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Ferrell’s book on tobacco earns American Folklore Society award

Burley: Kentucky Tobacco in a New Century receives Wayland D. Hand Prize

Ann K. Ferrell

Ann K. Ferrell

Ann K. Ferrell, assistant professor of Folk Studies at WKU, has been named the recipient of the 2014 Wayland D. Hand Prize for Outstanding Book that Combines Historical and Folkloristic Perspectives for her book Burley: Kentucky Tobacco in a New Century.

The biennial prize receives its name from the eminent folklorist Wayland D. Hand (1907–1986). The award is sponsored by the History and Folklore Section of the American Folklore Society and a jury of distinguished scholars makes the selection.

    Burley: Kentucky Tobacco in a New Century by WKU faculty member Ann K. Ferrell is the recipient of the 2014 Wayland D. Hand Prize.

Burley: Kentucky Tobacco in a New Century by WKU faculty member Ann K. Ferrell is the recipient of the 2014 Wayland D. Hand Prize.

In a press release announcing the award, the jury praised Ferrell’s Burley saying, “The volume’s combination of historical and ethnographic methodologies with rhetorical analysis stands out among the many entries for the prize. Writing precisely and in an engaging style, Ferrell has constructed both a history of the small farmer burley tobacco industry and an ethnography of tobacco cultivation.”

In Burley: Kentucky Tobacco in a New Century (University Press of Kentucky 2013), Ferrell uses the stories of individual farmers to trace not only the history of tobacco cultivation, but also to illuminate the region’s complex relationship with the crop. Building on interviews and oral histories, she examines how all aspects of cultivation have changed over the years, from sewing and setting through harvesting and curing to selling and marketing. Her inquiry gives tobacco farmers a voice as they have become increasingly stigmatized by changing social attitudes toward smoking. She concludes by looking at the future of tobacco, including the problems associated with replacing it with alternative crops.

Contact: Mack McCormick, (859) 257-5200.

 

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