Date of Award
Thesis - Open Access
MA in Women's History
Women’s History Graduate Program
This thesis concerns constructions and reproductions of whiteness in familial memory-making in the South during Reconstruction, the late nineteenth century, and in the immediate decades following the Civil Rights Movement. The chapters discuss three generations of women in the Payne-Wooten-Russell family and their keepsaking and storytelling. Frances Payne’s (1832-1918) life as a wife of a Confederate veteran dictated the majority of her memory-making project, and she reconstructed the Southern white male as glorified and honorable. She took part in original reproductions of Lost Cause ideology. Through scrapbooking, Josephine Payne Wooten (1861-1937) looked beyond the Southern landscape to echo a national acceptance of Lost Cause narratives as well as a global interpretation of whiteness within the project of civilization. In the final chapter, Bryce Wooten Russell (1900-1996) returned to her grandmother’s project by re-telling stories to her children that contained Lost Cause ideology. These women show that private memorymaking in the home mirrors the project of memory in the public landscape.
Russell, Margaret Taylor, "Unpacking the Trunk: Producing Whiteness in Private Memory-Making within One Southern Family" (2015). Women's History Theses and Capstones. 4.