Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

M.A. in Southern Studies


Southern Studies

First Advisor

Charles Reagan Wilson

Second Advisor

Zandria F. Robinson

Third Advisor

Angela Cooley

Relational Format



"Y'all Eat: Foodways, Performative Regional Identity, and the South in the Twenty-first Century" examines the ways in which iconic Southerners--Jim Beam and his ilk, Colonel Harland Sanders, and Paula Deen--create and sustain the hypercontemporary South. Because of their media exposure and place in the popular imagination, these characters force a specific kind of performance in both an intergroup and intragroup context. Close readings of individual appearances and selected portions of these characters' output help to shed light on how these identities are formed, upon what they rely for structure and support, and what this means for modern consumers around the country and the world. This is a new media examination of these ideas, and much of the research relies on internet comments, YouTube videos, Twitter accounts, advertising campaigns, visits to the respective places of origin, blog posts, and oral histories.



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