Identifier

etd-1112102-151209

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

English

Document Type

Dissertation

Abstract

This project discusses the cultural and political significance of a number of lyrics by songwriter and political activist Woodrow Wilson "Woody" Guthrie. By drawing on both the singer's personal experiences and relevant American history, I lay out how larger political and cultural forces in society impacted Guthrie's songs. Although this work focuses primarily on his lyrics, my dissertation also draws on his interviews, commercial recordings, drawings, and other writing. Since much of the writing discussed in this work comes from archival collections at the Smithsonian Institution, the Library of Congress, and the Woody Guthrie Archives, I have covered a wider variety of materials concerning Guthrie than ever done before, thus providing new insights into one of America's most intriguing cultural figures. Also, by using an interdisciplinary approach, I have been able to evaluate Guthrie's political expression through both a literary and a historical perspective, giving this study a rich and varied context.

Date

2002

Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

John Lowe

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