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Northwest Missouri State University

Dr. Elyssa Ford

Dr. Elyssa Ford



53 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

  • America: A Historical Survey
  • Public History
  • History of American Folklife
  • The American Woman
  • From Colony to Nation
  • U.S. since 1945

Academic Interest

My research focuses on women's history, specifically looking at gender, race, sexuality, identity, and memory in the rodeo.  I also am interested in pa'u riding, which is a riding technique practiced by women in Hawai‛i, 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

  • Monograph: Rodeo as Refuge, Rodeo as Rebellion: Race, Gender, and Cultural Identity in the American Rodeo, under review.
  • Article: “Pa‛u Riding in Hawai‛i: Memory, Race, and Community on Parade,” Pacific Historical Review 84:3 (Spring 2015): 277-306.
  • Book Review: Letting Go?: Sharing Historical Authority in a User-Generated World, edited by Bill Adair, Benjamin Filene, and Laura Koloski in Museums and Social Issues journal, forthcoming.
  • "Rodeo" and "Cowgirls” in The Multimedia Encyclopedia of Women in Today's World. Sage Publications, 2011.
  • "Yellow Fever," Encyc. of American Environmental History. Facts on File, 2010.

Selected Presentations

  • “Where Gay Men can be ‘Real’ Men” at the North American Society for the Sociology of Sport Conference, November 2015
  • Working Group: “Pedagogy in Public: Academic Programs and Community Partners” at the National Council of Public History Conference, April 2015
  • “From Farmers’ Daughters to Phnom Penh Powerhouses” at the Berkshires Conference on Women’s History Conference, May 2014

Student Group Advisement

  • History Club
  • SAGE (Sex and Gender Equality)
  • Society of President’s Scholars

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