TVA’s Global Career
Southern Appalachian Studies Series
Tore C. Olsson, PhD (History, UTK)
Monday, October 23, 2017, 7 p.m., Library’s Sharon Lawson Room
Southern Appalachia is a region sometimes considered isolated and disconnected from the rest of the world. Yet, this program argues that Southern Appalachia, especially East Tennessee, has had a massive global footprint.
Dr. Olsson says, “I look specifically at the Tennessee Valley Authority, the New Deal-era rural development program, and how various nations sought to imitate its program within their own nations during the Cold War years.”
In 1936 TVA completed construction of its first major project, Norris Dam, and went on to build another 25 dams that would transform the face of this region. Olsson will describe how the plan for this transformation, which included improvements to public health, road building, flood control and electrification, was later exported across the globe during the Cold War era as a model for regional uplift in places like Afghanistan, India and Mexico.
Dr. Olsson, Assistant Professor of history, teaches courses on modern U.S. history in global perspective. He earned a Ph.D. in history at the University of Georgia in 2013 and specializes in U.S. southern history, particularly the region’s links with the world beyond. Olsson’s first book, Agrarian Crossings: Reformers and the Remaking of the US and Mexican Countryside, was published in summer 2017 by Princeton University Press. He is now working on his second book project, a global history of American country music in the decades after World War II.
Born in southern Sweden, Dr. Olsson has lived in this region for more than a decade. He currently lives in Knoxville with his wife and two daughters where they enjoy biking, hiking, and brewing beer.
Open to the public, this program is hosted by the Blount County Public Library, located at 508 N. Cusick Street, Maryville. For further information about library programs or services, call the library at 982-0981 or visit its website at www.blounttn.org/197/Public-Library.