English, Theatre & Foreign Languages
English, Theatre & Foreign Languages
UNCP Home Department News English Theatre Foreign Languages Faculty Member Receives Fellowship
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Faculty Member Receives Fellowship

October 3, 2016

Sara Taylor Boissonneau, who is completing her PhD at UNC-Greensboro, has been selected as the 2016 recipient of the Mildred Kates Dissertation Fellowship. The Kates Fellowship is awarded annually to a PhD student to support completion of the dissertation during the academic year. The award is based on the overall strength of the dissertation, including the quality of writing, originality of concept, and the breadth and rigor of research, and the potential contribution of the dissertation to the field. Professor Boissonneau's dissertation, Other Americans: The Anachronized and Racialized Appalachian Mountaineer at the Turn of the Twentieth Centuryargues that literary and historical texts from the turn of the last century rhetorically contained the Southern Appalachian mountaineer through racializing that figure into less-than-normative whiteness and anachronizing that figure into incompatibility with the modern era. She draws parallels between the rhetoric surrounding the supposedly “Vanishing Indian” in the mid-nineteenth century and that of the supposedly doomed mountaineer, hopelessly backward and incapable of modernizing, in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries, focusing on Mary N. Murfree’s In the Tennessee Mountains (1884), Emma Bell Miles’s The Spirit of the Mountains (1905), and John Fox, Jr’s The Trail of the Lonesome Pine (1908), Lee Smith's Fair and Tender Ladies (1988) and Silas House's A Parchment of Leaves (2001).  While the literature of the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries was, she argues, complicit with the ruinous re-appropriation of mountain lands by greedy industrial interests, the literature of the late-twentieth and early twenty-first centuries may serve as a tool in rehabilitating the image of the Appalachian mountaineer.