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Forgotten Places

Critical Studies in Rural Education


Edited By William M. Reynolds

Forgotten Places: Critical Studies in Rural Education critically investigates and informs the construction of the rural, rural identity and the understanding of the rural internationally. This book promotes and expands the notion of critical understandings of rural education, particularly in the areas of race, class, gender, and LGBTQ, with conceptualizations of social justice. While there have been many volumes written on critical issues in urban education, only a small number have been produced on rural education, and the majority of those are not critical. By contrast, Forgotten Places not only discusses "schools in the country," but also expands conceptualizations of the rural beyond schools and place as well as beyond the borders of the United States. It also tackles the artificial duality between conceptualizations of urban and rural. Forgotten Places includes scholarly investigations into the connections among the symbolic order, various forms of cultural artifacts and multiple readings of these artifacts within the context of critical/transformational pedagogy. This book fills a significant gap in the scholarly work on the ramifications of the rural.

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Chapter Two: Teaching Against Provincialism in the Conservative, Anti-Intellectual Rural South (Paul L. Thomas)


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Teaching Against Provincialism IN THE Conservative, Anti-Intellectual Rural South1


Confederate flag, Tillman Hall = provincialism

Often ignored behind the whitewashed myth of the Founding Fathers and the so-called birth of a nation taught in public schools is that the Declaration of Independence was strategically limited to white males only due to, in part, delegates from South Carolina who balked on including language rejecting slavery (The Deleted Passage of the Declaration of Independence, 2015). Where I was born and raised, and then taught public school for 18 years, my home state of South Carolina was also first to secede from the Union, hand-in-hand with Georgia, Mississippi, Texas, and Virginia in, explicitly, defense of slavery. South Carolina rebuked the Union for its “deference to the opinions and wishes of the other slaveholding States,” such as Mississippi who declared bluntly: “Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery—the greatest material interest of the world” (The Declaration of Causes of Seceding States, 2014).

Even as slavery began to collapse under the weight of its inhumanity and immorality, free whites in South Carolina increased the number of slaves—with nearly half of families owning slaves by 1850—at the beginning of the Civil War (Remove confederate flag this week, 2015). South Carolina also offered the political world John C. Calhoun, Ben Tillman, and Strom Thurmond—embodiments of racism as political capital. Even as...

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