Iowa Council for the Social Studies


Join us for our ICSS 2021 Conference on October 4th with pre-conference workshops on October 3rd.  Please click here to register to attend.

Vendors, please find your registration information on our exhibitor information page.

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Dianne Bystrom

Dr. Dianne Bystrom is director emerita of the Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics at Iowa State University. She directed the center for 22 years before retiring in August 2018. She also established Iowa State’s Leadership Studies Program and served as its director for 10 years. Dr. Bystrom has contributed to 25 books – most recently as co-editor of Women in the American Political System: An Encyclopedia of Women as Voters, Candidates, and Office Holders (2019) and An Unprecedented Election: Media, Communication and the Electorate in the 2016 Campaign (2018) – and has published articles on women political candidates, the Iowa caucuses, and youth voters. She was inducted into the Iowa Women’s Hall of Fame in 2018, named a Woman of Influence by the Des Moines Business Record in 2017, and received the Iowa Network for Women in Higher Education’s Distinguished Leadership Award in 2016. Dr. Bystrom continues to serve as a speaker and commentator about women’s issues, leadership and politics for community groups, professional organizations and the media. She is a member of the Humanities Nebraska Speakers Bureau and serves as director of communication for the League of Women Voters of Nebraska. Dr. Bystrom earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Kearney (NE) State College and a master’s degree in journalism and Ph.D. in communication, both from the University of Oklahoma.


Featured Speaker: Katy Swalwell

Katy Swalwell, PhD is a national expert on anti-oppressive social studies who grew up in West Des Moines, Iowa. A former middle and high school social studies classroom teacher and tenured professor in Social & Cultural Studies at Iowa State University, Katy earned her degree in History Education at the University of Northern Iowa and her Masters and PhD in Curriculum Research, Theory, & Design from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. She is now Lead Equity Specialist for the Equity Literacy Institute and founder of Past Present Future, a company dedicated to professional development and curriculum resources rooted in anti-oppressive local histories including the award-winning Amazing Iowa children's book series published by RAYGUN and workshops on the history of anti-Black racism in Iowa. In addition to peer-reviewed research published in academic journals and teacher magazines, she is the co-author of Social Studies for A Better World: An Anti-Oppressive Approach for Elementary Educators (2021) with Noreen Naseem Rodríguez, the co-editor of Anti-Oppressive Education in "Elite" Schools: Promising Practices and Cautionary Tales from the Field (2021) with Daniel Spikes, and author of Educating Activist Allies: Social Justice Pedagogy with the Suburban and Urban Elite (2013). In 2014, she co-founded the Critical Resources for Elementary Social Studies Teachers Facebook group that now has over 1500 members and, in 2020, co-founded The Critical Social Educator, an open access journal for teachers and academics to document best practices in elementary education. A history nerd, Katy also co-hosts a podcast with her childhood best friend Mandy Griffin called Our Dirty Laundry, an irreverent but serious look at the history of white women's complicity with white supremacy. She currently lives in Des Moines with her husband (an economics professor at Drake) and two kids. 


Hotel Reservation Information:

The West Des Moines Marriott is offering a group rate for the ICSS Conference.  Use this link to reserve your room.  Reservations must be made by September 11, 2021 to receive the special rate.


The Iowa Council for the Social Studies is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.

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