Participant Info

First Name
Rachel
Last Name
Kirby
Affiliation
Website URL
www.rachelckirby.com
Keywords
American Studies, material culture, visual culture, southern studies, sense of place, folklore, terroir
Additional Contact Information

Personal Info

Photo
About Me

I hold a PhD in American Studies from Boston University. I have an MA in Folklore, and am committed to interdisciplinary scholarship and focus on visual and material culture and sense of place in the American South.

My dissertation, titled “Consuming the South: Representations of Taste, Place, and Agriculture,” examines the relationship between agricultural products, planted and grown in southern soil and representations of these products in multiple forms. I analyze advertisements, art, and landscapes from the late-nineteenth century to today, tracing how various people and organizations have harnessed promotional culture to encourage the consumption of products, places, and their associated ideas. This project has been supported by the Chase Family Travel Grant for Visiting Graduate Scholars at the University of Florida, the John Furr Fellowship for research in the J. Walter Thompson Archives at Duke University, and the P.E.O. Scholar Award.

Recent Publications
  • Rachel C. Kirby and Anthony Bak Buccitelli, “‘The Quintessence of the Humanities’: Folklore and Mythology at Harvard.” In Folklore in the United States and Canada: An Institutional History, eds. Patricia Sawin and Rosemary  Lévy Zumwalt. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2020.
  • Unenslaved through Art: Rice Culture Paintings by Jonathan Green.” Panorama: Journal of the Association of Historians of American Art. Vol. 6, No. 1 (Spring 2020).
  • The Life and Times of Mr. Peanut.” Contingent Magazine. February 13, 2020.
  • “Melanie Newman & Suzie Cool: Salem Red Sox’ New Female Broadcast Team Making History.” Red Sox Magazine. 4th edition, September 2019.
  • Interpreting Historic Site Narratives: Duke Homestead on Tour.” Masters Thesis (Folklore Program, Department of American Studies). The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2016.
  • UNC’s Ambiguous Memorial: A Living List of Names.” Names in Brick & Stone: Histories from UNC’s Built Landscape. Fall 2015.
  • “‘Carr Building Presented’: A Monument to Julian Shakespeare Carr.” Names in Brick & Stone: Histories from UNC’s Built Landscape. Fall 2015.
  • Boat by James “J.P.” Scott.” in Grace the Table: An Exploration of Food and Civil Rights in Southern Folk Art from the Collection of Ann Marshall and Scott Blackwell. Exhibit Guide published for the Southern Foodways Alliance Symposium, 2014.
Media Coverage
Country Focus
United States (US South)
Expertise by Geography
United States
Expertise by Chronology
19th century, 20th century, 21st century
Expertise by Topic
Art & Architectural History, Food History, Material Culture