Rural History 2015

Panel 12

Organizers: Verdon, Nicola Jane (1)

Affiliation: 1: Sheffield Hallam University, United Kingdom

Gender, labour and wartime agriculture in the 20th century [More information]

"Food production became central to the nation states of Europe during wartime in the twentieth century. As domestic economies shifted to a wartime footing, the question of how to ensure domestic food supplies and prevent starvation, became ever more critical. This panel aims to bring together scholars interested in exploring food production and labour processes during wartime emergency in the 20th century. The substitution of traditional sources of farm labour with different groups of workers was often a difficult process, and caused much tension around class, age and gender. For some groups of workers, the war opened up new and exciting, if temporary, opportunities to work in agriculture; for others their participation was more circumspect. The panel will explore the role the state and other organisations took in directing wartime agricultural labour and the problems that arose. What was the role of the state in attempting to plug labour shortages? How far did non-governmental organisations become involved in organizing labour for agriculture? How far did wartime emergency lead to new openings for women to work on the land? What groups of women were attracted to farm work during wartime? Did gendered notions of ‘suitable’ work for women and girls delay or hinder the substitution of female for male labour?"



Chair: Nicola Verdon, Sheffield Hallam University, UK

Paper 1: Interned POWs in Switzerland during World War I [+]

Susan Barton, De Montford University, Leicester, UK

Paper 2: “Doing very good work”: Village women and agricultural labour in First World War England and Wales

Nicola Verdon, Sheffield Hallam University, UK

Paper 3: “Has your patrol started digging yet?” National service and agricultural work in the Girl Guide Movement during the Second World War.

Sian Edwards, University of Sussex, UK

Paper 4: ‘Prompted’ by the farm woman. The role of women in the reconstruction of farmhouses after WWII

Sophie Elpers, Meerterns Institute, Amsterdam


Suggested deadline for sending completed papers 31 july 2015

© 2014 Rural History 2015