Rugh, Susan Sessions 1951-
RUGH, Susan Sessions 1951-
PERSONAL: Born June 7, 1951 in Provo, Utah; married Thomas F. Rugh, 1971; children: three. Education: Brigham Young University, B.A. (magna cum laude), 1974; University of Chicago, M.A., 1986, Ph.D. (American history), 1993.
CAREER: University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, lecturer, 1988-89, 1989-90, exhibit curator, 1989-90; Valparaiso University, Valparaiso, IN, instructor, 1991; St. Cloud State University, St. Cloud, MN, assistant professor, 1993-97, director of Central Minnesota Historical Center, 1996-97; Brigham Young University, Provo, UT, assistant professor, 1997—. Journal of Mormon History, board of editors, 1993—. Historical Sites Preservation Commission, City of Orem, UT, chair.
MEMBER: Agricultural History Society, American Historical Association, Mormon History Association, Organization of American Historians, Rural Women's Studies Association, Society for Historians of the Early Republic, Urban History Association, Western History Association, Women Historians of the Midwest, Phi Alpha Theta National History Honor Society.
AWARDS, HONORS: Grants and awards from the University of Chicago, St. Cloud State University, and Brigham Young University.
Our Common Country: Family Farming, Culture, and Community in the Nineteenth-Century Midwest ("Midwestern History and Culture" series), Indiana University Press (Bloomington, IN), 2001.
Contributor to journals, including Agricultural History, Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society, and Western Illinois Regional Studies; reviewer for journals, including Annals of Iowa, Pacific Historical Review, Journal of Sport History, Journal of Family History, Feminist Collections, Western Historical Quarterly, Journal of Mormon History, and Great Plains Quarterly. Contributor to books, including The Encyclopedia of the American Civil War, edited by David S. Heidler and Jeanne T. Heidler, ABC-CLIO, 2000; Strengthening Our Families: An In-Depth Look at the Proclamation on the Family, edited by David C. Dollahite, Brigham Young University (Provo, UT), 2000; and Encyclopedia of American Cultural and Intellectual History, edited by Peter W. Williams and Mary Kupiec Cayton, Charles Scribner's Sons, 2001.
WORK IN PROGRESS: The Modern Vacation: Family Travel in Postwar America.
SIDELIGHTS: Susan Sessions Rugh has taught classes on U.S. history, rural history, women's history, the history of the American family, and the history of the Mormon Church.
Our Common Country: Family Farming, Culture, and Community in the Nineteenth-Century Midwest, called "rich and detailed" by Bloomsbury Review's Kim Long, is Rugh's study of Fountain Green, a community in west central Illinois from the middle to the end of the nineteenth century. Rugh chose it for its typical Midwest livestock and grain economy and for its religious and cultural diversity. The area became home to residents from both the North and the South, as well as from Pennsylvania, after the federal government surveyed the land, created farm-size parcels, and removed the native tribes who lived there. Rugh follows the region's evolution from agrarianism to agricultural capitalism following the Civil War and traces the changes in culture and the decreased power of the patriarchal society as women's roles shifted.
Rugh notes political influences and their effect on market expansion, including the removal of the Mormons in the 1840s, the U.S. Civil War, and the Grange movement of the 1870s and 1880s. She shows how markets changed as the railroads linked farmers to Chicago markets, and the economic advantages in comparison to those of the Southern markets accessed via the Mississippi River.
Rugh collected her data from church, town, state, county, and federal records, as well as diaries, newspapers, and store ledgers. She maintains that family farming was responsible for the social and economic changes of the nineteenth century, not only in the Midwest, but across the country, at the same time that national values changed rural society in the Midwest.
Margaret Beattie Bogue wrote in Pacific Historical Review, "Well written and rich in colorful material, the study is an impressive addition to the growing literature of rural social history."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
American Historical Review, June, 2002, review of Our Common Country: Family Farming, Culture, and Community in the Nineteenth-Century Midwest.
Bloomsbury Review, July-August, 2002, Kim Long, review of Our Common Country.
Choice, January, 2002, K. Blaser, review of Our Common Country, pp. 948-949.
Pacific Historical Review, August, 2002, Margaret Beattie Bogue, review of Our Common Country, p. 500.