Publication Date

April 2017


Gina Athena Ulysse, Douglas Charles




English (United States)


“There is no culture without agriculture:” In this thesis I explore modes of cultural preservation among Southeastern United States agriculture. Taking into consideration the implications of the social, racial, political, and economic factors of the South, I examine how heritage is maintained for conventional, land-owning farmers as opposed to farmers on the margins. Throughout this project, I draw connections between the generations of farmers and the plant life cycle, culminating with the disruption of both the lives and livelihoods of marginalized farmers through the mechanization of agriculture and of seeds and plants through hybridization and patenting. In this vein, seedsaving, as practiced by the margins, works as to resist the industrialization of agriculture and to form countermemories to a version of the past that prioritizes white, land-owning narratives. I argue that it is vital to acknowledge how the past informs current Southern agrarian society in order to retain communities and practices that nurture farmers, communities, plants, and the land.



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