Kathryn Morse, John C. Elder Chair in Environmental Studies and Professor of History will give this lecture.
Conserving Whiteness: The 1930s Tenancy Crisis and New Deal Rural Rehabilitation
Erosion threatened soil and human rootedness on land in 1930s America; it also threatened whiteness. As white families lost land and homes, they slid downward, like silt on a treeless hillside, from the socio-economic tier of landownership and yeoman independence into the gullies and wastelands of tenancy—a “place” historically, socially and agro-ecologically reserved for and defined by non-whites. In seeking to restore white families to security on agricultural land, Farm Security Administration rural rehabilitation programs conserved the material, cultural, and social meanings of race as defined by particular connections to the earth.
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- President of the College; Academic Affairs