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News Release

May 23, 2018

Ford organizes discussion centered on ‘Organizing Rural Women’

Dr. Elyssa Ford

Dr. Elyssa Ford

Dr. Elyssa Ford, an assistant professor of history at Northwest Missouri State University, presented May 17-19 at the 13th Triennial Rural Women’s Studies Association Conference at Ohio University.

Ford organized a roundtable discussion, titled “Organizing Rural Women in Today’s Political Climate.” Rural women, Ford noted, have long engaged in American politics, and women in northwestern Missouri invited Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton to speak for women’s suffrage.

More recently, Ford said, black women in the south worked with little recognition to mobilize rural residents in the push for civil rights in the 1960s. Barbara Pini, Berit Brandth and Jo Little’s 2015 book, “Feminism and Ruralities” and Jenny Barker-Devine’s 2013 book, “On Behalf of the Family Farm,” examine the push made by other rural women, with a focus on the way they organized and causes for which they fought. “Renewed political urgency has led many women from behind their computer screens and away from the relative safety and anonymity of Facebook activism to real-world, contentious, and loud public activism,” Ford said.

The conference theme was “Surviving and Thriving: Gender, Justice, Power, and Placemaking” and focused on the role of gender in rural community formation and survival.

Ford joined the Northwest faculty in 2011 and teaches courses in U.S. history and women’s history in addition to directing the public history minor. Previously, she taught at Paradise Valley Community College in Arizona and had fellowships at Rowan University in New Jersey and Babes-Bolyai University in Romania. She also has professional experience working at multiple museums, including the National Cowgirl Museum and the Arizona Jewish Historical Society.

She has a bachelor's degree from Colby College in Maine and earned her master’s, doctorate and graduate certificate in museum studies from Arizona State University.


Dr. Mark Hornickel
Administration Building
Room 215