My name is Rachel Kirby and I am a Lecturer in History & Literature at Harvard University. As a deeply interdisciplinary scholar, I use visual, material, and popular culture to examine questions of regional and national identity, memory, and sense of place within American culture. Prior to coming to Harvard, I taught classes on the Boston Red Sox and Food and Culture in Boston University's American & New England Studies Program and Writing Program.
My current research explores representations of southern agriculture from the late-nineteenth century to today, analyzing the relationship between agricultural products and their cultural manifestations in visual, material, and experiential forms. I examine the production and circulation of advertisements, souvenirs, art, and events to trace how different individuals and groups have harnessed promotional and visual culture to encourage local and national consumptions of products and the region from which these products grew.
I hold a PhD from the American & New England Studies Program at Boston University, and an MA in Folklore and BA in Art History, both from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. For more information on my research, please visit my website: www.rachelckirby.com.