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Northwest Missouri State University

Dr. Elyssa Ford

Dr. Elyssa Ford



54 Valk


660.562.1241 (fax)

Joined Northwest in 2011

Assistant Professor


  • Ph.D. History; Arizona State University
  • M.A. History; Arizona State University
  • Graduate Certificate in Museum Studies; Arizona State University
  • B.A. International Studies; Colby College

Courses Taught

  • (current) American Survey
  • (current) Public History
  • American Woman
  • U.S. since 1945
  • American Folklife
  • American Ideas

Academic Interest

My research focuses on women's history, specifically looking at gender, race, and cultural identity in the rodeo.  I also am interested in pa'u riding, which is a riding technique practiced by women in Hawaii, and I have started several projects in Cambodia, one of which looks at the access women have to education and leadership opportunities there.

Scholarly Activity

Selected Publications:

  • "Bra-Burning," The Encyclopedia of American Reform Movements. Facts on File, Forthcoming.
  • "Rodeo" and "Cowgirls, in The Multimedia Encyclopedia of Women in Today's World. Sage Publications, 2011.
  • "Barbara Jordan," Icons of Black America. Matthew Whitaker, ed. Greenwood Press, 2011.
  • "Madame C.J. Walker," Icons of Black America. Matthew Whitaker, ed. Greenwood Press, 2011.
  • "Yellow Fever," Encyc. of American Environmental History. Facts on File, 2010.
  • "Bill Pickett," Icons in African American Sports. Matthew Whitaker, ed. Greenwood Press, 2008.

Selected Presentations:

  • Reacting to the Past, Game Development Conference, July 2013,  “Public History and Remembering the Wounded Knee Massacre”
  • Western History Association, Oct. 2012, “Charreadas in America”
  • Rural Women’s Studies Association, July 2012, “Rodeos as a Celebration of Heritage and Identity”
  • History, Memory, and Performance, March 2012, “Pa'u Riding in Hawaii: A Contested Performance of a Contested History and
  • Missouri Conference on History, March 2012, “Public History Programs in Missouri,” Roundtable Organizer, Presenter, and Chair
  • National Women's Studies Association, Nov. 2010, "International Women's Education: Cambodia"

Other Professional Experiences

  • Board Member, Nodaway County Historical Society Museum (Missouri), 2013-Present
  • Board Member, Austin McCloud Appellate Court Museum (Texas), 2011-Present
  • Fulbright Award, Romania, 2009-2010
  • Leadership Resident, Harpswell Foundation, Cambodia, Summer 2009