and in Chicago style. All proposals should be sent to Harry Thompson, Executive Director of the Center for Western Studies: The editor of the collection will be Jon K. Lauck, President of the Midwestern History Association. The edited collection will be published by the Center for Western Studies.

Call for Papers: Okra to Opera 3

April 8 & 9, 2016
Converse College, Spartanburg, SC


“Long before I wrote stories, I listened for stories.”
- Eudora Welty, One Writer’s Beginnings

The focus of O2O 3 will be storytelling; approaches that take an interdisciplinary approach are especially welcome. As in the past, we are conceiving this topic broadly – stories are passed along through oral traditions, of course, but stories also are told in the ways families interact, the way communities function, in churches, synagogues, and other religious settings, around campfires and the dinner table. For better or worse, in our modern digital age, stories are told from a multitude of platforms. Books, television shows, and movies often tell stories about the south, and sometimes we experience them as true, sometimes we do not. We welcome proposals that examine all these diverse aspects of storytelling in and about the south.

We envision this conference as a place to pull many threads together in unusual and perhaps innovative combinations to examine larger questions. We welcome proposals that employ both traditional and non-traditional approaches to larger scholarly questions. To further ensure that this conference provides a place for interdisciplinary and non-traditional examinations of Southern Culture we would prefer single paper proposals rather than full panel proposals.

We invite papers from scholars and professionals working in the fields of literary studies, creative writing, folk culture, history, performing arts, social sciences and material culture, as well as students and practitioners of the art of storytelling in its many forms.

Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

Oral traditions
Music as storytelling
Southern writers
Stories of the dinner table
Material culture and storytelling
Stories about the south in popular culture
Southern filmmaking
Television in and about the south
Storytelling in diverse religious traditions
Digital storytelling

About the speakers: Joe Newberry is a North Carolina musician and teacher of traditional music and song, Joe is a frequent guest on Garrison Keillor’s Prairie Home Companion, and for the last six years he has served as coordinator of Old-Time Week at the Augusta Heritage Center in Elkins, WV.

Laurel Horton is an independent quilt researcher, writer, and editor; she attended the U of Kentucky and UNC Chapel Hill and is the author of Mary Black’s Family Quilts: Memory and Meaning in Everyday Life. Her current research focuses on quilts and counterpanes as documents of women's expressive culture.

Please send 250-word abstract as an email attachment, along with a brief CV (Word or PDF, with O2O 3 proposal in the subject line) to:

Anita Rose, Conference Chair @
Please check back on this webpage,, for schedule and registration information.


Article of Interest to Agricultural Historians
"The Big Rust and the Red Queen: Long-Term Perspectives on Coffee Rust Research", by Stuart McCook and John Vandermeer, chronicles coffee rust epidemics, the social and ecological conditions that produced them, and the evolving responses. Published in Phytopathology, this paper is open access through 15 October

California Historical Society Book Award
The California Historical Society (CHS) and Heyday have established the California Historical Society Book Award for a book-length manuscript that makes an important contribution to both scholarship and to the greater community by deepening public understanding of some aspect of California history. The prize carries a $5,000 advance and publication in both print and e-book formats by CHS/Heyday, with an awards ceremony, ample promotion, and an author tour throughout the state.

The purpose of the award is to recognize and promote an exciting new literary work in celebration of California’s heritage. The ideal manuscript will inform the minds and delight the imaginations of readers while generating a deeper understanding of California’s rich history. The work must adhere to high scholarly and literary standards and must be lively and engaging to general readers. In addition to conventional works of historical scholarship, other genres will be considered, such as biographies, collections of letters or essays, and creative nonfiction. Works of fiction will not be accepted.


•The topic should be broad enough to be of interest to readers throughout the state.
•Authors with manuscripts that will be completed within four months of the submission deadline are welcome to apply.
•Manuscripts, when finished, should be at least 40,000 words. While we are open to other possibilities, preference will be given to manuscripts of fewer than 75,000 words.

How to apply

Applications are due by May 1, 2016. Please send the following material to in a single PDF:

•A cover letter introducing yourself and your qualifications.
•A brief description of your project.
•An annotated table of contents.
•A statement as to the need or desirability of photographs, maps, or other graphics, with examples.
•If the manuscript is not yet completed, a statement that describes what has been done and a schedule for what still needs to be finished.
•A sample chapter (double-spaced, standard font and font size).

The jury will consist of a panel of noted historians, scholars, and publishing experts. Potential candidates may be contacted for additional information. The winner will be announced June 15, 2016. Publication will be approximately one year after a fully completed manuscript and all graphics are accepted. For more information, please visit: or

About the California Historical Society
The California Historical Society (CHS), founded in 1871, is a nonprofit organization with a mission to inspire and empower people to make California’s richly diverse past a meaningful part of their contemporary lives. We hold one of the top research collections on California history, which includes over 35,000 volumes of books and pamphlets, more than 4,000 manuscripts, and some 500,000 photographs documenting California’s social, cultural, economic, and political history and development, including some of the most cherished and valuable documents and images of California’s past.

About Heyday
Heyday is an independent, nonprofit publisher and unique cultural institution that promotes widespread awareness and celebration of California’s many cultures, landscapes, and boundary-breaking ideas. Through its well-crafted books, public events, and innovative outreach programs, Heyday is building a vibrant community of readers, writers, and thinkers.

Call for Papers Graduate Student Conference: Life & Law in Rural America: Cows, Cars, and Criminals
Life & Law in Rural America: Cows, Cars, and Criminals
Princeton University Program in American Studies
Graduate Student Conference
March 25-26, 2016

Rural America has become an increasingly productive space for critical inquiry and exploration for scholars in many disciplines. From school reform to policing, from healthcare to popular television shows, and everything in between, the rural United States is continually being explored from new vantage points. Current research suggests that rural communities share many of the same kinds of challenges in education, policing, poverty, and healthcare found in urban and suburban communities, disrupting long-standing assumptions about rural America. At the same time, academics and non-academics alike recognize that rural spaces and experiences are distinct.

This conference, sponsored by the Program in American Studies at Princeton University, will explore rural spaces, people, and the law throughout American history and the present. With this conference, we seek to bring together an interdisciplinary group of graduate student researchers and faculty respondents to ask interdisciplinary questions of the social, cultural, legal, religious, and intellectual experiences of rural life. What is “rural”, and how does law constitute a distinctly rural experience for those who live there? How do law, lived experience, and geography interact in distinct ways in rural places?

Alongside keynote speakers Angela Garcia and Lisa Pruitt, we expect participants may explore more specific questions such as, how has rural America changed over time and developed into what we know as rural today? How is policing understood socially by rural residents? What does employment mean when opportunities are dramatically limited because of geography? What is the place of religious commitment in the rural U.S.? In what ways are rural spaces “urban”? How is civic engagement—such as protests and boycotts—changed when anonymity is not possible?

We invite graduate students working in the fields of American Studies, Anthropology, History, Law, English, Political Science, Musicology, Geography, Sociology, Art History, and related fields to submit papers on topics including but not limited to law and:

Policing in rural communities
Economic opportunity
Religious commitment
Regional rural identity
Gender in rural spaces
Race in rural America—both within, and outside of, the South
Class and poverty in rural places
Local government law and rural politics
Federal policies impacting rural America
Farming and farm laborers
Hinterlands & Rural-Urban Relationships
Activism & Civic Engagement
Cultural stereotypes of rural America
Environmental studies
Rural research methods
Socio-legal studies

Please submit an abstract of no more than 400 words, a short biographical description, and your contact information by November 15, 2015. Proposals and questions should be sent to conference organizers Heath Pearson and Emily Prifogle at

Rural Diary Archive Website Launch and Transcribe-A-Thon
Rural Diary Archive
Website Launch and Transcribe-A-Thon
University of Guelph, Ontario

Thursday, September 24, 2015
McLaughlin Library, First Floor, Academic Town Square
2:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m.

The event will take place on the first floor of the University of Guelph’s McLaughlin Library in the Academic Town Square from 2:30 PM to 5:30 PM. There will be diaries on display and a draw for prizes! Bring your laptop and make your mark on history by helping to transcribe these digital diaries into searchable text. Come learn more about local rural history and the diarists who helped document it.

Please RSVP to or call 519-824-4120 x53888 by September 15th, 2015

Iowa State History Department Seeks Department Chair
Iowa State University’s Department of History invites applications and nominations for the position of Department Chair.

Iowa State University’s Department of History is a dynamic academic unit with a thriving 325-major undergraduate program with a growing global curriculum that emphasizes the U.S., Latin America, Europe, Middle & Near East, and Asia, 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 on the available position, please visit

Call for Papers Special Issue on Agricultural and Rural History of New York
New York History will publish a special issue in 2016 devoted to the agricultural and rural history of the Empire State. Topics are unrestricted and include urban, gender, social, technological, scientific, and political histories, among others relating to agriculture and rural life. Doug Hurt will serve as the guest editor. Submit abstracts or manuscript proposals that do not exceed 500 words by October 16 to Invitations to submit full-length articles ranging from 5,000 to 7,500 words will be sent by December 4. Manuscripts will be due July 1, 2016.

Call for Proposals Conference on "U.S.-China Relations during the Twentieth Century"
The Joint Center for China Studies at Purdue University and Nanjing Agricultural University invites papers for a conference on "U.S.-China Relations during the Twentieth Century." The conference will be held at Purdue University from October 18-20, 2016. Papers dealing with all aspects of U.S.- China relations will be considered. The Center particularly welcomes sessions and papers on science, technology, women, politics, culture, agriculture, and rural life. Send session and paper proposals by December 1, 2016, to Doug Hurt, Head, Department of History, Purdue University, at

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Contact Us

The Society Office
James C. Giesen, Executive Secretary
Alan I Marcus, Treasurer
MSU History Department
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Claire Strom, Editor
Agricultural History
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Rollins College
Winter Park, FL 32789