Date of Award

Summer 8-7-2012

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Joe Perry

Second Advisor

Charles Steffen


Mildred Lewis Rutherford, as one of the most prominent members of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, has been scantly researched in the past, however her speeches and writing had a profound impact on southern historical consciousness during the New South Period. Her influence, interestingly, was not entirely based in reality. A poststructural analysis of her speeches reveals that she strategically fabricated and excluded information in order to create a specific memory of the past in the minds of southerners. Rutherford had difficulty discerning whether or not the economic benefits of industrialization outweighed the accompanying social consequences. Yet, she used the power of text in an attempt to recreate the Old South social structure based on a racial hierarchy that was bound to be defeated by the rising tide of indu-strialization.