“A Woman’s Work is Never Done”: Raising the Importance of Rural Women’s Studies

“A Woman’s Work is Never Done”: Raising the Importance of Rural Women’s Studies

Cynthia Prescott, University of North Dakota

At the 2012 Rural Women’s Studies Association conference in Fredericton, New Brunswick, many were asking how we raise the profile of the excellent work that our members and allies are doing to study, organize, and serve rural women.  Since that time, committed members have worked hard to raise the profile of our discipline.  We successfully placed four panels related to rural women on the program of the highly selective 2014 Berkshire Conference on Women.  We have increased our social media presence, launching an increasingly active Facebook page, a Twitter account, and this blog.  But despite these efforts, our reach remains limited.  Much work remains to be done.  If a rural woman’s work is never done, neither, it seems, is that of a rural women’s scholar or a rural women’s activist.

laundry quilts

University of Washington Library, Special Collections, Neg. #UW593

The reality is that most of us are too busy being effective activists or doing quality scholarship (not to mention working the land, teaching, and serving our institutions, our families, and our communities) to focus on resolving systemic problems.  Much as we’d like to persuade our governments, our communities, and our academic communities of the importance of rural women, it remains a daunting task.  I believe, however, that we can all take small steps in that direction.  Together, we can make a difference.

Farm labor union wives, Galena KS 1936 - httpspecialcollections-wichita-edu

Farm Labor Union Wives, Galena, KS, 1936.  http://libraries.wichita.edu/ablah/index.php/exhibits/256

I believe that this blog space can be one means to the larger goal of raising the visibility of, and improving the lives of, rural women.  Indeed, that is why I embraced the challenge of launching this blog and serving as its editor.  At the risk of being self-serving, I am writing today to urge you to consider how you might contribute to the work of RWSA, and specifically this blog.


with these hands

Working together, we CAN make a difference.

What can you do?

  • Join the conversation. Comment on others’ blog posts.  Post ideas, opinions, or other relevant content on the RWSA Facebook page, or your own.
  • Contribute a post. Or multiple posts.  Anyone who is serving or researching rural women should be able to write a paragraph or two about what they are working on.  We’d love to hear about what you’re working on or thinking about.
  • Invite others to contribute a post. What are your colleagues or your students working on?  What great local grassroots project should others hear about?  What archival collections should we be exploring?
  • Join our editorial team. Help us expand the reach of this blog, and with it, the field of Rural Women’s Studies.

Ready to dive in?  Or even dip a toe?  I’d love to talk with you!

Cindy Prescott



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One Response to “A Woman’s Work is Never Done”: Raising the Importance of Rural Women’s Studies

  1. Linda Ambrose says:

    Thanks for your work on this blog, Cindy! It does seem like lots has happened since Fredericton 2012, but there’s always more to do!

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