Iowa State University

Dr. Abby M. Dubisar is an Associate Professor at Iowa State University in Ames. She earned her PhD at Miami University of Ohio, where she wrote a dissertation about women peace activists’ rhetorical strategies. She earned her MA at Ohio State University and her BA at the University of Missouri—Kansas City. She has presented her research at national and international conferences and teaches courses in popular culture analysis, gender and communication, writing and rhetoric.

Farm Women as Global Citizens: Post-WWII Authority of the “First Lady of the Farm”
This presentation draws upon the lifework of Ruth Buxton Sayre, known during her lifetime as “First Lady of the Farm.” An Iowa native, Sayre was appointed to President Eisenhower’s agricultural policy committee and served as the president of the Associated Country Women of the World (ACWW), among many civic roles. This presentation illustrates how Sayre had to redefine the accepted characterization of women on farms not only to fulfill her own pursuits as a writer and speaker, but also to convince farm women that they were not exempt from the responsibility of postwar reconstruction. Sayre’s papers are housed at the State Historical Society of Iowa, in Iowa City. This project features materials included in the archive.

Promoting Peace, Subverting Domesticity: Cookbooks Against War, 1970-2010
This historical project analyzes peace activist cookbooks, revealing how such texts ignite activism, enable community identity for subcultures and adeptly subvert women’s domestic roles. The discussion this research features further extends our understandings of cookbooks and other “feminine” genres to connect with 21st-century trends in “new domesticity” and radical home economics that position the kitchen as the place where gender and politics ferment.