June 29, 2016 at 12:03 pm

Minutes of the Rural Women’s Studies Association (RWSA) Meeting, 2016

Welcome and introductions.  Gathered name, affiliation, e-mail addresses for ongoing communications.

Rural Women’s Studies Association

Reminded everyone about the Facebook page, with thanks to Cindy Prescott. Sara Egge will be working on other social media projects.

Bert Way introduced himself as the incoming editor of Ag History.  He will be on board January 1.  Tom Okie will be the associate editor.  The journal will be at Kennesaw State University.  Dr. Way re-affirmed the journal’s commitment to rural studies.

Approval of the minutes from last year’s meeting.  Date was June 6 instead of June 4:  corrected.  Approved by acclamation.

Debra Reid, outgoing treasurer, provided the annual financial report. She is also updating the organization’s membership list.  She has taken care of renewing our non-profit registration and tax forms for the IRS and Indiana (where RWSA is incorporated).  We had $610.94 in profit, and now have a fund balance of $16,388.94 in the bank.  Debra will be working with Jenny Barker Devine to move the funds to a bank in Jacksonville, IL, and opening a PayPal account in order to facilitate easier dues paying.

2018 meeting will be at Ohio University, which Kathy Jellison described.  She has reserved a block of rooms in new dorms and an immediately off campus hotel.  The conference will be May 17-19, 2018.  Rooms are blocked for days on either end, May 16-20.  Tours are planned for before and after the meeting for an extra charge.

A website will be created to publicize the conference and to for online registration through PayPal.  Kathy is applying for grants to offset costs.  She would like to encourage people to make donations to the Jensen-Neth fund as a part of their registration to aid in getting grad students and others in need to the meeting.  Kathy will be looking for grant money to help bring international scholars to the meeting, and already has some pledges.  Deb Reid mentioned that she belongs to an organization that has developed a rubric for ranking donations to international scholars, and it might be useful in assessing which scholars to fund and at what level.  Deb Reid reminded the attendees that dues are $25 for one year.  Donations can be added to dues.

Two main committees are preparing for the conference.  Debra Reid and Cherisse Jones-Branch are co-chairing the program committee.  They will be creating the call for papers, selecting papers, accepting and rejecting, creating panels out of orphan papers and evaluating panels, recruiting chairs of panels, drafting and finalizing programs, and informing participants of details.  They will liaise with the local arrangements committee and will provide ideas for special speakers.  Members will be Mary Larson, President of the Oral History Association and Oklahoma State University, Maggie Weber, Iowa State, will be the graduate student member, Suzie Acord of Athens County Rural Action will be the local activist member, Amy McKinney, assistant prof, Northwest College, Rebecca Montgomery, Texas State, Cindy Prescott, University of ND, Alyssa Ford, Northwest Missouri State will serve on the committee as well.  Co-coordinator Catherine Wilson, Guelph, will be an ex officio member of the committee.

Local arrangements will be headed by Kathy Jellison.  She will arrange all events and necessaries in Athens, Ohio, and events that emphasize the local.  Margaret Thomas Evans at Indiana University East will be on the committee as well, Katherine Engle, grad student in sociology, U of Kentucky, Rachel Terman, sociology, Ohio University.  As usual, there has been an attempt to have a good mix of disciplines on the local arrangements and program committees.

Weather in Athens in May should be nice. Inexpensive accommodations will make the meeting more accessible.  International people will need a letter of acceptance in order to get their visas.  Will need to be paired with others who have been to the conference previously.

Cathy Wilson asked for an agreement by acclamation that Debra Reid and Cherise Jones Branch would be program chairs.  Suggested potential themes of “Surviving and Thriving,” “Kitchen Table Talk,” and “Woman’s Place:  Justice, Power and Creative Place Making.”

Under the theme of Surviving and Thriving, suggested sub themes were coping with change, creative and alternative strategies, environmental legacies, livelihoods and politics, sustainable development, feminism, activism and social justice, folks ways, identities.  Suggestion of addition of race as a theme.

Under the theme of Kitchen table talk, suggested sub themes were things brought to the table, food and ideas, gendered knowledge, identity, activism, sources, sustainable, household economy and politics, handi-women, poverty and family violence, social customs around food, etc.  Food Studies Program at Ohio University would like to participate under this theme.  Margreet VanDenBurg wanted to add international element, Kitchen Table Talk to Global Forum.

Under the theme of Woman’s Place, suggested themes were activism, politics, racism, place and space, economic equality and inequality, natural resource issues, entrepreneurship, LGBTQ issues.

We are looking for umbrella topics that will bring in the largest number of panelists.

Adrienne Petty suggested “Surviving and Thriving:  Justice, Power and Creative Place Making,” which became “Surviving and Thriving:  Gender, Justice, Power, and Place Making.”

Some discussion of the length of the title and specific wording.

Overwhelming support for the “Surviving and Thriving” theme. Approved by acclamation.

The raffle and silent auction will continue, as will pre and post tours, bringing in local women, add some new formats such as lightning rounds, longer breaks for interaction, a mealtime session for discussing rural feminism, chairs over commentators, and some suggestion of pre-submission of papers.  Suggestion that thinking about publishing papers in advance will help people to prepare better papers in advance.  Maybe pursue an agreement with Agricultural History to publish a special volume.  May require some discussion with the journal about interdisicplinarity of articles.  Perhaps look for another journal such as Gender, Place and Culture.  Encourage people to get their papers in on time, and think about possible publication.

Catherine Wilson hopes the CFP will appear in the fall 2016, with a January 2017 announcement.  She hopes they will set a May or June 2017 submission deadline.  She would like to see a first draft of the program out December 2017.

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