Taking the Town: Collegiate and Community Culture in the Bluegrass, 1880-1917

By Kolan Thomas Morelock | Go to book overview

NOTES

PROLOGUE

1. For arguments about the importance and former neglect of southern intellectual history, see Michael O’Brien, ed., All Clever Men, Who Make Their Way: Critical Discourse in the Old South, Brown Thrasher ed. (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1992), ix–xv, 1–25. For the need to study the history of specific locales, see Thomas Bender, “The Cultures of Intellectual Life: The City and the Professions,” in New Directions in American Intellectual History, ed. John Higham and Paul K. Conkin (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1979), 182. Also see Timothy J. Gilfoyle, ‘America’s Heart” [review of Gotham: A History of New York City to 1892, by Edwin G. Burrows and Mike Wallace], Atlantic Monthly, February 1999, 96–97; the quote is from ibid. For the argument between those who eschew attempts at generalization, causal explanation, or synthesis, preferring to view the mission of writing local history as a search for localized meaning through “thick description” of individual situations, and those who insist that works of local history contribute to a larger synthesis, see Aletta Biersack, “Local Knowledge, Local History: Geertz and Beyond,” in The New Cultural History, ed. Lynn Hunt (Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1989), 72–96. For the interactive nature of higher education and public culture at the turn of the twentieth century, see Thomas Bender, New York Intellect: A History of Intellectual Life in New York City, from 1750 to the Beginning of Our Own Time (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1987), 274, chap. 7. The last quote is from Thomas Bender, Intellect and Public Life: Essays on the Social History of Academic Intellectuals in the United States (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1993), 33. Finally, note that the terms cultural history and intellectual history are now virtually interchangeable. For instance, Michael Roth, in “Performing History: Modernist Contextualism in Carl Schorske’s Fin-de-Siècle Vienna,” American Historical Review 99 (June 1994): 729, observed that intellectual history has now been “refitted” as cultural history. As another case in point, see Hunt, The New Cultural History, 1–22, for a discussion of the “new” cultural history as an amalgamation of economic, social, and intellectual history under the rubric of cultural history.

2. For the characterization of popular culture as “cheap amusement,” see Gregory A. Waller, Main Street Amusements: Movies and Commercial Entertainment in a Southern City, 1896–1930 (Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1995), 28. For the concept of intellectual life being based in “localities” as opposed to professions or academic disciplines, see Bender, “Cultures of Intellectual Life,” 183.

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