Rural History 2015

Panel 44

Organizers: Knapp, Neal (1); Jonasson, Maren (2); Martin, John (3)

Affiliation: 1: Boston University, United States of America; 2: University of Abo Akademi, Finland; 3: De Montfort University, United Kingdom

Title: Agricultural fairs in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries

This panel intends to investigate the role of agricultural fairs in the shifting rural and consumer cultures of the 19th and 20th centuries. Panelists will relate these phenomena to the aims of farmers in animal husbandry and grain production and to the goals of food manufacturing and distribution industries. The examination of agricultural fairs speaks directly to contemporary policy concerns. To address issues of sustainable agriculture, green jobs, food distribution, and national food security, it is necessary to investigate systems of livestock, grain, and food production by evaluating the role of agricultural fairs in our historical memory.
Maren Jonasson, University of Abo Akademi, will present on national agricultural fairs in Nordic countries that were initially arranged in connection to agricultural discussion meetings, where participants debated current topics on farming, animal husbandry, fertilizing, and agricultural tools and methods.
Neal Knapp, Boston University, will investigate the transformation of animals’ bodies as a result of the progressive goals of agricultural fairs in the United States and Great Britain from 1870-1918.
John Martin, De Montfort University, will prepare a paper on the transformation of British livestock shows since the Second World War. In doing so, Professor Martin will elaborate on the way livestock, particularly cattle, have been judged and evaluated and, in particular, the divergence between purebred standards and commercial conditions.
This panel welcomes other contributions and encourages potential presenters to provide local and case studies in their analysis as they make broader claims. Even more, potential participants should not feel limited to the established themes and are encouraged to explore the performance and manifestations of gender and race at agricultural fairs. And by doing so, whether examining world’s fairs or local agricultural shows, panelists should connect specific expositions to larger historical happenings.


Papers (part I)

Chair: John Martin, De Montfort University, UK

Paper 1: Transforming the Political Bodies of Livestock [+]

Neal Knapp, Boston University, USA

Paper 2: Lassala y Palomares (1815-1876): State-building through Agriculture in Liberal Spain

Andrés-María Vicent, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain

Paper 3: "Das deutsche Rind" - National Identity and the touring exhibitions of the D.L.G. [+]

Ulrike Heitholt, University of Kassel, Germany


Papers (part II)

Chair: Neal Knapp, Boston University, USA

Paper 4: Conceptions of ‘domestic’ and ‘foreign’ at national agricultural fairs and livestock exhibitions in Finland and Sweden ca. 1845–1890 [+]

Maren Jonasson, Åbo Akademi University, Finland

Paper 5: “Beauty and the Beast”: Women and Livestock at Ontario Agricultural Fairs [+]

Jodey Nurse-Gupta, University of Guelph, Canada

Paper 6: The Transformation of British Livestock Shows Since the Second World War

John Martin


Suggested deadline for sending completed papers 31 july 2015

© 2014 Rural History 2015