Date Awarded


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)




Hiroshi Kitamura

Committee Member

Fabricio Prado

Committee Member

Hannah Rosen


"An Order to Society: Soeur Ste. Reine and the New Orleans Ursulines as Agents of Empire, 1727-1779" addresses the Ursuline Sisters of New Orleans as participants in an international, multiethnic system. All of these men and women helped to create a society and morality for colonial Louisiana and its capital city. Catherine Mauricette de Kerogon de l'Etang, Soeur Ste. Reine provides insight into the secular, temporal implications of her Sisters' ministry in New Orleans. After her return to a convent in Normandy, Kerogon wrote a series of letters to the French Court, asking for monetary compensation and defining herself as an agent of empire. Through their service to the various Atlantic populations of New Orleans, especially women and young girls, each of the Ursulines of New Orleans – French, Spanish, and Creole in origin – took part in the construction of a Eurocentric society in their New World home. "A Place Where 'You Can Live Freedom': The Landscape of the Highlander Folk School, 1932-1962" is an environmental history of the Highlander Folk School, a training site for labor and civil rights activists. Myles Horton, founder of Highlander, and his staff and students all contributed to the physical, built, and symbolic landscapes of the Folk School. Located on "Monteagle Mountain," on the Cumberland Plateau of middle Tennessee, the Highlander Folk School welcomed generations of leaders, workers, and activists to a small farm outfitted with simple structures and furnishings. There, inspired by a common ideology of potential, they discussed the movements they led, practiced radical adult education, planned for the future of the South, and created a model of integrated, egalitarian, communal living – a model that students could experience in situ and then carry home, to their own communities throughout the region. Each layer of the environment – physical, built, and symbolic – influenced the realization of Highlander's ideology of potential and affected the growth of the labor and civil rights movements of the twentieth century South.




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