Rachel C Kirby


PhD Candidate in American Studies

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

My dissertation, currently 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. I analyze 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.

I hold an MA in Folklore and a BA in Art History, both from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. My MA thesis, advised by Bernard Herman, was titled "Interpreting Historic Site Narratives: Duke Homestead on Tour." In it, I 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.

When I'm not writing or teaching, I'm most likely watching reality tv shows, cross stitching, or playing with my cat, Morris, who makes frequent appearances on my social media platforms. 



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Rachel C. Kirby


PhD Candidate, Boston University