Static flowers: Following William Bartram
Pound, Andrea Warren
Tyler, Stephen A.
Doctor of Philosophy
Following the plot of William Bartram's Travels through North Florida, this dissertation presents a multi-sited investigation of Florida's rural modernities, illuminating contingent and accidental relationships between disparate social phenomena. Bartram's Travels is a canonical text of Floridiana that can be read as an historical myth chartering the contemporary cultural production of Florida's landscape. Testing its plot against the ethnographic realities in place today leads not to a problematization of the myth but rather a discovery of the structures of feeling at work in a provincial American setting: the dominant, residual, and emergent trends in the social construction and interpretation of a region. Bartram's text becomes a found apparatus for an empirical critique. Borrowing on Bartram's major themes, connections are traced between botany, history, floral art, farming, gardening, small towns, and tourism as sites of invention and imagination, as well as disjuncture and difference.
Cultural anthropology; American literature