Date of Award
M.A. in History
Arch Dalrymple III Department of History
Charles Reagan Wilson
Cookbooks manifested Southern archetypes between the late 1860s and the early 2000s. From the late 1800s through 1945, cookbooks exemplified Jim Crow with racist language, stereotyped illustrations, and marginalization of black laborers. Almost at the same time, an ideological belief that glorified the South's loss in the Civil War and romanticized the leaders and fallen soldiers as heroes, called the Lost Cause, appeared in cookbooks. Whites used reminiscence about antebellum society, memorialization of Civil War heroes, and coded language to support Lost Cause beliefs. As the twentieth century progressed, the racial tensions morphed, and the civil rights movement came to a head. Between the 1950s and the late 1960s-early 1970s, cookbooks reflected the cultural tensions of the time, harkening back to the earlier Jim Crow-style recipes and language. From the 1970s to the mid-1980s, due to a bolstering of white Southern pride caused by the death of segregation, the Lost Cause resurfaced with a resurgence of heirloom Lost Cause recipes. Southerners challenged domestic ideology and gender roles by the second half of the twentieth century, and Southern social, political, and religious figures attempted to reinforce women's roles and preserve family values. Concurrently, the movement of the Religious Right in the 1980s of conservative evangelicals was spreading through the country. Cookbooks further reflected the push of reverting to family values by showcasing recipes handed down from mothers and grandmothers. Lastly, the enterprises of Southern Living magazine, Cracker Barrel, and Paula Deen's stardom commercialized the concept of Southernness and exported it through the United States.
Ruff, Kelsielynn, "Recipes Exist In The Moment: Cookbooks And Culture In The Post-Civil War South" (2013). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 634.