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Dolly Parton's America

Dolly Parton's America

Update: 2019-12-0361
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At the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, we drop in on a history class called “Dolly Parton’s America.” (We borrowed the name for our series!) Taught by Dr. Lynn Sacco, the class is filled with college students who grew up in rural Appalachia, many of whom are the first in their families to attend college.  Dr Sacco gives the class an assignment: Write an essay that answers the question “What is Dolly Parton’s America?” Lurking just behind that question are thornier ones about Southern shame and identity and hillbillies and football and...well, Dolly.  Is Dolly helping or hurting us? The class splits down the middle.   


Editor’s Note:  We made two corrections to this podcast, originally released on December 3.  In referring to the location of the Battle of Blair Mountain, we changed “Southwestern Virginia” to “West Virginia.” And on the origin of the term redneck, we inserted narration that makes clear that the etymology of the term goes back farther than the Battle of Blair Mountain.  

Comments (14)

GRACE FINNEY

Thank you for giving me pride for my home.

Jan 16th
Reply (1)

daisy

this is such a good podcast and this episode really takes it further

Jan 6th
Reply

Kevin Barry

No podcast this week so far.....withdrawal symptoms setting in..

Dec 15th
Reply

Kayla Reeser

The Barbara Walter's interview in this episode is unintelligible to the ear....and they never address it. anyone else have this issue?

Dec 12th
Reply (1)

Michelle T

I love this podcast and this might be my favorite episode. I am a proud native Tennessean who was moved north at 14. My mom was always ashamed of her southern roots and although she never said as much out loud, I was definitely "encouraged" towards the Queen's English. Add to that some vicious bullying for being different and I set about losing my accent quick as I could. I'm now sorry that I caved to that pressure, especially with my southern colloquialisms that I picked up from my grandparents. It feels like a rejection of who I am, who they were, and most importantly how hard they worked so that my mom & I could make snooty decisions. Just some food for thought for the students and others with a similar struggle. And one point of constructive criticism for those who are worried about being taken seriously: for the love of Saint Dolly, concentrate on losing the habit to use "like" as every other word. That makes you sound far less articulate than the thickest drawl.

Dec 7th
Reply

Sylvia H Ramos

I love Dolly now more than ever. I do think the episode on Dec 2 reminds me of the stereotypes of inner city. I am proud to be from the City as we called it. New York City. She is a complex person, genuine and loving. can't wait for the final episodes.

Dec 4th
Reply (3)

BC

"Two terms that started out as referring to people fighting for rights getting turned into terms used to shame those same people."

Dec 4th
Reply

BC

Holy shit, that's where the term redneck comes from. I regret calling people rednecks. I didn't know it was a term that came from coal workers trying to unionize.

Dec 4th
Reply (1)
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