History Professor Explores Nature of ‘Home’ in 19th-Century South

(June 13, 2019)

According to Dr. Whitney Stewart, there’s a different way to tell the story of how people lived during the antebellum period in the U.S. By looking at the objects found at old plantations, for example, the disparity of life in the South becomes clearer.

Last summer Stewart visited Southern plantations to research home life in the 19th century. This summer she received a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities at the American Antiquarian Society, which will allow her to engage in archival research at the society. She will take the location-based research she has done and, by looking at published materials, broaden it beyond individual plantations to regional and national contexts.

She said her book should provide context and guidance for three different groups: academics, public historians and the general public.

“I want people to ask more questions and to ‘read the landscape’ and their material world in more nuanced ways,” Stewart said.

University of Texas at Dallas