Southern Farmers and Their Stories: Memory and Meaning in Oral History

By Melissa Walker | Go to book overview

Acknowledgments

In the course of this project, I accumulated more debts than the average southern farmer, and I am grateful to those who made this project possible and those who made it better. My deepest gratitude goes to the narrators who graciously shared their life stories and all the interviewers who generously archived their work for the benefit of other researchers. A project of this scope would have been beyond my reach if I had tried to conduct all the interviews myself, so I thank the narrators and the interviewers whose years of work made this project feasible.

I am grateful to many institutions and individuals for their support of this project. An appointment as visiting scholar at Baylor University’s Institute for Oral History funded my first major foray into archived oral histories and got this project under way. Additional support included two summer research grants from the Converse College Faculty Development Committee, a John Hope Franklin Research Grant from the Perkins Library at Duke University, a Guion Griffis Johnson research grant from the Wilson Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a Franklin Research Grant from the American Philosophical Society. I deeply appreciate the support of all these institutions.

Thanks to the Converse College Faculty Development Committee and Jeff Barker, vice president for academic affairs, for the gift of a yearlong sabbatical to draft the manuscript. To make that sabbatical a reality, members of my department cheerfully juggled schedules and shouldered extra advising duties. As always, my department chair, Joe P. Dunn, encouraged my scholarship with as flexible a schedule as can be managed at a small college. He daily combines the roles of cheerleader and nagging parent for all the members of the department.

Librarians and staff members at many collections helped me ferret out the most interesting interviews. Thanks to Ellen Brown and the staff at Baylor University’s Texas Collection, the staff in the man-

-xi-

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Southern Farmers and Their Stories: Memory and Meaning in Oral History
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • New Directions in Southern History ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents ix
  • Acknowledgments xi
  • Introduction 1
  • Chapter One - Three Southern Farmers Tell Their Stories 37
  • Chapter Two - Rural Southerners and the Community of Memory 77
  • Chapter Three - Memory and the Nature of Transformation 117
  • Chapter Four - Memory and the Meaning of Change 139
  • Chapter Five - The Present Shapes Stories about the Past 177
  • Conclusion 223
  • Appendix One - Demographic Data 231
  • Appendix Two - List of Interviewees 237
  • Appendix Three - Interviews 255
  • Notes 281
  • Bibliographic Essay 305
  • Index 319
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