Cage Free Since 1919

Melissa Walker Profile

Melissa Walker

Melissa Walker

 Associate Professor of History, Converse College, Spartanburg, SC

Current Project

I just finished a book entitled Southern Farmers and Their Stories: Memory and Meaning in Oral History(University Press of Kentucky, 2006). Examining the oral history narratives of more than 500 farmers from all the southern states and a diverse array of backgrounds, this book explores how southern farmers recall their agrarian past and the lessons that they draw from that past. Farmers understood that the way of life they had always known was passing--indeed that many of them would be pushed off the land forever--and so they told stories about that way of life in order to preserve a sense that their way of life mattered. Their stories reflect their struggles to define the significance of farming and rural life once it was transformed. I'm still exploring ideas for a new work, but I'm considering a project on aging in America.

Best Place for an Agricultural History Conference

Pacific Northwest


Cooking, gardening, biking, reading mystery novels

Favorite Historical Figure

Elizabeth Cady Stanton

Favorite Agricultural/Rural Movie

"Bitter Harvest"

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