Call For Papers: Rural Women’s Studies Association Triennial Conference

The deadline for submitting proposals for the 2015 Rural Women’s Studies
Association Triennial Conference in San Marcos, Texas, is May 15, 2014.

Call for Presentations and Papers
“The Local is Global”: Gender and Rural Connections across Time and Place

Rural Women’s Studies Association Triennial Conference
Hosted by Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas
February 12-14, 2015

The theme of the 2015 conference “The Local is Global”: Gender and Rural
Connections across Time and Place emphasizes the importance of rural
women’s local activities and experiences – both historical and
contemporary – to global affairs. At the same time, it highlights the
gendered impacts of and reactions to global processes – including
globalization, international and transnational trends, policies and
programs, and climate change -at the local level. It especially aspires to
explore how these different scales are connected across time and space.

RWSA is an international association for the advancement and promotion of
research on rural women and gender in a historical perspective. Worldwide,
the Association aims to encourage research, to promote existing and
forthcoming scholarship, and to establish and maintain links with
contemporary organizations around the interests of rural women, rural
communities and the rural environment, including farming and the
agricultural sector, from a gender perspective. RWSA welcomes academic
scholars, public historians and archivists, graduate students, and
representatives of rural organizations and communities to be association
members and conference participants.

Along with paper presentations and panels, proposals for workshops,
interactive sessions, posters, open discussions, performances, readings,
audiovisual presentations are very much encouraged. Especially welcome are
those with inter-, trans- or multi-disciplinary approaches, and/or that
connect rural women’s / gender history and present-day political,
ecological or social and economic concerns, worldwide. We are also looking
for submissions that integrate creative work with the conference themes.
We plan to have at least one evening dedicated to creative work, but are
interested in integrating artists from visual, film, performative and
literary genres into the fabric of the conference as well.

RWSA aims to discuss and further develop the thematic areas relevant to
rural contexts, such as gender and labor, food, health, education, the
professions, cultural heritage, leadership, migration, technology,
communication, iconography and creative expression in rural contexts.
Proposals for this conference are especially encouraged to also include:

* Rural women’s voices as forms of power and arbiters of change;

* Differences and changes in rural femininities and masculinities;

* The intersection of rural women and/or gender with other
socio-cultural dimensions such as wealth / class, ethnicity / race, age /
generation, religion, sexuality, health status;

* Gender and/or women in social and other reform movements, social
and welfare policy initiatives, rural grassroots organizations, especially
with respect to rural communities, agriculture, the rural environment and
natural resource management;

* International, transnational, governmental and/or non-governmental
organizations and their gendered rural policies or gender-specific
policies on rural women and men;

* Gender and/ or women in intersections between non-indigenous rural
populations and indigenous peoples – commonalities in struggles,
collaborative experiences, similarities, differences, breakthroughs, etc;

* Knowledge and scholarship in rural gender/women’s history and
women’s integration in rural history.

Please submit the following information by 15 May 2014.

1. Title of paper/session/workshop/performance (working title is acceptable).

2. 400 word description/abstract of paper or proposed session/workshop, etc.

3. Brief vita/bio of presenter or session participants and complete contact

Please indicate if your proposal does not fit in the regular session time
of 1.5 hour with three presentations and discussion. We will get in touch
if the proposal has been accepted.

Submissions should be sent electronically to:

If it is not possible to send your proposal electronically, please send by
regular mail to the following address if you are submitting from the
Cynthia Prescott
History Department, University of North Dakota
221 Centennial Dr., Stop 8096
Grand Forks, ND 58202-8096

Submissions by post from elsewhere in the world should be sent to:
Margreet van der Burg
Rural History, Social Sciences, Wageningen University
Hollandseweg 1, NL-6706 KN Wageningen
The Netherlands

For information on travel grants and letters of invitation, contact Rebecca
Montgomery,<>. For additional
information on the RWSA, please go to the organization website,

Call for Papers: Consuming/Culture: Women and Girls in Print and Pixels

This conference follows on from those held at Kingston (2012) and Cornell
(2013), themed around women and magazines, and will be held at Oxford
Brookes University on 5 and 6 June 2015.  We have selected a theme that
will allow for a wide range of papers and we encourage submissions
from scholars at all stages of their careers. We especially welcome
proposals that incorporate the following themes: food, advertising, digital
platforms/presentations, celebrities, sport, marketing, memoirs, fashion,
internationalisation, and all forms of identity/representational politics.

The organisers encourage collaborative efforts, in both individual paper
and panel submissions.

Submit abstracts of no more than 250 words to by 1 October 2014

This conference will also incorporate a poster session that will allow
participants to feature visual aspects of magazines.  Queries about this
mode of presentation and abstract of 150-250 words can be directed to by 1 October 2014.

The conference is jointly sponsored by Oxford Brookes University (UK),
Arcadia University (US), and the University of East Anglia (UK).  For
additional information and updates, please go to

History of the Seven Sisters: a quiz and a lecture

It’s time for a history of women’s education quiz!
(in honor of finals week)


History of the Seven Sisters talk at Fleisher Art Memorial in Philadelphia, April 22, 2014

  1. In their early years, which two Seven Sisters schools required domestic work as part of their students’ education in order to maintain femininity and prevent them from being perceived as unmarriagable?
  2. Which school is credited with starting women’s basketball in 1892, less than a year after the game was invented for men?
  3. When one school began to pursue a full college charter, it was vehemently opposed by then president of Bryn Mawr, M. Carey Thomas, who considered it to be the only real competition to Bryn Mawr’s formidable academic standard. Which school posed the perceived threat?
  4. Which school was the first and only to hire an all-female faculty upon its founding?
  5. From its beginnings, one school was known for a much more ethnically, religiously, and politically diverse student body than those of the others due to its urban environment and its lower tuition. Can you name the institution?Answers at the bottom of the post, and in the lecture video below!

These were among the new facts that I learned while researching for a talk on the history of the Seven Sisters Colleges, which I delivered to a group of alumnae/i from the Seven Sisters Alumnae Clubs of Philadelphia at the Fleisher Art Memorial on April 22nd. The event was organized by Erin Rocchio (MHC ’06), the president of the Mount Holyoke College Club of Philadelphia, and hosted by Elizabeth Grimaldi (BMC ’03), executive director of Fleisher. We had over sixty attendees, representing a dynamic and intergenerational group of Seven Sisters graduates.


Evan McGonagill

It was a challenge to squeeze such a fascinating history into a single hour: each school has a unique story of its own, and I struggled to choose which details to omit. However, rather than focusing closely on individual schools, my goal was to show the ways in which all seven evolved together both in relation to each other and to the shifting cultural environment that surrounded them. The mid- and late-nineteenth century, which forms the backdrop against which the schools were launched, was a time of deep skepticism regarding women’s intellect. The climate gradually changed as the experiment of college education for women successfully navigated its first few years and mainstream culture began to embrace the idea. However, the twentieth century brought its own complex mixture of advances in women’s rights (such as the victory of the suffrage movement) and new barriers to women’s equality, some of which precipitated directly from the schools’ initial success. It is a very interesting history (in my opinion!) and I enjoyed researching the details of the schools’ foundings in addition to the ways that their identities developed in contrast to one another.


Seven Sisters Alumnae/i engage in discussion after the lecture

I was delighted to be able to talk to the alumnae/i about this history, and to hold a dialogue about issues facing institutions for women’s education in the present day. I synced the slides from my Prezi presentation with audio from the talk, which you can view and listen to below. You can listen to most of the talk** below, where it is synced with the slides from my Prezi presentation. Look for a brief cameo from Lisa Simpson towards the beginning! As always, please contribute your thoughts on the history, present, or future of women’s education in the comments.

Quiz answers!

1. Mount Holyoke and Vassar
2. Smith College
3. Radcliffe College
4. Wellesley College
5. Barnard College

*Since the audio recording is clipped due to sound clarity in the beginning, my credits were omitted: the talk drew on many sources but relied most heavily on the excellent and informative Alma Mater: Design and Experience in the Women’s Colleges From Their Nineteenth-Century Beginnings to the 1930s, (Beacon Press, 1984) by Helen Lefkowitz Horowitz.

**The battery from the recorder unfortunately cut out before the discussion ended, but the first few minutes of dialogue are captured.



Call For Papers: Women, Gender and Government Outsourcing in Comparative Perspectives

WAGADU: Journal of Transnational Women’s and Gender Studies

Special Issue: Women, Gender and Government Outsourcing in Comparative Perspectives

Guest editors:

S.N. Nyeck, PhD., Clarkson University, New York
Orly Benjamin, PhD., Bar IIan University, Israel


Since 1980s, consensus on the prominent role of the state and its bureaucracy in the production and delivery of public services has been shifting. Searches for alternatives to organizing and managing the public sector have fundamentally redefined the role of government in economic wellness and development. Today, the New Public Management (NPM) approach that seeks cost reduction in the public sector through de-unionization has become dominant around the world. NPM emphasizes market-based solutions to public and social services delivery. The theoretical and pragmatic rationales for complete outsourcing, privatization, or a combination of both have implications for women in the supply chain for public services. For instance, a shift in the role of the state as an employer of women in the service and caring occupations around the world deserves attention.

The role and impact of new public-private partnerships –compared to other forms of privatization- for the delivery of public services for women and by women, however, remain under researched. This special issue seeks to bring together work that specifically addresses the intersection of gender or women and government outsourcing. We encourage work that engages with gender or women within the whole spectrum of government outsourcing: women or gender in the private and public sectors as employees, regulators, producers, and consumers of public services. We’re also interested in understanding how government outsourcing re-shapes gendered ethno-national-racial-class divides. Work that addresses alternative and/or comparable models to outsourcing is solicited.

Government outsourcing affects and empowers women in various ways. We welcome theoretical and empirical submissions from all disciplines, ideologies, and regions of the world. Below is a non-exhaustive list of potential areas of interest that could be explored through women’s or gender lenses.

Topics under consideration:

– Women or gender preferential public procurement (policy, regulation, implementation)
– Labor laws / rights / policy / labor procurement contracts – are employment conditions stipulated in the contract? Are labor contracts violated? Are contracts controled / monitored by a service purchasing body?
– Development aid / tied aid / the role of international financial institutions and agreements (World Bank, WTO, UNCITRAL, EU-EPA, ACP countries, AGOA…etc.,).
– Contract negotiation (national versus international standard…)
– Feminist theory and government outsourcing
– Women or gender in the supply chain (small business, global corporatism)
– Health and medicine procurement (HIV medicine, malaria…)
– Women or gender and the profession (public procurement analyst and practitioner)
– Women or gender and outsourcing the war on drugs/ terror
– Women/gender and prison outsourcing/immigration
– Women or gender and outsourcing social welfare
– Is there a history of women/ gender in government outsourcing?
– Outsourcing or reverse outsourcing? What works best for women?
– Gendered discourse of market-competition and efficiency in the public sector
-The economics of gender/women in government outsourcing
– Women’s employment, de-unionization, and new unionism
– Women’s employment, procurement contracts, and inequalities

Potential contributors should email an abstract (300 words) or a proposed paper to the guest editors S.N. Nyeck, PhD., and Orly Benjamin, PhD., by June 1, 2014 with the title “Wagadu_abstract” in the subject line of the email.  Authors of accepted abstracts are expected to submit a full paper by November 1, 2014. This special issue is scheduled for publication in 2015.

Second Call For Papers: The Tenth Southern Conference on Women’s History

The Tenth Southern Conference on Women’s History

Re-membering/Gendering: Women, Historical Tourism, and Public History

June 11-14, 2015

College of Charleston, Charleston, South Carolina

Call for Papers

The Southern Association for Women Historians (SAWH) invites proposals for its tenth triennial conference, to be held June 11-14, 2015 at the College of Charleston in Charleston, South Carolina.  Co-sponsored by the College of Charleston, The Citadel, and Clemson University, the conference provides a stimulating and congenial forum for discussing all aspects of women’s history.  Its program seeks to reflect the best in recent scholarship and the diversity of our profession, including university professors, graduate students, museum curators, public historians, and independent scholars.

We invite sessions on any dimension of women’s and gender history and particularly welcome presentations that explore the conference themes: public history, tourism, memory, historic commemoration, and marketing history.

The program committee seeks proposals for the following:

1) Panels (We prefer to receive proposals for complete, 3-paper sessions but will consider individual papers as well).
2) Roundtables (Informal discussions of a historical or professional issue)
3) Working Group Discussions (Informal discussions of pre-circulated papers)
4) Scholarly Shorts (Five-minute presentations of a research project)

Scholars interested in chairing or commenting on a session are invited to submit a 500-word vita.

For more information on these presentation formats, submission guidelines, and the submission email address, please visit

The submissions deadline is August 1, 2014.  Inquiries (but not submissions) may be directed to Blain Roberts, program committee chair, at

Women in Technological History: A Society for the History of Technology

book-and-mouseWomen in Technological History: A Society for the History of Technology
(SHOT) Special Interest Group (SIG)

WITH TRAVEL AWARD – A Call for “New Voices” in Technological History

The SHOT Special Interest Group Women in Technological History [WITH]
announces its travel award for 2014. The purpose of the award is to
encourage participation of “new voices” at the annual meeting of the
Society for the History of Technology [SHOT]. WITH invites applications
from scholars presenting topics or perspectives underrepresented in SHOT
as well as from individuals who can contribute to the annual meeting’s
geographic and cultural diversity.

The SHOT 2014 meeting will be held in Dearborn, Michigan, from November
6th to 9th. For meeting details, see:

Eligibility for the WITH Travel Award is open to individuals who are
giving a paper at the SHOT annual meeting. Priorities for the WITH award
include supporting scholars or graduate students who are non-US,
non-Western or who are new to SHOT, belong to a group underrepresented in
SHOT, and or whose paper addresses issues of gender, race, ethnicity,
and/or difference in the history of technology.

The Travel Award is designed to help defray some of the costs associated
with attending the SHOT annual meeting.  Up to three awards may be
offered.  Awardees will receive a check for $250, with the possibility of
additional funds depending on stated need and WITH’s resources.  The
winner(s) will also be honoured as our guest(s) at the annual WITH
breakfast or lunch.

To apply, please send a cover letter and brief budget outlining
anticipated expenses associated with your trip to Dearborn (including any
grants or funding you have already received), an abstract of your proposed
paper with evidence that it has been accepted by the SHOT program
committee, and a one page curriculum vitae.  All application materials
should be forwarded to the chair of the award committee at  The application deadline for the WITH Travel Award
is July 5, 2014.

Pamela C. Edwards, PhD
History Department
Shepherd University
Shepherdstown, WV

Call for Chapters – Women and Genocide: An Anthology

library imageThe editors of Women and Genocide: An Anthology to be published by Canadian Scholar’s Press Inc./Women’s Press in 2015, invite chapter submissions of original research from interdisciplinary scholars on narratives, memoirs, and testimonies of women survivors of the following genocides: North American indigenous, Armenian, Holocaust/Jewish, Holocaust/Roma-Sinti, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Guatemala, Rwanda, Bosnia, and Sudan.  This edited book examines the unique experiences of women in comparative genocidal contexts.  In our view, gender matters. We are interested in examining how women processed their identity as women in both a physical and emotional context. In a physical context we are interested in exploring how women addressed their gendered identity, for example, if they lost their hair, experienced amenorrhea, were forced to dress uniformly, or suffered sexual exploitation.  Emotionally, we are interested in understanding how women processed what was happening to them as individuals and their gendered roles as mothers, daughters, sisters, etc. in the larger genocidal context.

Our approach is a four point comparative framework derived from earlier Holocaust studies (Ofer and Weitzman 1998) that examines (1) the impact of culturally defined roles of women; (2) women’s “anticipatory reactions,” not just in the sense of what perpetrators would do to men, but to women as well. In examining anticipatory reactions, we explore women’s political and social awareness as the genocidal process unfolds; (3) the extent that women were treated differently than men; and (4) their reactions and processes as women to the physical and emotional circumstances of experiencing genocide. Each chapter should also contain a short historical summary of the genocide.

If you are interested in contributing a chapter, please submit an abstract of no more than 500 words and a short bio-sketch by June 1st 2014 to Dr. JoAnn DiGeorgio-Lutz at or Donna Gosbee at  If your abstract is accepted, you will be expected to submit a completed chapter (maximum 8000 words) by August 31, 2014.

Editors: Dr. JoAnn DiGeorgio-Lutz, Texas A&M University Galveston and Donna Gosbee, Texas A&M University-Commerce.

Sharing Student Writings Across the Seven Sisters: History of Women’s Education Open Access Portal Project


As we announced last week, we recently learned that our grant proposal to the National Endowment for the Humanities has been successfully funded. For interested and curious members of the community, here are more details of the project:

The one-year planning grant we received is for an endeavor spearheaded by The Albert M. Greenfield Digital Center for the History of Women’s Education to lead a collaboration between the schools once known as the Seven Sisters, which include Bryn Mawr College, Barnard College, Mount Holyoke College, Smith College, Vassar College, Wellesley College, and the Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University. We have proposed to develop a shared approach to cataloging and providing access to digital versions of letters, diaries, and scrapbooks of the first generations of students of all seven schools.

The Seven Sisters schools were at the forefront of advanced education for women in the United States, educating many of the most ambitious, socially conscious, and intellectually committed women in the country. Going to college in the early years was not only an intellectually and socially awakening experience for these women, but it also provided an occasion for most of them to engage in extensive letter writing to family and friends, and to keep diaries and scrapbooks that preserved their impressions, ambitions, and memories of these first years of independence from home. Large numbers of these student writings are now preserved but siloed in the libraries of the seven schools, where they constitute an unparalleled and only partially tapped resource for the study of a wide range of women’s history issues over the last century and a half. The collections include discussions of race and class, political reform and women’s rights, sexuality and body image, the experience of being Jewish at predominantly Protestant institutions, interactions with students from Europe and Asia, and the experience of living through wars, the pandemic of 1918-1919, and the Depression.  This funding will allow us to make our collections more widely accessible to researchers and the general public through the development of a common search portal featuring digitized and transcribed facsimiles and an agreed-upon set of metadata and shared thematic vocabulary standards.

Currently, public use of the collections is impeded by their dispersal across the seven campuses and by the limited status of digitization of the items. The research value of these materials would be greatly increased by the ability to consider them as a whole body, rather than as associated fragments. The goal of this project, therefore, is to offer access to the papers through a single portal focusing on the experiences of students at women’s colleges. Since the value of a shared portal depends upon an agreed-upon set of standards for cataloging, taxonomy, transcription and digitization, a major part of the project’s work will be devoted to developing these standards.

The grant will fund one year of extensive planning between the schools, at the end of which we hope to embark on a program of digitization and transcription of student writings to be made accessible through the new portal. A longer-term goal is to implement a structure capable of accommodating digitized contributions from a wider group of institutions, further expanding the scope and utility of the aggregated collection.

Though the original visionary of the project, Jennifer Redmond, has since moved on, we look forward to working with Monica Mercado when she arrives in July to direct the Greenfield Digital Center in this next exciting phase of our work!

Bryn Mawr #7SistersWiki Edit-a-Thon: a Photo Story


EditingCropLast week we successfully hosted our first Wikipedia Edit-a-Thon! After holding a test run and gathering advice from many experienced Wikipedians during early 2014, we convened a group of eighteen on Tuesday evening in Bryn Mawr’s Canaday Library to learn the ins and outs of editing from Mary Mark Ockerbloom and help close the Wikipedia gender disparity in honor of Women’s History Month.

Editathon sources

Sources for editing, heavily featuring the work of Helen Lefkowitz Horowitz

Planning began months ahead of time, and in the days and weeks leading up to the event we solicited ideas for new pages and articles to improve from those who planned to attend. We then collected a variety of printed sources to aid us in editing and creating that content, lists of records from Bryn Mawr’s Special Collections that could be linked to existing articles, and web sources for reference.

2014-03-25 16.17.15

Mary introduces Wikipedia

Mary opened the event with an informative talk detailing the key Wikipedia principles and culture, and methods for basic editing. Video footage of the talk is available at the bottom of this post, and slides are available here. After the presentation, we began editing our articles. Experienced Wikipedians moved around the room assisting those who were new to editing.

IMG_3324 (2)

Katy Holladay, Leigh-Anne Yacovelli, Joelle Collins, and Mary Mark Ockerbloom editing

Outcomes of the event: the Bryn Mawr Seven Sisters Wikipedia Edit-a-Thon was attended by 18 people, including seven staff members, four Bryn Mawr students, and seven local Wikipedians. Six attendees were new to editing the site.

The content we worked on is listed on the event page: together we created five new articles, two of which are public and three of which are currently in progress. We improved twelve existing articles and uploaded eleven images to Wikimedia Commons. We also created a Commons page for Bryn Mawr, so that all of the official College images we upload to Wikipedia can be centrally gathered and marked with an “institution template” that provides information about Bryn Mawr.

The most important outcome was empowering all 18 users to better contribute to the site as a resource for all. And, of course, Kimberly Wright Cassidy is no longer without Wiki-recognition! The page is very basic right now and we encourage everyone to add information to expand, improve, and interlink the information written there.


Jeff and Elizabeth Guin from PhillyDH edit deviously

Happy editing!

National Endowment for the Humanities Funds the History of Women’s Education Open Access Portal Project


Student_studyingBryn Mawr has just been awarded a $39,650 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities for its “History of Women’s Education Open Access Portal Project,”  being run through the Greenfield Digital Center. This will be a one-year project to plan and conduct pilot work for an online portal to archival sources pertaining to the history of women’s higher education in the United States, and it is being done in collaboration with the special collections departments of the other Seven Sisters Colleges: Barnard, Mount Holyoke, Smith, Vassar, Wellesley, and the Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University.  We will be posting much more about this exciting project in the coming months!