Term of Award

Summer 2007

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Curriculum Studies (Ed.D.)

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (open access)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of Curriculum, Foundations, and Reading

Committee Chair

Ming Fang He

Committee Member 1

John Weaver

Committee Member 2

William Reynolds

Committee Member 3

William Ayers

Committee Member 3 Email



This is an inquiry into generational stories from my Granny's table. It is an exploration of my lived experience as a first generation doctoral student who negates the truths of a rural Southern upbringing steeped in issues of race, class and gender. . Building upon the works of Falk (2004), Freire (2002), He (2003, 2006, in-press), Weis (2006) and Weis and Fine (1998, 2003), I explored the arenas of place, class, and race, particularly the intermingling of multiple realities and contested in-between space and Southern female identities. Family members who raised and nurtured me are the main characters in the stories collected. Using oral history, I documented the place and people that live as a single family entity and collected stories and memories to create a representation of an identity meshed within a place and time. Oral history allowed me to capture the stories in order to better understand the complex life stories that allow subjugation of and by these people who cling to family, land and their way of life. Each story became my own as I fictionalized the accounts, and I seek to explore possibilities for a new order through the flow of these words. So much of the current literature on the South deals solely with race or sex or class. Few texts explore life in the South from the vantage point of a lower-class, white female caught between reality of the place and the promise of education. Yarns spun from my Granny's table revealed and contested a way of life stifling in an ever-changing and new rural South. These stories pose questions to the contested notion of Southern legacy and heritage, one of the most complex, controversial, and significant issues lived by teachers, administrators, parents, and students in the new rural South. Education became the key to doors long locked, allowing my personal awakening. The players in this world order need to awake from their slumber and demand change. Possibilities for the future -- my children, their children, a lost generation -- destined to be locked in the stilted mind-set of this place need to be realized.

Research Data and Supplementary Material