Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

M.A. in Southern Studies


Southern Studies

First Advisor

Annette Trefzer

Second Advisor

Kathryn McKee

Third Advisor

Kris Belden-Adams

Relational Format



In 1976, Memphis, Tennessee, photographer, William Eggleston, had his first solo exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. This exhibition was the first dedicated to a single photographer working in color. While Eggleston’s use of color was groundbreaking, his depictions of contemporary southern life were similarly exceptional. Working against previous photographic representations of the South, Eggleston presented a region succumbing to national homogenization through land development, commercialization, and suburbanization. Eggleston’s monograph resulting from his debut exhibition at MoMA, William Eggleston’s Guide, tells the story of this changing region, from the outdoor spaces that were once agriculturally rooted, to the private, intimate spaces of the rural South. He juxtaposes these types of images with photographs depicting development and abuse on once agrarian soil. By doing this, William Eggleston’s Guide encouraged viewers in 1976, and still today, to reevaluate our interactions with the environments around us.

Included in

Photography Commons



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