Rachel C Kirby

PhD Candidate in American Studies

Rachel C. Kirby is a sixth year PhD Candidate in the American & New England Studies Program at Boston University.  Her research focuses on visual and material culture and sense of place in the American South.

Rachel's dissertation, tentatively titled "Consuming the South: Representations of Taste, Place, and Agriculture in Four Southern States," is an interdisciplinary study of the relationships between agricultural products and their cultural manifestations in visual, material, and experiential forms. She analyzes the production and circulation of advertising imagery, logos, three-dimensional souvenirs, art, and events between the late-nineteenth century and today to trace how various people and organizations have harnessed promotional culture to encourage the local and national consumption of products and the region they came from.

Rachel holds an MA in Folklore and a BA in Art History, both from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her MA thesis, advised by Bernard Herman, was titled "Interpreting Historic Site Narratives: Duke Homestead on Tour." It analyzed the various versions of and engagements with the historical narrative presented at Duke Homestead State Historic Site and Tobacco Museum in Durham, North Carolina.

If she's not writing or teaching, Rachel is most likely watching reality tv shows, cross stitching, or playing with her cat, Morris, who makes frequent appearances on her social media platforms. 


Rachel C. Kirby

PhD Candidate, Boston University


American & New England Studies Program

Boston University