Carmen V. Harris
Associate Professor of History
University of South Carolina - Upstate
I am working on two projects. One is a history of the race policy in the federal extension service, one is a history of the "Negro Extension Service in South Carolina." The first project from which my Agricultural History article is drawn is intended to reframe how we see agricultural policy as it relates to extension work. There has been a lot of critical writing on race and agricultural policy including contemporary criticism has not always made it overtly into the scholarly press. That's why my 20 years of research in this topic is important. The extension officials were a gateway to federal support for farmers and African American farmers were denied equal access to that gateway. The second project--which is where my work began--is an institutional history of the extension service.
I don't have many hobbies. I am a mother of a 13 and 11 year old so if being a chauffeur is a hobby, I guess that's mine. I have become somewhat addicted to working out--I'm trying to lose weight. I do collect Hallmark Christmas ornaments--in particular Santa Clauses, angels, and the Star Trek and Wizard of Oz series.
Favorite Historical Figure
My favorite historical figure--had I not been asked, I probably would have known off the top of my head. My favorite figure today is Ida B. Wells-Barnett and Fannie Lou Hamer.
Favorite Agricultural/Rural Movie
I don't know that I've ever seen a "movie" on agricultural history--maybe The Grapes of Wrath. The one with Sallie Field and John Malkovich isn't bad. I like the documentary "Homecoming...Sometimes I am Haunted By Red Dirt and Clay."