UTC Communication Symposium Coming to UTC

A Symposium on the 19th Century Press, the Civil War and Free Expression will be held Thursday, November 2-Saturday, November 4.

Dr. Kittrell Rushing, head of UTC Communication, says the conference, sponsored by the West Chair of Excellence, the UTC Department of Communication, the Chattanooga Times Chattanooga Free Press, and WRCB-TV Channel 3, is open to the public.

"Papers and panels deal with media and media influences in the 19th century, and this year's symposium also contains presentations and discussions on the literature that evolved from the Civil War era," Rushing said.

For instance, Rushing is presenting research on the beginning of the dramatic change for the role and image of women in Southern culture. Frances Andrews, whose brother was a mayor of Chattanooga in the 1890s, broke free of the traditional upper-class role for women through her ability to write and her determination to support herself without calling on the goodwill and sense of male responsibility of the men in her family. " 'Fanny' as her friends and relatives called her, was a product of the antebellum Southern upper-class. Her father was a well known Georgia jurist, politician, and landowner before the war. Fanny was well educated; and she, like most women of her social class, was trained to take her place on the 'pedestal of chivalry' to which men of her social station could pay homage.

Unfortunately for Fanny and for her antebellum Southern aristocracy, the Civil War destroyed her way of life and left her family destitute. Her mother and father died within seven years of the end of the war. Fanny and her brothers and sisters were forced to sell their family home and plantation, and Fanny was forced to support herself. She became a writer, a newspaper reporter, an editor and columnist, and she taught school--first at the secondary level then later in college," Rushing said.

According to Rushing, Fanny never married. She wrote in her diary early on that "marriage does not fit the path I have marked out for myself." When she died in 1931 at aged 91 in Rome, Georgia, she had since the end of the Civil War written four novels, more than three dozen scientific articles on botany, two internationally recognized botany text books, and dozens and dozens of articles, commentaries, and reports on topics ranging from politics to environmental issues. Her humor pieces attracted national attention. One contemporary called Andrews, "the Southern Fanny Fern." Fanny Fern was a nationally recognized female humorist of the late 19th century.

" I discovered Fanny Andrews almost by accident several years ago while doing unrelated research in the UTC Lupton Library archives. During my efforts to find information about how media were used during the mid-nineteenth century, I found in the archives an old ledger. The ledger, it turned out, was a diary kept by Andrews from 1870 to 1872. The diary was so well written, so Intriguing, that I had to find out more about the author. I discovered that Andrews's earlier diary, The Wartime Journal of a Georgia Girl: 1864-1865 was recognized among Civil War scholars as one of the better first-person narratives of the confusion and anarchy of the last days of the Southern Confederacy. The more I researched Fanny Andrews, the more impressed I became with who she was, what she was and what she represented in Southern history and in the development of the role now played by women in the culture," Rushing said.

Rushing calls Andrews a transitional woman. Her life spans the transition from the antebellum patriarchal culture in which women were strictly limited in their place and role to the late 20th-early 21st century in which women increasingly are limited only by their drive, talent and education.

" One of the great names in the scholarship of the South's history and of the developing and changing role of women in the South, Anne Firor Scott, said of Fanny Andrews, 'She was quite a gal.' I agree with Scott's sentiment. Fanny Andrews, in my opinion, represents for us still a model for what a determined individual can do," Rushing said.

Fanny Andrews had strong ties to Chattanooga. Her brother Garnett practiced law here in the last decades of the 19th century. Garnett was mayor in the early 1890s. Fanny's younger brother, Daniel Marshal, was the civil engineer who laid out North Chattanooga. Chattanooga's Little Miss Mag Child Care Center is named for Fanny's grand niece, the daughter of her nephew Garnett. Little Miss Mag died from burns received in a kitchen accident at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in the early part of the century. The Andrews family was instrumental in starting the industries that evolved into parts of Chattanooga's and North Georgia's carpet folding box companies. A son of Fanny's younger brother, Daniel Marshal (the civil engineer responsible for North Chattanooga), also named Garnett, was involved in Chattanooga hotel and banking business for many years.

"I am now developing annotations and editing Fanny's 1870-1872 diary. The work is slated for publication by the UT Press in the spring of 2002," Rushing said.

For those interested in attending the Friday session on the UTC campus, parking is available in the UTC parking garage on 3rd street.

Schedule of Events:

Thursday, November 2, 2000 The Radisson Read House Hotel
8:00-10:00 p.m. Reception Honoring the Conference Speakers. Coffee and dessert will be served.
"She's No Scarlett: Fanny Andrews, The South's New Woman" S. Kittrell Rushing, UTC
"Eliza Frances Andrews (Elzey Hay): Reporter, 1865-1931" Charlotte Ford, Georgia Southern
"She's No Scarlett: Fanny Andrews, The South's New Woman" S. Kittrell Rushing, UTC
"Eliza Frances Andrews (Elzey Hay): Reporter, 1865-1931" Charlotte Ford, Georgia Southern

Friday, November 3, 2000 Meeting in the Raccoon Mountain Room of the UTC University Center Luncheon and Dinner in the Chickamauga Room (2nd Floor)
8:30-9:00 a.m. Continental Breakfast in the Raccoon Mountain Room
9:00-9:15 Opening Remarks from conveners and university officials
9:15-10:45 "John Brown: The Many Faces of a 19th-Century Character" Bernell E.Tripp, University of Florida
"Coverage of Mary E. Surratt in Three 1865 Newspapers" Hazel Dicken-Garcia, University of Minnesota
"History with Lightning: The Legacy of D.W. Griffith's The Birth of a Nation" Phebe Davidson
10:45-11:00 Refreshments
11:00-12:00"'Let the Story Tellers Invent it All': Col. John S. Mosby in Myth and Popular Literature Paul Ashdown and Edward Caudill, University of Tennessee at Knoxville
12:00-1:30 Luncheon in the Chickamauga Room, University Center, 2nd Floor
"'Oh the Sad, Sad Sights I See': Walt Whitman's Civil War Journalism" Roy Morris, Jr., editor of America's Civil War Magazine and author of The Better Angel: Walt Whitman in the Civil War (Oxford)
1:30-3:00 "Mother, Murderess or Martyr? Press Coverage of the Margaret Garner Story" Sarah F. Smith, Minnesota
"Knights of the Quill: Wealth, Slaveholding and Other Demographics of Antebellum Southern Journalists" Debra Reddin van Tuyll, Augusta State University
"On the Brink of Battle: Newspaper Coverage of Charles Wilkes and the Trent Affair, 1861-1862" Sue B.Smith, Georgia State University
3:00-3:15 Refreshments
3:15-4:00 Panel: "Novels of Ideology - The Fiction of Slavery" Lloyd Chiasson, Nicholls State University, Robert Dardenne, U of South Florida--St. Petersburg, Gene Wiggins, Southern Mississippi

4:00-5:30 "'Fanatics,' 'Fire-Eaters' and the Embattled Republic: Similar Words, Different Meanings in American Newspapers, 1856-1861" Lorman A. Ratner, Illinois, Dwight L. Teeter, Jr Tennessee, Knoxville
"The Free State of Jones and The Mass Media: The Legend in Newspapers and the Novel Tap Roots" Nancy McKenzie Dupont, Loyola University New Orleans
"The Rabbi-Editor Who Stood Up Against Slavery" Barbara Straus Reed, Rutgers University
6:00-8:00 Dinner in the Chickamauga Room, University Center, 2nd Floor
"In Search of Jenkins: Taste, Style, and Credibility In Gilded-Age Journalism" Andie Tucher, Columbia University

Saturday, November 4, 2000
9:00-9:30 a.m. Continental Breakfast in the Raccoon Mountain Room
9:30-11:00 "God of Wrath, God of Peace: Popular Religion and Popular Press at the Opening and Closing of Reconstruction" Edward Blum, University of Kentucky
"On War and Liberty: John Stewart Mill as editor of the Richmond Examiner, 1861-65" Peter Gade, University of Oklahoma
"Richard K. Fox, John L. Sullivan and the Rise of Modern American Prize Fighting" Guy Reel, Ohio U
11:00-6:00 p.m. Discussion continues while the group visits Chattanooga's historic Civil War sites

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