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About the Conference

In March 2016, the first Hoosier Women at Work conference brought together students and scholars of women's history for a one-day event that featured papers, presentations, a keynote speaker, a panel discussion, and a lot of great ideas. Attendees agreed that the conference was a much-needed launching pad for those interested in the field of women's history. In response, the supporting partners and attending scholars have made this a regular meeting. In 2017, the conference focused on Indiana women making history in the fields of science, technology, and medicine. The 2018 conference focused on the history of Indiana women in the arts. The partners then determined the full conference would be held every other year with other events on the off years. In 2020, the fourth conference fostered discussion of Hoosier women at work for suffrage and citizenship in conjunction with the centennial celebration of women's right to vote. In 2021, a HWW Mini-Con examined newly available resources for those researching women's history. The 2022 conference threw out "work" altogether as scholars examined Hoosier women at Play. In 2023, attendees added Hoosier women to Wikipedia in a day-long edit-a-thon. And in 2024, we will meet in the fall to talk about  Hoosier Women at Work in Peace and War.

The Need for Indiana Women's History

Why Indiana Women’s History?

. . . because, with few exceptions, women have been consistently left out of the story of the Hoosier state.

On paper, historians agree that including the stories of women and other marginalized groups provides a more complete understanding of the events that shape our communities, state, and world. While historians have increasingly researched, published, or posted about women’s history, there is much more to be done. Having identified a dearth of resources on Indiana women’s history, organizers from various institutions, both public and private, came together to create this collaborative conference. Hoosier Women at Work aims to energize the discussion of Indiana women’s history and make the papers, presentations, and other resources resulting from the conference available to all Hoosiers.

How have we helped and what work remains?

The Hoosier Women at Work network has made gains in studying and sharing Hoosier women’s history. These include hosting HWW conferences, Wikipedia Edit-a-thons and a 2021 Mini Con; contributing to the Indiana Women’s Suffrage Centennial’s efforts; participating in workshops like BSU’s Making History event; digitizing collections; and compiling a list of women’s history resources.

However, much work remains to be done in terms of uncovering new stories, disseminating research, and making resources accessible. This is especially true for the following women’s topics: LGBTQ+ history, war work, environmental and peace efforts, indigenous history, social justice, and Black suffrage and citizenship. These stories inform the national narrative of who we are as Americans and world citizens. So, please join us for the Hoosier Women at Work Conference to hear speakers on a myriad of women’s topics and get inspired to start adding to the Hoosier story.