Border States Home Page

October 1997


President: Gwen Curry, Department of English, Georgetown College, Georgetown KY 40324 (

Vice-President and 1998 Program Chair: Anne-Leslie Owens, Middle Tennessee State University

Secretary-Treasurer: Gene Forderhase, Department of History, Eastern Kentucky University, Richmond KY 40475 (


43rd Annual Meeting

April 17-18, 1998

Red Boiling Springs, Tennessee

Proposals reflecting a multidisciplinary perspective on architecture, history, literature, material culture, and music of the Upper South are strongly encouraged. Those interested in participating may submit a one-page proposal and a brief vita to:

Anne-Leslie Owens, Program Chair

PO Box 470, Middle Tennessee State University

Murfreesboro TN 37132

Proposal Deadline: December 15, 1997

Historic Red Boiling Springs, located along the Kentucky-Tennessee border in eastern Macon County, is one of Tennessee's popular mineral spring resort towns. In the mid-1800s, Kentucky settlers traveling to the area discovered the mineral waters and spread the news of their healing powers. By the turn of the century, eight hotels and a dozen boarding houses catered to the thousands of visitors to Red Boiling Springs each summer. Three of the historic hotels--the Armour's Hotel, the Donoho House, and the Thomas House--continue the tradition of resort hospitality.

Mailing List Update

Please help us update our mailing list by completing and returning the enclosed business reply card--IF you want to continue to receive the newsletter, meeting announcements, and other information. We need your current mailing and e-mail address. We'd also like to have the names and addresses of others you think would like to receive KTASA news.

The 1997 Meeting

Fifty members attended the April 4-5 session at Pine Mountain State Park in Pineville KY. The program theme was "The Spectrum of American Studies." Those in attendance heard twelve papers and presentations by scholars representing nine institutions in the region.

Session I: Of People and Place, Mind and Matter

Arthur Wrobel (University of Kentucky), "Phrenology Fights the Civil War." In 1861 the publishers of the American Phrenological Journal and Life Illustrated produced a series of phrenological profiles of the Union's general staff. Laudatory representations of such figures as McClellan, Banks, Burnside, and Meade indicated that the Union was in good hands and the conflict would be resolved in a matter of months.

Nancy Forderhase (Eastern Kentucky University), "Perception of a Hinterland: Women's Travel Journals, 1908-1916." An analysis of the ambivalent reaction of middle-class Progressive Era women to the land and people of Appalachia.

Session II: Of Arts and Letters

Ernest R. Pinson (Union University), "The Poetry and Art of Walter Anderson." Painter, illustrator, writer of fiction and poetry, Anderson illustrated literary classics, created extensive block prints on wallpaper, wrote plays and critical essays. His painting and writing often merged through a complex theory of nature. (Illustrated with slides.)

Jennings R. Mace (Morehead University), "Kay Boyle's Novel, Death of a Man: Literature, History, and Nazism." Boyle's heroine is an updated version of the American girl abroad in the tradition of James and Fitzgerald. Her brashness, flamboyance, and directness are played off against the magnetism and charm of the Austrian Dr. Prochaska and the illness of her effete English husband. The novel is a look at political times foreshadowing the Anshluss, but primarily an analysis of American characteristics, as embodied by Pendennis, in conflict with European traditions.

Session III: Of Gender

Theresa Scott Swanson (University of Tennessee), "'Making Do': The Experience of the World War II Housewife in Knoxville, Tennessee." Five middle-class, white Knoxville women who were housewives during WW II provide oral histories which add to the overall understanding of women's experiences in the war. They share remembrances of their decisions to stay at home, the ways they felt involved in the war, the prevalence of family and community cooperation in times of need, and the challenges caused by absent husbands and fathers of their children. Their stories are strikingly similar; they help explore the subject introduced in D'Ann Campbell's Women at War with America, the important unknown story of how housewives met the challenge of maintaining family life in the war years.

Katherine Sharp Landdeck (University of Tennessee), "The Great Experiment: Women Pilots in the Air Transport Command, September 1942 to December 1944." The Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) was a civilian organization of women pilots who carried out numerous types of duties in service with the Army Air Force during WW II, including target towing, test flying, ferrying personnel, and conducting flight crew training. Originally, women pilots were intended solely for the Air Transport Command, in the service of which they carried out over 12,650 ferry movements and flew over 9,224,000 miles. Study of the utilization of women pilots is essential to creating a complete picture of the significance of the WASP in the successes of the AAR in WW II.

Jeff Suchanek (University of Kentucky), "Star-Spangled Women: Kentucky's Women Veterans of World War Two Speak." Life history interviews in Kentucky with over thirty women veterans from all branches of the military service provide materials for a collective biography of Kentucky womens' military experiences during WW II in their own words. Interview topics covered childhood memories, family backgrounds, reasons for enlisting, military training, jobs performed during the war, wartime experiences, and post-war expectations.

Session IV: Of Biography

Pam Warford (Georgetown College), "Margaret Chase Smith and the Politics of Conscience." Senator Smith called upon fundamental American rights (to criticize, to hold unpopular beliefs, to protest, to think independently) and values (reason and civility) to condemn the radical right (McCarthyism) in 1950 and the radical left (anti-Vietnam War protestors) in 1970.

Session V: Of Race

Eliza R. L. McGraw (Vanderbilt University), "The Supreme Sacrifice of Lifetime Association: Uriah Levy, Jefferson Levy, and the Ownership of Monticello." Monticello was Jefferson's plantation, but it was also owned from 1838 to 1923 by two Jewish men, who were as determined to hold onto it as other Americans were to take it away from them. Thus the story of the Levys' ownership of Jefferson's plantation constitutes an account of Jewishness in America and a portrait of the double consciousness Jewish Americans have historically maintained and been assigned by their non-Jewish countrymen.

Session VI: Of Class

Todd Coke (Georgetown College), "Robert Penn Warren's Night Rider in Context." Warren's Guthrie, Kentucky birthplace remains a benighted backwater, its inhabitants lacking both a sense of the past and hope for the future.

Scott D. Vander Ploeg (Madisonville Community College), "Mason's Characters Get Some College." In Mason's short stories, the will to attain an education is treated as divisive, more a problem than a restorative force, alienating rather than self-actualizing. This focus on the negative impact of educational difference ignores the potential of education to improve shared lives.


Please send news of personal/professional doings: where you are (especially if you've moved recently); what you are teaching; what you have published; what work is in progress; what honors you've received or onerous tasks and offices you've assumed; what milestones (a new job? a promotion? retirement?) you've achieved; conferences and calls for papers; projects; upcoming events of interest (festivals, performances, readings, etc.).

Thomas Blues Department of English University of Kentucky Lexington KY 40506

(606) 257-7002

Deadline for news items: September 15, 1998.

Anticipated publication date, October 1998.


Longtime KTASA member Ralph Curry died September 23 of cancer at age 73. He was Professor Emeritus of English at Georgetown College. Georgetown KY. Memorial contributions can be made to Georgetown College, Hospice of the Bluegrass, or Georgetown Baptist Church.


Lindsay Apple and Harold Tallant of Georgetown College are in the initial stages of setting up a Border States website that would make all issues of the journal electronically accessible. More news of this project forthcoming at the spring 98 meeting.

Sally Howell (History, MTSU) was presented the Lifetime Achievement Award at the spring 1997 meeting for distinguished service over the years to the discipline and the KTASA.

John Cawelti (English, UK) is working on a third revised and expanded edition of The Six-Gun Mystique, scheduled for1998 publication, the 28th anniversary of its original appearance.

Mary Hoffschwelle (History, MTSU) and Carroll Van West (Center for Historic Preservation, MTSU), adopted a baby girl--Sarah --in August.

Allison Ensor (English, UT Knoxville) will lecture in the spring 1998 series sponsored by the Mark Twain Center at Elmira College, Elmira NY. In the summer, he will be visiting professor at Pepperdine University.

James Holberg (Curator of Manuscripts, Filson Club), James Kirkwood, and Mary Jean Kinsman have compiled a Guide to Selected Manuscript And Photograph Collections of the Filson Club Historical Society of Louisville KY.

National ASA Notes

The Regional Chapters of the ASA Homepage is now up and running at KTASA is represented.

ASA has suggested that regional chapters establish archives. KTASA members wishing to suggest their institutions as potential repositories of the chapter's records should contact regional chapter representative Tom Blues.


Department of History

Eastern Kentucky University

Richmond KY 40475

Border States On-Line is hosted by Georgetown College.
This page was last updated on 11/30/98.

This web page is maintained by
Dr. Harold D. Tallant, Department of History, Georgetown College
400 East College Street, Georgetown, KY 40324, (502) 863-8075