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Title:Visualizing Rural Reform: Farm Women and Fireless Cookers, 1925
Author(s):Irwin, Katie
Contributor(s):Box 1 of the Freedom Township Women's Club records, Iowa Womens Archives, University of Iowa Libraries, Iowa City, Iowa
Subject(s):Communication
Abstract:My research focuses on early twentieth century rhetorical arguments regarding rural reform in the United States. During this era, politicians, academics, and citizens deliberated about the governments role in modernizing rural people and practices. Following the Smith-Lever Act of 1914, the federal government partnered with local and state governments and state universities to fund agricultural extension education. Rural women's clubs often hosted home demonstration agents who taught the women about better labor materials and methods. In 1925, members of Iowas Freedom Township Women's Club displayed the homemade fireless cookers and other modern conveniences that they learned about in the club context. I'm interested in the argumentative strategies the home demonstration agents articulated to convince rural women to embrace new technologies; I also engage how the women responded to and negotiated such reform attempts. While the Freedom Township women pictured here were more open to embracing the agents modern pedagogy, my research suggests that other women were not as hospitable to change, particularly when it was directed by non-rural sources. By examining archival materials of Freedom Township and other women's clubs, I aim to understand better how rural women rhetorically managed the governments mission of modernity.
Issue Date:2015-04
Type:Text
Image
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/2142/74909
Rights Information:Copyright 2015 Katie Irwin
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-04-20


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