My intellectual and academic career has focused on the encounter between people who live in rural regions and expanding, industrializing states and societies. My ethnographic and historical research focuses on rural North America, particularly the region included within the Mississippi Delta - from Southern Illinois southward.
This work has resulted in three books and numerous articles, with another book in preparation.
In 2000 I began a long-term project on peoples' memories of, and judgments about, the massive transformations of the post-World War II period in the lower Mississippi Delta. With my husband, photographer D. Gorton, I have returned to Mississippi, where we participated in the Freedom Movement in the 1960s. We are using digital video to interview and film in the field. We are authoring the material on the World Wide Web as well as in conventional print and video media.
Our work is featured as a "Profile in Success" by Apple Computer.
I am also a member of a team that has been studying watershed planning in the Cache River watershed in southernmost Illinois.
In 1982, I began sustained ethnographic and historical research in Southern Illinois, informed by my deep interest in Latin America. That work resulted in two books, The Transformation of Rural Life and "All Anybody Ever Wanted of Me Was to Work:" the Memoirs of Edith Bradley Rendleman and several articles. My newest book, Fighting for the Farm: Rural America Transformed. looks at the political process in rural North America.
|See more work on the World Wide Web.
Memory and Judgment: Ethnicity and Race in the Lower Mississippi Delta.
Out of Africa - Into the Mississippi Delta
J. C.Coovert: Photographer of the Cotton South
Papers on the Farm Security Administration
A Twenty First Century Landscape: The Rural Lands of Central and Southern Illinois
In 2007 I established the Center for Delta Studies, a research center that builds linkages among scholars in the SIU system, universities in the region encompassed by the Delta Regional Authority, and between researchers and the larger publics. Its mission is to promote ground-breaking research that will contribute innovative solutions to the enduring problems of poverty and associated human and ecological issues endemic to the Delta region.
|2009 This Land Ain't My Land: The Eviction of Sharecroppers by the Farm Security Administration. with D. Gorton. Agricultural History 83(3), pp. 323-351
2007 Ethnography of Rural
2006. Confederate Lane: Class, Race, and Ethnicity in the Mississippi Delta. American Ethnologist 33(2):288-309.
2005 Class: An Essential Aspect of Watershed Planning. Jane Adams, Steven Kraft, and Leslie Duram. Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 1-24 [NOTE: Authorship incorrect on title page. Erratum note here
2005. Watershed Planning: Pseudo-democracy and Its Alternatives. The Case of the Cache River Watershed, Illinois. Jane Adams, Steven Kraft, J.B. Ruhl, Christopher Lant, Tim Loftus, and Leslie Duram. Agriculture and Human Values
2004. Watershed Planning in Watersheds Dominated by Multiple, Largely Private Owners: The Cache River of Southern Illinois. by Steven E. Kraft, Jane Adams, Timothy T. Loftus, Christopher L. Lant, Leslie A. Duram, and J.B. Ruhl. In Integrated Resources and Environmental Management (IREM): The Human Dimensions. Alan Ewert, Doug Baker, and Glyn Bissix, eds. London: CABI Press International.
Outstanding Teacher in the College of Liberal Arts, 2004
Outstanding Faculty Member in the Core Curriculum, 2003
Anth. 410C, Economic Anthropology (Fall 2009)
Anth 565, Seminar on Social Movements: Race, Faith, Class, Nation (Spring 2009)
With special topics on gender, social movement theory, religion, nationalism, and the formation of the modern nation state.
Anth. 202, America's Diverse Cultures (Fall 2006)
Anth 412, Using Digital Media in Anthropological Research (Spring 2004)
Anth. 370, Contemporary Human Problems (Spring 2008)
Anth. 410E, Legal and Political Anthropology (Fall 2008)
Anth 500E, History of Anthropology (Fall 2005)
Anth. 310G/470G, Peoples and Cultures of North America (Spring 2008)
PhD, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.
M.A., Univesity of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.
B.A., Southern Illinois University at Carbondale.
Other universities attended:
San Francisco State University
Chimayo, New Mexico
Organizations I'm active in
Agriculture, Food and Human Values (President 2004-5)
Agricultural History Society
Rural Women's Studies Association
Culture and Agriculture
American Anthropological Association